Fad diets can give rise to many health problems, as they are deficient in essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Here are some reasons why are they bad for health.
A fad diet refers to a restricted eating plan, that lacks sufficient calories. It is one of the methods for quick weight loss. There are different types of fad diets such as negative calorie diet, low-fat diet, low-carb diet, 3-day diet, and zone diet. However, before you opt for any such diet, it is essential to know about the resultant health effects.
Many people prefer the fad diet for immediate weight loss. But, it can have many adverse effects on your health. In fact, healthy diet is essential for maintaining appropriate body weight, physical fitness and strength, and for good overall health. It should contain a correct proportion of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
Fad diets that promise easy and quick weight loss involve eating one type of food. It does not give the benefits that a balanced diet provides. It is suggested that you can take dietary supplements. But, the fact is that many supplements are absorbed by the body only if they are taken along with foods, which are not allowed in fad diets. If you stick to fad diets for a prolonged time, then you may develop nutritional deficiencies.
Usually, fad diets are over-restrictive and boring. After the first few days, you will not be able to enjoy these foods, and probably give up this diet. Many such diets do not allow enough servings of vegetables and fruits, which may lead to malnutrition.
Our body requires at least 45-65% of carbohydrates, 20-35% of fats, and 10-35% of proteins. This requirement is not fulfilled through low-fat or low-carb diets. Diets that allow extremely low fat intake, can cause a deficiency of essential fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. There may also be an insufficiency of fat-soluble vitamins, namely vitamins A, D, E, and K. Low-carb diets may contain a high amount of proteins. Such high-protein diet is not suitable for people having chronic kidney diseases. There is a possibility of developing osteoporosis (bone loss) due to excessive calcium excretion by the body, in order to buffer the resultant acidity. Lack of dairy foods can give rise to the deficiency of vitamin D, calcium, and riboflavin. You may suffer from the deficiencies of vitamins A and C, as well as folate and potassium due to insufficient quantity of fruits and starchy vegetables in the diet.
Vegan diets are rich in carbohydrates and dietary fiber, but contain a very low amount of creatine, which is a constituent of meat. This supplement is essential for muscle strength. Vegan diets are also deficient in iron, calcium, zinc, and vitamins B12 and C.
Fad diets do not lead to permanent weight loss. You may lose weight as long as you follow the diet. However, once you discontinue, and follow the regular eating habits, there is a high risk of quick and significant weight gain.
Some healthy eating guidelines are as follows:
- Eat a large amount of vegetables and fruits, beans, whole grains, seeds, and nuts. You can also include some lean meats, eggs, fish, low-fat dairy products, as well as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils.
- Drink plenty of water, as it is necessary for maintaining proper functioning of body organs.
- Limit the intake of foods containing saturated fats, excess salt, excess added sugars, and alcohol. Such foods can increase obesity.
It is always better to have a healthy and balanced diet supplemented with regular exercise to maintain a healthy body weight. In case of any issues concerning weight management, it is advisable to consult a professional, and follow a diet recommended by him/her. This will ensure weight loss without affecting the nutritional requirements of the body.
Disclaimer: This NutriNeat article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for professional advice.