New habits take time to develop. Making gradual changes to your diet is easier to do and healthier than a radical change.

Trendy diets are a tempting way to drop unwanted pounds especially when bathing suit season is looming. Before you try a new diet, do your research. Fad diets rarely deliver what they promise and can actually do more harm than good if you don’t get all the essential vitamins and nutrients needed for good health.

Mayo Clinic has recently review the latest trendy diets. The downside of each is summarized below to highlight the health risks.

1/ Whole 30: Eliminates healthy foods including whole grains, dairy and legumes. There is science behind the 30 day challenge but this diet isn’t the best application of it.

2/ Ketogenic Diet: Low carbohydrate diets are know to have higher rates of side effects including constipation, headaches, bad breath and more. There is very little evidence to support the effectiveness or safety of this diet for anything other than epilepsy.

3/ Intermittent Fasting: There is not enough research yet to support this trend. However, shortening your eating window makes it more difficult to get the vitamins and minerals you need especially if you have an active lifestyle.

4/ Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Learning to prepare fresh, plant-based foods can be more time-consuming than relying on pre-packaged or fast food. However, the diet is nutritionally sound and is similar to the Mediterranean Diet.

Plant Based Diets:
A plant based diet simply means that you derive all or most of your vitamins and minerals from plants rather than animals. There are different names for plant based diets depending on how much animal product is eliminated from your diet.

1/ Lacto-vegetarian diets exclude meat, fish, poultry and eggs, as well as foods that contain them. Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, yogurt and butter, are included.

2/ Ovo-vegetarian diets exclude meat, poultry, seafood and dairy products, but allow eggs.

3/ Lacto-ovo vegetarian diets exclude meat, fish and poultry, but allow dairy products and eggs.

4/ Pescatarian diets exclude meat and poultry, dairy, and eggs, but allow fish.

5/ Pollotarian diets exclude meat, dairy and fish, but allow poultry.

6/ Vegan diets exclude meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products — and foods that contain these products.

Plant based diets are good for your health. Recent studies have linked vegetarian and vegan diets to significantly lower rates of ischemic heart disease [aka:coronary artery disease] and cancer. Other studies have shown vegan diets help improve gut health, reduce menopause symptoms and lower stress levels are the most effective for weight loss.

Adopting a plant based diet: Here are some good resource to help you make the transition.

1/ Information and recipes: T. Colin Campbell, Center for Nutrition Studies

2/ Guide from Mayo: How to Get the Best Nutrition to avoid deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals.

3/ Smoothie recipe: Dr. Kristi Funk’s Cancer Kicking Antioxidant Smoothie

4/ Thrive Market: Makes grocery shopping for your diet easy. Sign up and get 20% off your first 3 orders.

5/ Cookbook: One Peaceful World Cookbook is a new personal favorite for adding grains and plant based protein to your diet.