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06.04.2016

Famous Diets Under The Microscope

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most famous diets: from the Atkinsand Dukan diets, to the Paleolithic and low glycemic index diets. What are the actual results of each of these well-known diets and what complications might they hide.

There are dozens of innovative diets that promise dramatic results in terms of weight management. Their initiators and founders have become exceedingly popular over the past couple of years; for example, anyone who’s tried at least once in their lives to lose weight knows who Dr. Atkins or Dr. Oz are. Major ground over recent years has been won by the Dukan diet, the Paleolithic era diet and the more "scientific" low glycemic index diet. Today we present you with the most famous diets that we’ve placed under the microscope as we take a closer look at what they entail.

The diet of Dr. Atkins

In 1972, Dr. Atkins, a cardiologist, created a revolutionary nutritional model for those who wanted to lose weight easily. He managed to acquire fanatic followers over the years and to this very day. He believed that fat was not liable for the increase in body weight, and that the real culprits were carbohydrates. For this, he excluded them completely from the diet he suggested. Thus, the Atkins diet is comprised mainly of proteins and fats, excluding fruits, grains, cereals, sugar, pulses, milk and yogurt. What's left? Meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, sausages, cheese, butter, nuts and olive oil are the recommended foods. To some it may sound pleasant to follow such a diet, but how easily would you be able to stick to it for more than a couple of hours or days? The truth is that someone who excludes all these food groups from their everyday diet will eventually lose weight. But there are some complications, such as limiting the intake of water-soluble vitamins, e.g. a key one being vitamin C, the short weight regain after application of the diet, constipation, lack of energy, inability to conduct physical activity etc. It is important to consult specialized health professionals as to the suitability of such a dietary model.

Dukan diet

This is yet another low carb diet made famous by Dr. Dukan. Besides the ultimate limitation of carbohydrate, he revolutionized the protein diets by limiting fat intake, however allowing for the choice of dairy products, which is not usual in such diets. It is comprised of a strict list of diet foods which can be consumed in unlimited quantity throughout its duration. The list includes animal protein, such as fish, poultry, meat, eggs, etc., however the initial phase excludes vegetables and then allows for their consumption every other day. This is therefore a strict protein diet that limiting the intake of fresh food – a key source of vitamins and minerals. In the beginning, it may allow for quick and easy weight loss, but this model can hardly be sustainable. Indeed, the British Dietetic Association said in a recent statement, that such a diet is not balanced and may cause vitamin deficiencies.

The Paleolithic era diet

This is perhaps one of the most popular diets in recent months, which is gaining more and more fans. The philosophy is simple: consume what people would consume five hundred thousand years ago. This diet does not include processed foods, pastries, pasta, sugar, fast food and desserts, since these foods were not available to man at the time. For the first few weeks, this diet recommends eating a meal a day, late at night, which is free in quantity, but mainly includes animal protein, berries, vegetables and nuts. In the next step that is recommended, one can consume these foods in the daytime as well. It is therefore more of a recommendation for a permanent change in terms of eating behavior rather than an immediate weight loss diet. Its advantage is that it can help in the gradual loss of body fat and in weight maintenance in the longer term. The lack of quantity restriction of the dinner meal may be a factor that prevents the loss of fat as it depends on how each person manages their evening meal. This diet may exclude processed foods and provide your health with a great advantage however the limit on dairy products, cereals and grains means that you won’t be acquiring calcium, protein and energy respectively from valuable sources. Finally, the viability of such a diet in the long term is questionable and the only way for it to have an impact on weight management is for its completion. Often, family meals, unsettled working hours, travel and other social conditions may render its implementation as difficult therefore questioning its actual success.

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