The Dangers of Diets

By Amelia Lipcsei

Diets have become a mainstream phenomenon in society. All over the world, brands and influencers advocate for different food restrictions that supposedly benefit the health of the human body. However, the regulation of certain, important nutrients in most diets can lead to dire health consequences. Keto and veganism, both popular diets, inhibit the intake of vitamins, proteins, and minerals that the body requires. 

A low carb and high fat diet, keto focuses on the consumption of eggs, meats, cheeses, nuts, butter, oils, and high-fiber vegetables, while cutting out breads, pasta, sugar, rice, oats, and fruits. With the absurd depletion of carbohydrates, the blood sugar in the human body drops and initiates a process called ketosis; the body begins to break down fat to use as energy. Ketosis can lead to major health issues, as described by Dr. Rutkowski, a Maryland Primary Care Physician, “Once your body enters ketosis, you also begin to lose muscle, become fatigued, and eventually enter starvation mode.” Even worse, long term effects include the development of kidney stones, osteoporosis, and liver disease. 

Another well-known diet, veganism, also comes with negative side-effects. Based around the exclusion of any food that comes from an animal, veganism often forces individuals to buy “replacement” foods, such as fake meat and dairy-free “dairy” products. A plant-based alternative to actual meat and made from the soy or pea protein isolate, fake meat continues to gain popularity amongst the vegan population. Nonetheless, health wise, fake meat remains subpar. The ultra processing of its ingredients can cause the human body to function improperly. Designed to eat natural plants and foods, the immune system may renounce the factory-processed product. Fake meats’ formulation also provides little to no vitamins or minerals, making the consumption of the factory-created food unnecessary. Likewise, substitute dairy products such as soy milk or almond milk offer little nutritional value, while also remaining heavily processed. Overall, the food combination that veganism promotes may cause an increased risk of anemia, vitamin deficiencies, and even mental-health issues due to low omega-3 fatty acid intake. 

Although some diets have proven themselves beneficial to human health, diets that restrict the consumption of nutritional foods necessary for survival can produce a variety of negative health consequences. To stay in good condition, individuals should fuel their bodies with foods that have an abundance of important vitamins and minerals; vitamins B and C, Calcium, and Magnesium all bring major benefits to the immune system. Nonetheless, foods should never be viewed as “unhealthy.” In moderation, donuts, cakes, and other sweets still fuel our bodies and will never truly harm us long-term. Eat what makes you happy!