Fad Diets That May Lead To Vitamin Deficiencies
Fad diets have been around for many years, and there’s a specific type of fad diet that seems to be becoming increasingly popular: the elimination diet. Elimination diets involve cutting a certain food, or a certain group of foods, out of your diet. While dieters will often notice the numbers on the scales dropping quickly, we have to question whether these sorts of lifestyle changes are healthy, or whether they’re really wreaking havoc on the body. Could some fad diets be contributing to vitamin deficiencies?
The Dangers of Fad Diets
Elimination diets often involve cutting out a food that has a bad reputation due to its effect on weight management. However, in many cases, the food that’s eliminated may actually be beneficial for the body, helping it to work effectively and efficiently and ultimately contributing to keeping you healthy. Butter, for example, has a reputation for causing weight gain, although fats are essential for skin health and energy. Similarly, red meats have a bad reputation, and yet beef is an excellent source of B complex vitamins including B2, B3, B6, and B12. We require many of these foods for good nutrition, if only in moderation.
The Alkaline Diet
The concept of the Alkaline Diet is simple. Dieters are encouraged to eat only foods that are alkaline and ‘protective’, and eliminate foods that are acidic and ‘harmful’. The rules of the Alkaline Diet dictate that your source of protein comes from nuts and soy products exclusively, with no animal products allowed, restricting intake of nutrients such as iron and B12. In the same way, fats and oils are to come from nuts and avocados only, with no dairy products allowed – which makes it difficult to meet calcium guidelines.
The Maple Syrup Diet
Made famous by Beyoncé, the Maple Syrup Diet involves consuming nothing but sugary maple syrup mixed with lemon juice, water, and a sprinkling of cayenne pepper. It’s essentially a detox, with a little spice thrown in to boost metabolism. While somewhat boring, the diet is surprisingly easy to maintain because the sugar provides an energy rush, but you’re not actually feeding your body. There’s no Vitamin D (found in ‘good’ fats) for bone health for example; no potassium (found in fruits and pulses) for heart health.
Feeding Your Body
Fad diets, particularly elimination diets, aren’t always healthy, even though they may lead to rapid weight loss initially. Of course, it’s best not to get caught up in the fad diet industry, but let’s be honest, after the Christmas period, or the summer holidays, that’s easier said than done. Many of us are guilty of looking for a weight loss shortcut every now and then, and if you choose to try a new diet, one of the best gifts you can give your body is a food supplement, to replace the vitamins and minerals you may not be taking in through your diet. Try to be a sensible dieter, and ensure you’re giving your body what it needs.