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Unsupervised internet and WhatsApp-based crash diets can harm heart function and reduce its ability to pump blood. It is important for those with heart disease to seek medical advice before adopting a very low-calorie diet. In people with existing heart disease such a diet might aggravate heart failure symptoms like shortness of breath or increase the risk of arrhythmias, says Dr K K Aggarwal.

Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Immediate Past National President Indian Medical Association (IMA), said, “Examples of such diet includes the cabbage soup diet, the protein diet, three-day diet, grapefruit diet, detox diet, chicken soup diet, water fast diet and fresh juice crash diet. It can weaken the immune system and increase the risk of dehydration, heart palpitations, and cardiac stress. Also, called yo-yo diet, these can damage blood vessels. It can also create a setup for atherosclerosis and other types of heart disease.”

Dr Ankita Ghag, Clinical Nutritionist, Vacchan Aarogya and Diabetes Care 365 said, “Crash diets can lead to multivitamin and mineral deficiencies. Moreover, if not done properly could lead to dyslipidemia; if not treated it can lead to heart problems in the long run.”

Every individual has a different body type. That is why we have certified professionals and nutritionists to guide them. Diet alterations will be provided by the experts, after body assessment – which includes examining the person’s medical and family history,” said Dr Priyam Ahuja, diet and fitness expert, Health Nutrified, Mumbai.

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