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The Top 10 Most Dangerous Diets Of All Time
No matter how desperate you may get with trying to lose weight, don’t endanger your life by enlisting in one of these 10 dangerous diets.
1.The Tapeworm Diet
The name itself might disgust you, especially because there is real tapeworm involved, but believe it or not this had been popular at one point. Based on the theory that tapeworms balance out the body’s immune system and keep it from being sick, researchers discovered that one side effect of this process is weight loss.
However, given that the tapeworm is a parasite that can cause illness, you are at risk of various complications. According to the PubMed Health, because a tapeworm can grow longer than 12 feet and can live for years, it can cause a blockage in your intestine and complicate your digestion. Sometimes, a tapeworm can also move out of your intestine and cause local growths and damage tissues in the brain, eye, or heart. If it causes brain infection, you can experience seizures and other nervous system problems.
2.The Grapefruit Diet
This very low calorie, low carbohydrate, high protein diet is based on the ingredient in grapefruits that are said to be magical, and when eaten along with protein, this ingredient is claimed to trigger fat burning and thus cause weight loss fast. However, the weight you will lose here is primarily from fluids and not bodily fat, meaning you’ll get back to your starting weight once you get off the diet.
However, according to the American Dietetic Association, there is no evidence that grapefruit has fat-burning enzymes, nor is it a “magic bullet” for weight loss. Kelly Brownell, PhD, director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, agrees. She writes WebMD that grapefruit is a good food, but so are other healthy foods like vegetables and other fruits.
Both experts also agree that the Grapefruit Diet sets restrictive limitations on variety of foods that it does little to help dieters improve their eating habits or behaviors, and often lead to boredom, monotony, and taste fatigue.
3.Cabbage Soup Diet
The cabbage soup diet is a radical weight loss fad in which dieters must take a lot of low-calorie cabbage soup over seven days. While only just a short term weight loss program, the cabbage soup diet claims that dieters will lose 10 pounds in one week.
No matter the popularity, however, most experts think that the cabbage soup diet is a program to a diet disaster.
Connie Diekman, Med, RD, who is the director of University Nutrition at Washington University, thinks that the diet is a monotonous, short term fix that is severely lacking in nutrients, which will primarily result in a weight loss that is primarily water and not the bodily fat that must be lost to improve one’s health.
4.The HCG Diet
The hCG diet is a particularly dangerous plan, as it involves drops or injections of a pregnancy hormone hCG plus a daily consumption of 500 calories.
Pieter Cohen, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, thinks that the diet is reckless, irresponsible, and completely irrational. While you can surely lose weight on the hCG diet, Cohen said that it’s mainly because you’re hardly consuming any calories; any benefit you get from it is not going to last.
5.The Cookie Diet
Lose weight quickly, safely, and without hunger.
This is what Dr. Sanford Siegal, creator of the cookie diet claims. This diet works by letting dieters eat every two hours between the time you wake up and the time you go back to sleep, which includes nine small snacks of the “specially formulated” cookies containing 60 calories each and one 500- to 700-calorie meal.
However, according to the American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Dee Sandquist, MS, RD, the cookie diet is just another version of the meal replacement plan, which can’t really be kept in the long run.
Other critics say that 800 calories a day is below the recommended level for safe and effective weight loss; also the diet does not have an exercise plan. Sandquist says that physical activity is esential to build and maintain lean muscle, and is an integral part of an overall healthy lifestyle that needs to be part of every weight loss plan.
6.The Graham Crackers Diet
Before the graham crackers became a regular ingredient of fattening desserts, its namesake, Presbyterian minister Sylvester Graham, baked crackers and distributed them to his followers as a way to suppress what he considered unhealthy carnal urges, which is a source of many sins.
The original graham crackers, made with a combination of finely-ground unbleached-wheat flour, wheat bran, and germ, was available in either unsweetened or mildly sweetened varieties.
While this wasn’t as extreme as the tapeworm diet or the hCG diet, the fact that Graham believed that eating bland food will keep men from committing sins is quite absurd.
7.Last Chance Diet
Another diet in the “dangerous” category, the Last Chance diet had cost several lives. It was basically a starvation diet, in which the dieters ate nothing except a low-cal concoction made by Dr. Roger Linn, who also came up with the diet. This said concoction was based on collagen, a low-quality protein, and was derived from the hooves and hides of slaughterhouse animals.
After a rapid loss of 10 to 30 percent of their body weight, some dieters collapsed, and up to 60 of them died suddenly. These incidents were attributed to abnormal heart rhythms that resulted from shrinking of the heart muscle as well as electrolyte imbalances.
8.Chew Yourself Thin
Chewing was once an Edwardian diet craze, which was promoted by Horace Fletcher, who was an entrepreneur and art dealer. He boasted to his peers that he defecated only once every two weeks by chewing his food until most of it liquefies, then spitting out the bits that didn’t dissolve.
This scheme became instantly popular among many known men, including novelist Henry James, industry titan John D. Rockefeller, and John Harvey Kellog of the cereal fame.
9.The Fen-Phen Diet
The drug combination of fenfluramine/phentermine was an anti-obesity treatment. In 1984, researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center reported that weight loss in patients receiving fen-phen was significantly greater than in those who receive placebo treatment and those receiving medications equivalent to fenfluramine, and those receiving phentermine alone.
However, researchers from the Clinical Psychopharmacology Section of the National Institute of Health found that fen-phen, specifically fenfluramine, causes valvular heart disease and pulmonary hypertension.
10.The Goldfish Diet
What started out as a bet became a nationwide fad in 1939. After the story of a Harvard University undergrad winning $10 after he swallowed a live goldfish has spread, a large following prompted a countrywide slaughter of goldfishes. This fad became so popular that even pet stores started running out of gold fish in their stocks.
It wasn’t until the New York Times published an article containing warnings from doctors that swallowing goldfish could be dangerous to one’s health, because not only are they indigestible to the human stomach, but they are also known to carry parasites such as tapeworms, which leads back to the number one most dangerous diet of all time.