Sniff out a fad diet


Active Member
5 Jun 2011
You'll Know a Fad Diet if It Recommends:

Magic or miracle foods that burn fat. Foods don't burn fat ? they create fat when we eat more than we need. Fat is your body's way of storing extra food energy. Your body converts extra calories ? units of food energy ? from food into fat when you take in more calories than your body needs to burn.

To lose weight, you must use more energy than you consume, forcing your body to use some of its surplus. You can burn fat by increasing your physical activities or by decreasing the amount of food you eat.

Bizarre quantities of only one food or type of food, such as eating only tomatoes or beef one day or unlimited bowls of cabbage soup or grapefruit. These foods are fine as part of an overall healthy diet, but eating large quantities of them could lead to unpleasant side effects ? like intestinal gas, bloating, flatulence and bad breath ? as well as nutritional imbalances that could seriously impact your health. Emphasizing only one food or food type is also boring and often leads to disappointment when a person can't stay on this unrealistic type of diet.

Rigid menus. Many diets set out a very limited selection of foods to be eaten at a specific time and day, exactly as written. Often these limited diets don't address the widely varied taste preferences of our diverse American population.

The American Heart Association's dietary guidelines recommend a varied diet emphasizing whole grains, vegetables, fruits, lean meat, fish, poultry and fat-free (skim) and low-fat dairy products. Our guidelines can be adapted to fit many types of ethnic cuisine, which in turn will help people stay on a sensible eating plan.

Specific food combinations. Some foods taste good together, like the classic "soup and sandwich," but there's no scientific evidence that eating foods in certain sequences or combinations has any medical benefit.

Rapid weight loss of more than two pounds a week.

No warning given to people with diabetes or high blood pressure to seek advice from the physician or healthcare provider. Some fad diets could raise blood pressure or blood glucose, even if you lose weight. Diets high in fat, which are often those that overemphasize protein, can lead to heart disease and cancer. In addition, high-protein diets can worsen kidney or liver function in people with moderately advanced liver or kidney disease.

No increased physical activity. Simple physical activities, like walking or riding a bike, are one of the most important ways to lose weight and maintain weight loss. Yet many "fad" diets don't emphasize these easy changes. Any increase in physical activity will help you burn more calories.

Source: American Heart Association