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New Year’s diets: Nutritionist warns of shocking side effects

Following fad diets may do you more harm than good

Sabrina Barr
Friday 05 January 2018 16:30 GMT
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A nutritionist has warned of the potential dangers of committing to New Year’s diets.

After the jubilation and celebration of the Christmas period, there comes a time at the beginning of January when a number of people start pledging to go on weight loss plans.

Deciding to lead a healthier lifestyle can be extremely beneficial for your overall wellbeing. However, it turns out many “quick-fix” diets that people choose to adopt aren’t as safe as they may initially seem.

Nutritionist Lily Soutter wants to enlighten people about the potential risks that lay ahead if you decide to give a fad diet or dietary product a go.

Putting your faith in dietary products without being fully aware of the possible side effects could lead to a multitude of health issues.

Flat tummy teas

Flat tummy teas and teatoxes have become extremely popular as of late, especially due to increased endorsement by celebrities on social media platforms such as Instagram.

“Flat Tummy Tea provides a range of herbal teas which claim to boost metabolism, cleanse your digestive tract and reduce bloating,” Soutter explains.

“Not only is there no conclusive evidence to back up these health claims, a common ingredient called senna is used within the teas and acts as a laxative.

“Senna can irritate the stomach lining and can cause cramps and diarrhoea.”

Consuming senna can be especially harmful for people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, as it can make their symptoms even worse.

Weight loss tablets

Products such as Slim Fizz, an evanescent “appetite suppressant” tablet, and fat metaboliser pills can also pose certain health risks.

Slim Fizz can drastically affect your body’s blood sugar levels.

Meanwhile, fat metaboliser pills containing stimulants such as caffeine, guarana and yerba mate can increase your likelihood of experiencing a heart attack or stroke.

Detox diets

Soutter also advises for people to tread with caution if considering diets such as the ketogenic diet or certain “detox” diets.

“The ketogenic diet involves a very low-carb and high-fat intake sharing similarities with the Atkins diet,” she says.

“Carbohydrates provide a large amount of the fibre within our diet, which is why digestion can suffer when following a ketogenic diet.

“It’s not uncommon for chronic constipation to be a side effect and research has even seen changes in our gut bacteria.”

Soutter claims that there is no actual scientific evidence that human beings need to detox in order to rid their bodies of toxins, as our liver and kidneys do that already.

Additionally, promoting detox diets can trigger eating disorders and encourage people to have unhealthy relationships with the food they eat on a daily basis.

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