How to spot the red flag of diet

How to spot the red flag of diet

While many people at some point think about which diet is best for them, many of us don’t think much about the potential downsides of different eating regimens, says Lisa D. Ellis, a registered dietitian with private practice in Manhattan. and White Plains, New York. She is also a registered dietitian in eating disorders and a licensed clinical social worker.

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“Diets are such a common part of our culture that a lot of people tend not to think much about the downside of a potential diet,” she says. “Dieters may be less aware of potential red flags because they are intrigued by the hopeful claims made by proponents of some diets. As a dietitian and nutrition therapist, my priority is for people to follow a balanced diet, and to maintain a healthy relationship with food.”

What does the red flag mean?

In the context of diet, a red flag is an aspect of a meal plan that indicates that you should stay away from them for any number of reasons – whether they are unhealthy, lack proper nutrition, are unlikely to be sustainable in the long term, or may harm your health in some way. What.

Amanda Soseda, a registered dietitian in Long Beach, California, says some people don’t recognize diet red flags because no one is talking about them. “I think we’re now starting to see a shift in the conversation around food and eating,” she says. This makes it easier for people to obtain the information they need to make informed decisions about their health. People are starting to see that there is no one eating style that works for everyone.”

whether your goal Weight lossavoid or manage diabeticTo improve cardiovascular health or a combination of these, it is important to be aware of potential diet indications.

Top Red Diet Flags

When you choose a diet to fit your lifestyle, here are 13 red flags to watch out for:


Diet meal plans are usually designed to work with a variety of people, without promises of an accurate result. “If the meal plan promises you a very specific outcome, such as losing 30 pounds in 30 days, you should run,” Soseda says. “You can’t guarantee that your body will look or even feel differently (after dieting for a set amount of time). Everyone is different.”


Sandra Arevalo, registered dietitian and director of community health and wellness at Montefiore Nyack Hospital In Nyack, New York. “However, it is not healthy because it can cause fatigue, dizziness, malnutrition and/or nutrient deficiencies, among many other symptoms.” Stalled diets can’t be sustained at all, and people tend to give them up after a few weeks or months, to regain lost weight. This results in weight cycling, or frequent fluctuations in weight, which in itself may be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.


If a meal plan makes you feel bad about yourself, Soseda says, “that’s a big red flag.” “If a meal plan focuses on all the ‘bad’ things you normally eat as a way to accentuate their plan, get rid of that meal plan. That’s a double red flag if the meal plan is also low in calories. Food isn’t good or bad, it is, and your relationship with food matters.” Meal plans should be a tool to help you make healthy changes.”

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When it comes to sustainable weight loss, there is no quick fix for the Silver Solution, says Anthony DiMarino, registered dietitian with Cleveland Clinic Human Nutrition Center. “There is no single product or plan that will (sustainably) provide rapid weight loss or a quick fix,” he says. Weight status is affected by many factors and there is nothing simple about it. Any type of quick fix tends to be unsustainable over time. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Sustainable weight loss will happen slowly over a period. a long time.”


It takes years to research diets and weight-loss products, DiMarino says. Scientific discoveries are very rare. Additionally, products and diets that show promising results may gain some publicity before they hit the shelves,” he says. Therefore, “scientific breakthroughs” tend to be a misnomer. Most diet plans use these claims to get your attention and usually because There is no official research supporting it.”


healthy food plans You should be able to cover all of your nutritional requirements without having to purchase any supplements, cleansers, drops or pills.

“Foods are the main sources of all the nutrients, fiber, and water we need,” Arevalo says. “When you follow a balanced meal plan, you will be able to cleanse, hydrate, and achieve your weight goals with just food.”


“Each food group or food group provides a set of nutrients that are essential to our health,” Arevalo says. When you cut out multiple food groups and only emphasize a narrow group of foods in your diet, you may end up deficient in some nutrients while facing health risks associated with excessive consumption of other foods.

For example, “There are meal plans that call for avoiding carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the main source of calories in our diet. If we don’t eat carbohydrates, our bodies will have to use other nutrients, including protein, to produce energy, which is not optimal and can cause Health problems.


If your meal plan focuses on rotating only a handful of foods, that’s a red flag. “This also applies when foods are ‘healthy’ because one of the cornerstones of a solid way of eating is variety,” Socida says. “Diversity is important because no single food will give you all the nutrition your body needs. You want to make sure it includes all of the food groups and contains a variety of foods within each food group. In addition, variety supports a A healthy gut microbiome In addition to public health.


DiMarino says some celebrities stay in the news because they always seem to be bogged down in this or that controversy. “They have become and remain popular because they cause a stir. Weight-loss companies take advantage of this concept,” he says. “They know that customers will flock to their sites if a celebrity endorses their products. Unfortunately, many celebrities do not have any training or credibility to endorse such products or plans. If a famous person endorses a particular product they have no experience with, I recommend you look elsewhere.”


If the diet requires you to buy everything you eat, shakes and snacks from the company that markets the meal plan, that’s a red flag, says Lara Metz, a registered dietitian based in New York City. “What if you don’t have access to their products? What if you don’t care about the taste or they don’t agree with you?”


Food is for fuel and fun. “Where’s the fun if you’re always eating differently than your family or friends?” Metz says. “Diets can be highly restrictive as you feel limited and unable to participate in shared meals, celebrations, or anything as simple as family dinners is a red flag.”


Extremely restrictive diets that require so specific ingredients and preparation that they cause anxiety about eating in a restaurant is a red flag. “This anxiety and restrictive behavior may cause an unhealthy relationship with food and will not lead to long-term success,” Metz says.


Ellis says that some diets call on followers to eat only certain foods and restrict others to a set amount of days, then alternate them with a different set of restrictions for another set amount of days. “Restrictive diets are red flags,” says Ellis. “Time-limited diets are red flags, time-limited diets are red flags. Three red flags in one diet type is impressive.”

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