The Rise and Fall of the Fad Diets

article by Rebecca S. author
Many dieting fads have come and gone throughout the years. Some were successful, while others didn't quite make the grade. Take a look at a few of these weight loss options and see what made them fade away with time.

Fad diet: No Fat Diet

Why did it start: Whether due to President Eisenhower’s heart attack or countless (unfounded) research, fat gradually became public enemy number one for most dieters out there. Fat was sent to the bottom of the totem pole for weight loss programs, and we were told to avoid it at all costs.

Why did it die off: You can imagine everyone’s surprise when a new edition of the DGA (Dietary Guidelines for Americans – the most prestigious health voice in the industry) announced that dietary cholesterol (the main culprit associated with high-fat foods) has little influence on our blood cholesterol after all. Turns out fatty foods aren’t as sinister as they’ve been labeled all along.

Aside from that, fat-free products are generally loaded with chemicals and artificial sweeteners that are just as unhealthy for you as the fat itself.

Fad diet: Sugar-Free Diets

Why did it start: Sugar, in essence, is bad for your teeth. It also adds no nutritional value to your food, makes your liver work harder than necessary, causes insulin resistance (a stone’s throw away from diabetes), and is highly addictive. That’s a lot of great reasons to stay away from sugar.

Why did it die off: The trouble with this diet is that sugar-free alternatives began popping up right and left. These artificial sweeteners quickly took off, but it didn’t take long to see the negative effects that came along with chemical substitutes. Additionally, studies found that our body needs sugar to create energy, maintain cellular health, and repair damaged areas. Regular amounts of healthy sugars (glucose) that can be found in fruits, sweet root vegetables, raw honey, real maple syrup, date sugar, whole grains, and coconut sugars are essential, healthy, and delicious for our bodies.

Fad diet: Gluten Free Diet

Why did it start: Celiac patients require a strict, gluten-free diet that severely limits what they’re allowed to eat. As celebrities began embracing the gluten-free diet as a weight loss program, the public flocked to it like birds to a flower’s nectar.

Why did it die off: Unfortunately, research has shown that unless you’re Celiac, a gluten-free diet can be very unhealthy in the long term. Gluten is a protein found in various grain products. While this ingredient in and of itself doesn’t offer much in the way of nutrition, most of the products it’s found in can benefit us, and we actually lose out from not eating healthy carbs like whole grain foods. This creates a nutritional deficiency that is unhealthy and certainly not the best weight loss program. Contemporary programs like the South Beach diet and Jillian Michaels incorporate healthy gluten products for optimal results.

A fad is just that: a swift trend that makes a lot of noise for a little while and then fades away with the wind. Don’t get swept up by the latest dieting trends. Take advantage of some of the best weight loss programs around right now, and start living healthier today.