How To Tell If A Diet Is Dangerous

I’m no skinny-minnie, but after years serial dieting, I found that I just couldn't join the diet train. I don’t have the self-control, and I don’t have the determination for it. Instead, I found ways of tricking myself into the habits I wanted to have. I also learned how to vet the diets that crossed my path. I believe that raw fruits and vegetables are healthy for you - if any diet involves cutting them out, it’s probably not a healthy one.

Traps to Watch Out For

No single diet works for everyone, so some diets might be perfect for you (or may have even worked in the past). For most, they might do moreharm than good.

One such example is the low-sugar diet. Sugar detoxes are great (going for a time without processed sugars). Refined sugar is typically not good for you; it may contribute to diabetes and it might possibly rot your teeth out of your head. However, many sugarless diets go so far as to knock fruit out. This might initially make sense: two cups of grapes (46 grams) contain more sugar than is recommended per day (26g for women).

This is totally ridiculous when compared to what actually happens within the human body. Increased fresh fruit consumption is tied to lower body weights and a lower risk of obesity-associated diseases. As far as research is concert, there are no adverse healthy effects to eating fruit, no matter how much you eat. While fruit may contain lots of sugar, it won't cause the same hormone spikes that other sugars might. Plus, it can help you feel more full (along with other metabolic benefits).

Also watch out for the low carb diet trains. Low carb diets can work for some people. If your primary source of carbs come from donuts, spaghetti, and white bread sandwiches, eliminating those foods out willcut calories, water-weight, and toxins from your body. However, I found out about a diet in which you could eat carbs, but no more than 5 at a time.  Everyone who was on it liked it, and lost weight very quickly. After further investigation, I found out that it meant I couldn’t eat a whole banana, or half an orange, which is crazy.Oranges andbananas are both very healthy options for you, and you should consume them in as much excess as you want in their raw form. Every cell in your body runs on carbohydrates, you can even get something called the low-carb flu if you cut out too many carbs. Diarrhea and low energy will haunt you for the rest of your week if you’re trying to stay low-carb.

Parsing the Organic and Raw Debate

I know I just said that raw fruits and vegetables are good for you, and that you can shove as many of them as you can find down your throat. But depending on your situation, there may be a few exceptions.

Parasites and pesticides can be a large concern. If you’re anything like me, your tummy may start to demand that you fuel it with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Your grocery basket will start to assume the shape and size of a small forest by the time you hit the check-out counter. If you are trying to avoid pesticides, organic food can be difficult or expensive if you don’t have the time to hit the farmer’s market. Ultimately, the decision to go organic is up to you and  your budget. If you don't have the means for it, try to at least avoid the‘dirty dozen’ line in your grocery store.

A discussion on raw food is also important. Raw is the most nutritious way to consume your fruits and vegetables, but there might be some exceptions. There are certain areas where parasites are common or certain vegetables might be harder to clean (for example: broccoli’s many folds). This makes a few of our edibles more prone tosoil-transmitted parasites. Try steaming (or stir frying) more complicated-to-clean vegetables. This can eliminate some of the risk and give youequivalent nutritional value. If you are concerned about parasites, you can test yourselfhere. It’s important to be aware of cleaning and proper prep work for your vegetables: an estimated  85% of Americans have parasites.

You Have Options

I’ve been preaching the joys of a mostly raw plant based diet, but there are so many options out there. You don’t have to be entirely plant-based: some people like to add milk or cheese to their diets. I really like to make my ownPad See Ew or have acrazy spicy fish dish (cook it with the bone-in if you're a pro). You can even indulge in this guilt-freechia seed pudding and ‘nice-cream’.

Some people like to abide by a raw-until-4 diet (where they only eat raw vegan foods until 4pm), whereas other people will indulge in a gluten free diet (cutting out muffins worked for me!). The bottom line is that you should start making your own (mostly plant-based) food and adapt to small changes.

It's time to let go of your fear of fruit.  If the next diet craze ever prohibits you from eating raw fruits or vegetables, it’s probably not a good diet. Leave it behind in the dust.

About the Author

Mary Grace lives in the beautiful Boise, Idaho. She loves hiking, skiing, and repairing vintage bicycles. If you have any comments or questions about what she has written up above, please feel free to tweet her @marmygrace, or email her directly at

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