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[infographic] Ditch the fad diet, it doesn't work

Nutrition science can be maddeningly complex. Here's why fad diets don't fit the bill.

Let's discuss in the comments below:
How do you support friends and family trying these and other diets?

At some basic level, I think we all know that fad diets don’t work. Sure, in the short term you may notice your jeans getting a bit looser after trying Paleo, Atkins or Alkaline. Eating less processed foods, fewer calories and simply growing more conscious about what you’re consuming will inevitably cause a little weight loss.

But if we’re talking about lifestyle changes for a sustainable, healthy future, chances are an organized diet won't fit the bill. Eat low fat? You might need more omega-3s. Too much protein, and your kidneys could suffer. Low carb, and your energy levels plummet.

This infographic scrutinizes a few popular diets and outlines their benefits and drawbacks. My takeaway? Balance!

Diet Debunker Infographic

Discuss this Blog Entry 9

on Sep 11, 2013

Avoiding nutrition advice, not drinking enough water, drinking diet soda and beverages, eating off larger plates, choosing white bread....

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on Sep 18, 2013

For burning fat exercise and low calories food both are good and useful. Water burns calories so it is good to drink lot of water in a day for burning calories and fat.
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on Oct 4, 2013

Sometimes it becomes thing that is pretty hard for the people to understand,And they actually make it very complicated,Following an easy diet plan which can made by self helps a lot because i have been through the same thing and it worked for me.

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Dana (not verified)
on Oct 16, 2013

You aren't debunking anything. Someone who's doing Paleo or Atkins or the Wheat Belly thing is going for a permanent lifestyle change, if they have any idea whatsoever what they're doing. So your little dishonest thing there of trying to lump them in with something like the cabbage soup diet, which people would have to drop eventually... well... it's dishonest. Also ignorant. Blows my mind that people like you get paid to write about food and health when you clearly either don't know what you're talking about, or want to deliberately mislead the public.

I CAN'T eat wheat. It is NOT a fad with me. I don't think I'm celiac (though I have no way of knowing without a test), but wheat causes me serious GI tract problems (we're talking the type that take Immodium to "fix") and triggers migraines. In fact I was starting to get visual-aura predromes with migraines just before I ditched wheat for good. If migraine increases risk of stroke over a lifetime, what did I save in kissing wheat goodbye? Some fad.

Dana (not verified)
on Oct 16, 2013

Also? Protein doesn't damage healthy kidneys. But thanks for spreading yet another lie.

Gordio (not verified)
on Oct 16, 2013

I like how that chart states the downside of Paleo diet is its high fat content. Not sure if you know, but Paleo eaters are deliberately eating saturated fat, provided it comes from a natural source such as meat or plants.

We believe in newer scientific theories that state inflammation, not fat nor cholesterol, causes heart attacks. And in fact, fat is great for us and you cannot have too much of it. And that most diseases in the first world (such as obesity, tooth decay, constipation, ADHD) are because of the incorrect theories that fat is bad for us and wheat is good for us.

DJK99 (not verified)
on Oct 16, 2013

Sure... eating whole foods instead of processed crap is a "fad". Nice try. I call BS.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Oct 16, 2013

The main 'fad diet' of humans is that of the last 50yrs or so with low fat and too many sugars and carbs of any kind. 'Way of life' rather than a 'diet' is the way to live a long and healthy life. Lots of good fats and few carbs.

on Jan 7, 2014

I think this is due to improper diet. Many of us follow diet according to their own way and don't have sufficient knowledge about food composition and what type of food material our body wants up to what extent. In such case we can't blame the diet concept. Before we go under diet process we have to posse’s sufficient knowledge about it and concern to a health or diet specialist. To know what our body wants is essential. No doubt this blog gives us sufficient information about diet. Thanks for this health blog.

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