What's missing from trending diets? Balanced nutrition!

Doesn’t it seem that every time you’re on social media, you find someone new posting about the latest and greatest fad diet?

Trendy diets may promise a quick fix like rapid weight loss but may not represent healthy eating patterns if they’re based on eliminating certain foods and food groups. In some cases, following a fad diet could even lead to nutrient deficiencies or other health problems.

Healthy eating patterns from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans are grounded in sound scientific evidence, which fad diets may not be. While some fad diets may seem great to consumers at a first glance, they may be based on common misunderstandings of nutrition. For example:

  • The Blood Type diet suggests there are different foods people should avoid or eat depending on their blood type. While nutrition needs vary by person, a recent cross-sectional study found no scientific evidence that blood type plays a role.

     

  • The Alkaline diet is based on the belief that some foods– such as meat, dairy products and grains – cause the body to become more acidic. In reality, the body maintains a precise blood pH value (how alkaline or acidic it is), regardless of what is eaten.

     

  • The Whole 30 diet recommends removing several food groups from the diet, including groups that are part of healthy eating patterns like legumes, dairy and grains.

     

  • The Ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that limits grains, legumes and fruit. This plan has become trendy as a weight-loss diet; however, it was developed as a treatment for those who suffer from seizures. There is little data on the long-term safety or health benefits and detriments of this diet as a weight loss plan.

 

See a trend here? It’s important to keep in mind that all food groups — fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, dairy and oils— are important to a healthy meal plan, because each provides a variety of unique nutrients important for healthy eating patterns. So while dairy-free diets may be a fad, the dairy group contributes essential nutrients including protein and calcium.

People may turn to fad diets as a quick way to lose weight; however, health and wellness experts recommend a healthy eating pattern and regular exercise to lose weight.