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North Dakotans want to know: Is it safe to do a liquid diet?

Getty Images / Special to The Forum

FARGO — Do dogs understand when humans talk? Is is OK to eat snow? Will lettuce hurt you still?

In a world where information is literally at your fingertips every second of the day, taking to an online search engine to answer life's simple questions can result in millions of answers.

A recent report put out by A Secure Life, a company specializing in reviewing different types of security systems, is here to tell you asking professor Google about whether or not (fill in the blank) is safe is not as uncommon as one might think. In fact, folks all across the country have been shown to be curious about many of the same things.

Thunder, E. coli and diets

Some of the questions asked by states are a little, shall we say, quirky. In Michigan, residents are getting back into the dating game — "Is is safe to date?" is their most searched-for question. Arizona and Minnesota residents, meanwhile, seem to be eager to practice hygiene even in a storm — "Is it safe to shower in a thunderstorm?" was their notable search topic. Texans are seeming to turn on themselves with their search "Is it safe to live in El Paso?" coming in at No. 1 in the state.

Queries related to a 2018 E. coli outbreak in romaine lettuce topped the "is it safe?" searches in seven states — Connecticut, Idaho, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Wisconsin — where residents were curious if they could consume the leafy vegetable without risk. People in five other states are looking to get a little healthier by asking about the low-carb, high-fat Keto diet.

North Dakotans, however, are looking to get a little more... fluid with their diets.

Six states, including North Dakota, searched whether or not it is safe to do a liquid diet. And as it turns out, they're going to have to go to more solid ground if they want to lose weight.

Liquid diets

There are many types of liquid diets on the market, with meal replacement shakes and juicing being the most popular.

While one of the best things about drinking only liquefied fruits and vegetables is the quick weight loss, Moriah Anderson, a registered dietitian with Essentia Health in Fargo, says it's not sustainable.

"You can quickly lose weight (on a liquid diet), but it's usually just water weight," Anderson says. "The weight loss is temporary and not sustainable throughout your life because you're not going to just consume liquids the rest of your life."

Even though it's not a sustainable way to get our nutrients, it is technically safe to do — as long as it's part of a regular, healthy diet.

Amanda Nack, a registered dietitian at Sanford Health in Fargo, says incorporating vegetable and fruit juices in this manner, like juicing and drinking them, is safe. But she says it shouldn't be someone's only source of nutrition.

"Additional to the carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables, protein and dietary fats are essential for a well-balanced, healthful diet," Nack says. "Also, if juicing is completely replacing whole fruits and vegetables, it is important other sources of fiber are incorporated. Lastly, if the juice is freshly squeezed (and not pasteurized), ensure the juice is consumed right away as it can quickly develop harmful bacteria."

Turns out North Dakotans were right to be curious about the safety of doing a liquid diet.