Bad diets that you should watch out for

Be careful, there are a lot of bad diets out there!

It does not mean that this is necessarily a new phenomenon. Crappy diets are probably as old as dieting itself, which is worth noting, a relatively recent human endeavour. For much of human history, the problem has been getting enough to eat — not looking for ways to shed pounds.

But over the past 200 years, we’ve embraced everything from hyper-masticating regimes to purifying vinegar and water, as well as diets revolving around grapefruit, cabbage soup, and lemonade. The British American Tobacco Company even promoted a cigarette diet in the 1920s with its campaign to “get slim – reach lucky instead of sweet”.

The latter, fortunately, is no longer with us, but there are still plenty of diets out there that are either fundamentally unsustainable or potentially dangerous. or both.

HCG diet

This 70-year-old’s weight-loss plan includes daily doses of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), a hormone that increases naturally during pregnancy, as well as severe calorie restriction—sometimes up to 500 calories a day.

“This is a very well known fake diet,” says Dr. Shaun Wharton, associate professor at McMaster University and York University, and medical director of the GTA Wharton Clinic. “We call these diets a ‘deprivation diet’ or a ‘hunger diet.’ Anything that deprives someone of the appropriate number of calories would be unsustainable and unhealthy.”

The lectin-free diet

This diet is rooted in the idea that proteins, proteins found at different levels in different foods, cause inflammation, which can lead to “leaky gut.” Foods that are high in lectin include soybeans, chickpeas, lentils, peas, many whole grains, peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes, all of which are off the menu for people who are lectin eaters.

Amanda Lapidus, a registered dietitian who has a practice in Toronto, explains, “The idea is that lectins in plants are a defense mechanism against bacteria, but that doesn’t mean that when we consume plants, the lectins will act the same way and give us a toxic reaction. There is a cost to avoiding foods that contain High in lectins, since many of them are associated with positive health outcomes, and if anything, the Western diet is low in such foods, many of which are staples of the Mediterranean diet.”

Lapidus also says that cooking plants spoil the lectins and you have to eat a lot to consume a dangerous level of lectins.

blood type diet

Do you know your blood type? I want to communicate with Dr. WhatsApp. Apparently, this is the key to knowing what kind of food you should be eating.

Wharton said, “No, your blood type can’t tell you what to eat. That’s also fake. Unless it tells you to only eat healthy food, whether it’s an A, B, AB, or O.”

“Will we ever have a genetic way of thinking about eating where we can look at our DNA and say this might be better for your metabolic health?” He completed. “There is a possibility, but I think we are decades away from really doing that – if at all.”

Alkaline diet

The premise here is that most people’s pH levels are off (we’re too acidic) and we need to fix that by eating more alkaline foods.

“The idea behind it is not completely science-based and makes absolutely no sense since, in the same way that a healthy body controls blood pressure and heart rate, so does it regulate our pH levels,” Lapidus said. “However, I wouldn’t be too concerned if the client was following this diet, because it makes people eat some healthy foods.”

Sugar-free diet

As the name suggests, the idea is to cut out the sugar completely.

“The average adult in North America eats an excessive amount of sugar and we know that high sugar intake is associated with all causes of mortality, so I will always encourage people to limit added sugar,” Lapidus said. “But you have to distinguish the natural sugars that you get from things like fruits and added sugars.”

With both the alkaline diet and the sugar-free diet, Lapidus worries that “rigid” diets designed with an “all or nothing” mindset may backfire, as people may not be able to stick to them and become frustrated with losing weight completely. .

single food diet

Speaking of solidity, there are plenty of diets that center around one food, whether it’s brown rice, cabbage soup, grapefruit, or meat. Sometimes these diets allow for some excess. My favorite is the Wine and Egg Diet from the 1977 issue of Vogue, which claims you can lose five pounds in three days by starting the day with a boiled egg, black coffee, and a cup of Chablis. Same for lunch, just double the amount of everything. You’re supposed to forget about dinner and finish the bottle.

“The worst diets are the ones that tell you to eat only tomatoes or celery or something,” Wharton said. “Something like a cabbage soup diet is more difficult to maintain than a healthy elimination diet, like a vegetarian or low-carb diet.”

Lapidus agreed: “There are rare exceptions where you find people who have been following these diets for decades, but studies show that they are almost impossible. And when you do follow these diets and stop them, this is where you see the yo-yo diet, which has been shown to be associated with an increased risk of obesity. The long-term. “

Every time we lose weight, our metabolism slows down and increases energy efficiency, which means we’ll burn calories slower. So why do we keep falling into the fad of dieting?

It’s always presented as ‘the last diet you’ll ever need,’ but in the end, you’ll always rebound — or higher — and then look for the next solution,” Lapidus said. “And if we didn’t start with a fad diet, we wouldn’t need the next fad diet.”

She also said that although the drive to be thin predates the digital age, social media has made matters worse, since more people are getting information online than experts.

“People buy ‘skinny’ tea because the Kardashians drink it or they diet bananas because the pop star is on it,” Lapidus said. “I don’t think people would have known about each other and a lot of them are just fronts for eating disorders.”

More from the Diet series

How mindful eating can help you discover the link between food and anxiety

A study by the University of Toronto showed that those who followed a low-glycemic diet lost weight without trying

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