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Eating Healthy Foods for Long Term Investment Versus Fad Diets

Mother Nature intended for humans to eat from the buffet tables of the land and sea. Proteins, carbohydrates, fats, sugar, are all valuable and necessary to a well-balanced diet. They do not exist in nature on the sides of cardboard boxes but in vegetables, fruits, fish, nuts, seeds, grains, and a multitude of other whole foods.

The best diet is no diet at all. Eating in moderation a variety of good for you foods, three times a day, with plenty of water and exercise is key to having a long and happy life. However, eating a healthy diet is a challenge in today’s society where fast food, prepackaged meals and microwaves are the main staples of the Western Diet. Even when trying to eat healthy, due to pollution, pesticides, and poor soil quality, getting the proper amount of nutrients is hard enough even if one is shopping only the outer aisles of the grocery store and taking multivitamins.

One can understand the ease and the lure of a fad diet. Promising to drop a dress size in two weeks or reverse years of free radical damage is almost as bliss filled as summoning a fairy godmother ten minutes before the ball or discovering Aladdin’s lamp. Most are even easy, just take a pill or eat a cookie between meals. Who can resist that?

Fad diets are called fads because they come and go. While jumping on the latest band wagon may sound good and jump-start your health or weight loss, most fad diets are not designed for long term living. Severely cutting calories, eating only green foods or exclusively drinking acai berry juice can deprive the body of other much needed vitamins and minerals.

Yes, these diets may be a quick fix to shedding unwanted pounds but long term they opens the door to yo-yo dieting. Not only does the person gain back the unwanted pounds, they now add additional weight. Restricting calories forces our bodies to slow down and store the food it receives instead of using it for fuel. Muscle tissue breaks down. Fatigue sets in, daily activities suffer and the body works harder to complete its tasks. This opens the gateway to more health related problems. Fad diets also tend to promote certain types of foods. A high protein diet with little or no complex carbohydrates can lead to high cholesterol. A dairy free diet will eventually lead to a calcium deficit and possibly osteopenia in later years.

When the low-fat fad hit the mainstream and companies realized the implication of marketing foods as low fat and better for you, new health problems emerged. Sugar content in low fat foods is generally higher than their fat filled counterparts but being labeled fat free gave rise to people eating more, not less.

Bottom line, losing weight is best done slowly with proper nutrition and exercise. It is not glamorous. It takes time and sweat equity, but the long term results for your body, spirit and mind will be well worth the wait.