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Running Head: Fad Diets

Fad Diets and Health

Rebeca Magallanes
University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract: Fad diets is a serious problem in the United States,

people are following what media offers to them. This can cause serious
health problems; there is a big amount of different kind of Fad Diets that
can lead to diseases or discomfort in the body. This can bring very
serious consequences such as chronic diseases. People need to start
learning what are the main components of a good healthy diet like
nutrients that make up your life.

Fad Diets are a concern to American population; health is playing a big

role under peoples choices about what they eat because media is
presenting a distortional way of reality.
Conventional wisdom about diets including government health
recommendations seems to change all the time. Media and
advertisements routinely claim to have the answer about what we
should eat. The concern is how can people be able to distinguish what is
good or bad for their health. Everything we eat is essential for our
system and for having a healthy lifestyle. When we eat, we not only sate
our appetite and enjoy it, but we are providing our body with the
nutrients needed for life. Nutrients are substances that the human body
requires to perform different functions and that can only be acquired
through food. The objectives for having good diets are to satisfy our
energy needs, the maintenance and growth of our body structures, the
regulation of the vital processes for a good functioning of the organism.

In order to ensure the correct nutrition, the first thing to know is how
much energy and nutrients need and where can we find them. In order
to do so, there are four important questions we need to take in
consideration in order to have a better lifestyle:


are Fad Diets and why are they bad for health?
are the most known Fad Diets?
consequences could a Fad Diet bring?
are the main nutrients or components that make up a good

healthy diet?
The following review of literature will: provide information the definition
of Fad Diets and what are the aspects that make them bad for peoples
health and for having an unhealthy lifestyle.
What are Fad Diets and why are they bad for health?
With all the focus on weight in society, it is not surprising that millions of
people decide to follow Fad Diets and use weight-loss products. A Fad
Diet is a diet that promises fast and great results such as quick weight
loss through what is usually an unhealthy and unbalanced diet. It seems
that every day a new type of diet is introduced promising even faster
weight loss results. Almost all Fad Diets are restricted to certain foods
that can make a diet boring and it can be difficult to follow them. Other
Fad Diets can be dangerous to your health; some of them are deficient in
important nutrients, which can have a drastic impact to your health.
The problem with Fad Diets is that they are not supported by any
research fundaments, they are not created for you to actually follow
them for a long period of time nor are they backed up by any facts or

evidence. Diet plans promises dramatic results as Fad Diets, but they are
to seem to be too good to be true. Thats why certain diets are so
attractive: they work in the short term. However, the more extreme the
diet, the less likely you are to stick to it.

What are the most known Fad Diets?

The following diets may provide short-term weight loss, but many are
difficult to follow, have strict rules, and some of them could bring danger
to your health.
1. The Raw Food Diet: Boosting your veggie and fruit intake while
cutting your junk food intake is a good option for a good healthy
lifestyle and to loose weight, but this diet prohibits foods that have
been cooked or processed in any way because expert claim that
cooking raw foods destroy nutrients from them. It is true that
cooking reduces the level of nutrients but cooked veggies still pack
plenty of nutrients like fibers, vitamins and minerals, in some of
the cases when raw food is cooked in enhances some nutrients
and kills bacteria too. For this diet, food prep is not allowed.
2. Alkaline Diets: Also known as alkaline acid diet, it cuts meat, dairy,
sweets, caffeine, alcohol and artificial foods. You would need to eat
more fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. The diet can help you
loose weight but it is strict and complicated to follow, it also cuts
foods that are essential for a healthy diet plan, for example meat
and dairy products.

3. The blood type diet: This diet was invented by the naturopathic
physician Peter D Adamo, the blood type diet consist of eating
certain foods depending on your blood type, because each food
reacts differently depending on your blood type. For example,
persons who have type O blood will need to eat lean meats;
vegetables, fruits, and they need to avoid wheat and dairy. Type A
blood persons would need to be vegetarian and the ones with type
B blood need to avoid chicken, wheat, corn, tomatoes, peanuts,
and sesame seeds. The problem is that this type of diet has not
research background neither any scientific proof that blood type
affects your weight. Also the diets are extremely strict and can be
difficult to follow.
4. The Five Bite Diet: In this diet you can eat whichever food you
would like, but you can only have five bites of it. You skip breakfast
and at lunch you only eat five bites and at dinner another five
bites. This diet is bad for your health because you need solid foods
on the rest of the day in order to have the correct nutrients.
Breakfast should never be skipped because is the first meal of the
5. High Protein Diet: This diets advice you to eat big amounts of
protein like meat, eggs, chicken, etc. This diet prompts you to
loose weight and gain muscle. But, what really helps you build
your muscle and loose weight is performing physical activity and

