The too-good-to-be-true diet that's too good to be true

Fad diets are never a good idea -- and the latest fad diet might be one of the worst yet.

It's called the "Fast Diet," aka the "5:2 diet," and it allows you to eat pretty much whatever you want for five days a week -- as long as you stick to just 600 calories per day on the other two days.

Supposedly, the fast diet helps people to lose about a pound a week and may even help lower both blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

But even if that were true -- and, long-term, I doubt that any of those benefits are sustainable -- do you really think you would be healthy on a diet like this?

It's almost certain that you wouldn't be -- because if you're eating junk five days a week, you will find yourself battling serious nutritional deficiencies that could set the stage for everything from mental health problems to major disease.

For example, as I just told you, a diet high in saturated fats can rob your brain of a chemical it needs to remove damaging proteins, putting you at risk for dementia.

And while short periods of fasting and low-calorie dieting can be beneficial in certain situations, they need to be carefully controlled to ensure you get proper nutrition for energy and overall good health.

So skip the fads, especially the fast diet. Instead, commit to a healthy eating plan seven days a week. Trust me, it's not as hard as it seems sometimes.

I've found there's one diet that allows for a wide variety of delicious foods -- including some of the foods you already love -- as well as filling meals every day, and it can help you to lose weight, improve nutrition and fight disease all at once.

It's a Mediterranean diet rich in chicken, fish, fruits, vegetables and even allows for some chocolate -- and in recent studies, it's been shown to slash the risk of heart disease, stroke, dementia and more.