The content in this post may or may not contain affiliate links. For more information, see my Affiliate Info page.
Health fads come and go every year. Sometimes the fad will be a wholly new thing, something that someone came up with out of nowhere. Usually, however, these fads are just a newly tweaked version of something much older. Some fads have changed several times from their original version. Some are pretty similar to what they have always been. The purpose for most fads is weight loss, though some fads purport to be for overall health, to treat diseases, or to cure ailments.
The Keto Diet
The Keto diet has been used to treat epilepsy for millions of years, especially in children. There is documentation that the ancient Egyptians may have been the first to use this high-fat diet for medical care. Like other health fads, it has fallen in and out of favor over its long history. In the 1920s, it was again brought to the forefront as a treatment for epilepsy. At that time, it was discovered that it benefited people with diabetes as well as those who struggled to lose weight.
The Keto diet is certainly not for everyone, and it may be hard to stick to. It is a high-fat diet with low to moderate amounts of protein and very low carbohydrates. One of the biggest drawbacks to this type of diet is that it may hamper with your ability to think clearly. It may also impact your memory.
The human brain is fueled by burning carbs for fuel. If the carbs are not available, you could get brain fog. Other drawbacks include fatigue, mood changes and the risk of ketoacidosis, which is very serious. Modifying the diet plan and staying on the moderate side lessens these risks. Starting slowly may also minimize the negative side effects.
The Paleo Diet
Also called the Caveman Diet, the Paleo diet was made popular in the 1970s by a gastroenterologist who believed that people could become happier and healthier by eating like cave people did. The diet plan tends to focus on a narrow view of what the cavemen ate and calls for a focus on mainly meats, fish and some plants with very few grains. No dairy is allowed.
First, according to archeologists, the thinking surrounding the original diet plan was flawed. They argued that the diet is overly general and not representative of the many different cultures of ancient people. It also did not take in to account that there were various climates and regions that were inhabited by cavemen. Different areas would have offered different food sources and eating habits.
Second, this may be one of the more expensive types of eating plans and may not be right for everyone. It can also be inconvenient and difficult to stick to. Some of the really dedicated Paleo enthusiasts have come up with ways of eating certain modern foods in a “Paleo way.” This has led to a glut of unhealthy junk recipes that are actually worse for you than the foods they are substituting.
Homeopathy, the belief that the body could heal itself if given the right “push” to do so, has been around for centuries. Homeopathy was developed in 1796 and has had many spikes in popularity. Currently, 6 million people in the United States rely on homeopathy for a wide range of illnesses, from simple childhood illnesses to more serious diseases.
Every type of homeopathic treatment is tailored to a specific need and usually for just one person. Healers strongly believe that you should use as little outside medication as possible so that the body can do what it needs to do to heal itself. Most of these remedies are not heavily regulated by the government, so use these remedies with caution. Liquids, especially, may contain a higher concentration of alcohol than other, more conventional medicines of the same type.
Nearly every religion, cult, and social group has a ritual cleansing ceremony of one kind or another. Many of them use fasting to cleanse the body and spirit, sometimes for a few hours, and in some cases, for a few days at a time. In the 1990s, someone resurrected and tweaked an old, extreme health fad from the 1940s, and the “Master Cleanse” became a thing that everyone talked about. For three days, you did nothing but consume a mixture of lemon water, cayenne, and maple syrup to shed “amazing” amounts of weight in order to feel lighter, less bloated and energized like never before.
The newer cleanses are not this intense, and many of them do not advocate for full or long-term fasting at all.
Most cleanses promise to “detoxify” the body, which is medically unnecessary for most people. The human liver is in charge of dealing with toxins and does a pretty good job of that. When the liver is not working correctly, you have bigger issues than a few vanity pounds or fitting into a certain dress over the weekend.
Since some cleanses focus on drinking most of your calories, you are going to be going to the bathroom a lot more than usual. Most of the weight that you shed during this period will be water weight. Unfortunately, you can expect to gain it right back as soon as you resume your regular diet.
Juices plus a lack of solid food could also give you a serious case of diarrhea. If the cleanse is too long, that could lead to dehydration. An overabundance of produce all of a sudden could also mean constipation from too much fiber. Finally, that much juice could potentially raise your blood sugar.
What You Should Know About All Health Fads
Before you try any health fad, it is important that you consider the pros and cons and where you are getting your information. Make sure that you keep your own health in mind, especially if you have any medical conditions. Consult a doctor and try to play it safe. There will be a new fad to try in just a few weeks.
Did you enjoy this article? If so, check out more related content from KayBeth.com: