Zone, Stone Age, Neanderthin, Atkins, South Beach, Fat Flush, Eskimo Style, Sugar Busters — these are all low carbohydrate, fad diets which promise substantial weight loss in a very short time, but are they good for your health? Studies have shown that limiting or eliminating any one of the recommended food groups can cause health problems if continued for long periods of time (Landry, ND). Fad diets, like the low carbohydrate ones listed above, limit the necessary intake of nutrition, cause the body to use tissue and organs as food, and can cause long-term health conditions. Fad diets are a nutritionally unsound weight loss practice and are an unhealthy and unsafe way to incorporate weight management.
Specifically limiting or eliminating carbohydrates (from the grain, fruit, and vegetable food group) such as vegetables, fruit, and whole grain, from the diet can cause serious health issues including strain on kidneys and dehydration (Stein, et al, 1999). According to Web MD, strain on the kidneys, kidney stones, or possible kidney failure is caused by “Consuming too much protein which puts a strain on the kidneys, and can make a person susceptible to kidney disease” (Web MD, 2005-2010).
One study done by Australian researchers, over a period of one year, found that the low carbohydrate diet contributed to the participants experiencing feelings of anger, depression, and confusion. This is due to a lack of carbohydrate consumption, which is responsible for the production of serotonin in the brain (Prevention, 2010). Serotonin is a chemical which is produced by the brain and acts as a messenger to our brain cells. These messages to the brain cells control “mood, sexual desire and function, appetite, sleep, memory and learning, temperature regulation, and some social behavior” (Bouchez, ND).
Stay tuned for more on fad diets…….
Bouchez, C. (ND). Serotonin: 9 Questions and Answers. Questions 1, 2, and 3. Retrieved on May 25, 2010 from http://www.webmd.com/depression/recognizing-depression-symptoms/serotonin
Landry, G. (ND). Dangers of a Low Carb Diet. Retrieved on May 25, 2010 from http://www.sideroad.com/Weight_Loss/low-carb-diet-danger.html
Prevention (2010). Carb Your Enthusiasm!. Prevention, 62(4), 45. Retrieved from Health Source – Consumer Edition database. Accessed May 4, 2010.
Stein, J., Cray, D., Grace, J., Nordan, D., Park, A., & Sachs, A. (1999, November 1). The Low-Carb Diet Craze. Time Magazine, (4). Retrieved on April 20, 2010 from http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,992401,00.html.
Web MD (2005-2010). Weight Loss: High Protein, Low Carbohydrate Diets. Retrieved on May 25, 2010 from http://women.webmd.com/guide/high-protein-low-carbohydrate-diets