The Worst Fad Diets According To Science

tape measure on a plate for dieting

The Worst Fad Diets According To Science

While it is sometimes true that certain fad diets can actually work, you should still be wary of them because many fad diets and cleanses become popular without any scientific evidence to back how effective these diets might be. In fact, sometimes, scientific evidence reveals these diets can actually cause you to gain weight. Other times, fad diets can cause a number of other unintended negative health consequences. Therefore, there are some fad diets that most healthcare professionals would tell you to avoid.

Crash Diets

Crash diets are methods of losing a relatively high amount of weight in a relatively short period of time by ensuring that your calorie intake is uncomfortably low. It usually requires you to spend about a week or two consuming nothing but juice, vegetable soup, chicken soup, citrus fruit, or leafy greens. These types of diets might be effective if you need to lose a certain amount of weight for a specific upcoming event. However, if you want long term results, crash diets are not going to help you at all. In fact, most of the research suggests that crash diets can do more harm than good.

Studies have demonstrated that rapid weight loss can actually inhibit your metabolism so that your short term weight loss turns into long term weight gain. Your risk of weight gain is additionally elevated by the fact that some crash diets can make you so hungry by the time you reach your goal that you overeat once your diet is over. Crash diets can also weaken your immune system, which puts you at a higher risk for many infectious diseases. Repeatedly crash dieting can be harmful to your heart by lowering the mass of your heart muscles and increasing your risk of a heart attack. It can also negatively impact your blood vessels, which can increase your risk of certain cardiovascular diseases.

Gluten Free Diets

Food with gluten are those that contain certain types of grain, including wheat, rye, and barley. Therefore, anyone who has decided to be gluten free is going to avoid these grains or any type of ingredient derived from these grains. This type of diet is really only for people gluten free diet flour and breadwho have certain gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. While eating all the fruits and vegetables that this diet allows is definitely going to be good for you, no shred of scientific evidence has been able to prove that gluten free diets are healthy for anyone who does not have gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. However, somehow, across the United States, the gluten free diet is wildly popular, even though it usually causes you to be deficient in many vitamins and nutrients that are found in grains. These nutrients include folic acid, vitamin B, and iron.

Additionally, foods that contain gluten substitutes tend to have a lot of sugar in it. Otherwise, many of these gluten free foods would not taste good. However, this abundance of sugar can lead to obesity and diabetes. Too much sugar has also been linked to diseases including dementia and cancer. People who are gluten free also tend to eat a lot of rice, which absorbs certain heavy metals in the ground. Therefore, people who are following gluten free diets have higher levels of mercury, lead, and, arsenic in their blood, which can toxic in high quantities.

Vegan and Vegetarian Diets

Vegan and vegetarian diets are popular for ethical reasons because the meat, fish, and dairy industries tend to be morally unsound. However, if your goal is to lose weight or to live a healthier lifestyle, then veganism and vegetarianism might not be the best choice for you. Admittedly, many types of vegan and vegetarian foods are incredibly healthy, including soy products, beans, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. However, vegans and vegetarians also have a higher likelihood of being deficient in key nutrients like vitamin B12, protein, and other ingredients usually found in animal products.

Vegans and vegetarians have to be incredibly creative about finding ways of maintaining a well-balanced diet. If you have the time and energy for this creativity, then you can try staying away from animal products because it can provide you with some health benefits, it can help you be more mindful of the food that you heat, and it might be compelling to boycott manufacturers that are mistreating animals and polluting the environment. However, if you do not have the time or energy to be creative about your diet, then you might want to stay away from vegan or vegetarian diets. Fruits and vegetables are good for you because they contain fibers and proteins, but you also need ingredients that are commonly found in animal products.

Paleogenic Diet

paleo diet food fad dietsThe paleo diet does allow you to avoid certain types of processed foods that can be bad for you. However, the science behind the paleo diet is rather unsound. It suggests the human digestive tract did not evolve you eat processed foods including grains, flour, legumes, and dairy. The reality is that, at some point in human history, the human digestive tract was unequipped for processed foods. However, since then, the human digestive tract has evolved and you can now digest grains, sugars, and dairy products. Avoiding these processed foods often leads you to be deficient in calcium and vitamin D.

Additionally, the diet tends to be very fatty and too much fat can be bad for your health. While it is beneficial to avoid certain processed foods, your body can definitely handle legumes and grains. In fact, most legumes are incredibly healthy for you. Whole grain foods are also recommended by many nutritionists. Therefore, the paleo diet is not necessarily going to help you live a healthier lifestyle. It may best to give up on processed sugars, but you do not have to give up on foods just because humans did not eat them thousands of years ago.

Any type of fad diet will help you to be mindful of the food that you are eating, which can be beneficial. However, if you want to see significant improvements in your health or weight, then certain fad diets are not going to help you. You can always talk to a healthcare professional if you have any questions about which type of diet is going to work best for you.