Name your fad diet…..

Written by: Rebecca Baird May 4, 2010

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

Landry, G. (ND). Dangers of a Low Carb Diet. Retrieved on May 25, 2010 from

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,9171,992401,00.html.

Web MD (2005-2010). Weight Loss: High Protein, Low Carbohydrate Diets. Retrieved on May 25, 2010 from


4 thoughts on “Name your fad diet…..

    • Dieting, or altering your food intake, should begin very gradually. One key is to make sure you don’t take anything away until you have incorporated some new good foods into your existing diet. The key to lifestyle changes, and weight loss, is to make these changes in a way that you can live with. To begin with, add high fiber foods, like the one’s mentioned in my article “Healthy Choices ≈ First Steps” Simply adding some of these items will help you begin on the road to healthy eating. As soon as you are comfortable with these additions, you can begin adding protein to your diet along with 30 minutes of exercise per day. Exercise needs to be fairly vigorous and sustained for the entire 30 minutes; something like a brisk walk or bike riding would be good.
      I hope these suggestions have been helpful. Let me know how you do.


    • Hi Diet Boy,

      There are so many fad diets out there, you should ook at diets and be able to spot or identify a fad diet by these characteristics:
      the limitation or elimination of certain foods or entire food groups
      contain non-proportional food groups such as low carbohydrate, low fat, or high protein
      promise easy, quick fix, and weight loss without exercise
      require the dieter to purchase supplements, books, videos, special foods, or other items which can only be purchased from the creator of the diet such as Jenny Craig or Nutrisystem
      testimonials which make incredible claims and promises

      I hope this information helps. Let me know if I can be of help in any way.


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