The Dangers of Modern Day Diets, Part 2
“There are long term consequences when all food is valued only as calories.” -Michael Aziz, M.D.
image courtesy of google images
Today we’re continuing on our series of Modern Day Diets and the dangers associated with them. If you missed the first article, you can read PART ONE here!
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This diet plan relies on the glycemic index. You purchase foods directly from the company that are all pre-packaged and can sit on your shelf for who knows how long. You are to supplement with protein shakes and fresh foods. Now, following the glycemic index is helpful in realizing which carbs are slow-digesting and which are not and therefore spiking insulin levels. My issue with this diet plan is that it is absolutely not realistic and it costs a lot of money (over $400.00 a month of their food alone, not including what you need to buy at the store to supplement their food). By the way, that’s over $400.00 for one person. That’s a lot of money for pre-packaged food that is completely processed and completely lacking in the nutrition department. You probably wouldn’t spend as much on fresh, organic foods FOR YOUR FAMILY as you are spending for a months supply of their products. I’m not exaggerating. I spend an average of $600.00 a month for a family of four and one pot-bellied pig – and I buy nothing but the best. I get the best milk I can, the best real butter, raw cheese, organic meats, fresh and organic produce and fruits, raw and organic nuts and so much more! Not to mention everything I can get organic, I get it – and I still only spend $600.00 a month for the entire family! Seven days of 3 meals a day! Huge difference! So, not only do you need to eat their food, but their food contains toxic ingredients that should be avoided and not eaten on a daily basis. Partially hydrogenated oils, white flour, soybean oil, soy lecithin, soy, HFCS, propylene glycol, canola oil, polysorbate 80, corn syrup, nonfat milk, white rice, artificial colorings and flavorings (which don’t have to be listed individually) are just a few of the ingredients they use that should never be consumed, especially at every meal. These are toxic to our body, our hormones and our gut / digestive system. It also leaves people feeling hungry considering their portion sizes are so small.
I personally know someone who was on this diet and they couldn’t last on it. The portions were so small and he spent all his time feeling hungry – never satisfied after he ate. He’d lose weight, but if he’d even eat out once or twice a week – weight would come back. This is not how a person should live when it comes to eating. That’s more work than anyone wants.
This diet focuses on calorie counting, so technically, no food is forbidden (like Weight Watchers, which we talked about in Part 1 of this series). They also have their own line of food. Some of Jenny Craig’s recipes include vegetable oil, skim dairy products, puff pastry sheets, margarine, canned fruits, diet jellies/jams and other fake foods. They claim their program is safe for those with type 2 diabetes, but with margarine, skim milk and canned fruits – insulin levels will never decrease. To me, that’s a dangerous claim to make when dealing with a person with type 1 or 2 diabetes.
Watching calories will cause you to lose weight at the beginning, but you will hit a plateau and overall your health isn’t any better because you are consuming synthetic products and products that can cause insulin to spike. Jenny Craig food contains added chemicals, partially hydrogenated oils and more. Trans fats mess up the hormones and they also clog your arteries.
This diet emphasizes grains, grains, grains and NO animal products are consumed. You will use soy, butter substitutes, milk substitutes and more in place of animal products. For some, even honey is shunned because of the strain they feel it puts on honey bees to create the honey. Don’t make me go there.
This diet severely leaves your body lacking in vitamins, minerals and health. Although many people see improvement in skin and energy you still are not nourishing your body with foods it needs to live and survive. Therefore you need to have a REALLY good supplement program in place to make up for the missing pieces. This type of diet is dangerous, long term, to the body and many people who have been on it for years have had to come off of the restrictions due to health issues. This should tell us something.
One vegetarian diet in particular is The Dean Ornish Diet designed by Dr. Dean Ornish himself. Basically 70% of calories will come from carbs, 20% from protein and 10% from fat. It advocates grains, legumes, fruits and veggies and in moderation you can have fat free dairy products and fat free products such as crackers and certain salad dressings.
Issues arising from following this kind of diet are many. Insulin levels will raise since this is a low-low-fat diet. This also means that your body may never reach that ‘full feeling’ when eating foods. It is also low in the vital EFA’s (essential fatty acids) which can lead to many health issues, including vitamin deficiency resulting in eczema, dandruff and many other things. This diet excludes many healthy fats that our bodies and hormones need, including nuts, seeds, fish, chicken, olive oil, etc. This diet would be particularly dangerous for those who are diabetic (about 25 million Americans), or those who are pre-diabetic (approximately 60 million Americans).
Any vegetarian diet (focused on eating mostly vegetables) will leave you deficient somewhere in your body, requiring major supplementation. Even at that, you cannot receive the full benefits of vitamins and minerals through a pill like you can through food. Hormones will be completely disrupted, especially the sex hormones. Your body will lack the fat necessary to tell your body it’s full, to repair cells, to produce healthy sex hormones and more. This is not a well-rounded eating plan.
The Flat Belly Diet
This diet was created by the editor in chief of Prevention Magazine, Liz Vaccariello. It advocates consuming monounsaturated fats that can be found in olive oil, nuts, seeds and avocados. It also emphasizes eating dark chocolate (and not necessarily in moderation) and lists it as a monounsaturated fat. As much as I adore dark chocolate, it is not a fat. Now, it’s great to be in favor of consuming oils that are good for your health but when you also are in favor of processed foods, frozen meals, fat-free dairy, certain fast foods, processed cereals, meal replacement bars, etc. – you don’t have a clear picture of overall health. They focus on good oils, but that’s it. You can do whatever you want outside of that – just eat stuff with monounsaturated fats. Incomplete in my book!
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As you can continue to see – diet fads are more bad than good! Why spend all the time to follow these if you are only harming your body in the process? I’m sure many people have no idea what all is going on in their body by following diets like these! That’s why it is my desire to educate people on this kind of information so YOU can be informed and make the right decisions when it comes to your eating lifestyle and how well you take care of your physical body!
Tomorrow we will discuss Veganism, The Zone Diet, The Gluten Free Diet, The American Heart Association, The Dukan Diet and The RAW Diet.
Have any of you ever been on any of these diets we’ve been discussing? If so, which ones?
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