Diets debunked

There are so many different diets out there it is difficult to know if you are on the right one,

And some of you may be tempted to cop and change looking for better/faster results, so what is the truth about the eating plans out there

Intermittent Fasting

Made popular by?

It is believed our ancestors at times went through periods of fasting when food was scarce; a version of this sort of plan 5:2 diet became popular after it was shown on a BBC2 documentary “Eat, Fast & Live Longer.”

Claims

The premise is that when we intermittently fast, our body goes into repair mode and slows down, causing beneficial changes at the cellular level, these are reported to include an increase in insulin sensitivity sand improvement in cellular repair. The idea is that can help people lose weight reduce the progression towards age related diseases such as cancer and even add years to your life. Claims that this is the preferred method used by the NHS are completely false!

Evidence

Much of the research is still in its early stages and most of the studies have been carried out on animals, the “CALERIE” study which is being carried out in American is the first major human randomised and controlled trail looking at the proposed long term benefits such as longer lifespan and rates of cancers. We know this happens in rats and other mammals but until these trails are completed we have no idea how it well translate into humans.

The Alkaline Diet

Made popular by?

This diet was made popular here in the U.K by Victoria Beckham as well as other celebrities such as Elle Macpherson and Gwyneth Paltrow; it came from the work of Dr Robert O’ Young, who published several books on the subject. (Note Dr. O’Young was jailed in 2017 for illegally treating people at his ranch without scientific training)

Claims

When you metabolise food it creates waste. These reaming chemical can either be acid or alkaline and are often referred to as “ash”. The acid/alkaline theory of disease, which the alkaline diet is based round claims this “ash”, can have a direct effect on your health, acidic ash being, disease causing and alkaline ash health promoting.

This method has been widely criticised for being flawed. Your bodies inbuilt regulatory system (lungs & Kidneys) keep your blood ph level very tightly controlled and it isn’t possible to change this with diet. The only thing you can change is the Ph level of your urine, which is what draws people into this diet.

Claims include prevention of weakening bones, protecting your heart, even curing depression, as well as prevention of cancer.

Evidence

There have been a number of reviews into the Alkaline Diet and whether current evidence supports its claims, Currently there is no evidence to support claims made by the Alkaline Diet is an effective treatment or useful for any of the mentioned claims.

The Meat Only Diet

Made popular by?

Mikhalia Peterson and her dad (A clinical psychologist,) Also Shawn Baker a former orthopaedic surgeon.

Claims

This diet shot into the public domain when Mikhalia put her dad on the program, (he had somewhat controversial views.) She has claimed the diet cured her from serve arthritis, chronic fatigue depression and may many other symptoms that she was previously experiencing.

Evidence

There are many anecdotal claims from people who say the diet has worked wonders but there are been no observational studies or controlled trails, so there is no evidence to support any of its claims.

The Juice Plus Diet.

Made popular by?

Multi level marketing schemes, these tablets are often sold by people you know or who already take them

Claims

The supplements are made from the juices of 30 dried fruits and vegetables. Although the company stated on its website that these tables are not intended to replace fruit and vegetables, it is claimed they can improve your intake of nutrients that benefit your heart health, reduce stress and chronic inflammation, and improve immune function, skin and even dental health.

Evidence

The company links to a lot of industry sponsored research on its website, which supports its claims to increase your nutrients; however none of the research has been carried out by independent companies producing scientific results.

The Keto Diet.

Made popular by?

This is a medical diet, often prescribed for children with epilepsy condition that doesn’t respond to medication.

More recently it has become a popular diet in the fitness industry for fat loss and as a potential treatment for people with type 2 diabetes

Claims

Reducing your carbohydrate intake into a very low level puts your body into ketosis, A metabolic state where you burn fat as your main source of fuel. The exact reason why this is helpful for people with epilepsy is poorly understood. However, proponents of this diet claim the subsequent reductions in insulin have health benefits, including management of type 2 diabetes and better metabolic health.

Evidence

A ketogenic diet can reduce seizures in children with epilepsy. A recent very well conducted, randomised controlled triall also showed that it is a very effective way of managing type 2 Diabetes. However this diet is extremely hard to follow and even in study situations with lots of support people find it difficult to stick to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Claire Edwards