Scarsdale diet

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A weight-loss diet devised by Dr Herman Tarnower in 1979. The dietary regime has two stages which alternate fortnightly. The first stage consists of the medical diet, a strictly prescribed high protein, low carbohydrate, low fat diet. Protein constitutes about 43 per cent of the diet but fats are restricted to about 25 per cent. Sugar, pasta, potatoes, and all bread (except a high protein variety) are excluded and between-meal snacks are restricted to carrots and celery. Tea or coffee can be taken freely, but alcohol is not allowed. The second stage consists of a keep-trim programme. This acts as a relief period from the very strict regime. More foods are allowed and alcohol can be taken in moderation. The diet during the keep-trim programme contains less protein.

Although the Scarsdale diet may result in weight loss, it is potentially harmful. The excessive amounts of protein and low carbohydrate in the medical diet can result in the accumulation of ketones, chemicals that are toxic in high concentrations. These may not be completely eliminated during the keep-trim programme. See also ketogenic diet.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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