Nutritionists weigh in about the risks of two popular Fad diets- the gluten-free diet and the ketogenic diet.
Risks Of Dieting
Other than the important note not to be dieting for the wrong reasons: being ashamed of your body, being made to believe your looks matter more than who you are, there are physical risks everyone needs to be aware of.
Although dieting is important in staying healthy and satiated, it’s important to keep note of diets that may be popular or effective in making you lose or gain weight while not actually being as good for you as you might think.
The two diets to stay aware of are: gluten-free diets and Ketogenic diets. This by no means tells you not to try them, but just to be aware that there are downsides to them.
The Two Fad Diets
Gluten-free diets eliminate “gluten” from all your foods. Gluten is a protein found in barley, wheat, rye as well as other grains. People that are recommended to follow a gluten-free diet are usually ones diagnosed with celiac disease or “irritable bowel syndrome”, but it has also become a popular idea that gluten isn’t good for you, and that you should go on a gluten-free diet just to lose weight.
Nutritionist Nichole Dandrea, among other experts, does not recommend this.
“Since this diet eliminates whole grains, there is a risk of consuming processed carbohydrates that that are devoid of fiber and essential nutrients—vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients,” she explains. “A lower fiber intake may result in higher glycemic foods and increased glycemic load.”
In other words, you end up with higher blood sugars. She does add, however, that “if someone is following a gluten-free diet that consists of naturally gluten-free whole foods such as sweet potato and quinoa, plus lots of vegetables, and nuts, seeds and legumes for protein, then it may not have an effect on diabetes risk.”
A Ketogenic diet drastically limits your carbohydrate intake, a nutrient that has become somewhat of a dietary boogeyman in health & fitness culture. It instead allows you to eat foods with large amounts of saturated fat. Beth Warren, a nutritionist, says: “This can contribute to insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes. Additionally, because of the high-fat content in foods, if calories from fat are not calculated, a person can gain weight, which can also contribute to diabetes in the long run. A keto diet also lacks fiber from foods such as legumes, such as beans, lentils, and whole grains. A diet high in fiber is shown to help combat the risk for diabetes.”