There is a new diet marketed every other day to the public as the ultimate solution to health problems. Some of these diets may be a rage initially, but they may disappear from public eye just as quickly. Such diets are called fad diets.
It is human nature to experiment with something new. Certain evaluation criteria may be useful in understanding the truth behind diet marketing gimmicks and prevent general public from falling into a well laid trap.
Healthy food choices must be based on a balanced meal that gives necessary amount of complex carbohydrates, fiber, moderate proteins and fat. Once the ability to make healthy food choices is established, it will be easy to evaluate fad diets.
One has to check if the fad diet format excludes any major food group. For example a high protein diet may be very low in carbohydrates and fat. Such a diet may not follow the principles of a balanced meal or the food guide pyramid, hence may not be safe to follow. A diet that emphasizes on large quantities of one type of food item to the exclusion of others may not be balanced.
When any single item is recommended as a cure or ban for health ailments, it need not be true. There is no single food item that is declared as a cure or cause for a disease till date. It is only a group of food items that work together to reduce risk of diseases or used in the treatment of diseases.
Diets that make sweeping statements that “water causes weight gain” may be completely misleading. One needs to check the balance in carbohydrate, protein, fat, water, mineral and vitamin content of a diet before accepting it.
Any diet that is purely based on pills, drugs or supplements by excluding normal food is definitely not safe and may lead to undesirable results.
Some diets may recommend only raw food and exclude other forms of food like pureed, frozen or processed foods. If such a diet is followed for a long duration without any change, it may lead to nutrient deficiencies.
Professional journals and authentic nutrition literature are examples of reliable reference sources from which one can gain latest information on diet and nutrition. It is important to gain knowledge from reliable sources so that one can judge if a diet is fad or not.