Magic diets for summer: what are the health consequences

The impact of fad diets on long-term health, highlighting the importance of a balanced approach to nutrition (illustrative image by Infobae).

With coming summer And vacation, many are looking for the perfect formula to look good and feel healthy. In this context fashionable diets They tend to gain popularity by promising quick and effective results. However, these “magic diets“are not a modern invention. There are good ones (very few) and not so good ones (most of them).

Already in classical antiquity, the Greeks and Romans argued that a healthy spirit lives in healthy body and they believed that fatness was a sign of some kind of imbalance.

Besides this, the ancients also admired “ideal” bodies; although their paradigm was healthier than ours. An example is the Venus de Milo, a sculpture depicting one of the most revered goddesses. The Greeks called her Aphrodite, and the Romans called her Venus; but for both cultures she was the goddess of fertility, beauty and love.

The importance of a balanced and individualized approach to nutrition amid the popularity of fad diets (illustrative image by Infobae)

Women with full bellies and wide hips were a reflection of feminine beauty.; The model for men was a muscular, trained body. Already in the modern world, in 1863, William Banting published what is considered the “first fad diet.” This English undertaker wrote about his weight loss experience by giving up carbohydrates. Some time later, in 1921, Dr. Russell Morse Wilder of the Mayo Clinic coined the term “ketogenic” for this type of diet.

This diet was made popular by Dr. Atkins in 1998 and is now known as Keto diet” The same dog, but with a different collar. Her prescriptions point out that if we don’t consume carbohydrates, our bodies turn to fats—either from food or from the body itself—as a source of energy. When fats are metabolized, they form ketone bodies, an alternative fuel that replaces missing glucose and reduces appetite. However, this is usually a diet that is difficult to maintain over the long term.

Usually this feeding is difficult to maintain over time. Additionally, in the short term, restriction can cause hunger, fatigue, low mood, irritability, constipation, headaches, and confusion. Although in the long term the risk kidney stones and osteoporosis, increase uric acid levels in the blood (a risk factor for gout) and alter the microbiota due to lack of fiber. Fortunately, this is usually not done for a long time. People are getting tired.

The evolution of beauty and health concepts over the centuries, reflecting changes in culture and social perception (illustrative image by Infobae)

Food is made up of three main nutrients or macronutrients.: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Of course, they also contain micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), phytochemicals and water.

Considering There are only three macronutrients, there are few combinations that can be made, and all of them have already been created.. The strategy is to raise or lower the levels of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, as if it were a music system’s equalizer; and combinations can be in percentages: 30% carbohydrates, 40% proteins and 30% fats. Other options: 20 – 20 – 60, 60 – 20 – 20, 80 – 10 – 10 or 35 – 35 – 30. Whatever combination you come up with… it’s already been thought of!

The truth is every fad diet gets recycled every 20 or 30 years with different “make-ups” as products are added or removed, even chosen at random. To clarify the conditions that favor the use of fad diets, it is necessary to focus on two closely related issues: beliefs and prejudices.

The keto diet has come under scrutiny for its long-term health effects, including risks such as nutritional imbalances and increased uric acid levels, challenging traditional perceptions of extreme dieting (Getty Images)

Beliefs are a system of rules by which we make decisions every day, almost without realizing it, because they integrate everything we think about ourselves, others and life in general. There are necessary ones, for example, based on logic, reality, personal experience that coincides with the experience of many; and its use makes our life easier. For example: red traffic light means stop.

But these guidelines can also be distorted and lead to poor decisions. In this case, the beliefs become a bias: a bias in information processing that leads to distortion or illogical interpretation based on insufficient or unrelated data. For example: “The earth is flat.”

They are attractive and promising. They may even be harmless. But they are not effective.

The influence of cultural beliefs and prejudices on the popularity of fad diets throughout history (illustrative image by Infobae)

In most cases they are low in calories; therefore, the result is temporary. Additionally, when certain foods or entire food groups are eliminated from the diet there may be a lack of essential nutrients (iron, calcium, zinc; proteins and vitamins). In the long term, the body may suffer from various imbalances that increase the likelihood of the following diseases:

Malnutrition hidden.

Changes in the endocrine and nervous systems.

– Mass loss muscular.

– Reduced bone mass (increased risk of osteopenia).

The history of diets shows a pattern of reuse, with new versions emerging every few decades (illustrative image by Infobae).

Hypotension (low blood pressure).

– Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation.

– Insomnia.

– Dry skin, hair loss, brittle nails.

– Irritability, anxiety, depression.

Low-calorie diets can lead to a host of health problems, from malnutrition to endocrine disruption (Getty)

– Distortion of body image.

– Dejection.

– They do not improve health.

– The greatest weight loss usually occurs from fluid loss rather than fat loss.

– They have little variety, become boring and are soon abandoned.

– They don’t promote new eating habits, so after varying periods of time you return to old habits, regaining the weight you lost.

Finding a healthy and sustainable lifestyle continues to be a challenge in today’s world of fad diets (Illustrative image by Infobae)

The word “diet” comes from the Greek “diaita” and means “way of life.” That is, healthy eating should be part of your lifestyle. However, if you ask me if there is magic for losing weight, my answer is yes. The magic becomes real the moment you decide to change and implement a new way of eating and moving.

– Be personalized. Be designed to suit each individual’s tastes, economic capabilities, schedules and activities.

– Change your habits gradually. Consider a reasonable weight loss of 500 grams to one kilogram per week, with exceptions.

– Be balanced in nutrient intake (carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals)

– Avoid food restrictions: control the frequency and size of portions.

*Dr. Alberto Cormillot is a renowned Argentine physician, obesity specialist, health educator, author and lecturer. He founded and runs the nutrition and health clinic that bears his name, the Dieta Club, the ALCO Foundation (Anonymous Obesity Fighters) and the Argentine Institute of Nutrition, from where he advises businesses on the development of dietary and healthy products.

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