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Beware of fad diets

09/06/2015 15:12

With the arrival of summer the only thing you think is how you'll fit in that bikini to make good figure on vacation this year. To achieve this you are willing to do almost everything, including entering the famous "fad diets" as detox shakes or diets where we have to go back to eating like our ancestors.

The purpose of this article is to analyze some of these diets and help you make the best choice:


Perhaps the most fashionable in the world of diets - replace meals with a fruit and vegetables juice. It seems a good idea: instead of eating a croissant for breakfast make a smoothie with strawberries and spinach seems like a good way to lose weight but this is not the only revenue for the first meal of the day, to make a "true" detox diet you should drink beaten most of the day. Herein lies a major risk of this diet, apart from very low calorie intake, the meal replacement leads to an intake gap of proteins - to exchange the dinner with a shake, meat, fish or eggs are placed this part and low protein intake may lead to the loss of muscle mass. Moreover prolonged use of these shakes can also lead to problems in intestinal transit and cause dehydration 1.

Paleolithic diet

The results of this diet are advertised as something really extraordinary; in addition to weight loss this diet seems to improve a bit of everything: immune system, skin, vision, physical or intellectual capacity ... the benefits of this diet seem to have no end but then you need to assess what it takes to eat like a real caveman.

Although there are some variations on this diet, the base is always similar and includes the consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, meat, fish, eggs and take off foods as rice, pasta, bread, vegetables such as removing all processed foods power. In this diet the ideal is to cultivate and hunt your own food ... if you cannot then you should buy only organic products!

The advantages seem to be the removing of crackers, processed cereals and sugars but this diet is also prohibited: milk, yogurt, cheese, oats, peanuts or beans for example - all healthy foods and recommended by all major organizations of dietetic professionals and nutrition worldwide. These foods should be part of your diet (unless you suffer from any allergies or food intolerance). Furthermore the high protein intake recommended for this type of diet may be detrimental, and the limit intake of certain food groups at risk of shortages in some essential nutrients such as calcium 2,3,4.

Gluten-free diet

If you are going to try a gluten-free diet there are several things you need to know: less than 3% of the population suffers from problems with these proteins. So you hardly belong to this minority and feels swollen belly probably gluten is free from faults and just eat too fast, do not eat enough fiber and your gut is not working 100%. But if you want to try a gluten-free diet then you have to realize what you are proposing to yourself: do not eat bread, pasta, pizza, cereal, crackers or even beer ... but much more than that for wheat, oats, barley or rye are present in almost everything we buy at the supermarket. If today we find so many foods with the claim "gluten-free" this information is valuable for a patient celiac (which may have serious problems consuming gluten) but for most serves as just another form of marketing. Frozen vegetables, soups to take home or powder, sausages, breaded... eating out is a challenge and indulge in this type of diet is likely to become something antisocial.

Like most fad diets the problem is that most people cannot keep them for a long time and quickly back to the old habits and the weight of the past. Follow these diets will not be the healthiest solution to your life but make smoothies with fruit is a healthy choice and eat less processed food also, so it is necessary to extract what its positive from these diets and try to add it to our day-to -day healthy habits rather than constantly think we are, or should be, dieting 5.6.

Patricia Fernandes
Degree in Dietetics and Nutrition


(1) Detox Diet Dangers, Dietitian Juliette Kellow. Weight Loss Resources: http://www.weightlossresources.co.uk/diet/detox/detox-diet-danger.htm
(2) Top 5 worst celebrity diets to avoid in 2015,British Dietetic Association – The Association of UK Dietitians, Dezembro 2014: https://www.bda.uk.com/news/view?id=39
(3) British Dietetic Association (BDA) Against adopting the Paleo Diet – The Paleo Diet, Dezembo 2104: http://thepaleodiet.com/bda-against-adopting-paleo-diet/
(4) Part 1: The Paleo Diet – What is it? Dietitians Association of Australia, Julho 2014. Disponível em: http://daa.asn.au/for-the-public/smart-eating-for-you/nutrition-a-z/paleo-diet/part-1-the-paleo-diet-what-is-it/
(5) Prevalência e Incidência – Associação Portuguesa de Celíacos: http://www.celiacos.org.pt/doenca-celiaca/prevalencia.html
(6) What is Celiac Disease? – Celiac Disease Foundation: http://celiac.org/about-cdf/

Food supplements should not be used as a substitute for a varied diet. You should not exceed the recommended daily dose. This dietary supplement is not a medicine. Do not take in case of hypersensitivity to one of the ingredients. It is recommended the consumption of at least 2 liters of water a day. Do not use if pregnant or lactating. Individuals with a known medical condition should consult a physician before using this or any dietary supplement.

Posted in Nutritional Advices By

Patrícia Fernandes

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