Trying a fad diet? Think twice

Experts think fad diets can cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies and pose major health risks

Published: 02nd September 2018 10:24 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd September 2018 03:36 PM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It is one of the most dissected topics these days. Fad diets see a whole lot of debates ranging in its favour and opposition. But, what do the experts think?

As we observe National Nutrition Week, the focus shifts to fad diets and how beneficial it is.

Uma Kalyani, the director of Uma’s Nutriyoga, says, “Fad diets are any crash diets which claim rapid weight loss in a short duration, say weeks or months. These diets lack one or more nutrients, give emphasis to one nutrient and don’t encourage regular exercise”. She is also a yoga trainer.

There are many fad diets like Kieto diet, Atkins diet and Paleo diet etc which may help the person lose some weight initially but are not permanent solutions. Experts say that the initial weight loss is due to water loss which can lead to dehydration. This can cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies and other major health risks in the future.

The Keto diet is low carbohydrate, high fat and moderate protein diet while Atkins diet is rich in proteins and fats and very low in carbohydrates.  Paleo diet or the stone age diet which is also known as Cavemen diet, that is high in protein and fibre.

Uma says:  In the Keto diet, we are short of carbohydrates and dehydration which can lead to urinary infections, kidney stone, constipation and other serious health issues. This diet should be avoided by diabetic on insulin medication, hypertensive and pregnant women”.

She says that Atkins diet is risky as food choices are limited and people may go back to the older system of eating and is not a good choice for people having diabetics, heart diseases and kidney ailments. Uma says, “Paleo diet or cavemen diet has a strict no for sugar and salt and hence the eat-ability of the food is a challenge and with milk and milk products being totally avoided there are chances of vitamin and mineral deficiencies.” Dietitians agree that its healthy diet which is the solution and not shortcuts.

Uma Kalyani says, “A healthy individualized balanced diet under the supervision of a trained dietitian is the answer to the health woes. The personal ignorance or avoidance of the individuals is the main reason for turning obese”. Patience, consistency and knowledge about the right foods are the keys to weight loss”.
In addition to this, regular exercise is a key to a healthy lifestyle and for that one has to find out what is suiting the individual. Brisk walking, aerobic dance, yoga, Zumba helps if done consistently on a regular basis. Any moderate exercise of 150 minutes per week is recommended.

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