Sunday, March 27, 2022

Fast & furious: Why crash diets may do more harm than good – Times of India

New Delhi: Legendary cricketer Shane Warne, who passed away suddenly due to “natural causes”, was on an extreme diet. Days before his death, Warne tweeted an old photo, saying, “The goal by July is to get back to this shape from a few years ago.”
While it is not clear if the liquid diet he was reportedly on is linked to his sudden death, doctors do warn about the health risks that come with lose-weight-quick diets. There are a variety of dieting plans. Of them, the Keto diet and intermittent fasting are the most popular these days, say nutritionists.
Keto aims to achieve weight reduction through a drastic cut in food containing carbs or carbohydrates, for example sugar, aerated drinks, wheat, rice and potato, among others. Intermittent fasting, on the other hand, promises to help reduce by following an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating.
“There are many sub-variants of these popular diets also. Intermittent fasting, for example, can include limiting intake of foods and calorie-containing beverages to a set window of eight hours per day or, in some cases, one can be advised to eat normally for five days per week and then restricting calorie intake to 500-600 calories on the other two days,” said Dr Ishi Khosla, clinical nutritionist and founder of Celiac Society of India. “Many are also turning vegan and to gluten-free diets for health reasons,” she added.
The liquid diet Warne was on is more popular in foreign countries and among the celebrities, said another nutritionist. According to Dr Khosla, crash diets can lead to long-term nutritional deficiencies including proteins, vitamins, minerals and electrolytes.
“Anaemia and osteoporosis are common among chronic dieters. These are manifested in fatigue, low energy, moods and depression. Digestive disorders are very common in people who follow such diets, including constipation and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or acid reflux. In some cases, sudden death due to arrhythmias and chronic inflammation are also possible. Magnesium deficiency can lead to serious cardiac events,” she said.
The crash diets may provide short-term results, but they are difficult to sustain and, ultimately, deprive a person of the essential nutrients that only balanced eating can offer, said Mukta Vashisth, chief dietician at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.
“Diet plans need to be individualised. Pre-programme tests should be done before starting these plans. Also, medical supervision is a must,” said Dr Satish Koul, director of internal medicine, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurgaon.

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