Around 45 million Americans go on a diet every year. Yet, despite all the different types of diet available, we're still facing an obesity crisis.
Believe it or not, there's more to health than 'calories in-calories out.' Diet deficiencies can not only impede weight loss progress, but they can also give you unwanted adverse symptoms.
If you're thinking about going on a diet, you're at risk of nutritional problems. However, don't worry because blood tests for diet deficiencies can help you identify where you're going wrong.
Read on for a simple guide to the lab tests for diet deficiencies in the most popular diets.
Atkins and Low Carb Diets
The Atkins diet was created in the 1970s and is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat, high-protein diet. People often lose weight in the early stages of the diet.
However, it's not considered sustainable long-term, because carbohydrates are an essential food group that includes vitamins and minerals necessary for health.
If you're on the Atkins diet and you're noticing symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, and muscle weakness, you might have undiagnosed deficiencies.
Anyone on the Atkins diet or following a low-carb variant diet should have lab tests for vitamin D levels, calcium, and electrolyte deficiencies.
The Zone Diet
The Zone diet is an anti-inflammatory diet designed to improve health and reduce weight. However, on this diet, dairy intake is restricted - this leads to many missing nutrients.
The risk factors for calcium deficiency are high on the Zone diet. If you're experiencing muscle spasms, tingling, or burning sensations on your skin, get blood tests for calcium deficiency immediately.
Raw Food Diet
The raw food diet is trendy amongst those trying to be healthier and those losing weight. However, the variety in your diet is very limited when only eating raw foods.
Therefore, deficiencies are widespread. Watch out for any symptoms of vitamin B12, iodine, calcium, and vitamin D deficiency. These can include tiredness, being cold, itchy skin, and muscle spasms.
If you're having multiple symptoms and can't pinpoint them to a specific deficiency, a full nutrient panel test can help you understand why you're experiencing these symptoms.
The keto diet (high-fat, low-carb) has been steadily gaining popularity in recent years as influencers promise instant weight loss and better cognitive function.
However, there are concerns around heart disease if this diet is followed for prolonged periods due to the recommended high fat intake.
Furthermore, keto diet deficiency is common when it comes to the B vitamins (usually found in carbohydrates). Symptoms of B vitamin deficiency include tiredness, constipation, and numbness in the hands and feet.
Vegetarian and Vegan Diets
Vegetarianism and veganism have become some of the trendiest diets recently. Many opt for this lifestyle for both health and environmental reasons. When done right, these diets can be sustainable long-term.
However, meat contains essential amino acids and vitamin B12 that can't be found in vegetables, so multivitamin supplementation is usually recommended for vegetarians and vegans. Meat is also rich in iron; you're at high risk of iron deficiency if you aren't careful.
Vitamin B12 deficiency and vitamin B6 deficiency symptoms include yellow-tinged skin, a sore tongue, and mouth ulcers. Iron deficiency can cause fatigue, weakness, and an irregular heartbeat.
All vegetarians and vegans should get nutrition tests to ensure they're in optimal health. A total iron-binding capacity test and a B vitamin panel test are recommended.
Weight Watchers Diet
The weight watchers diet is popular and effective when you stick to it. However, bear in mind that the weight watchers diet is primarily focused on a 'calories in-calories out' approach.
If you deprive yourself of too much food, you may miss out on essential nutrients, and many people's immune systems' suffer as a result.
A prolonged calorie deficit can cause adverse symptoms. If you have low energy levels, hair loss, constant hunger, and always feel cold — it's time to get a blood test to check you're not causing damage to your body.
South Beach Diet
The South Beach diet is a relatively low-carb diet but isn't as strict as Atkins or Keto. In general, it's easier to avoid nutrient deficiencies on this diet as long as you prioritize getting good nutrition.
However, a full panel screening test is often helpful for people following the South Beach diet as it involves changes to your dietary habits that can lead to several vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
The Mediterranean diet is, as you might expect, based on what's eaten in Mediterranean regions. It's a diet that's high in fruit and veg, but also unsaturated fats and fish.
This diet is more accepted in the medical community than other diets. However, it does come with cautions. Your risk of vitamin or mineral toxicity is high with this diet as you consume lots of fish and nuts.
There have been cases of vitamin A, vitamin B7, and mercury poisoning from this diet, so make sure you stick to the recommended daily portions.
The Western diet is full of ultra-processed foods that are nutritionally bankrupt. If you eat a Western diet like many of us, you should immediately get a complete nutritional panel test.
Any adverse day-to-day symptoms that you experience (e.g., tiredness, aching muscles, uncontrolled blood sugar levels, and headaches) may come from undiagnosed deficiencies, so do not dismiss your symptoms.
Whether it's to help manage celiac disease or for other reasons, the gluten-free diet is gaining popularity in the western world.
However, many foods that are eliminated from the diet when eating gluten-free contain essential nutrients such as folate, magnesium, vitamin B12, and vitamin D.
Eating gluten-free can be good for your nutritional status but make sure you get these nutrients from other sources.
If you experience any gastrointestinal symptoms, skin sensitivities, or unexplained weight gain/loss, consider nutrition tests to evaluate your health.
The DASH diet helps lower blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease. It's rich in fruits, vegetables, fruits, and grains.
This diet is designed to prevent ill-health, so nutritional deficiencies aren't very common on this diet. However, people on DASH should be mindful of getting enough nutrition from their vegetables as they're missing out on a whole host of vitamins and minerals in dairy products (limited on the DASH diet).
You should check out any adverse symptoms while on the DASH diet with a full nutritional panel to pinpoint the exact cause.
Frequently Asked Questions
Between unqualified 'health influencers' and dodgy online sales, it can be challenging to know where to turn for advice about nutrition testing.
It's natural to have questions, and it's good to do your own research before investing in a product. Here are some of the most common FAQs when it comes to nutrition testing.
How Are Deficiencies Diagnosed?
Unfortunately, it's very difficult to get a nutritional deficiency diagnosed through your usual healthcare provider.
These tests aren't part of routine screening, and most doctors will prescribe drugs to treat your symptoms before testing for deficiencies. However, with private nutrition testing, you can get panel testing for whichever deficiencies you're at risk of and take control of your health.
How Does Lab Testing Work?
After you order your tests, your blood will be drawn by a phlebotomist and analyzed at a laboratory. After being examined, your results will be compared to reference ranges for healthy results.
Ulta Lab Tests are highly reliable and accurate, so there's no need to worry about whether you need a second opinion on your results. We will provide a detailed chart of your nutritional status through a secure and confidential online patient portal that you can view.
What Are the Benefits of Ulta Lab Tests?
Although diets can be good for health and weight loss, we recognize the drawbacks of a diet. That doesn't mean you shouldn't go on a diet but make sure you aren't compromising your health.
At Ulta Lab Tests, we'll ensure you get the results you need to correct your health and eliminate adverse symptoms. We have affordable tests with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.
You don't need any health insurance or a physician's referral to use our service, and we'll provide results within 24-48 hours for most tests.
Blood Lab Tests for Diet Deficiencies: All You Need to Know
That's everything you need to know about blood tests for diet deficiencies. When you're on a diet, you might start experiencing symptoms you haven't noticed before - if you do, it's time to get lab tests for diet deficiencies.
At Ulta Lab Tests, we can screen for everything from soluble vitamins to full complete blood count CBC testing.
If you're looking to take control of your health and feel your best, make sure to check Ulta Lab Tests for the nutrient tests you need.