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Diets, Diets, Diets! Part Two

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High Protein Diet

High-protein diets may pose a risk to health, leading nutrition experts have said.

The American Heart Association has issued a warning about the fashionable diets. It says that there is no evidence that they are effective -- and they might actually do more harm than good. The warning from the AHA's nutrition committee, published in association's journal Circulation, says that there is no proof that the diets help people to lose weight in the long term. It also warns that they may pose health risks to people who stick with them for more than a short time.

A diet rich in animal protein, saturated fat and cholesterol raises harmful LDL cholesterol levels. This increases the risk of coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke and several types of cancer. In addition, there is a warning from the American Kidney fund about these diets (based on their research). The diets place such a significant strain on the kidneys that even conditioned athletes can become dehydrated.

Blood tests show that increased protein intake leads to a progression toward dehydration and that a greater strain was placed on the kidneys due to the excessive amount of protein. In otherwise healthy individuals, a protein intake of no more than 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight was recommended by the researchers in order to avoid negative long-term effects.

Quick Facts:
The body needs proteins to maintain healthy function. However, a normal, balanced diet contains all the proteins the body needs.

Excess protein can increase the risk of ill health. For instance, it can exacerbate the symptoms of liver and kidney disease.

High-protein diets produce rapid weight loss by stimulating the loss of fluids from the body. However, this is also associated with the loss of glycogen, a vital energy source, from the muscles. This can lead to fatigue.

This is a fat-burning state that occurs during starvation, and can be quite dangerous.

The urea derived from the breakdown by the liver of protein puts a lot of pressure on the kidneys.

Ketosis can also cause the blood to become more acidic. See Nutrition for a Ketogenic Diet

SlimFast Diet

Slim Fast Slim Fast is the most common diet shake. The Slim Fast plan calls for a shake at breakfast and lunch, and then a sensible dinner. You are also allowed two additional pieces of fruit and a Slim Fast nutrition bar as needed during the day. The sensible dinner may be used for any meal, as long as the two other meals are the diet shakes.

Any diet that is lower in calories than your body needs to maintain its current weight should promote weight loss. The Slim Fast diet, which averages about 1,200 calories a day, will cause weight loss for most people, as it is at least 500 calories less than the average female is consuming and at least 1,000 calories less than the average male is consuming.

According to nutritional experts, there are healthful aspects to the Slim Fast meal plan, however, there are also several pitfalls. The good news is that the Slim Fast plan includes exercise and promotes drinking 6 to 8 cups of water daily, which are both important features in any plan. The Slim Fast regimen is easy to follow. However, when you are following a calorie-restricted diet, it is very difficult to get all of the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are necessary for good health, so it is important to concentrate on consuming wholesome and nutritious foods during your sensible meal. The shakes contain only added vitamins and minerals.

Carbohydrate Addict's Diet

This diet is hardly a favorite of nutritionists or specialists with a medical background. It is well known that many individuals have abnormally high insulin levels and insulin resistance, but this is a part of the medical condition known as the metabolic syndrome, which has a variety of causes -- notably obesity itself. "Carbohydrate addiction" has never been shown to be among them.

"The whole premise that we are carbohydrate addicts makes about as much sense as telling people they are oxygen or water addicts," says John McDougall, MD, one of the participants in the debate on fad diets last spring in Washington, D.C., an event sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He is the head of the McDougall Program, a center for the rehabilitation of dietary diseases at St. Helena Hospital in the Napa Valley of California, and a lecturer in nutrition. "We are designed to be seekers of carbohydrates," he says. "The tip of the tongue has one kind of calorie-seeking taste bud, and that is for carbohydrates."

You decide!

Hollywood 48 Hour Juice Diet

Celebrity Juice Diet The Hollywood 48 hour Diet is a juice "diet" that you can go on for 48 hours. It is recommended that you do it no more than twice a month and that you can lose up to 10 pounds each time you do it. It claimed to be a great detox for your body in clearing out the intestines and colon.

In effect, the Hollywood 48 hour Diet is a juice "fast", rather than a "diet". Like any fast, it is a form of starvation and any weight loss is likely to be water loss - which is immediately regained as soon as the fast ends.

Hollywood 48 Hour Diet claims to detox your body, help you lose up to ten pounds and energize you.

Remember -- no diet that lasts only 48 hours can offer effective, sustaining weightloss. This five to ten pound weightloss is not healthy and strictly temporary. It's also expensive.

Starvation Diet

Out of frustration, many people try to starve themselves to the proper weight. Starvation diets never work because:

  • The diet is impossible to maintain
  • Causes you to binge, especially late afternoon or evening
  • Slows your metabolism
  • Sets you up for failure

Starvation diets never work because your body requires fuel all through the day to properly function. By not eating, you become vulnerable to temptation. This leaves you feeling frustrated and defeated, which causes you to eat even more.

Instead of the starvation method, try eating 3 to 4 small meals through the day. Always eat breakfast and consume 300 to 400 calories each meal. By the end of the day, you will consume 900 to 1600 calories. Your diet should be well balanced and include plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Sugar Busters Diet

This is another fad diet - this diet urges you to exclude ALL sources of sugar from your diet. This includes forms of carbohydrates such as potatoes, carrots, corn, beetroot, bananas, white bread, white rice, biscuits and cakes.

It claims that sugar is toxic and that most body fat is due to ingested sugar and refined carbohydrates and so reducing these will promote weight loss ability. This is regardless of your fat intake.

Sugar Busters The diet urges you to eat protein without a warning that some forms of protein are high in saturated fat and cholesterol.

