Diabetes and the Risk of Fad Diets
Plenty of popular gimmicks promise quick weight loss, but for people with diabetes, fad diets can be dangerous.
Weight Loss: Doing It Right
: They often blame particular hormones for weight gain, suggesting that food can change body chemistry.
Trendy diets also often tout or ban a particular food. And their advice is not in line with major health advisors like the American Heart Association, American Dietetic Association, or the Surgeon General.
If you are overweight and have type 2 diabetes, it's important to change bad habits that promote weight gain. Meneghini's keys to healthy weight loss: strive for a balanced diet and more physical activity. "Small changes over time will give you very good results."
And remember, a healthy diet does not exclude any of the five food groups -- grains, vegetables, fruits, milk, meat and beans, and oils -- ensuring you get essential vitamins, minerals, and protein. Because fad diets severely restrict major nutrients, they can lead to serious health problems later on.
"For some people, making note of the high-calorie junk food you've been eating, then stop eating it, is all you need to do," Meneghini tells WebMD.
This can include alcohol. "If you have diabetes, you have to be careful about alcohol," advises Gidus.
Gidus also recommends avoiding appetite suppressants. "Most people don't overeat because they're hungry. They eat for social and emotional reasons. They have bad habits."
The Bottom Line on Fad Diets
"If you're a diabetic, you need to be more savvy, more aware, and not fall into these fads," Gidus says. "They can be more damaging to your health than for the average healthy person."
As for Jared, the Subway Guy, "I think what he did was great, considering he did it on his own. He found a plan that worked for him," Gidus adds.
"Did he get enough calcium and vitamins? I don't know. But it was not terribly unhealthy -- vegetables, lean meats, bread. It's all about finding whatever will work for you. And when he lost all that weight, he reduced risk of life-threatening chronic diseases."