Diet fads come and go. Low-fat, low calorie, low carb, paleo, keto, plant-based—the list is long. But what's good and what's bad? Are carbs really that evil? What do you actually need to cut out of your diet to be healthy? Surprise, surprise your body needs carbs, fat, calories and protein to function. It's where you get your macros and calories that matter. Here three popular dietary fads that aren't necessary based in facts.
1. Carbs are bad
Between the gluten-free craze and low-carb diets, carbs get a really bad rep. Ironically; carbs are an essential macro that helps with weight loss, memory, mood management, and host of other biological functions. To be more specific, complex and natural carbs are essential. Refined or processed breads, white rice, and grains are bad. Fruits and vegetables, which are all carbs, should take up the most space on your plate since they high in fiber and important nutrients but are still low calorie and low fat. Appropriate amounts of whole-grains like oats, barley, and wild rice are slowly absorbed in our system which doesn't spike blood sugar. Complex and nutrient-dense carbs are good for the heart. That's why there's a heart on most whole grain food packaging. The recommended ratio of macros for adults is: adults should get 45% to 65% of their calories from carbohydrates, 20% to 35% from fat, and 10% to 35% from protein. The short of it is high-fiber unprocessed carbs are essential.
2. Gluten-free is the way to go
If you have a celiac disease, gluten-sensitivity and other medical disorders that require a gluten-free diet then by all means don't eat gluten. However, there is little scientific evidence that a gluten free diet actually positively affects a person without a disorder. Gluten is a naturally occurring protein found in wheat, rye and barley. When foods that naturally contain gluten are processed to remove the gluten, it becomes higher in bad carbs, fat and sugar. The reason gluten-free diets tend to be viewed a positive it's the foods the generally get cut out are the processed foods that often come high in sugar, bad carbs and saturated fat. If you chose to be gluten free, then rice, corn, quinoa, buckwheat, and other seeds are good choice for fiber and nutrient dense carbs. For the record, rice is not gluten. Again, it's really about choosing unprocessed, healthy, whole foods rather than highly-processed foods.
3. Juicing diets help detox your body
Juicing diets are often advertised as a way to cleanse or reset the body. Except there isn't any scientific evidence that this is true. This popular fad forgets that your body comes with it's own detoxer - mainly your liver and kidneys. If you really want to cleanse your body of toxins, maintain a diet high in vegetables and fruits and drink plenty of water. Another downside to juicing is the process often removes healthy fiber. Fiber helps us use the restroom, i.e removing what the body doesn't need. A happy medium is a smoothie if you prefer to drink your vegetables than eating them. You get to keep the fiber and get your liquid formula. Don't forget to still eat meals.