Scarsdale Medical Diet: How Safe Is It?

The Scarsdale Medical Diet may be considered a form of crash dieting. It puts the body in starvation mode. It can indeed offer quick weight loss in the short term.

Woman measuring slim waist

With today’s lifestyle and busy work schedules, people are looking for ways to improve their overall health. People also look for different diets or meal plans that can help them achieve better health. One such diet plan that can supposedly improve the health and wellness of individuals is the diet known as the Scarsdale Medical Diet. You may be wondering what is the Scarsdale Medical Diet. Is it safe? In this article, we will look at the basics of the Scarsdale Medical Diet and the safety or risks of the aforementioned diet plan or program.

What is Scarsdale Medical Diet

In the 1970s, the Scarsdale Medical Diet was developed primarily to help patients to lose weight. Through the reduction of calorie and carb intake, it can be used as a diet program that can help in quickly losing unwanted weight.

People who are undergoing the Scarsdale Medical Diet will have to take in:

  • Carbs: 34.5%
  • Fats: 22.5 %
  • Protein: 43%

They are also required to take in at least 4 glasses of water daily. Through these calculations, they can reduce total calories. The Scarsdale Medical Diet should be observed for around seven 7-14 days which will also entail not taking snacks in between meals.

Generally speaking, though, the Scarsdale diet is aimed at people who wish to lose weight rapidly. Based on the statement of the Scarsdale Diet’s founder, the said diet plan or program can help individuals lose weight within two (2) weeks, claiming that around twenty (20) can be shed during the aforementioned timeframe. However, there are some studies that show that the Scarsdale Medical Diet may not be the most efficient diet for weight loss and may also not be the ideal diet for those who wish to keep the pounds or the weight off in the long run.

Is the Scarsdale Medical Diet Healthy?

Health experts from the medical field particularly doctors and dietitians, caution people against crash diet programs that are considered extreme. Some indications of or signs that a diet plan or program is a crash diet program include the following:

  • Food rules that are sustainable
  • Macronutrients and other major food groups are avoided
  • Known healthy foods are actually limited
  • Restriction of calorie intake that is considered extreme

The Scarsdale Medical Diet may be considered a form of crash dieting due to the fact that it has some prohibitions on food items that are healthy and it has some food rules that are unsustainable. The aforementioned diet plan can also restrict the intake of fats lower than the recommended thirty percent (30%). This can have some adverse health effects on individuals as staying within the recommended range can help the brain function better and optimal health maintained.

These extreme diets work because it puts the body in the status of starvation or starvation mode. This mode will initiate the body’s response and use up the body’s own stores of muscle and fats due to the low-calorie intake of the individual. Such diets, when observed in the long term such as in weeks, months, and even years, may result in various health issues. These adverse health issues include renal insufficiency, gallstones, kidney stones, and osteoporosis.

Evidence also suggests that eating a low carb, high protein diet can negatively impact heart health. A Harvard Study conducted in a span of twenty (20) years for around 120,000 individuals showed that observing the above-mentioned diet can increase the chance for cardiovascular disease death by almost fourteen percent (14%). In addition, this low carb and high protein diet can also affect the gut negatively due to the diet being deficient in fiber.

Foods to Avoid on the Scarsdale Diet

Numerous food items are banned on the Scarsdale Medical Diet. Some of these food items include the following:

  • Desserts
  • Chocolates
  • Avocadoes
  • Lentils and Beans
  • Juice
  • Rice
  • All varieties of potatoes such as sweet potatoes
  • All types of dairy products that contain fats such as butter
  • Fatty Meats such as pork belly, bacon, and sausage

An earlier version of the Scarsdale Diet only allowed the consumption of grapefruit. More recent versions of the Scarsdale Diet, however, will allow the inclusion of certain fruits.

Foods To Eat On Scarsdale Diet

People who are currently undergoing the Scarsdale diet may consume certain food items which include vegetables, raw fruits, proteins, and fats. Dieters may also consume bread and other carbs but the said food items must be limited. Some of the food items that can be eaten on the Scarsdale diet are the following:

LettucePapayas
BrocolliMangoes
CauliflowerPeaches
RadishesCantaloupes
CarrotsTurkey
CeleryLean Beef
SpinachChicken
TomatoesEggs
Non-fat Dairy Food itemsLemon

Dieters may also take in certain beverages such as diet soda, tea, and of course, water. Seasonings or condiments that are allowed in Scarsdale Medical Diet are:

  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Soy sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Vinegar
  • Herbs
  • Pepper and salt

Scarsdale Medical Diet: Pros and Cons

One of the major and most enticing pros or advantages of the Scarsdale medical diet is that it can indeed offer quick weight loss in the short term. However, there are more cons and risks in the long term observance of the Scarsdale Medical Diet.

The first risk of the Scarsdale diet is that it may not be nutritionally ideal or sound in the long term as dieters find the program to be rather stiff and inflexible. There is also little to no variation in most food patterns. Lastly, the Scarsdale diet focuses mainly on weight loss which may overlook or even downplay the importance of health and nutrition overall.

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