This Singapore-Based Clinical Dietician Discusses Fad Diets

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February 22nd, 2019· 5 min read

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Modern-day diet trends seem to have taken hold as people look for ways to better manage their lifestyles in this fast-paced world of ours.

Low-fat, low-carb, keto, paleo, detox and vegan diets are just some of the words that float around in the news, online and that flow out of the mouths of celebrity gurus.

Understandably, trying to figure out which ones work and which ones don’t (or which ones are suitable for you) can all get a little confusing (and overwhelming), to say the least.

Dr Naras Lapsys is a clinical dietician with more than 14 years of experience (as well as 10 years of research on diabetes and obesity). He has helped people address dietary patterns, sleep, exercise and well-being.

He shared some tips on Human and weighed in on common fad diets. Here's what he had to say.

The keto diet is very good but not for everyone

keto diet singapore

Keto has become a very popular diet option (especially among the fitness crowd). It relies on the body using mostly fat as fuel by producing small fuel molecules called 'ketones'.

People find it an effective way to achieve their goals and there are certain health conditions for which keto may be highly appropriate. Naras notes that keto might not be for everyone as it's a highly argued diet with good points on both sides.

The paleo diet is good but might be missing out on some foods

paleo diet pyramid

A paleo dietary plan is based on foods that are similar to what may have been eaten by our ancestors during the Paleolithic era.

There are some very beneficial aspects of the paleo diet. Naras notes that if a person were following the dietary plan, it would be better than what they were eating before and their health should improve.

However, its many rules might mean you end up unnecessarily missing out on certain foods but it's no big deal.

Juice cleanses are good for weight loss but only temporarily

juice detox cleanse singapore effectiveness

Juice cleanses generally involve low calories, so you will definitely lose weight initially. This is only temporary though. If your juice cleanse results inspire you to switch to a healthier eating pattern, then that's perfect.

However, if you go right back to your normal eating habits after the cleanse, there isn’t really any point.

Intermittent fasting can improve longevity

intermittent fasting

From a longevity perspective, intermittent fasting (the practice of fasting for hours at a time) holds interesting promise. From a weight loss perspective, it's considered a simple and effective strategy.

Fewer calories are consumed when limiting the hours that you eat in a day. Just make sure that your key meals consist of nutritious food.

Low-fat vs Low-carb diets; which one is better?

Low-fat vs Low-carb diets

Dr Naras stated that most of these diets work well in the short term as long as you practice them consistently.

What's important is this. If you want to see long term results, it's best to put the diet you choose under scrutiny and practice due diligence to see if it's sustainable for your health.

Also read: The Ultimate Guide to Effectively Losing Weight in Singapore (2021)

Pescatarian diet is fine as long as you have sources of iron

Pescatarian diet

If fish and seafood are your main sources of protein, it's important to think about your iron intake and absorption. Red meat isn't the only source of iron but if you're abstaining from it then it's time for a strategy.

Beans and legumes are good sources of iron and protein while leafy greens, tomatoes and lemons can provide the vitamin C you need for good absorption.

A vegan diet does not necessarily make you healthier

vegan diet

You can be a vegan and eat a terribly unhealthy diet, putting yourself at risk of all sorts of health issues. Similarly, you can be vegan and be very healthy.

Whether you're a vegan for ethical or for health reasons, you'll need to have a plan and carry it out in an informed manner for longterm success.


At the end of the day, it's always good to have a dietary plan. However, with that being said, Dr Naras believes that proper management involves a combination of being well-informed and careful strategising.

Whether you’ve opted to try out any of the aforementioned diets or not, maintain a well-rounded nutritional spectrum and seek additional advice from your dietician.

Human’s Ask Me Anything (AMA) enables open health conversations between readers, health professionals and patients from all walks of life. View the complete list of upcoming Human AMAs here.

If you are a patient or health professional who's interested in hosting an AMA to share your story, please email Our team will contact you with more details.

I hope that you've found this guide useful, and perhaps gained more insight into the application process. Most of the admissions-related information (admin and logistics wise) can be found on the official NUS Faculty of Dentistry website.

To help yourself out, you should take note of what people look for when they look for a dentist.

This article was written by Human and published on Wednesday, 25 January 2017. Human medically reviewed the article on Wednesday, 25 January 2017. The last update was made on Friday, 18 September 2020.

Disclaimer: Opinions belong to the author and not to the platform.

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