The Sugar Busters diet claims that sugar is "pure, white and deadly" and to be completely avoided. It gives no advice about moderation or substitution -- just deprivation. We all know this cannot be sustained for long and is certainly not a healthy change in lifestyle. It could in fact lead to serious medical problems, as the body needs sugar -- in moderation.

The diet also says that refined sugar causes mental conditions and hypoglycaemia -- this is not true.

This is what you would be having for dinner tonight if you were on the Sugar Busters Diet: Green salad, steak, lamb chops or hamburger steak, green vegetables sauteed in oil, a glass of white wine, sugar free ice-cream or two slices of cheese.

Negative Calorie Diets

"Did you know that it is now possible to drop up to 14 POUNDS in only 7 DAYS? That's right! The Negative Calorie Diet can make it happen for you! Since 1997, thousands of people from all over the world are using our weight loss program. Our eBook reveals the weight loss secrets of consuming negative calorie foods to lose all the weight you want!"

At least that's what their website says.

This 'too good to be true' concept is that some foods cause your body more energy to burn than the calories it induces...thus making you lose weight with zero exercise. Medical research is lacking at this time.

Food Combining Hay Diet


Dr. William Howard Hay introduced food combining in 1911. His basic premise is that there is one underlying cause for health problems and that is the wrong chemical condition in the body.

Along with dietary changes, Dr Hay also advised fresh air, exercise and general lifestyle changes. The basic rules of this diet are: Starches and sugar should not be eaten with proteins and acid fruits at the same meal; vegetables, salads and fruits should play a major part in the diet; proteins, starches and fats should be eaten in small quantities and only whole grain unprocessed starches should be used; and finally at least 4 hours should elapse between meals of different food groups.

Dr. Hay classified foods into three types according to their chemical requirements for efficient digestion. These three types are:

  • Alkali forming foods such as fruits and vegetables. Alkali forming means the end products of such foods after digestion. Even acid tasting fruits such as lemons yield alkaline salts in the body.
  • Concentrated proteins such as meat, game, fish, eggs or cheese. These foods are acid forming in their final end products in the body.
  • Concentrated carbohydrates or starch foods, which are acid forming. These include grains, bread, and all foods containing flour, all sugars and foods containing sugars (sucrose), but not the naturally occurring sugars found in fruit.

Dr. Hay's theory was that, although protein and starch foods are acid forming in their end products in the body, they need different conditions for digestion and should never be combined at the same meal.

This diet is particularly useful in patients with chronic digestive disorders such as flatulence, constipation, indigestion and obesity, and we would advise you to read the following:

Balanced Diet

Raw Food Diet Foods A balanced diet is one that includes the Recommended Dietary Allowances, also called RDAs, for all the essential nutrients. These include proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. A balanced diet supports normal growth and development. It also contributes to good health and quality of life.

All foods, when chosen wisely, can be part of a balanced diet. For example, some fat is needed in the diet to support life. But too much fat can increase the risk of heart disease. A balanced diet provides an adequate amount of calories, protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. A balanced diet avoids an excess of calories, saturated fats, cholesterol, sodium, and sugar.

The Food Guide Pyramid provides a quick reference for choosing a balanced diet on a daily basis.

In conclusion, smart eating habits mean eating foods that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol for maximum health benefits.

Raw Food Diet


A typical Raw Foods Diet advocates eating at least 75 percent of your food raw, although there are strict versions which insist on no cooking and a 100 percent vegetarian dietary regimen. Where cooking is allowed it is usually to permit the addition of some cooked whole grains and pulses, plus good quality fish and lean poultry. See: The Paleolithic Diet

Raw and living foods are believed to contain essential food enzymes (living foods contain a higher enzyme content than cooked foods). The cooking process (i.e., heating foods above 116 degrees) is thought to destroy food enzymes. People who follow the raw diet use particular techniques to prepare foods. These include sprouting seeds, grains and beans; soaking nuts and dried fruits; and juicing fruits and vegetables. The only cooking that is allowed is via a dehydrator.

The Raw Food Diet is nutrient dense, there is little or no saturated fat, it is low in sodium, high in potassium and fiber-rich. The Raw Food Diet claims you will feel healthier and more alive, the appearance of your skin will improve as will your digestion, you will lose weight, reduce the risk of heart disease and prevent other deadly diseases.

But according to Rutgers University and Taiwanese researchers at an annual American Chemical Society meeting in San Francisco: "Raw isn't always best. Sometimes cooked foods give you more nutrients for the buck."

This diet can be very difficult to maintain long term. In addition, it makes it tough to design a proper balance in your diet and sometimes, raw food is not always healthy food. Some phytochemicals are more easily absorbed by the body when the vegetable has been cooked or processed, for example, lycopene in tomatoes and carotenoids in carrots.

Eating only raw foods can considerably limit the variety of foods that can be included in the diet, such as meat, potatoes and other cereal products , which in turn can limit our nutrient intake. This could lead to nutritional deficiencies -- for example, iron and calcium - if followed for any length of time.

If you're curious as to what type of recipes one would use on this diet, see our Paleolithic Recipes.

The Hacker's Diet

How to lose weight and hair through stress and poor nutrition
By John Walker

From the Web site:
"The Hacker's Diet, notwithstanding its silly subtitle, is a serious book about how to lose weight and permanently maintain whatever weight you desire. It treats dieting and weight control from an engineering and management standpoint, and provides the tools and an understanding of why they work and how to use them that permit the reader to gain control of their own weight. The book is intended primarily for busy, successful engineers, programmers, and managers who have struggled unsuccessfully in the past to lose weight and avoid re-gaining it. Computer-based tools and experiments are available, but a computer is not necessary to use the techniques described in the book; paper and pencil alternatives are provided."

This book is free for you to peruse online. Check it out in its entirety.

Did you catch Part I of Diets, Diets, Diets!

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