Posts Tagged ‘diet’

Knowwaisting that long-term weight management to maintain good health is important, we should be able to determine whether the guidelines/programs of popular diets are set up to be healthy habits for a lifetime or a fad diet that is all hype and will provide only a short-term fix.

Health Risks Fad Diets, and Yo-Yo Dieting

  • Long term weight gain
  • Eating disorders
  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies like anemia
  • Fatigue

Determining a Fad Diet

  • Does the diet promise quick weight loss?
  • Does the diet sound too good to be true?
  • Does the diet help sell a company’s product?
  • Does the diet lack valid scientific research to support its claims?
  • Does the diet give lists of “good” and “bad” foods?

If you can answer “YES” to any or all of these questions, the diet is probably a fad diet.

History of Fad Diets

Women’s Day report on Bizarre Diets in History:

  • 1727 – Avoiding Swamps
  • 1800’s – Starvation or Hysteria
  • 1820 – The Vinegar Diet
  • 1903 – Fletcherizing
  • 1925 – The Cigarette Diet
  • 1928 – The Inuit Meat-and-Fat Diet
  • Early 1930’s – Slimming Soap
  • 1954 – The Tapeworm Diet
  • 1960’s – The Sleeping Beauty Diet
  • 1961 – The Calories Don’t Count Diet
  • 1970s – The Prolinn Diet or the The Last Chance Diet
  • 1980’s – 2000’s – Breatharian Diet
  • 2000’s – The Vision Diet
  • 2000’s – Ear Stapling
  • 2000’s – The Cotton Ball Diet

Other Diets that Have Made the Rounds:

The Dukan Diet

  • Sources say royal members have followed it.
  • It has been a French Best-Seller for several years.
  • A diet with 4 stages, low in calories and high in protein.
  • Promotes lean protein, oat bran and water intake along with a daily 20-minute walk.

HCG Diet

  • Uses a hormone, (human chorionic gonadotropin) found during pregnancy, to help people lose weight & maintain weight loss.
  • 26 day treatment with 23 days of injections of HcG AND cut calorie intake to 500 Calories/day.
  • FDA-approved only for – fertility!!
  • Most report no fewer hunger pangs than those receiving a placebo and calories must continue to be low in order to lose more and maintain weight loss.

Low Carbohydrate Diets

  • Atkins Diet
  • Sugar-Busters Diet
  • South Beach Diet


Cabbage Soup Diet

  • 7-day plan
  • Very few, specific foods allowed each day
  • Will lose 10-12 pounds in the week
  • Have not changed any lifestyle habits, and have lost mostly fluid
  • Soup and other allowed foods will cause gas

The Recommendations:

Assessment of weight and health risk involves using three key measures under the care of a physician or dietitian:

  • Body mass index (BMI)
  • Waist circumference
  • Risk factors for diseases and conditions associated with obesity

A Healthy Weight Is Needed to:

  • Reduce your risk of disease and health problems.
  • Help you feel better physically and mentally
  • Helps you enjoy life

Choosing a Safe, Reliable Weight-Loss Plan and/or Choosing Good Health at Any Size

  • Healthy eating
    plans that reduce calories but do not forbid specific foods or food groups.
  • Tips to increase moderate-intensity physical activity.
  • Tips on healthy habits that also keep your cultural needs in mind, such as lower-fat versions of your favorite foods.
  • Slow and steady weight loss. Depending on your starting weight, experts recommend losing weight at a rate of 1/2 to 2 pounds per week. Weight loss may be faster at the start of a program.
  • Medical care if you are planning to lose weight by following a special formula diet, such as a very low-calorie diet (a program that requires careful monitoring frompeople-1230872_1280-1 a doctor).
  • A plan to keep the weight off after you have lost it.
  • Perhaps, weight loss is not the correct choice for you. Good health can be found at many sizes and choosing to live healthfully at a higher or lower weight may be the best decision.  Check out more at the University of New Hampshire.

Where to Look for Help:

  • Registered Dietitians
  • Primary Care Physicians
  • choosemyplate.gov
  • eatright.org

Author:  Cheryl Barber Spires, R.D., L.D., Ohio State University Extension, spires.53@osu.edu

Reviewer:  Daniel T. Remley, MSPH, PhD, Ohio State University Extension, remley.4@osu.edu


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The accumulation of bacteria

The accumulation of bacteria

Top 10 Points to Remember:

(1) The change in the human diet that has had THE BIGGEST impact on our health is (1) the drop in the amount of fiber we eat, and (2) the diversity of the fiber we eat.

(2) When you starve your good bacteria (by not eating plant foods/fiber), they have to eat something, so they start eating YOU! They eat the mucous lining in your colon, and once you begin to degrade that barrier, you expose it to potential problems (like leaky gut syndrome).

(3) Compare your food choices to a necklace—the longer the necklace (carbohydrate chain), the better the food source is for your gut bugs. Choose complex carbohydrates. Most will make it all the way down to the colon to become food for your good bacteria.

(4) Your good bacteria chomp on the food, multiply, and make MORE good bacteria. They also generate short chain fatty acids (SCFA). One in particular, butyrate, helps line and protect the colon.

(5) When you pick comfort foods (or other foods you crave) at the grocery store, they taste good on your tongue, but you also need to pick foods that your bacteria crave (dietary fiber, and lots of it).

(6) Look in your grocery cart and make sure you are feeding your good bacteria a variety (and quantity) of dietary fiber.

(7) When bacteria ferment fiber, it changes the pH of the colon. It makes it more acidic. People on low carb diets have a more alkaline pH. This provides opportunities for pathogens to bloom up somewhere down the road.

(8) Your microbiome is an ecosystem in your colon. If you starve it, you hurt it.

(9) Your good bacteria LOVE resistant starch. Examples include:

o Whole grains
o White rice, pasta, and potatoes after they are cooked and cooled
o Isolated entities—like potato starch
o Beans and legumes
o Some fruits and veggies

(10) Try to consume 15-20 grams of resistant starch every day (Americans average 5).

Written by: Donna Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Erie County

Reviewed by: Liz Smith, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension


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Sugar Alcohols

If you eat many foods that are labeled “no sugar added” or “sugar free”, you may wonder how foods can be sweet without having sugar as an ingredient.  Take a closer look at the ingredients listing on the food label of the package and see if any of these words are listed:  mannitol, xylitol, isomalt, sorbitol, or hydrogenated starch hydrolysates.  If one or more of these is listed, the product contains a sugar alcohol.  Sugar alcohols are found in plant products, including berries and fruit.  They don’t have as many calories as sucrose (table sugar) and they are not well absorbed.  Some people may experience a laxative effect if eaten in large quantities.


Many people with diabetes think that foods labeled as “sugar free” or “no sugar added” won’t affect their blood glucose and are safe to eat in large amounts.  Some people may overeat due to their belief that it’s safe to do so without having an effect on their blood sugar.  However, foods that contain sugar alcohols need to be included as part of a person with diabetes overall meal plan since they contain carbohydrates and calories.  Blood sugar may still be elevated due to the overconsumption of the product.

Be sure to read the ingredients label on the food package the next time you’re tempted to stock-up on “sugar free” or “dietetic” foods – it may not be as healthy as you think!  In addition, the Nutrition Facts label on the package will list the amount of grams of carbohydrate in the product.  Be sure to include this in your overall meal plan.

Contributed by:  Jennifer Even, Extension Educator, Hamilton County Extension.  Source:  Joslin Diabetes Center.

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