According to statistics, an estimated 45 million Americans go on a diet each year. Many individuals will attempt a diet that markets itself as an “overnight miracle” or fad. These diets have gained and lost popularity as studies have been done on the effectiveness of these eating habits.
One of the most popular trends that has been endorsed by celebrities has been taking apple cider vinegar shots. In fact, stores such as Whole Foods have even begun to sell different flavors of these shots in an effort to make them more appealing. Studies have shown that this supports healthy blood sugar levels, improves insulin sensitivity, promotes healthy blood pressure levels and boosts immunity. However, apple cider vinegar also has negative effects.
“Consuming straight apple cider vinegar to lose body weight can be potentially detrimental to health. It can cause damage to the lining of the intestine and tooth enamel due to the level of acetic acid in vinegar, which is produced by fermentation and oxidation, and it can be corrosive when consumed on a regular basis, especially in large qualities,” says Millersville University Wellness and Sports Sciences associate professor Abdelhadi Halawa.
Halawa also cites other various fad diets as unhealthy including the Banana Diet, the Cabbage Soup Diet, the Baby Food Diet, the Zone Diet, the South Beach Diet and the Ketogenic Diet.
One of the most popular diets in 2019, the Ketogenic diet which is also known as the “Keto” diet, recommends increasing daily fat intake to 80 percent, decreasing carb intake to 5 percent and maintaining protein intake from 10-20 percent. This high-fat diet puts the body in a metabolic state called “ketosis,” which aids in breaking down fat in order to lose weight. Unfortunately, the biggest risk with putting the body in a state of ketosis is that ketones can build up, leading to dehydration and a chemical imbalance in the blood.
“While these diets might provide quick ephemeral fixes by tricking the body, none of them have been proven to be effective to reduce body weight/body fat and keep it off in the long run,” said Halawa. “Incipiently, they tend to be popular but not for the long term after people realize that they have not delivered what they have promised.”
Regardless, the United States continues to have a profound fascination with creating better eating habits by making new trends in the diet community. From drinking strange substances, to starving the body, or even only eating one particular food for a certain amount of time, people should take heed when attempting any new diet.
So, what can you do to safely fit into that swimsuit? Dr. Julie Lombardi, Wellness and Sports Sciences associate professor at Millersville, lists five tips:
- Think of eating healthy as a way of life, not a diet
- Focus on eating a variety of colorful foods
- Focus eating patterns on real food: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats/beans, water…
- Consider writing down or tracking your eating patterns
- Find ways to incorporate more physical activity into your daily life like walking more and taking the stairs