weight training to build your muscle. Not eating large portions of

6. Grapefruit Diet: This diet advices you to only eat grapefruit for the
whole day. This will help you loose weight but you need nutrients
from other foods to have energy. This diet is too low on calories
and your body needs vitamins and minerals.
7. Cabbage Diet: This diet consists on eating cabbage soups three
times a day. This helps you loose weight but what you are really
loosing is water weight. Actually when you stop with this diet all
the weight is re gained and it can cause gastrointestinal problems.
8. The Cotton Ball Diet: In this diet you consume cotton balls with
orange juice or any other beverage, this can incredibly repress
your appetite. This is a very dangerous diet because it deprives
your body from absorbing the correct amount of nutrients from
real foods and also it can bloc your intestines.

What consequences could a Fad Diet bring?

The following information will be about the possible consequences of
following a Fad Diet.
1. Poor long-term weight control: Most of the Fad Diets dont teach
you how to eat well, they just promise big changes in a small
amount of time, but they dont teach you good and healthy eating
plan. When the person looses the gained weight, they stop weight
the diet and there is when the weight is gained again.

2. Increased risk of chronic disease: Fruits, vegetables, dairy products

and whole grains help you to prevent heart disease, cancer, high
blood pressure and osteoporosis. Fad Diets can increase the risk of
getting these diseases because some of them cut these important
3. Reduce athletic performance: Almost every Fad Diet restricts
carbohydrates, one of the most important nutrients for a healthy
diet and also for people who exercise because it gives energy. Low
carbohydrate diets can increase the symptoms of fatigue, and can
cause loss of fluids.
4. Kidney Stones and gout: when diets are low in carbohydrates and
high in protein, can have as a consequence, the formation of uric
acid and calcium oxalate, that causes kidney stone formation and
5. Ketosis: when your body doesnt have enough carbohydrates, it
enters in a state of ketosis. This state is when; you dont have
enough carbohydrates to burn from what you eat. The body starts
burning your fat and getting it as an energy source.

What are the main nutrients or components that make up a

good healthy diet?
A healthy diet composes out of healthy foods that are essential for a
healthy life style.

This food can help people prevent chronic diseases and give the body a
series of nutrients; these nutrients can be obtained from different
sources like:
1. Carbohydrates: can be obtained from wheat rice, maize, potatoes,
peas, beans and fruits. It can also be obtained from lactose, a
sugar that milk contains. Sugar can also be obtained from other
foods like but the main foods from where you can obtain
carbohydrates are: wheat, rice and maize.
2. Fats: are supplied to our body through butter, milk and eggs and
also all the cooking oils like coconut oil, olive oil, also from animal
fats and plan fats.
3. Proteins: are obtained from animal and plant sources like for
example, plant proteins are: nuts, beans, whole cereals, and some
of the animal sources are: lean meat, fish, eggs, milk and cheese.
These foods contain amino acids that the body requires for a
healthy lifestyle.
4. Minerals: the most important minerals are, Iron Iodine, Sodium and
Potassium. These can be found in foods and are essential for our
bones, liver, kidney etc.
5. Vitamins: some of the vitamins are soluble in water; some of them
are soluble on oils or foods. The most important vitamins are:
Vitamin A, C, D and K and each of them have different functions.
6. Water: It is very important to drink water throw-out the day.


People are following easy pathways to loose weight without any

knowledge or research behind it. This is affecting badly the lifestyle of
many people around the USA.
There are no food or pills that can magically turn your body in what you
would want it to be like to loose weight in a really fast way. Neither any
food can alter your genetics.
Fad diets dont guarantee long-term benefits for your weight. There are
some guidelines to distinguish between a diet that is beneficial to
maintain a long-term health and one that offers temporary weight
changes. The first tip is:
1. If a diet focuses on intensively cutting back calories or cutting out
entire group foods like Fats, Sugars, or Carbohydrates chances are
is a Fad Diet.
2. When a diet instructs you to only eat specific foods, prescribes
combinations, or to opt for particular foods substitutes like drinks,
bars or powders.
The truth is loosing pounds on a fast way, simply doesnt have a quick
solution. Not all diet crazes tout weight loss. (Mia Nacamulli).
Everywhere we look we are offered solutions, to how can we look better,
feel fitter, and generally get ahead. Food is no exception, but advice on
what we should eat is best left to the doctors and nutritionists who are
aware of our individual circumstances. Diets and food fads arent
inherently wrong. Circumstantially, they might even be right, just not for
everyone all of the time.

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