The odds are you have a cell phone. Even more likely, you may not have an ordinary cell phone but a smart phone. Your smart phone is not just smart but the smartest new phone on the market. There are all sorts of trends and fads in our culture today that we have completely embraced.
There is one fad I can never seem to wrap my head around and that is the IPHONE. They release a new edition every year, from the IPOD to the IPHONE to the IPAD, and soon to the IWATCH. We love the latest tech fad. What IPHONE number are we on now? Six? As a poor college student, I have yet to move past the lowly IPHONE 4.
We want to buy every device as soon as it comes out. And you know what we find out? It often doesn’t work the way it was originally promised! We will find bug after bug after bug and have to wait until the company gives a new update to fix everything that is wrong with it! Fads often don’t deliver as they are promised. There are countless external fads we could list, but I want to talk about things that affect us internally
As a dietetics student, the number one question I am asked is, “how can I lose weight fast?”
My answer often leaves puzzled looks across the faces of my friends and family. My answer is always the same solution: a well-balanced diet, portion control, and some form of physical activity. It seems too simple. So much so, that immediately I am then asked a question about a “new diet” that promises quick weight loss.
Unfortunately, these fad diets deliver quick weight loss at the expense of leaving out major food groups. They achieve their results by recommending excess consumption of certain food groups at the expense of other food groups. In the short-term, this can seem nutritious, but in the long term the results can be vicious. Our bodies are made up of tons of vitamins, minerals, and water. It is not nutritious to eliminate an entire food group from your diet. Each food group plays a vital role in maintaining optimum health. Our bodies need them.
You may read about fad diets in magazines, or hear about them on television shows, such as Doctor Oz. But how do you spot a fad diet? What are the things to look for? I have listed some criteria to follow when trying to figure out if a certain diet is wholesome or simply a fad. Remember, when choosing a diet to follow, if it is too good to be true, it probably is.
· The majority of fad diets restrict a food group. A wholesome diet includes dairy, grains, fruit, vegetables and protein.
· Fad diets promote rapid weight loss, typically more than 2lbs per week. A healthy weight loss is 1-2lbs per week.
· Fad diets promote certain foods that will burn fat. Physical activity will do the same.
· A lot of fad diets are not created by professionals. They typically do not have credible scientific research to back up their claims. Look at the author’s title and see if it was created by a professional, such as a registered dietitian or by a person with no education in the dietetic profession.
· Most fad diets have a laundry list of certain foods that need to be eaten at specific times. A well balanced diet will have all 5 food groups at each meal time.
I was curious as to what the latest fads were for this year. So I typed in the Google search bar, fads and trends in 2014. The first couple of links were for home improvements and hair styles. It didn’t shock me too much when I got to the 4th link which was top diet fads. I’m going to share with you 2 of the most popular fad diets I ran across for this year.
1. Gluten-Free Diet
People that need to follow a gluten-free diet are those that have celiac disease or gluten intolerance. But it is becoming a new trend for people to adopt this diet to lose weight. Foods that contain wheat, barley and rye are avoided with the diet.
· This diet is that it includes whole foods. It promotes the intake of vegetables, fruits, beans, dairy, and healthy fats.
· The foods that are suggested for this diet are foods that typically are not packaged and/or processed; therefore they might be lower in sodium and additives.
· By avoiding whole wheat products one is decreasing the amount of nutrients they are ingesting.
· A large portion of gluten-free packaged foods have a higher sugar and fat content.
2. Paleo Diet
This diet is also known as the caveman diet. This diet is a little different than most fad diets that promote weight loss. It is suggested that this diet will increase athletic performance and could eliminate acne.
· This diet promotes the consumption of lean meats, seafood, healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, and physical activity.
· It also encourages eliminating processed foods, which can decrease the amount of sugar and sodium in the diet.
· This diet eliminates 2 food groups completely, whole grains and dairy. Creating an imbalance of nutrients.
· Foods to avoid eating: whole grains, starchy vegetables, beans/legumes, all dairy products. All of these foods are essential for a well-balanced diet.
· Higher in protein and decreasing amount of carbohydrates.
· This diet can be expensive to follow.
Most fad diets promote the intake of fruits and vegetables, which is a good thing because most Americans do not consume enough in their daily diets. But it is not the best choice to eliminate food groups from your daily diet. Overall, if you want to lose weight or enhance athletic performance, don’t be vicious to your body by eliminating food groups. Stay nutritious by following the United States Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate. You can enhance your diet by focusing on fruit, varying your veggies, making half your grains whole, going lean with protein and getting your calcium rich foods. For more information on food groups and food within those groups, you can visit www.choosemyplate.gov.
Have you tried a fad diet?