Nutrition trends come and go, but which ones live up to the hype and which don’t? Here are the pros and cons of several diet fads taking hold of wannabe health crusaders. Before analyzing them, remember that healthy eating is a good thing and nourishing your body is even better. However, some diets won’t deliver the results you expect and not all will work for everyone.
2018 Juicing Trend
The juicing bandwagon is already loaded with celebs so it’s hard not to be tempted to climb aboard. The idea is that you can pack in your body’s daily needs for fruit and veggies plus antioxidants by drinking them and shed some weight in the process. However, one cannot really sustain this low-calorie eating regime for long. Bottom line, this fad is a great way to give yourself a boost of protein-rich smoothies (which is actually a sugar bomb) once in a while, but you still need a normal, healthy diet.
Immunity Boosting with Probiotics
Research shows that probiotics do boost one’s immune system, hence this fad of ingesting bacteria has its allure. It also helps decrease inflammation in the digestive tract. However, only certain strains of probiotic have this effect and you can’t know for certain if you’re getting enough in your kefir or yogurt. Bottom line – it’s not unhealthy, but not 100% flawless.
Gluten-Free for Bloating Prevention
Gluten sensitivity is actually not as common as we’ve been led to believe. Going without gluten may be the rage, but it’s like a placebo effect. People imagine it;s gluten causing them to bloat, while it may be eating gaseous veggies, too much carbohydrate, or too big portions. Verdict? The diet is a bit of hype, although a planned glute-free diet can be healthy if it contains foods dense in nutrients (veggies, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, etc.). The key? If you don’t actually suffer from celiac or real gluten-sensitivity, it’s best to eat a balanced whole food diet that includes whole grains.
Keto or a ketogenic diet is quickly growing in popularity. The diet is low in carbs (less than 50 grams a day, which is what you get from a banana and 2 slices of bread) and super high in fat. The aim is to transform the body into a state of ketosis, meaning it uses fat and its by-products (ketones) as its main fuel source. Short-term side-effects include headaches, fatigue, nausea, bad breath and constipation. As a weight loss strategy, it is not sustainable. The danger is that it does away with most core food groups, like veggies, fruit, whole grains and dairy foods — all essential for our health and wellbeing. Keto basically sends your body into starvation mode, making it a fad that’s worth thinking twice over.
As it implies, this diet gets it source from the simple peasant way of eating in traditional regions of Spain, Morocco, Greece, and Italy. This means consuming more veggies, legumes, nuts and fresh fruits. It also means cooking with olive oil, eating less meat, more fish and fermented dairy products like yoghurt. It’s considered one of the healthiest diets and can encourage longevity, help the heart and deter serious diseases like diabetes and cancer. It’s fabulous and healthy.
Also termed the ‘casual vegetarian’ diet, this regime ranges from meat-free Mondays to adding more veggies to your plate. The flexitarian diet is great as it’s all about eating more plant-based foods. It’s not a total overhaul diet, is less restrictive than other diets, and the changes make a big and healthy difference. Studies also show that flexitarianism may help mitigate environmental destruction and climate change.
Gaining loads of attention, with Paleo cafes opening up all over, this diet for sure wasn’t actually around during Paleo times (around 10,000 to 2.5 million years ago), though the diet claims to be from that age when staple foods were fruit, insects, meat, nuts and veggies.. Because you up your meat consumption and remove dairy, whole grains, and legumes, it’s high in protein and fat, but low in carbs. Upping fruit and veggies is good, but removing other core foods can cause nutritional shortages down the line 0 in fact, this ‘fad’ that calls for so much meat can put you at risk for diseases.
Amazingly this diet has gone mainstream and has been adopted by sports stars and celebs alike – spurred on by the benefits it serves the body as well as the environment. The pros include increased energy, a healthier weight, an improved complexion, and less risk of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, some cancers, obesity and heart disease. Once people were concerned they would lack iron and protein, but if you do it in a healthy way – making sure to consume a broad range of veggies, fruits, legumes, whole grains, seeds and nuts – your body will still get its nutritional essentials. This diet (vegan means no dairy or eggs), is fabulous, which makes sense when you think that the world’s longest-living populations eat plant-based diets.
Before you choose a diet… or one that turns out to just be a fad… make sure it’s not too restrictive and isn’t just a quick fix that sets you up for short-term weight loss that is in fact not sustainable. Stick with healthy, balanced eating. If you decide to change your diet dramatically, visit your doctor or a dietitian. There is no one diet that suits everyone!