LIFESTYLE
19/11/2013 11:22 GMT | Updated 19/11/2013 11:30 GMT

Monomeals: Is The New Diet Trend As Healthy As It First Appears?

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Monomeals, the new diet trend taking social media by storm, consists of eating one type of food per meal - usually a bowlful of a specific fruit or vegetable.

Bunches of banana, slices of pineapple, delicious smoothies, it seems simple enough to follow. And not to mention pretty, especially when run through a saturated Instagram filter.

But while it might seem healthy on the surface - eating at least five portions of fruit or veg per day has been drummed into us for years - the impact of consuming so much fruit can have damaging effects on our health.

Aidan Goggins, HuffPost UK blogger and nutrition expert, was quick to warn against potentially harmful consequences of following the diet.

"In fact, eating monomeals is totally disingenuous and wholly incompatible with digestion and health," he says. "Optimum nutrient absorption and benefit in the body is only attained through the synergy of combining mixtures of foods in our meals."

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He explains: "For example, you can eat plenty of tomatoes but you will absorb miniscule amounts of lycopene ( the nutrient we believe to be most beneficial in tomatoes). However, cook the tomatoes in a meal with olive oil and lycopene absorption increases drastically. Plant sources of iron are very poorly absorbed on their own. But combine them with a vitamin C containing food and this problem disappears."

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"With regards to weight loss, this diet is highly restrictive" says Aidan. "Like most diets of this type, initial observations of weight loss are a result of an overall reduction in calorie intake. At a minimum, when this style of eating is stopped the weight will go back on. If this pattern of eating is continued for long enough (more than a few weeks) people will be at risk of permanent metabolism changes making weight loss extremely difficult in the future."