Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Skinny on Fads!

The criticisms of the following diets are based on science and research.

  • The body goes into a state of ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state associated with chronic starvation. Ketone bodies (metabolites of fats) become the preferred source of energy. These build up in the blood and convert to acetone. Ketones are excreted in the urine (which is the main job of the kidneys) and through one's breath. Excess ketones strain the kidneys and may starve the brain of glucose.
  • The diet is not sustainable over a lifetime. Weight gain most likely occurs once the person stops the diet.
  • The diet is very expensive to maintain.
  • High protein, low-carbohydrate diets have been found to increase the risk of heart disease.
  • Excess acid produced from high protein in the diet leaches calcium from the bones and may cause osteoporosis.
  • The major weight loss seen in the initial phase of the diet is due mainly to loss of water and glycogen, NOT FAT, as is advocated in the diet which can lead to dehydration and increased fat retention.

The Zone:
  • Too much protein in the diet promotes excess acid which leaches calcium from the bones and may cause osteoporosis.
  • This diet may cause excess strain on kidneys.
  • The diet is high in fat and cholesterol and low in fiber which may be conducive to high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
  • The diet is low in antioxidant foods.
  • Essential nutrients may be lacking in the diet.

South Beach Diet:
  • Expensive to maintain
  • Eating excessive pre-packaged foods are usually high in sodium which can lead to hypertension and water retention over time.
  • The studies that validate the diet plan were conducted by the creator of the diet and by Kraft foods (creators of the pre-packaged meals that can be eaten while on the diet); therefore, the data collected is questionable.
Very Low Calorie Diets:
  • Individuals with a BMI under 30 use this diet to lose weight without medical supervision which can be very dangerous.
  • Lethargy, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, gall bladder disease may occur.
  • It is not a balanced diet.
  • Antioxidants are excluded from the diet.
  • Good nutrition from 800 kcal per day is not likely.
  • The diet is not sustainable over a long-term period.
  • Weight gain is likely after the diet ends.
Raw Food Diets:
  • Very harsh and restrictive
  • Not balanced
  • Compounds in certain foods like kidney beans and potatoes requires cooking to remove natural toxins.
  • Raw food advocates who are vegetarian must pay special attention to protein and vitamin B-12
  • Research that advocates this diet is not based on scientific methodology.
  • Nutrients from certain foods are not usable in some foods unless it is cooked; e.g., lycopene in tomatoes and beta carotene in carrots.
  • Advocates argue that non-humans do not exhibit degenerative diseases because they do not cook their food. Therefore, if humans would not cook food, they would not contract these diseases either. THIS IS FALSE!
  • Lower bone density, erosion of the enamel, bad breath, osteoporosis, secondary to leached calcium from the bone have been found to be side effects.

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