Keto. Paleo. Flexitarian. Pegan.
If you just made a resolution to stick to one of the hot new diets out there, good for you. Examining your eating choices is a smart way to recharge your health and fitness goals. Just remember that there are some common stumbling blocks inherent in many of these trendy new diets that health experts warn you to be on the look out for. Otherwise there is a good chance your popular new diet will disappoint you and leave you searching for another magic diet bullet by spring. Here are three hidden dangers to consider.
Don’t freak out about protein
The Internet has recently been obsessed with whether most of us get enough protein. But, as US News notes, it’s fairly easy to get all the macronutrients you need on even on a plant-based diet. A serving of vegetables like tomatoes, peppers and onions is actually 25 percent protein. Quinoa contains 18 percent protein and beans as much as 27 percent protein. Heck, even dark leafy greens average 35 to 50 percent protein. If you are concerned about getting enough protein while trying to eat more plants, you can also try tossing some chickpeas atop your salad for a little extra boost.
Remember portion control
Just because you are all jazzed about eating no carbs or all organic or no gluten or whatever, remember that pigging out on healthy food can also make you fat. Some foods may have far calories than you realize. So don’t eat the whole cake just because it’s gluten-free.
“People get caught up on going gluten-free, organic, low-sugar or whatever but then totally disregard portions, which can lead to significant weight gain over time,” said Lisa Young, a registered dietitian nutritionist and author of “Finally Full, Finally Slim: 30 Days to Permanent Weight Loss One Portion at a Time,” as CNN reported.
Beware the low-fat label
Many foods with low-fat or similar claims may have not only more sugar but more artificial ingredients, preservatives, salt and calories than the full-fat versions, as CNN cites. For example, low-fat ice cream dressing may sound like a win-win, but it may well have more sugar than the full-fat kind. As one study reported, people often binge on foods that are labeled “low fat.” In fact, “the mere mention of low fat significantly decreased the perceived calorie content and the anticipated consumption guilt, resulting in a larger perceived appropriate serving size.” Remember the wolf in sheep’s clothing?