The current environment around diet has turned into a pipeline to eating disorders around the country. Fad diets have been targeting people with body image issues with a goal of altering the body’s digestion and energy consumption processes for the goal of losing weight. By taking advantage of this vulnerable mindset many have found these fad diets as a savior. Down to the branding on grocery store shelves which are more often labeled as sugar free, low carb, fat free etc. By labeling certain essential nutrients as “bad” the diet industry has shamed people from obtaining essential vitamins and nutrients. 

The fact of the matter is that food is energy. Your body needs calories to give you energy and sustain brain function throughout the day. Foods low in fats or carbohydrates can be high in calories. “Empty calories” is a term commonly used to describe “bad” foods that are highly processed or high in carbohydrates with few nutrients. According to Medical News Today empty calorie foods include sugary foods, or foods high in processed oils. While this category of foods aren’t going to nourish your body the same as produce, granola and green tea, everyone is deserving of some potato chips and french fries as long as they don’t make up the majority of your diet.

Antioxidants are vitamins that prevent oxidations of cells and prevent cell damage due to free radicals in the body. Free radicals are often attributed to aging of cells and increased susceptibility to disease. Sources of free radicals include sunlight, smoking and drinking alcohol according to Medical News Today.  Antioxidants are found in vitamins C and E, carotenoid (yellow/ orange pigments),  flavonoid (Red foods like berries and red cabbage) , Phenol (found in many fruits), and liganin (Whole grains and legumes) according to Mayo Clinic. Although that may sound like a lot of chemicals, keep in mind that chemicals make up everything around you good or bad. 

Keto is a major perpetrator of influencing weight-minded people away from a healthy, balanced diet by loading your diet with fats and cutting all carbs and heavily restricting most fruits and vegetables. According to Medical News Today, the amount of fats and meat required to satisfy the diet increased risks of kidney stones, heart disease and low blood pressure. The restrictions on high-carb produce can also lead to nutrient deficiencies and constipation and since fiber is a try of carbohydrate Keto users can find themselves constipated. However, due to the weight loss advantages of the diet, many people aren’t concerned with the impacts on their long term health.