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Fighting the fads

Whether it’s the girl from Jersey Shore and her “cookie diet”, or the latest US Weekly, everywhere you look you’ll see or hear something about the latest diet trends. Usually these diets are extreme, unhealthy, and impossible to maintain. A diet labeled the “cookie diet” is not even worth considering—the very fact that it requires you to eat a “cookie” at every meal alone should raise some red flags and cause you to employ a little common sense.

The following diets are among the most popular of what could be considered by some as the “trendy diets.” These, however, unlike the “Cookie Diet” and the “Grapefruit Diet” have both substance and validity. If you can’t stay away from the trends and are dying try something new, your best approach is to incorporate the benefits of each of these diets into your everyday life in order to create and maintain a healthy, well-rounded, fad-free lifestyle.

The Raw Food Diet:

The premise:
Cooking foods at high heat (over 116 degrees) causes inflammation within the body and destroys enzymes that assist with digestion and nutrient absorption. Eating raw provides increased energy, improved digestion, reduced risk of heart disease, and better skin. Allotted food groups consist of raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grains.

How you can benefit:
Simply incorporate more raw fruits, vegetables, and nuts into your diet. Avoid always cooking your vegetables and try them raw with some healthy dip instead.

Try it for yourself:

Bliss Raw Café & Elixir Bar
6855 Greenville Ave.
Dallas, TX 75231

The Mediterranean Diet:

The premise:
One’s diet should consist primarily of “plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts.” Limiting red meat consumption to a few times per month, and replacing it with fish and poultry at least two times per week helps reduce the “risk of overall and cardiovascular mortality, a reduced incidence of cancer and cancer mortality, and a reduced incidence of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.”

How you can benefit:
Incorporate healthy, fresh fish into your diet at least two times per week, and limit the amount of red meat you eat. Assess the fats you currently intake and if necessary, switch to extra virgin olive oil or canola oil. Reduce the amount of salt you season with, and use herbs and spices instead.

Try it for yourself:
Fadi’s Mediterranean Grill
3001 Knox St. #110
Dallas, TX 75205

The Vegan Diet:

The premise:
Meats of any kind assist in the build up of toxins in the body in the form of pesticides, environmental pollutants, and preservatives, eventually leading to sickness (other reasons for avoiding meat are often based on personal convictions in conjunction with health). Eating a diet free of animal bi-products allows the body to function at its optimum level, minus all the toxin producing meats.

How you can benefit:
Try making 1-2 meatless meals per week by substituting protein rich tofu or tempeh products for your usual chicken breast or red meat. Another way to get meatless protein is through legumes, such as beans and lentils.

Try it for yourself:
Spiral Diner and Bakery
1101 N. Beckley Avenue
Dallas, TX 75203