My last post was on the three best diets, according to US News. Now for the three worst:

• Keto Diet
• Dukan Diet
• Whole30 Diet

Keto has a certain “ick” factor here. You’re sent into ketosis – where the body burns fat for calories instead of the preferred glucose. You burn fat because that’s most of what you’re eating – about 70% of your calories are from fat (the saturated coconut oil at left is fine on this diet).

Of course, ketosis is NEVER a desirable state for the body. It’s what your body does to adapt to long-term starvation mode. This diet isn’t adequate, it shuns most carbs and the amount of carbs it allows is pitifully small.  Nutrient-loaded foods like fruit, grains, beans – all banned. Don’t even consider a sweet potato. I know of no health professional who would recommend this diet.

Dukan hooks you with its all-you-can-eat of lean protein foods – very alluring. It’s also complicated with its five stages and it’s still no nutritionally adequate. Uh, and there’s no independent research on it either. Just claims.

Whole30 is a big seller – it’s been # 1 on Amazon at times. It seems to imply that the majority of your health issues, everything from mood to infertility, is a result of diet. Evidence is based on “science and experience.” Note: any diet that is only 30 days long is telling you it’s not designed for forever. Forget it.

These diets bug me because they have several things in common that are horrible for dieters:
They’re sensational and gimmicky: Foods, even food groups, are forbidden and demonized. There’s always a fear factor because fear is motivating. Sorry, this doesn’t work in the long run. No one argues that it’s best to minimize
Magic bullet factor: Fast and furious results are promised: Fast weight loss doesn’t mean fast fat loss. Never does.
Promises, promises: Eat this way and you’ll be cured of what ails you. You’ve been victimized by your eating habits. Eating our way will rid your body of toxins.
They’re not balanced! A diet – even for weight loss, should be balanced, because an unbalanced diet can’t be a healthy diet.  Any diet that says, or implies, you should never eat a particular food is out of touch with real life. This IS language that sells books however.
Interesting: The above are also the types of factors that hook people on anything: extreme changes, big promises, fast results. These diets all claim that people are “hooked” by certain foods like sweets or refined carbs. To fix it all, they require you to follow rigid limits, not deviate, and they make ridiculous promises about your health.

Bottom line:
• Keto? KeNO.
• Dukan? DuNOT.
• Whole30? WholeZERO.

Sensationalism sells. Inducing “food-fear” sells. Demonizing food sells. But you’ll never balance your diet with an unbalanced diet.

There’s no quick-fix out there, but there are GOOD diets: DASH, Mediterranean, Flexitarian have some great attributes:

• All are balanced, reasonable, affordable.
• These are eating styles you can keep forever, whether you’re trying to lose weight or just eat better.
• They’re family-friendly, a huge plus.
• They have good science behind them.

They’re not sensational, they’re the best, so go for the BEST, not the worst. And be patient. Slow and steady beats fast and furious.