100% Fad Free
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages the public to make lifestyle choices and changes that are 100% fad-free. Fad diets are usually toted as a quick fix and are not designed to improve long-term lifestyle habits. You may recognize these fad diets and have possibly attempted them in the past to achieve quick weight loss: Horace Fletcher's chewing each bite of food 32 times as a weight control method, liquid protein diet drinks (initially developed in 1930), the Cabbage Soup Diet, the Grapefruit Diet, and juice diets. Fad diets like these severely restrict important nutrients making it dangerous to a person’s health.
Here are some ways to identify a fad diet:
- Advertised as the newest way to lose weight
- Not supported by nutrition research
- A diet that promises fast results
- Classifies certain foods or supplements as being magical
Listed below are ways to identify a fad diet:
- Take small steps to create permanent changes.
- Consume a variety of fresh foods.
- Consume all foods in moderation.
- Consume an adequate intake of fruits and vegetables. Use the month of March as an opportunity to aim for 5 servings per day. This may be easier if you plan to include a fruit or vegetable on your plate with each meal this month.
- Select most of your breads, cereals, and grains from whole grain options. This means they contain all the essential parts and naturally occurring nutrients of the entire grain seed. Whole grains include buckwheat, wheat, rice, millet, oats, and wild rice. Try to have all of your servings, most days of the week, from whole-wheat products.
- Aim for adequate fiber intake (25-35 grams per day) by selecting whole grains, fruits, and vegetables at each meal. Select high-fiber cereals, breads, brown rice, and whole-wheat pasta.
- Choose low-fat dairy products and lean protein. Lean protein includes skinless chicken breasts, grilled or baked fish, and less fatty cuts of red meat. Plant based protein (soy, nuts, beans, etc.) can also be a great option to fit protein in a healthy diet.
- Reduce your intake of salt and sodium. The American Heart Association recommends limiting sodium intake to less than 1,500 mg per day to improve cardiovascular health. To put that into perspective, 3/4 teaspoon of salt containes 1,725 mg of sodium. Some organizations recommend a 2,300 mg limit of sodium per day. Reduce sodium by limiting the amount of processed foods you consume and use fresh ingredients instead.
- Choose low- or non-calorie beverages over sweetened, high-calorie beverages. Although science doesn’t back up the concept of everyone needing 8 glasses of water a day, replacing sugary beverages with water can help to cut down on calories each day.
- Use the MyPlate diagram, found at www.choosemyplate.gov, to help you create a meal with appropriate portion sizes.
Plan ahead to make sure you have healthy snacks and meals on hand throughout the day. Success is possible when you make healthful, realistic, and permanent changes in your daily eating and physical activity habits. Get started making changes using the healthy lifestyle tips located at http://www.nchpad.org/1332/6140/Healthy~Lifestyle~Tips.
'If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.' - Hippocrates