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7 Diets You Should Never Try

By    |   Monday, 27 October 2014 09:51 AM

They come and go like the latest fleeting fashion trends: Fad diets that make big promises to help you lose weight faster, live longer, or feel healthier. Scratch the surface of most diet fads and you’ll find the old tried-and-true advice — to move more, eat less — is often the primary recommendation.
But a handful of trendy nutritional plans may actually do you more harm than good and should be avoided entirely, health experts advise. The editors of Health magazine recently compiled what they described as the seven worst fad diets. While some might spur short-term weight loss, they are tough to follow, are not backed by sound nutritional science, and may even put your health at risk.
Robert Newman, a certified nutritionist and wellness expert from East Northport, N.Y., tells Newsmax Health it’s important to keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all nutritional plan that works for everyone, which is why so many fad diets fail to deliver.
“It’s so individual,” he says. “There is not one diet that works for everyone. You can tell when you are consuming a healthy diet and living a healthy lifestyle when you are able to maintain a lean weight, have mental acuity and a good mood, high energy, and optimal immunity.”
Nutritional plans must be tailored to individual needs, which vary from person to person, he explains.
“Some people eat a vegan diet with no animal protein, or a Paleolithic-based diet with animal protein vegetables, fruits, or the Mediterranean type diet with more sea food, vegetables, fruits and grains,” he notes. “One common denominator of all diets is to consume foods that will maintain a lower constant glucose level to feel well and stay in optimum function.”
Newman adds that many fad diets aim to cut fatty foods, but doing so can rob you of important nutrients in “good fats” — in olive oil, fish, and nuts — that are important for healthy bodily functions. What’s more,the real culprits in the nation's obesity epidemic are sugary, high-carb, refined processed foods — many of which carry reduced-fat labels and are encouraged by many trendy diet programs.
What follows are fad diet plans flagged by the editors of Health magazine as ineffective, at best, and potentially risky for some people. The list originally appeared on health.com.
Raw food diet: Any diet rich in fruits and vegetables — and low in processed, sugary junk foods — is a healthy option that can help you safely lose weight. But raw food dieters take things to extremes, banning all foods that have been cooked or processed. Adherents say cooking destroys nutrients. But most nutritional research shows that cooked or frozen veggies are still loaded with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. In some cases cooking even enhances nutrients (cooked tomatoes have more cancer-fighting lycopene than raw). Cooking also kills bacteria, which can cause foodborne illnesses. Christopher N. Ochner, director of research development at the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center, told Health that raw foodies spend hours upon hours juicing, blending, dehydrating, and rehydrating foods — without much evidence all that work offers a significant health benefit.
Alkaline diets: Also known as the alkaline ash diet and the alkaline acid diet, this plan bars all meat, dairy, sweets, caffeine, alcohol, and processed foods, in favor of fresh fruits and veggies, nuts, and seeds. While there is a lot to recommend a diet loaded with fresh foods, and devoid of processed fare, the idea that such a diet maintains a healthy pH level — as exponents claim — is unproven. Health experts say the human body is designed to keep pH levels where they need to be, so cutting out these foods won’t make much difference. What’s more, there is scant scientific evidence that pH affects weight. As a result, the Health editors concluded such diets are “strict, complicated, and [ban] foods that can have a place in a healthy eating plan, such as meat, dairy, and alcohol.”
Blood-type diet: This nutritional plan is based on the notion foods react chemically with your blood type. Those with type O blood are to eat lean meats, vegetables, and fruits, and avoid wheat and dairy. Type A dieters go vegetarian and those with type B blood should avoid chicken, corn, wheat, tomatoes, peanuts, and sesame seeds. While the basic dietary advice at the center of this diet probably won’t harm you, the guidance for some people with certain blood types is very restrictive. Plus, there's no scientific proof that foods interact differently with blood types in ways that affect weight loss.
Werewolf diet: Also called the lunar diet, this plan involves fasting — allowing only water and juice — during a full or new moon, and includes specific eating plans for each phase of the moon. While intermittent fasting is generally safe, and can lead to short-term weight loss, any diet plan that isn’t part of a comprehensive lifestyle change won’t produce long-term results, health experts note. In other words: When werewolf dieters are not fasting, the weight will come right back.
Cookie diet: Who wouldn’t like to believe that eating cookies can help you lose weight? Unfortunately, the Cookie Diet — sometimes called the Hollywood Cookie Diet — requires restricting your diet to just 500-600 calories a day from specially prepared high-protein and high-fiber cookies (made from egg and milk protein) for breakfast, lunch, and any snacks. Then you eat a normal dinner, for a total of 1,000 to 1,200 calories a day. You can lose weight on the diet, by depriving yourself of anything but cookies all day, but nutritionists note such a restrictive diet can set you up for binging at dinnertime.
Five-bite diet: This plan, developed by Alwin Lewis, M.D., calls for skipping breakfast and eating whatever you like food for lunch and dinner, but allows just five bites of it at each meal. While the concept of eating smaller portions is sensible, the severe restrictions of this diet could cheat your body of needed nutrients that fuel healthy body functions, even if you take huge bites of your food at mealtime.
HCG diet: This near-starvation diet limits you to consuming 500 calories a day while taking human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), a powerful appetite suppressant. But Ochner tells Health there's no evidence that HCG does more than act as a placebo and any weight you lose is due to the extreme calorie restriction. HCG injections are approved to treat fertility issues in women, but the Food and Drug Administration has not cleared them for weight loss.

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Fad diets make big promises to help you lose weight, live longer, or feel healthier. But a handful of trendy nutritional plans may actually do you more harm than good and should be avoided entirely, health experts advise.
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Monday, 27 October 2014 09:51 AM
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