The 911 on Popular Diets

Web Resources

  • Dr. McDougall's Health & Medical Center - High Protein and Other Fad Diets - The fad of following high protein diets seems to never fade. Not only are the weight loss results of these plans often temporary, but by following them you put your health at risk as well. Most of them are filled with fat, cholesterol, animal protein, microbes and environmental chemical contaminants, while being deficient in dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, essential carbohydrates, and other phytonutrients. In the extreme forms (Atkins-type), they cause weight loss by causing you to become sick. The others work by the time-honored “starve-yourself-methods” (Zone-type), or by a combination of the two methods (South Beach Diet). For lifelong weight loss and good health, you should eat like thin people eat (rural Asians, Central Americans, Africans, etc.), i.e. a diet based on starches, vegetables and fruits.


  • Fad Diets - The Exam Room - Which diets are healthy? Which ones aren't? Doctors and dieticians break down plant-based diets, Paleo, Atkins, low-carb, gluten-free, and more!

Low Carbohydrate, High Fat Diets

  • [Tim] Noakes’s ‘dangerous diet may cause cancer’ - Rohan Millson - People have shed oodles of weight; they’ve improved some biomarkers of health; they feel better than they have in years; they’re energised; they’re eternally grateful; and Tim’s cool. Unfortunately for the followers of Noakes’s destructive eating style The Real Meal Revolution, all the studies of high-animal diets and mortality, whether called high-fat or low-carb, Atkins or Paleo, show that they shorten people’s lives. There are no studies showing otherwise.
  • Scientists say the exact opposite of a Paleo diet looks like being the best for a longer life - Chris Pash - A low protein, high carbohydrate diet may be the most effective for stimulating a hormone with life-extending and obesity-fighting benefits, according to the latest Australian research.
  • Debunking the Paleo diet - Dr. Christina Warinner - So how much of the diet fad the “Paleo Diet” is based on an actual Paleolithic diet? The answer is not really any of it.
  • Starchy carbs, not a Paleo diet, advanced the human race - Starchy carbohydrates were a major factor in the evolution of the human brain, according to a new study co-authored by researchers from the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre and Faculty of Agriculture and Environment. Published in the Quarterly Review of Biology, the hypothesis challenges the long-standing belief that the increase in size of the human brain around 800,000 years ago was the result of increased meat consumption. The research is a blow to advocates of the Paleo diet, which shuns starch-rich vegetables and grains.
  • Paleo Diet May Undermine Benefit of CrossFit Exercise - Dr. Michael Greger - Much of the low-carb and paleo reasoning revolves around insulin. To quote a paleo blogger, “carbohydrates increase insulin, the root of all evil when it comes to dieting and health.” So, the logic follows that because carbs increase insulin, we should stick mostly to meat, which is fat and protein with no carbs; so, no increase in insulin, right?Wrong.
  • Paleolithic Lessons - Dr. Michael Greger - An evolutionary argument for a plant-based diet is presented, in contrast to “Paleo” fad diets.
  • Low-Carb Diets & Coronary Blood Flow - Dr. Michael Greger -Blood flow within the hearts of those eating low-carb diets was compared to those eating plant-based diets.
  • Plant-Based Atkins Diet - Dr. Michael Greger - Harvard study found that men and women eating low carb diets live significantly shorter lives, but what about the "eco-Atkins diet," a plant-based, low carbohydrate diet?
  • Atkins Diet: Trouble Keeping It Up - Dr. Michael Greger - A case report in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly Journal of the American Dietetic Association) of a man who went on the Atkins diet, lost his ability to have an erection—and nearly lost his life.
  • Carbophobia by Dr. Michael Greger is now available free online full-text at

Blood Type Diet

  • Blood Type Diet Debunked - Dr. Michael Greger - A systematic review finds no evidence to support the notion that people should choose diets based on their blood type.

Gluten Free Diets

  • Is Gluten Sensitivity Real? - Dr. Michael Greger - For more than 30 years, the medical profession has debated the existence of an intolerance to the wheat protein, gluten, unrelated to allergy or celiac disease. What is the evidence pro and con?
  • Gluten-Free Diets: Separating the Wheat from the Chat - Dr. Michael Greger - For more than 30 years, the medical profession has debated the existence of an intolerance to the wheat protein, gluten, unrelated to allergy or celiac disease. What is the evidence pro and con?
  • How to Diagnose Gluten Intolerance - Dr. Michael Greger - After a formal evaluation to rule out celiac disease, those who suspect they might have gluten sensitivity should first try improving their diet and then have other causes excluded before going on a gluten-free diet, since as many as 1 in 3 people who avoid gluten for symptom control end up having a different disease altogether.
  • Should We Be Worried About Gluten? - Dr. Fuhrman - Should everyone be concerned about consuming gluten? Gluten-free, like fat-free and low-carb, is a dietary fad that claims to promote weight loss and enhance health. But are there real health benefits to going gluten-free?


The medical and/or nutritional information on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please seek medical advice before using diet to treat disease.

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