Fad Diets: Baptist Health dietician explains the pros and cons - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Fad Diets: Baptist Health dietician explains the pros and cons

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- People set goals to lose weight after they ring in the new year. But, people fail to realize that sometimes a fad diet isn't always the healthiest way to lose weight.

Marsha Hilgeford is a registered dietician with Baptist Health Louisville and explains the pros and cons of these popular diets.

Juicing & Green Smoothies

These super-concentrated blends of green vegetables and fruit can deliver your five daily servings in one glass. They're usually packed with the kinds of leafy greens, such as kale and spinach, that we don't consume enough of. Sometimes made with almond or coconut milk, they taste sweet, not bitter. Whether made from fresh produce or from a powdered mix of dried greens, these smoothies are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Proponents claim they boost energy and overall health.

There's no hard evidence that they increase energy. But adding a bit of protein and fat to your green smoothie-a tablespoon of walnuts or ground flaxseed, say-can help stabilize blood sugar, keeping you off the energy-spike-then-crash roller coaster.

If green smoothies help you up your daily intake of fruits and vegetables, go for it. Just keep in mind that they're not meant to be a meal replacement, since they lack substantial calories.

Protein & Adkins Diets:

The basic concept behind this diet is that simply restricting carbohydrate equals weight loss. This is not the case. Weight loss comes from a decrease in calories. If you restrict carbohydrates but overeat fat and protein, you won't lose weight. A likely reason this diet gained popularity is that it partially fits the formulation of a weight loss diet, that is, reducing carbohydrate intake while preserving protein consumption.

As a weight maintenance diet, the Atkins diet falls outside of healthy diets because it limits fruits and vegetables and doesn't control saturated fat intake. Another problem of this diet is the exclusion of many food groups from diet, making it difficult to adhere to for long.

Paleo & Caveman Diets:

Some experts believe that conditions like type 2 diabetes and obesity are so prevalent because our bodies weren't designed to handle our typical modern-day diets, which are full of sugar, refined carbs, and processed foods. They argue that by eating what our ancient ancestors did-only things that we can hunt, gather, and grow-we can prevent or even reverse these diseases.

The paleo diet emphasizes fish, meats, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. It does not include dairy, as paleo enthusiasts say we're designed to drink only mother's milk as infants, and most grains, which they say weren't part of the human diet until the rise of modern-day agriculture.

People who eat paleo do tend to lose weight rapidly. It lowers refined-carb intake and changes how your body metabolizes fat.  You actually get more phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals on a paleo plan than you would eating a typical American diet (and probably enough calcium, if you consume plenty of leafy greens and add a supplement).

While the paleo diet could feel restrictive if you were used to enjoying bread and ice cream regularly, it's nevertheless a sound plan.

Other diet and fad diet links:

Detox Diets 

Fad Diets

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