Archive for Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Only consistency among fad diets is their failure to work

March 21, 2007


Q: I read your article last week on the National Nutrition Month's theme being "100% Fad Free." How long have "fad diets" been around?:

A:It's interesting. The American Dietetic Association shared a timeline of the fad diets throughout the years. Here's what the research shows:

1820 Vinegar and Water Diet: Made popular by Lord Byron

1825 Low-Carbohydrate Diet: first appeared in "The Physiology of Taste" by Jean Brillat-Savarin

1830 Graham's Diet: His only legacy: invented Graham crackers

1863 Banting's Low Carbohydrate Diet: "Banting" becomes a popular term for dieting

1903 Horace Fletcher promotes "Fletcherizing": Chew food 32 times

1917 Calorie Counting: Introduced by Lulu Hunt Peters in her book "Diet and Health," with "Key to the Calories"

1925 Cigarette Diet: "Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet"

1928 Inuit Meat-and-Fat Diet: Caribou, raw fish and whale blubber

1930 Hay Diet: Carbohydrates and proteins not allowed at the same meal

1930 Dr. Stoll's Diet Aid: First of the liquid diet drinks

1934 Bananas and Skim Milk Diet: Backed by the United Fruit Company

1950 Cabbage Soup Diet: Flatulence is listed as a main side effect

1950 Grapefruit Diet: Also known as Hollywood Diet

1960 Zen Macrobiotic Diet: Created by Japanese philosopher George Ohsawa

1961 Calories Don't Count Diet: FDA filed charges regarding diet's claims

1964 Drinking Man's Diet: Harvard School of Public Health declared diet unhealthful

1970 Sleeping Beauty Diet: Individuals heavily sedated for several days

1970 Liquid Protein Diets: Liquid protein drinks were low in vitamins and minerals

1981 Beverly Hills Diet: Only fruit for first 10 days, but in unlimited amounts

1985 Fit for Life: Avoid combining protein and carbohydrate foods

1985 Caveman Diet: Foods from the Paleolithic Era

1986 Rotation Diet: Rotating number of calories taken in from week to week

1987 Scarsdale Diet: Low-carbohydrate, low-calorie diet plan

1990 Cabbage Soup Diet: Diet from 1950s resurfaces on the Web

1994 High-protein, low-carb diet: Dr. Atkins version

1995 "Sugar Busters: Cut Sugar to Trim Fat": Eliminates refined carbohydrates

1996 Eat Right for Your Type: Diet based on blood type

1999 Juice, fasting and detoxification: Perennial dieting favorites reappear in combination with the 2000 Raw Foods Diet; focuses on uncooked, unprocessed organic foods

2001 High-Protein, Low-Carb Diet: 1994 diet updated

2004 Coconut Diet: Fats replaced with coconut oil

2005 Cheater's Diet: Cheating on the weekend is required

2006 Maple Syrup Diet: Features a special syrup-lemon drink

According to American Dietetic Association spokesperson Dee Sandquist, ADA defines "food fads" as "unreasonable or exaggerated beliefs that eating (or not eating) specific foods, nutrient supplements or combinations of certain foods may cure disease, convey special health benefits or offer quick weight loss. The reality is, no 'super food' or diet approach can reverse weight gain resulting from overeating and inactivity. And because most fad diets don't teach new eating habits and many require you to give up your favorite foods, people usually don't stick with them."

Here are a couple of National Nutrition Month recipes that promote healthy eating:

Barbara's black and white bean salad

1 (15 1/2-ounce) can great northern beans, or any white bean, rinsed and drained

2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 large red pepper, diced

2 cups frozen yellow corn, thawed

1 bunch green onions, cleaned and sliced

1 cup commercial salsa

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/3 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a large bowl, gently stir the beans and tomatoes together. (Be careful not to mash the beans.) Combine the red pepper, corn and green onions and stir into the bean mixture. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the salsa, vinegar, cilantro and black pepper. Stir with a wire whisk until well blended. Pour over the vegetable mixture and toss gently. Makes 12 (1/2-cup) servings.

- Josephine Tooten, registered dietitian

Apple-mango crisp

Vegetable oil cooking spray

3/4 cup all-purpose flour, divided

1/2 cup toasted wheat germ

3/4 cup old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/3 cup chopped pecans

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

4 Granny Smith apples

2 red sweet baking apples

3 tablespoons lime juice

2 mangos, peeled and chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 9-inch-by-13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with the cooking spray.

Stir together 1/2 cup flour, wheat germ, oats, brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon in a medium-size bowl. Stir in the melted butter; set aside.

Core the apples, chop and place in a large bowl; spritz with the lime juice; stir. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup flour. Fold in the mangos. Place the apple-mango mixture in the baking dish. Sprinkle the flour-oat mixture evenly over the top. Bake 45 minutes, or until the apples are tender. Cool slightly and serve warm.

Makes 18 (1-cup) servings.

- Kristine Napier, registered dietitian

- Susan Krumm is an Extension agent in family and consumer sciences with K-State Research and Extension-Douglas County, 2110 Harper St. She can be reached at 843-7058.


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