Three Simple Tips to Avoid Unhealthy Diets
“I’m on a diet”. It’s a statement that’s as interesting as it is common. In one sense, it’s like saying “I breathe air”. Of course you’re on a diet, everyone’s on a diet just like everyone breathes air. We all eat, so we all have a diet of some sort.
But everyone understands that being ‘on a diet’ means you are trying to lose weight.
So how did a sentence that states the obvious come to refer to something that isn’t obvious? It’s because of how many people face the problem of being overweight. The vast majority of times that we talk about ‘diet’, it’s not to do with the food we eat each day, but about our abstinence from food.
But the shift in the meaning of the word ‘diet’ has a negative side effect. The primary focus of your diet should be your health. But the shift to ‘diet’ referring to abstinence and weight loss has resulted in many unhealthy ‘diets’. Diets that produce weight loss often do so at the expense of your overall health.
Three Ways to Avoid Unhealthy Diets
- Check Your Salt Consumption – Canadians eat far more salt than they should: average daily consumption is 3400 mg versus a recommended intake of only 1500 mg. Many ‘low calorie’ versions of packaged foods are higher in salt to help improve the flavor. Too much slat in a diet has been linked to strokes, high blood pressure and heart attacks.
- Limit Sugar and Sugar Substitutes – Weight loss dieters assume that they can eat larger quantities of foods that are sweetened ‘naturally’ or with artificial sweeteners. Many foods and drinks, like fruit juices, whose labels claim ‘no added sugar’, still contain high levels of sugar. High enough to take your daily consumption above recommended values. Artificial sweeteners are a good low-calorie or no-calorie substitute for sugar, but many have been linked to health risks of their own, including weight gain.
- Make Sure Your Diet is Balanced – Getting the proper nutrition is key to having a healthy diet. A balanced diet ensures you get your nutrition in the right proportion from the three sources of nutrients in your diet: fats, protein and carbohydrates. Many diets, like low-carb diets, can interfere with the balance in your diet. When that happens, even if you manage to lose weight, you put yourself at risk of other health problems due to lack of proper nutrition.
There are lots of mixed signals about what constitutes ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ diets for losing weight. Everyone has unique nutrition and energy requirements and a weight loss diet that works for one person may not work for someone else. It’s best to find an option that works for your body type, personal preferences and weight loss goals. The nutrition and weight loss counselors at your local Herbal One Centre are specialists in developing personal weight loss programs built on the basis of a healthy diet.