Just like fashion and make-up, diets also go through their own trends.
In the late 90s, liquid diets were a popular fad. Those concerned with their weight and size started to juice their foods and heavily consume soups.
Then, when the general public started to understand the surface level of nutrition, it was about low-fat and low-calorie foods.
In the early 2000s, certain celebrities would go on miracle diets such as “the grapefruit diet” or “cabbage diet”. This quickly tempted celebrities’ fans for a dramatic transformation.
How about the low-carb and high protein diet trend that has been receiving a good amount of attention the last few years? This trend resulted in many people starting to demonize carbohydrates.
It seems to me that the chase to find the perfect diet is never ending. Sometimes, even the professionals get tricked by fad diets that are poorly studied. These fads quickly get replaced with future trends that can create vicious cycles where people are forever incapable of discovering what a healthy and sustainable diet really means.
When we step back and analyze what remains constant and timeless in the field of nutrition, it appears to be these fundamentals:
1. Your diet has to be sustainable enough for you to successfully commit to it long term.
2. You should consider the impact your diet has on the environment (i.e. local, seasonal, whole foods derived from ethical farming practices).
3. Your diet should contain appropriate amounts of energy, in terms of calories.
4. It should be rich in essential micronutrients.
5. Your diet should feel nourishing and enjoyable on your palette.
Labels are used for convenience in communication. However, it can be detrimental when we strictly stick to them in our diets. Discovering the right diet for you and your unique physiology admittedly requires a process of trial and error, however, a good place to start is one that ticks all of the above boxes.
Remember, diet is personal so there is no need to be strict with a diet simply because it has created transformative results for another person or because it is popular by the masses. In the end, trends come and go. However, a diet built on fundamentals will be here to stay.