Dehydration, fatigue, malnutrition and digestive issues are just some of the dangers of fad diets. Many people want to start the new year off by losing weight, and fad diets seem like the easy option. However, the dangers of certain fad diets typically outweigh the benefits, and your health may decline in the long run. Let’s explore some of these diets and the specific dangers associated with them.
If you plan on starting any kind of new diet, it’s in your best interest to consult with your doctor first. Depending on your overall health or any underlying conditions you may have, going on a strict diet may end up being more harmful to you than helpful.
The following are just a handful of fad diets you may have heard of and are curious to try. We’ll break down what each of them consists of and why they could be dangerous to your health.
5 Fad Diets That Could Be Dangerous To Your Health
1. 3-Day Cardiac Diet
Also called the “military diet,” this diet requires you to eat low-calorie foods for three days and then return to regular eating for four days and continuing to repeat this schedule. This diet is very high in protein and low in carbs, fat and calorie intake and claims to aid in heart health by helping you quickly lose 10 pounds.
There are reasons to claim that this can weaken your immune system and create nutrient deficiencies. We share more about the dangers of the 3-Day Cardiac Diet here.
2. Going Gluten-Free
If you suffer from a serious condition like Celiac Disease, then it is imperative that gluten is removed from your diet. However, if you’ve never had an issue with eating foods rich in gluten, then removing gluten from your diet may not be the best choice for losing weight.
The gluten-filled foods we often think of are pasta and bread. And while it is true that eating pasta and bread in excess may cause you to gain weight, it is also about maintaining a healthy portion size.
Some foods are gluten-free but empty in calories, only leaving you hungry for more. Going gluten-free is a major dietary change, so ask your doctor if it is right for you. We go into more detail on gluten-free diets here.
3. Keto Diet
On a keto diet, you completely cut carbs out of your diet or consume no more than 50 grams per day. This process puts your body in a state of ketosis, where your body is burning fat for energy rather than sugar. While it can aid in losing weight, it also comes with many risks.
In fact, many people shared that when they started the keto diet, that they felt sick — vomiting, stomach pains, nausea, lethargy, diarrhea, etc. This is because the body has run out of sugar to burn and is beginning the process of burning fat instead.
A huge danger of the keto diet is the potential development of ketoacidosis, which is when the body stores up too many ketones — acids produced as a byproduct of burning fat — and the blood becomes too acidic, causing damage to the liver, kidneys and brain. Left untreated, it can be fatal.
4. Baby Food Diet
Yes, this is a real thing. Adults are turning to eating baby food because of its low-calorie content. While some people eat jars of food as a low-calorie snack throughout the day, others have reportedly consumed up to 14 jars of it to replace two full meals in one day. Unfortunately, eating baby food isn’t going to provide your body with the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. It can also get pretty expensive.
5. Master Cleanse
This is big in the world of celebrities, but can ultimately put your health in harm’s way. This is a liquid-only diet that consists of consuming these three things: a lemonade-like beverage, salt-water and herbal laxative tea.
The claim is that within 10 days, you’ll have dropped plenty of weight and feel rejuvenated. Unfortunately, this just isn’t so. Since this is a liquid-only diet, you will be interfering with potassium and sodium levels in the body, and feel bouts of muscle weakness, fatigue and dizziness.
It is important to eat well in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle and weight, but trying any of the above diets can be extreme. Consult with your doctor before trying any fad diet.
Fast foods can also be dangerous to your health. Check out our Fast Foods Statistics infographic to learn more.