diet trends

Online Diet Trends: What You Should Know

There is a lot of information about nutrition on the internet. An article you read today may be in direct conflict with the one you read yesterday. So, it can be hard to know what diet trends are really beneficial. But that doesn’t stop people from selling various trendy diets as the best cure for whatever ails you.

Here is some verified information about three diets that are trending on the internet. Remember, you can always find the most current scientifically-based nutrition information on the Choose MyPlate website.

The Raw Food Diet

The Claim: Heating food destroys its nutrients and enzymes. Limiting your diet to raw foods will keep these intact and boost your ability to process them.

What You Eat: Uncooked, unprocessed foods like raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sprouted grains. Some people include unpasteurized dairy, raw meat and eggs (which are food safety hazards). A Raw Beet and Pear Slaw would fit into this meal plan.

Bottom Line: It’s high in fiber, low in calories, and contains whole foods, but it’s difficult to follow and lacks enough important nutrients, like protein, iron, and calcium.

Master Cleanse

The Claim: “Detox” your digestive system and lose weight while curbing unhealthy food cravings.

What You Eat: For ten days, you may consume a salt water drink, a “lemonade” (lemon juice, water, maple syrup, cayenne pepper), and an herbal tea that has a laxative effect. You cannot eat any solid food.

Bottom Line:  This diet is not adequate nutritionally and any rapid weight loss is unhealthy. There is little evidence that it will actually detoxify your body – your liver and kidneys do this already. If you really want to swap a meal for liquid try making a smoothie with different fruits and vegetables. Create a variation of Very Berry Blast by adding spinach or replacing the juice with canned or frozen fruit.

The Whole 30

The Claim: This plan is a “short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract and balance your immune system,” all in 30 days.

What You Eat: Meat, eggs, nuts and seeds, some fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats are okay, but not allowed are dairy, added sugars, all grains (including corn and sprouted varieties) and legumes (beans, lentils, peanuts). There are many recipes out there that can be altered for this diet, like omitting milk from Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie.

Bottom Line: While this diet emphasizes eating whole foods, diligently reading labels, and meal planning (all good habits to build), the elimination of whole grains, dairy and legumes is concerning because of their known health benefits. Omitting them for 30 days may not have a negative long-term health impact, but if you choose to try this, it is important to make sure you are getting all of the fiber, vitamins, and minerals you need.

Written by Adriene Worthington, RD, LDN

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