Millions of Aussies are falling for fad diets without adequate information or medical advice and putting their health on the line in the process.

Alarming new research has revealed that 67 per cent of us have gone gluten-free — cutting out wheat and grains — without even being diagnosed with an intolerance. And 65 per cent have dumped an entire food group without any kind of diagnosis.

TV presenter and Sydney GP Dr Sam Hay said fad diet followers were putting themselves at risk.

“The longer you stay on these ultra-restrictive diets the more your body will shut down really making you sick — you’re putting yourself into a starvation state,” he said.

“Kidney issues, liver issues, growth and development, it impacts all of it.

Dietitian Gabrielle Maston said consumers also needed to be careful of sneaky marketing and misleading labels which try to trick shoppers into buying junk snacks that masquerade as healthy choices.

“People get caught up with the hype of superfoods not realising that there are equally just as good fruit and vegetables.”

“I’m not a fan of fad diets. Instead of overhauling your diet completely, try to think about the little things that will have a big impact,” Ms Maston said.

Another dietitian and author of the 2018 Healthy Snack Bible – Amanda Clark – said food manufacturers often made a big deal of an ingredient, or lack of it, to infer a snack was healthier than it really was.

“Some snack bars are 100 per cent fruit, but that fruit can be stripped back to the fructose so there’s not much of the original fruit left,” she said.

Health-conscious Josh Dennis, 24, said he avoided buying anything branded as a “healthy snack”, instead opting for natural foods.

“There are good healthy snacks such as fruit and veggies,” he said.

Consumers should be mindful of sneaky packaging tactics often used by food manufacturers and rather opt for natural, fresh produce which can provide the same – if not more – nutritional value for less than a fraction of the cost.

Your Local Greengrocer advocates the consumption of fresh produce from your local fruit and veg shop because consumers can be sure that what they’re getting is both fresh and of the best quality, all while supporting local business against the might of the supermarket chains.

Original article by The Daily Telegraph


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