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
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