Fad diets that are not scientifically proven can be dangerous, experts warn

New Delhi, July 2 (IANS) Even though the prevalence of obesity worldwide is alarmingly high, some people are turning to unproven fad diets and unhealthy ways to lose weight, experts here have said, which can also be dangerous.

This diet is known to be a quick cure for obesity and it looks quite attractive with several celebrities following it and sharing their experiences and flaunting their seemingly slim or well-toned bodies. Although they are beneficial in the short term, studies show that they can affect our health because they are not healthy.

Some of the more popular diets include Atkins, Paleo, Keto, Vegan, and Intermittent Fasting.

“Fad diets are diets that are not scientifically proven, usually focus on a single nutrient and are not a healthy and balanced diet,” Ritika Samaddar, Chief Dietitian, Max Healthcare, told IANS.

“Restricted dieting would definitely show a positive result in terms of weight loss, because one eats less, but sooner or later it will come back. It is also not sustainable for a long time, and long-term adherence will lead to some deficiency and As it shows quick results, so people follow but vain diets are not recommended because they can have negative health effects,” she added.

A recent study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine showed that eating a low-carb diet like Keto increases the risk of death by up to 38 percent.

Another study from the University of British Columbia in Canada showed that the low-carb, high-fat Keto diet may be associated with higher levels of “bad” cholesterol in the blood and thus double the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Similarly, the Paleo diet encourages people to mimic the food choices of their prehistoric ancestors, which include vegetables, fruits, nuts, pasture-raised meats, and wild-caught seafood while completely avoiding dairy, grains, legumes, and processed foods. sugar.

But a 2020 study reported that following a Paleo diet resulted in higher relative amounts of gut bacteria that produce chemicals linked to cardiovascular disease.

“Fad diets are not scientifically proven and are diets that you hear about from someone who follows or tries them. Since these diets are not scientifically proven, they can definitely affect your organs. These diets should only be followed after consulting a doctor. good dietician,” Arun Bhardwaj, consultant – minimal access and bariatric surgery, HCMCT Manipal Hospital, Dwarka, told IANS.

“There are many different types of diets that people have followed over the years, like Atkins and keto. They have benefits in the short term but are not sustainable in the long term,” added ikas Singhal, senior consultant at GI. Surgery, GI Oncology and Bariatric Surgery, Institute of Digestive and Hepatobiliary Sciences, Medanta Gurugram told IANS.

“Oftentimes, someone on a keto diet or some other fad diet can become deficient in other nutrients. In the long term, fad diets lead to complications,” he said.

While studies show that intermittent fasting increases insulin sensitivity and also prevents heart-related complications of Covid, it also shows that it increases the chances of fertility problems in both men and women.

Additionally, a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that intermittent fasting produced similar weight loss results to traditional calorie counting in obese adults; and its impact beyond the short term remains unclear.

“Certain diets like intermittent fasting, low-carb diets, VLCD diets, meal replacement diets work when administered and explained by a certified nutritionist so that the diet is nutritionally balanced and also sustainable,” said Samaddar.

“Certain fad diets like keto, liquid diets, detox diets are not recommended because they can cause serious deficiencies,” she added.

Additionally, experts noted that one should not blindly follow any diet just by checking it on the internet, but rather visit a nutritionist to avoid any harm.

Therefore, to fight obesity, experts suggested good lifestyle habits, including exercise including brisk walking, yoga, swimming, cycling and proper nutrition.

“When we talk about weight loss, it’s 70-80 percent what you eat and 20-30 percent is exercise. An active lifestyle or daily exercise should be an important part of weight loss management,” said Samadar.

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