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Every year, there seems to be a different diet plan vying for the top spot in terms of popularity. If that diet gets the celebrity seal of approval, the demand will surge even more. It is easy for these so-called fad diets to make the rounds, especially in a nation where more than one-third of the population is seen as obese.
What exactly constitutes a fad diet over a regular diet? Well, a fad diet tends to promote rapid weight loss. Many of them even remove regular exercising and claim all you need to do is eat (or not eat) a particular kind of food.
Are there side effects to these diets? More than likely. Of course, there are ways to eat healthier, but it is generally known as leading a healthy lifestyle rather than going on a diet. For those looking for short-term goals, it’s easy to fall into bad fad diets.
Continue reading to discover more about these popular dieting trends, which ones may be of some use, and which ones to avoid completely.
Popular Fad Diets for 2018
The list of the top popular fad diets seems to change every year. As many consumers jump on the opportunity for a new chance at weight-loss, nutritionists comb over every detail of a fad diet to help determine whether or not it’s actually healthy.
Finding the Good in Fad Diets
Although not every professional can agree with following any of the fad diets, some of them do have solid research backing them up. The U.S. News & World Report reviewed 40 popular dieting trends, indicating which ones can actually benefit your health goals. Both the DASH Diet and the Mediterranean Diet fought for the top spot as the best overall.
With the DASH Diet, it’s more about lowering blood pressure than it is about losing weight (but weight loss can still occur). It was developed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), and as it focuses less on rapid weight-loss goals and more on gradually leading a healthier lifestyle, it sits among the good popular fad diets.
As for the Mediterranean Diet, it does place a larger emphasis on weight loss than the DASH Diet. However, it also promotes better health overall. What lands this on the good side of fad diets is its focus on developing a better eating pattern that you can stick with rather than an actual structured diet.
If you are interested in learning more about some popular fad diets with a general health goal rather than weight-loss, feel free to go over the Best Diets Overall list.
Understanding the Bad Fad Diets
As explained before, there are bad fad diets out there regardless of the fact that they’re trending when it comes to popularity. How do you know which fad diet trends are not so good for you? You take a look at what exactly it does and the side effects that can come along with it.
For instance, there’s the Ketogenic (Keto) Diet. It isn’t seen as necessarily “bad”, but there are some concerns about it. The Keto Diet focuses on burning fat by cutting out carbohydrates. Because of the risks that can come with this diet, nutrition experts from U.S. News & World Report ranked it low for health and nutrition.
There are some good to come out of such a diet, however. For instance, it can benefit those with certain diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, and epilepsy. On the other hand, it can severely restrict other people such as vegans as the Keto Diet removes plant-based proteins such as beans since they can contain carbohydrates.
Overall, the diet can contain an unusually high count of fat and an incredibly low count of carbohydrates. It’s such drastic cutting of certain food groups that can place a dieting trend firmly on the bad fad diets spectrum.
Other popular fad diets you’ll find making that list include the Raw Food Diet. Other than the usual health risks that come with eating raw ingredients, the Raw Food Diet can eliminate many useful calories, vitamins, and calcium from your system. It can also make it difficult to get enough daily energy.
There are a number of other bad fad diets making the rounds out there. Finding out which of the fad diets constitutes as “bad” can depend on individual health, so it’s important to do some extra research and speak with your doctor (if you have one) about it before you begin.
Side Effects of Fad Diets
No matter which fad diet you decide to take up, it helps to understand the possible risks that comes with them. Side effects are more seen in the fad diets that promise quick weight-loss. In such a short amount of time, these diets can alter your metabolism in a negative way by slowing it down. A slower metabolism can actually lead to an increase in weight over time along with other medical complications.
Another probable risk of certain fad diets is poor long-term weight loss control. As stated before, many fad diets focus on the short-term goal of losing weight quickly. This can lead to difficult-to-follow programs as your overall eating patterns haven’t changed.
If you’re interested in hopping on a fad diet, remember to do some research and determine if it is one that promotes a long-term healthy lifestyle rather than a “quick fix” solution.