Sorting Through the Clutter of Fad Diets

fad diets

Do These Fad Diets Have You Confused, Too?

Weight-Watchers? Jenny Craig? What on earth does “Paleo” mean!? It’s easy to get swooped into fad diets, which can be best characterized by diets consisting of highly restrictive or unusual food choices, but how sustainable and scientifically sound are these fad diets? Here are three fad diets that are trending in 2016 so far:

The Raw Food Diet

This diet will be 75% plant-based foods that are never heated above 115 °F. The rest consists of unpasteurized milk, cheese, raw fish and certain kinds of raw meat as well as seeds and raw nut butter. If your current diet is full of junk food, it’s possible you’ll drop pounds quickly, as the diet does promote the consumption of nutrient-rich foods. Raw foodies do spend a lot of time properly planning and preparing raw meals. It is also possible to develop health issues like being underweight or amenorrhea (the absence of menstruation), so this diet is not recommended on a long-term basis.

Detox/Cleanse/Juice Diet

With its celebrity following, this minimalistic diet consists of fresh-juiced veggies and fruits with various restrictions like eliminating solid foods. Juicing is a great way to introduce new fruits and vegetables into your diet and can give your digestive system a rest. When juicing, protein and fat will only be present in very small amounts. If you choose to juice, incorporate it into a healthy eating plan that includes foods from a variety of sources such as whole grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy, and protein-rich foods.

The Paleolithic (Paleo) Diet

This “Stone age” diet is centered around the idea that our bodies run best when we eat like we did over 10,000 years ago: meat, vegetables, eggs, roots, and fruits. No grains, dairy, legumes, sugar, or salt. Paleo encourages the incorporation of many healthy foods and ultimately promoting a healthy way to control blood sugar and regular blood pressure. Currently, there are no long-term clinical studies about the benefits and potential risks of the diet. Eliminating whole grains and dairy is also not necessary the way to prevent all diseases and lose weight.

Next time you’re scrolling through the social media posts about these diets, remember to always consult with a registered dietitian before considering the change. Our bodies are all unique, so remember to take an intuitive eating approach to food as well. This will allow you to become more attuned with your body’s natural hunger signals and have a healthy relationship with your food without the need of fad diets.


Carly Buresch

Carly earned her bachelor’s degree in the Biological Sciences at Syracuse University. She has recently moved from New Jersey to Los Angeles, CA. Carly has worked in multiple hospitals, conducted biochemistry research as an undergraduate and plans on becoming a doctor in the near future. She currently works at Content Checked Holdings Inc. as the Nutrition & Marketing Coordinator. Content Checked Holdings, Inc. is a family of health apps - ContentChecked, SugarChecked, and MigraineChecked- that help users make more suitable choices at the grocery stores, based off of their personalized dietary needs. Download all three apps for free in the App Store or Google Play. Have questions about Nutrition, Weight Loss, Food Allergies or Migraines? Get your Nutrition questions answered by our team of Nutritionists by connecting with us on social media: @contentchecked, @sugarchecked, @migrainechecked.