People often consider diets as a temporary measure meant to help them attain the type of body they want. The problem with this way of thinking is that a diet is more than a measure; rather, it is the embodiment of a lifestyle choice. A diet can be considered as a set of food groups that a person eats on a regular basis based on the access to different types of food and their budgetary limitations.
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The problem with the present day concept of “a diet” is that people often think of it as a temporary measure rather than a long-term commitment. Comments such as “going on a diet” or “sticking with a diet” for a few weeks are often heard with people advocating for different types of fad diets based on what is popular at the time. Unfortunately, many people fail to understand proper healthy eating practices and often believe what people say regarding the effectiveness of one fad diet over another (Wicker, 2015). Diets should not be considered as something temporary; rather, people should consider diets as the food choices that they make based on their lifestyle choice no matter the popular diets that emerge from time to time.
The Fundamental Problem of Fad Diets and Paleo Diet
The fundamental problem in fad diets is that they are often based on pseudo-science and popular trends, and often lack sufficient justification behind their supposed “benefits.” For example, one of the most popular present day fad diets is the Paleo diet that was popularized by the fitness craze “Crossfit”. The Paleo diet advocates the primary principles of meals that were consumed by cavemen since this was supposedly a period when people were healthier and fitter in comparison to modern humans (James, 2015).
The Paleo diet involved the consumption of large amounts of meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and other dietary foods that were prevalent during the time of cavemen. This diet advises people to avoid grains and legumes since there are no evident that the cavemen ate these products. Unfortunately, many of the promises associated with the Paleo diet are often highly exaggerated, and people have the high levels of cholesterol due to the significant amount of meat they consume.
Moreover, the recent studies have already shown that the cavemen consumed legumes, and it was an important part of their daily meal. Grains also contain a significant amount of dietary fiber and vitamins that help to promote health and wellness. While the Paleo diet is believed to be an effective tool in gaining muscles and improving the health, the fact whether Paleo diet is more beneficial for the health and muscles than a substantial and well-balanced meals consisting of meat, fruit, and vegetable remains of current interest.
Lack of Research
In the majority of cases, people neglect to do sufficient research before they start keeping to fad diets. This particular trend is called irrational exuberance which refers to the situation when people align their actions based on the behavior of other people. According to the psychological peculiarities of the human behavior, people see other individuals doing something and convince themselves to do the same thing without investigating whether such activity is advisable or not.
For example, “cleansing diets” are popularized in various publications due to their ability to help cleanse the body of toxins in order to help the organism to lose weight. However, the thing that people do not realize is that the body already does this naturally, and there is no need in a specialized diet (Kay, 2013). It is worth noting that various studies have shown that cleansing diets are ineffective and even contribute to malnutrition if prolonged over a significant period (Rieden, 2012).
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Fad Diet as the Marketing Gimmicks
People need to understand that fad diets are not the solution to their health issues. In addition, they are more likely to influence the health condition in an adverse way. Fad diets are the result of marketing gimmicks and are not proved from the scientific point of view. Diet is not something temporary or popular; it is more about the lifestyle and ability of a person to control the calories intake and amount of the consumed food based on deep knowledge of physiology.
Thus, many health experts stress the significance of personal research of credible sources in order to understand the health benefits of consuming vegetables, meat, fish, and other organic products. The knowledge is the guiding power because the understanding of the significance of eating some products consequently leads to healthier food choices and following a long-term dietary regime that would be healthier than the present day fad diet.
With the consideration of the information stated above, it should be stated that diet should not be considered as something temporary. Diet should fully integrate into the daily round and become a lifestyle. The best way to prevent the popularity of fad diets and a negative impact they have on a human being is educational programs and providing people with access to the information regarding nutritional qualities of different types of food.
By launching information campaigns and making sure people are aware of healthy eating habits when they are young through education programs, the popularity of fad diets will be a thing of the past. Moreover, the websites that promote fad diets should provide the readers with scholarly references.
James, K. (2015). Beyond Paleo. Better Nutrition, 77(12), 40.
Kay, L. (2013). Juice Cleansing: Smart Detox or Drastic Diet?. Pointe, 14(4), 50.
Rieden, J. (2012). The Juice Diet. Australian Women’s Weekly, 82(5), 172.
Wicker, K. (2015). Diet trends. Catholic Digest, 78(10), 20.