According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fad diets are all weight loss diets that restrict the intake of certain nutrients, promise rapid weight loss, and lack a long-term scientific basis.
This sci-fi will discuss the differences, principles, and potential side effects of some highly popular fad diets for weight loss.
For most adults, the recommended minimum daily carbohydrate requirement is around 100-130 g per day (3). There is no standard amount for a low-carb diet. Some research topics define it as less than 130 grams per day, while others are based on a percentage of nutrients.
How to use a low-carb diet to achieve weight loss?
Foods such as staples, fruits, and desserts all contain different types of carbohydrates.
During our digestion, all of these carbohydrates are broken down into glucose (one of the simplest forms of carbohydrates), which produces the main energy for the body. Some of the glucose is used immediately, while some is stored as glycogen in the body.
When the intake of carbohydrates becomes low (e.g. below 100-130 grams per day), the body will first run out of glycogen and then start using fat, producing ketogenic (ketone) as an energy source. At this point, we can think of it simply as “burning fat”.
The ketogenic diet began in the 1920s. It began to exist primarily to assist in the treatment of pediatric epilepsy. However, in today’s life, the ketogenic diet has become one of the better knowns of the popular weight loss diet.
The ketogenic diet is much more restrictive in terms of carbohydrate intake (less than 20g-50g per day on the ketogenic diet), while substantially increasing fat intake (80% of total daily caloric intake on the ketogenic diet comes from fat).
People who choose a ketogenic diet keep their carbohydrates at a very low level to keep the body in a state of ketosis (a metabolic state in which the body produces ketones and uses them as a source of energy). However, depending on the phase, the Atkins diet is gradually increasing the carbohydrate intake.
Benefits of a low-carb diet
- there are short-term studies (1-2 years) that show that low-carb diets are effective not only for weight loss but also for blood sugar control.
- since a low-carb diet is adding more fat intake to a lower carbohydrate diet, satiety increases at the same time. Some people feel more satisfied after consuming it and find it more convenient in their daily routine (less frequent meals).
Problems with low-carb diets
Insufficient nutrient intake
Some fruits are high in sugar, so a low-carb diet will lack the intake of many fruits, resulting in a lack of vitamins and minerals. This, combined with insufficient intake of some whole grain staples/cereals, can lead to a lack of dietary fiber, thus increasing the problem of constipation.
On a normal diet, our body and brain use carbohydrates to provide energy.
However, in the case of a ketogenic diet, there is dizziness due to the lack of glucose in the brain.
Due to the lack of glucose in the body, there is also a greater change in the person’s mood.
Also as the body produces more ketogenic, this can be accompanied by problems such as bad breath.
Food and Cultural Habits
In Asian food cultures, a variety of dietary combinations are high in carbohydrates.
Therefore, if you choose a carbohydrate-controlled diet, there are significant restrictions within the diets of many Asian countries (e.g., no buns, dumplings, steamed buns, sticky rice, etc.).
Experimental studies on low-carb diets often last about 1-2 years, and there are no longer-term tracking studies.
Therefore, the long-term harm/benefit of this diet is unknown.
More scientific studies are needed to prove whether long-term use of this diet has other side effects on the body.
Heat control class
The principle is to consume very few calories per day, commonly known as “dieting”.
Adults who consume less than 1,200 calories per day are classified as dieting.
If it is less than 800 calories per day, it would be classified as a very low-calorie diet (severe dieting).
The beauty of these calorie-controlled diets is that they already give you a detailed daily menu of what to eat at each meal. When you are very busy and don’t have time to want to eat anything, you just need to prepare these foods as they are.
The Grapefruit Diet is also known as the Hollywood Diet.
At its core, it involves eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice with every meal of the day, along with a rich protein.
There are several versions of the grapefruit diet, but each version is basically low carb + high protein. Some also limit calories (some versions recommend no more than 800 calories a day).
Each day’s grapefruit intake can be adjusted in its own form, such as adding grapefruit to salads, drinking grapefruit juice, or simply eating grapefruit.
Benefits of Grapefruit Diet
- Eating more grapefruit does provide us with some quality nutrients and:
- Grapefruit is a low-sugar fruit, with about 13 grams of carbohydrates in each half.
- Rich in vitamin C, which contains antioxidant components that strengthen the immune system.
- Contains a lot of dietary fiber, which will make you feel full. Fruits like this high fiber and high antioxidant content can also prevent heart disease and stroke.
The problem of the grapefruit diet:
Although grapefruit is a low-calorie food with some benefits, there are some holes in this diet.
- there are rumors that grapefruit can reduce weight because it contains enzymes that burn fat, but this claim is not proven by scientific experiments
- Rapid weight loss is due to an exceptionally low daily calorie intake, and not eating grapefruit and only controlling calories will also have this weight loss effect.
Other popular diets for weight loss
- 5 days of the week on a normal diet with no restriction on casual eating and the other two days on a 500-600 calorie intake only.
- Concentrate the day’s diet into 8 hours and eat nothing at all for the other 16 hours, with no calorie restriction;
- one day a week for 24 hours without food.
Said at the end
These diets are so popular usually because many of them are guaranteed to drop the scales in a short period of time with very fast results.
In today’s fast-paced life, people are busy with work and socializing, and when they have free time they like to stay at home, so they become lazy. This is when these fad diets become more appealing.
Again: there are thousands of ways to reduce weight in the world. Diets do allow you to lose weight effectively in a short period of time, but long-term sustainability is still a mystery.
It is your right to try or believe in certain diets.
However, from a nutritional point of view, everyone’s eating habits and lifestyle are different, and it is advisable to choose a diet that is based on scientific research and is suitable for you.
We can form good eating and living habits by eating less and exercising in moderation. Although the change will be a little slow, at least for health protection.
You are in charge of your diet, but you have to follow the trends and also have your own judgment.