How many of you know what fad diets are and could give me a rough definition of what you think it is? So, before I dive into what a fad diet is I really wanted to just get a definition of what it is first so you know if you have ever been on or know what people are talking about when you hear this terminology later on. Fad diets are, according to the Free Dictionary website, a diet that either involves eliminating one or more food groups or instructs you to consume an excess of one food group. These diets could look like a low to no carb diet, high liquid diet, or a low to no fat diet. This blog will help to break down all of those different types of diets, their uses, their downfalls, and then an overarch of what is the “perfect” diet that one could follow.
Keto Diet (Low Carb)
To get an overarching understanding on what the research has to say about the diet, check out this link on Jeff Nippard’s YouTube channel where he breaks down the science of the keto diet and allows for you to better understand how good it is for you and some of the main factors of why it works and it fails
So, to start off, if the Keto diet has been used in medical cases to treat epilepsy, then shouldn’t it be something that is actually healthy for you? So, the basis of this diet is that your intake of carbs drops to around 5% of what it actually should be, so you don’t cut all of them out you are just cutting the majority of them out and having a little in there to supplement you and get you through the day. What this process does is it allows for you to increase your fat intake and forces your body into ketosis, which is basically forcing your body to burn off the fats that you are taking in and not the carbs, as there are very little carbs, to begin with, and that will make your main energy source your fats. So the breakdown that the video shows is basically 75% of your daily intake should be from your fats, as you want to make sure you are fully going into ketosis. Now, what is the problem with this diet? Why are there so many mixed reviews on it? Well, the reasoning behind this is that a lot of people find it ineffective to cut out all carbs and only be able to eat protein and fats in order to lose weight because you are cutting out a whole food group, specifically fruits, and vegetables. Now, remember how Jeff talked about 5% of your daily intake would be for carbs? This is where you are able to take in your fruits and vegetables, so you are not completely cutting them out of your diet, you are just switching the ratios more into the fats but are still able to get in some of your fruits and vegetables a day. A true Ketogenic diet is different from a low carb diet in the aspect to where the Keto diet restricts you to 50g of carbs a day while a low carb diet allows for you to just eat a lower amount of carbs than usual.
High Liquid Diet
What is the Liquid Diet? There are two forms that we need to consider, the complete liquid diet and the partial liquid diet. The complete diet involves only drinking, according to WebMD, restricts an individual to only drinking fruits and vegetable drinks and then shakes 4-5 times a day to get their nutrition in while the partial one allows you to supplement 1-2 meals a day with shakes and then using the other times to eat meals. Now, one of the benefits of this diet that I found interesting is that it allows you to better understand your portion control and takes the guesswork completely out of it. Now, as with every other diet that restricts calories, there has been some success with this diet but is it sustainable and realistic? The downfall with the liquid diet is that your metabolism will start to slow as you are losing the weight and then once you come off the diet, you will need to switch into some other diet that restricts calories and where you watch what you eat or else you will start to put that weight back on. The benefit of the partial diet is that those concepts are already instilled in the individual so the metabolism won’t slow down when they come off of it and no drastic changes will have to be made in order to continue to maintain or lose weight.
Check out this really cool video that gives a great understanding of what low-fat diets are!
So the basis of what this video is really talking about is the dangers that involve these types of diets. Now, the basics of a low-fat diet are that you are lowering your fat intake to around the level that you are lowing your carbs when you are on a Keto diet. Now, Dr. Josh Axe has a lot of good things to say about the low-fat diets that not a lot of people may know about. As he points out, the majority of the reason why your brain functions so well are because of the fats that you have in your diet. Take that out, and then how will your brain function to the extent that it did when you had higher fat and when fat takes up about 25% of the brain and its functions? Something else that he stated that is important to keep in mind is that your heart health is also at risk when you go on these types of diets as specific fats you take in, like Omega 3 and medium-chain fatty acids, in order to keep inflammation down and to make sure that it functions properly. Here is an infographic depicting some food that you are able to eat on these types of diets.
Conclusion: What is the best diet?
Now that you have been informed on a lot about the different types of fad diets and their strengths and some of their weaknesses, what is the best diet that you can do? Is it one of these or is it something different? I think Jeff, in the first video, explained it well as to the best type of diet is the one that people are more likely to stick to. So, if you are someone that is into intermittent fasting or you are someone that likes the IIFYM diet, that should be the one that you do. The major pitfall that everyone goes into is that they start on a diet and they end up not liking it and then quitting, this is where picking one that is right for you is essential. All the research just shows what has been proven to work over a general population, this does not necessarily include you and your interests. The research should only be a tool in order to view what has worked and what hasn’t, but the individual ultimately has the deciding factor on what they will adhere to and what they feel is best for them.