5 diets you should avoid, according to a dietitian


Each and every day there are new diets being marketed and actively promoted across all media outlets. It’s obvious why so many people are confused with what they should and should not be eating? Generally speaking, most diets work if they are closely followed, but if you take a closer look at some diets, it becomes apparent that there are some that are likely to be doing more harm than good.

Here are the diets for me that stand out as the ones to best avoid.

1. Lemon Detox Diet

Popular for a number of years now, as the name states the lemon detox diet requires dieters to eliminate all food from their diet and instead replace it with a lemon, syrup mixture which dieters drink multiple times each day.

Basically a starvation diet, the diet is extremely low in calories overall but does contain some sugars, which offer a constant supply of glucose for the brain and the liver.

Deficient in all the key nutrients – and even dangerous for those with hormonal conditions such as insulin resistance and diabetes – there is nothing positive that can be said for this diet, especially since you are likely to regain most of the weight you lose as soon as you return to eating normal food.

2. Juice Fasts

Often referred to as a ‘cleanse’, juice diets work in a similar way to that of the lemon detox diet with slightly more sugar and calories. When you drink nothing except vegetable and fruit juices, your calorie intake is significantly reduced and you are basically running off the sugar found in juices. Long term juice diets are deficient in protein, fats, vitamins and minerals, and again, any weight you lose is likely to be regained once you eat regular food again.

3. Whole30

The Whole30 is an elimination based diet that bans a number of foods including dairy, grains, legumes, alcohol and sugars for 30 days straight.

While it is relatively easy to follow, there is nothing overly scientific about this diet – any diet that eliminates whole food groups is likely to result in weight loss, simply because you are eating less. And is the case with most diets, once you eat the foods you are not supposed to eat, you are likely to regain any weight lost.

4. Alkaline Diet

As promoted by Elle Macpherson, the Alkaline Diet suggests that alkalizing foods with minimal acid forming foods help to restore the body to an alkaline state. Acid forming foods include meat, rice, pasta, bread, cheese, soft drink, alcohol, coffee and sugar, while alkalizing foods include most fruits, veggies, nuts and herbal tea. To achieve an alkaline state, a ratio of 80 per cent alkalizing foods to just 20 per cent acid forming foods is suggested. It is believed by followers that an alkaline body is the key to new cell generation and disease prevention.

While this may sound fantastic, the reality is that the pH of the body is largely out of our control. While the food we consume orally has the ability to affect our urinary pH, the physiological reality is that the body has an unwavering ability to maintain a steady pH in the bloodstream no matter what foods we consume. This means even if The Alkaline Diet works for you, it is not working in the way it claims to be.

5. The Blood Type Diet

Popular a few years back, the Blood Type Diet argues that different foods react with different types of blood causing a series of reactions in the body that are detrimental to health. Despite the interest in this diet, there is not a scrap of scientific evidence to support this diet which means you should save both your time and money and avoid this one completely.

Susie Burrell is a nutritionist. Continue the conversation on Twitter @SusieBDiet.