Fad Diets: How to Spot Them and Better Options for Health

Studio 4

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) –It’s the beginning of the year meaning a lot of people have “lose weight” or “get healthier” as a resolution.

For some, they will adopt what’s called a “fad diet” that can have some good results in the beginning but be harmful down the road.

Here are some ways to spot a fad diet:
– Promise rapid weight loss
– Rigid food plans
– Eliminate one or more entire food groups
– Base recommendations on a single study or non-peer reviewed research
– Ignore differences among individuals or groups
– Say that exercise is not needed
– Sound too good to be true

Instead, Dr. Christine Garner from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center has some tips to making healthier choices:
1. Decreasing or eliminating sweet and sweetened beverages. Many people drink sodas and sweet teas in large volumes, and these provide a lot of sugar with little to no other nutrients.
2. Decreasing fast food especially fried foods, and consuming fewer processed foods. The more processed a food is, the more nutrients it loses, and usually the more sugar, fat and salt are added. Examples of processed foods include things like chicken nuggets instead of whole chicken, or potato chips instead of whole or baked potatoes.
3. Increasing the proportion of vegetables at mealtime. Vegetables have fiber and micronutrients that are important to health and most people don’t eat enough of them. By increasing the amount of vegetables on your plate, you will decrease the amount of other foods, like starches and meats, that people tend to eat too much of.

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