From food allergies to veganism and low-carb diets, the world of eating is transforming right before our eyes. But with so many options out there, how do you know what option is best? How do you know if a diet even works? How can you spot the difference between a fad and a trend? Lucky for you, we did the hard work for you – you’re welcome!
Fads to leave
Coconut everything seemed to be a prominent fad; coconut milk, coconut water, coconut chips, coconut ice cream, even coconut oil pulling – making this product a must-have kitchen staple. Some sources are even claiming coconut oil as a weight-loss-friendly fat because of the buzz that the saturated fats in coconut oil may be metabolized in a way that leads to less fat production. But, this can raise concerns of falsehood because coconut oil is actually really high in saturated fat and as Everyday Health points out: “Saturated fat is still scientifically linked to heart disease, and there’s not enough research showing that we should be using coconut oil in place of healthy unsaturated fats like olive oil or avocado oil.”
Voted one of the most popular diets, it readily made a second appearance. Souping took the nation by storm, but why? The New York Times referred to souping as the “New Juicing.” Essentially, instead of drinking fruit and vegetable juice to cleanse, detox, lose weight, etc., people consumed only soups for a period of time in hope for the same results. The problem? Soup cleanses make for very low calorie days, some hitting less than 1,200 calories per day. We had to give souping a little credit in the weight loss category, since inevitably weight loss is a major side effect of starving yourself. When weight loss stems from a place of deprivation, it’s neither sustainable nor healthy.
Apple Cider Vinegar Diet
The apple cider vinegar diet is not so much a diet as a claim that drinking vinegar improves many of your body’s health concerns such as indigestion, excess weight and diabetes. The problem is there is very little evidence for weight loss, especially if you are using vinegar to wash down a cheeseburger and fries.
Best Diet Trends
The Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet ranked number two for the United States’ best diet overall. This diet is based off the eating habits of people in Greece, southern Italy and Spain. It encourages consumption of olive oil, legumes, whole grains, fruits, veggies, fish, dairy and wine (yes, wine can be good for you!) and has conclusive evidence to lower risk of heart disease. Since using the term “diet” usually suggests something you eventually stop doing, this diet really should just be called “healthy eating.”
Nutritionist Robert Atkins forever changed the dieting world with his book Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution. In the book, Atkins’ promoted weight loss while allowing an unlimited amount of protein and fat. The key was limiting carbs to less than 20g a day, which involves cutting out all breads and starchy foods. It’s a hard task to keep under 20 g of carbs per day, but when you execute properly, people can shed the pounds fast! Low carb diets have many names as well: Atkins, South Beach, Ketogenic, and more.
A Paleo diet is based on the idea that people become healthier, both mentally and physically, when inflammatory foods are removed from your diet. Inflammatory foods are those not part of our hunter-gatherer ancestors’ daily meals: grains, dairy, added sugars, and processed foods. Generally speaking, the Paleo diet is built around nutrient-dense foods that began with dirt, sunshine, and rain. They come from the earth, and a person from any time in history would recognize them as food: animal-based protein, vegetables, fruits, and natural fat sources.
There is a notable rise of the gluten-free diet in 2017, spurred on by more public awareness of gluten-sensitivity, a perception that eating gluten-free is healthier for the general population, and the availability of gluten-free products. About 18 million people in the US are estimated to be gluten-intolerant, or non-celiac gluten sensitive (NCGS), with symptoms identified under irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) — bloating, abdominal pain, and irregular bowel movements. Trend? Only for those without Celiacs or NCGS. Maybe an increased awareness to gluten-sensitivity has driven those without NCGS to try a gluten-free diet or maybe there is just an increase in undiscovered diagnoses.
A plant-based diet essentially means eating foods derived from plants, including fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. However, following this type of diet doesn’t mean you have to be a complete vegan or vegetarian. It simply suggests that you eat fewer animal products and more plant-based products. There is no hesitation that eating more of these types of foods can be beneficial for almost everyone.
The Real Solution: Change Your Lifestyle
Every day we have more choices for our food than ever before. The problem is that as a society we quickly sway from one fad diet to another, addicted to the thought of losing weight, optimizing health, or just trying something new. Fad, that word again. What is the difference between a fad and a trend? The easiest way to categorize a fad is one word: short-lived. Trends have a much longer lifespan than fads. In fact, they can continue to be favorable for years, even decades.
Even deeper, what is the difference between these two categories and how does it affect YOU?
The very clear difference is lifestyle! The key to healthy and sustainable weight loss is a lifestyle change. Long term improvement is a marathon, not a race. The best advice we can give to people contemplating a diet fad is to ask yourself this: Can you see this eating behavior as part of your everyday life, for the rest of your life? If the answer is no, it is most likely a temporary fix.
Luckily for you, ProHealth offers JUST THAT: lifestyle change. Feeling great about yourself is something that calls for a lot more than mere weight loss. If you want to take control of your happiness and future, healthy weight loss can do you a world of good. It’s also critical, though, to focus on improving your daily lifestyle. You need to make sure you eat a well-rounded, balanced and nutritious diet every day. You need to make sure you get plenty of physical activity numerous times a week as well. ProHealth Medical Clinic can help you achieve all of your weight loss and lifestyle change goals. We have a comprehensive and personalized weight loss program that can help you shed spare pounds the healthy way. It can help you turn your lifestyle around, too. Call ProHealth Medical Clinic (850) 549-3379 for more details!