Frontiers In Nutrition in July, 2022, published “Fad Diets: Facts and Fiction.” Thank you, FIN, for making it available at no cost. The authors are based in Pakistan and Romania. They attempted to summarize the literature on popular fad diets. I am shocked that they included the Mediterranean diet as a fad diet. Read the article and 134 references then form your own opinion. Some snippets:
Regarding the Atkins Diet: “AD provides several benefits including weight reduction and cardio-metabolic health improvement, but limited evidence exists as compliance is the major barrier to this dietary regimen. Strict supervision by health professionals is advised as adverse metabolic sequelae can result from this type of diet.”
The Paleolithic Diet: “More randomized trials need to be done to highlight the consequences of such diets that eliminate one or more food groups. PD is powerful at advancing weight reduction for the time being but its efficacy in cardiovascular events is not well established as limited long-term data is available.”
Mediterranean Diet: “No evidence of adverse effects associated with MD is available in the literature. Rather, MD has preventive and therapeutic potential for many chronic diseases. It is highly suitable for the general public for the prevention of micronutrient deficiencies and specifically for those patients who are more health-conscious than just weight loss oriented.”
Vegetarian Diet: “No evidence of adverse effects associated with MD is available in the literature. Rather, MD has preventive and therapeutic potential for many chronic diseases. It is highly suitable for the general public for the prevention of micronutrient deficiencies and specifically for those patients who are more health-conscious than just weight loss oriented.”
Intermittent Fasting: “Despite the effectiveness of IF in weight loss as indicated by several studies, the current evidence is non-conclusive. The prime focus of available literature is weight loss but little is known about its sustainability and long-term health effects. More long-term trials should be conducted to draw a clear conclusion.”
Detox Diets: “Energy-restricted DDs are capable of short-term weight loss. But still, there is a high likelihood of health risks from detox products because of their nutritional inadequacy. As no convincing evidence exists in this domain so such diets and products need to be discouraged by health professionals and must be subjected to regulatory review and monitoring.”
Ketogenic Diet: difficult to summarize.
Steve Parker, M.D.
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