The statistics are sobering. The typical American diet far exceeds the daily recommended intake levels in calories from sugars and solid fats, sodium, refined grains, and saturated fat. It is also lacking in the recommended amounts of fruits, vegetables, dairy, whole grains, and oils. The result is obesity and experts project that by 2030, in the United States alone, half of all adults will be obese.
That’s when people start dieting – and that is what gets them into trouble.
Diet vs. Lifestyle Change
Bottom line, diets are temporary. There are some serious consequences that can come from dieting, especially fad or crash diets. The effects of these types of diets can also seriously impact your chiropractic care, hindering your progress.
Also, because diets are temporary, once you return to your regular eating habits the weight usually comes back.
A lifestyle change is a far better choice. It involves making smart, healthy eating choices – choices that you maintain for the rest of your life. This also impacts your chiropractic care by strengthening your body and keeping it healthy so that it is in an optimal state for healing and responds well to treatment.
Types of Diets
There are all sorts of diets out there. Some are blatantly unhealthy but others are sneaky. They come with claims of being healthy, of being created or endorsed by doctors, or include tons of vitamin supplements but very limited food intake. It is important to be able to spot these destructive fad diets so you don’t get suckered into their hype.
Some of the most common types of fad diets include high protein, low or no carb, liquid, cabbage, grapefruit, broth or juice, and food combining. Some of these can cause serious health problems including vital organ damage. Others can cause vitamin deficiencies and dehydration. None of them can (or should) be maintained over a long period of time, much less the rest of your life.
The Dangers of Diets
Unhealthy dieting can come with some pretty scary dangers. Because they typically omit key foods or food groups your body can become imbalanced. Some of the dangers of dieting include dehydration, fatigue, weakness, vitamin and mineral deficiency, headaches, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, mental fogginess, loss of muscle mass, organ damage, and even heart attack and stroke.
One popular diet restricts carbs, often cutting them out completely. This includes all whole grains (which have vital minerals and fiber) as well as many fruits and vegetables. The result is a diet that is mostly protein and fat.
While the dieter may lose some weight on this plan, it is at a great cost. The extremely high intake of protein which exceeds the levels that the body should have can cause liver and kidney failure. The omission of vital grains, fruits, and vegetables can lead to serious vitamin deficiencies while the increased fat intake can lead to heart attack and stroke.
If a diet eliminates any of the key foods (lean meats, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables), it advocates losing more than 2 or 3 pounds a week, or it restricts caloric intake to less than 1,200 calories a day it is potentially unhealthy and should only be done 1) under a doctor’s close supervision, and 2) on a very temporary basis.
Healthy Eating is a Lifestyle
When you make the life changing commitment to adopt a healthy eating lifestyle you open yourself up to a world of better health, more energy, and better focus. Your body will heal faster and you will feel better.
A diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fresh fish, and whole grains, along with lots of water should become a way of life. It is far healthier than the temporary diets that are out there and more effective too.
If you or a loved one need additional dietary guidance, give us a call. Our Doctor of Chiropractic is here to help!