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diet trends and diet fads
Dec 30, 2016 OHIOHEALTH
The Columbus Guide to Diets, Trends and Fads

OhioHealth nutritionists and trainers dish on the merits of trends, diets and fads

Wondering what’s worth trying and what’s best to skip? To save you time, we asked the experts at OhioHealth.

Trends to Try

Higher Protein, Lower Carbohydrate Diet

Recommended by: Brittany Smith, RD, LD, McConnell Heart Health Center

Why you should try it: “Eating more protein helps to promote quicker satiety, or the feeling of ‘fullness’ after a meal or snack. In turn, people tend to end up eating fewer calories when protein is included, thus helping with weight loss. There are many health benefits that go on inside the body, as well, such as lower triglyceride levels, an increase in ‘good’ cholesterol, and better control of blood sugar and blood pressure. Some low-carbohydrate substitutions to try include swapping out the bread that is holding your sandwich together for a lettuce wrap, or trying zucchini noodles in place of traditional pasta noodles!”

Wearable Technology

Recommended by: Laura Leach, clinical exercise physiologist, McConnell Heart Health Center

Why you should try it: “I know this sounds bland and uninteresting, but to me, it is a great way to just MOVE. People always have an excuse not to do a certain kind of workout and some of the time the excuse is legitimate — like injury or capability. There is no excuse for not moving in some way and keeping track of what you do.”

Recommended by: Erica Roessler, clinical exercise physiologist, McConnell Heart Health Center

Why you should try it: “Wearable technology has been mentioned in pretty much everything I’ve read, and you see everyone wearing Fitbits, pedometers, etc. There also seems to be a shift to getting people to just move, like Laura mentioned, which is always encouraged by tracking. Plus, everything is technologically based these days so most people enjoy seeing their results. I know for myself it’s a great motivator.”

Bodyweight Training (e.g., TRX, home videos)

Recommended by: Erica Roessler, clinical exercise physiologist, McConnell Heart Health Center

Why you should try it: “I think if more people could realize all of the possibilities and that you don’t have to spend forever in a gym to exercise then it might be more appealing to those who don’t always have time or remain as dedicated.”

Mediterranean Diet

Recommended by: Jessica VanCleave, dietitian, Grant Health and Fitness Center

Why you should try it: “Don’t let the word ‘diet’ scare you. The Mediterranean diet is more of a healthy lifestyle plan than diet. In fact, this type of eating pattern was recently included in the Dietary Guidelines update as an appropriate diet plan. It is similar to the regular healthy eating guidelines but is more plant-based, with an emphasis on seafood instead of poultry, beef and pork — and less dairy. It also encourages olive oil, nuts, seeds and other heart-healthy fats. Why this diet? The Mediterranean diet has been shown beneficial in reducing heart disease and the risks of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s.”

Working with an Educated Fitness Professional

Recommended by: Jason Fox, exercise physiologist, Grant Health and Fitness Center

Why you should try it: “Working with an educated, certified and experienced fitness professional can help fitness enthusiasts establish goals and a long-term fitness plan. A professional will help the client work safely and effectively to accomplish their goals.”

Trends to skip

Detox and Cleanse Diets

Advised to skip it by: Brittany Smith, RD, LD, McConnell Heart Health Center

Why you should skip it: “It sounds like a great idea to detoxify and cleanse your body, but are these ‘juice’ diets and very restrictive diets actually a good idea? Short term, maybe, but long term, you may be at risk for nutritional deficiencies. When you restrict your diet to just a few select foods, or live off of some sort of juice concoction, you are likely missing out on many necessary vitamins and minerals. Our body is also already equipped with its own detoxification system, which is made up predominantly of our kidneys and liver. Therefore, our body does a pretty good job of keeping itself clean all on its own!”

CrossFit

Advised to skip it by: Laura Leach, clinical exercise physiologist, McConnell Heart Health Center

Why you should skip it: “I have seen more injuries from that kind of training than anything else that I have ever seen and not to mention that constant repetitions can wear and tear on your joints over time. CrossFit is something to gradually work up to and even use sparingly but not on a regular basis, in my opinion.”

Advised to skip it by: Erica Roessler, clinical exercise physiologist, McConnell Heart Health Center

Why you should skip it: “I’ve had mixed feeling about for a while now. I think the concept is great in that it gets a lot of people to exercise. However, I don’t think each CrossFit location takes an appropriate approach. I’ve heard that some make new members go through training before they’re set free, which is great. Not all of them do this. I love boot camp-style classes, but I think the level of intensity that CrossFit pushes can be dangerous.”

Gluten-Free Diet

Advised to skip by: Jessica VanCleave, dietitian, Grant Health and Fitness Center

Why you should skip it: “A gluten-free diet is essential for people with celiac disease and can be beneficial for some other conditions. A gluten-free diet, however, is not recommended for the general population for weight loss. Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat barley and rye and helps foods maintain their shape. Gluten-free does not equal fewer calories or carbohydrates and can often be even higher [in those] than the regular versions. Avoidance of all things that contain gluten can also lead to deficiencies in certain nutrients like B vitamins and fiber.”

Staying in the Gym Longer than One Hour

Advised to skip by: Jason Fox, exercise physiologist, Grant Health and Fitness Center

Why you should skip it: “Unless you’re is training for a specific event, you usually don’t need to spend longer than 60 minutes in the gym. After 60 minutes, the body’s energy stores are depleted and need to be refueled. The body is also at an increased risk of injury in this fatigued state. Safe and effective workouts can be completed within 60 minutes.”

While some of these trends have been around for a while, they don’t show any sign of slowing down in 2017. Take it from the experts on which ones to try and which ones to skip.

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