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Fad Diets Versus Proper Nutrition: What You Should Know

When it comes to the beginning of a new year, many people start off with every intention to get fit and healthy once and for all. A big part of any health plan or resolution is to change your diet and eating habits. The question is how to do so. There are so many different diet options available, and every year there are new fad diets that everyone swears by. In order to decipher the healthy diets from the fads, you need to know what to watch out for and what is best for your health. If you keep certain factors in mind, you will be able to tell the difference between unhealthy fad diets and proper nutrition in no time. 

Proper Nutrition Is Rarely Extreme

When it comes to telling the difference between fad diets that can be detrimental to your health and proper nutritional guidelines, it is important to realize that proper nutrition is rarely extreme in nature. In other words, if a diet strictly limits what foods you can eat, the ways you can prepare foods, or how many calories you can consume, you need to proceed with caution. 

Diets that tell you not to consume carbohydrates or that tell you that you can only eat foods that are uncooked deprive you of nutrients that the body needs to remain healthy. Dietary cleanses are also nutritionally detrimental as they essentially starve the body into rapid weight loss leaving you malnourished and unhealthy. So, if the diet you are considering seems to be quite extreme, consult with a dietitian to ensure that it is safe and healthy. 

Proper Nutrition Encourages Balance

Fad diets often ask you to cut out whole categories of food from your daily food intake. This can include ideas such as the no carb diet or plans that encourage you to completely cut fruit from your diet because of the high sugar content. These diets are unbalanced and eliminate food variety for those who try them.

While this can provide rapid weight loss and noticeable results, the reality of the matter is that you are depriving your body of nutrients it needs. Your body needs carbohydrates to function properly, for example. They are vital in heart health, in proper brain function and memory, and can even promote rather than hinder weight loss. 

A balanced diet includes foods from all categories including proteins, carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables so that the body receives a variety of nutrients from different food sources.

As you can see, there are clear differences between proper nutrition and unhealthy fad diets. If a diet you would like to try raises any red flags, all you need to do is consider these factors carefully and consult with a nutritionist. Then you will be able to ensure that the dietary plan you choose is good for your health and your weight loss goals for the new year.