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Heart Institute Diet

author image Sara Ipatenco
Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.
Heart Institute Diet
The Heart Institute Diet allows you to eat a lot of meat. Photo Credit: Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Also known as the Miami Heart Institute Diet, Sacred Heart Diet or Cleveland Clinic Diet, the Heart Institute Diet isn't connected with or endorsed by any medical facility, though people can lose weight following the program. While potentially effective in the short term, the Heart Institute Diet isn't safe. If you're looking for a way to lose weight, talk to your doctor instead because he can help you find a more appropriate weight-loss plan.

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Heart Institute Diet Origins

Even though the diet sounds official, it isn't -- it's actually a fad diet that's been around for several decades. The cardiology department at Sacred Heart Memorial Hospital is credited with the origins of the diet, but the medical establishment had no part in the creation of the diet, nor does it endorse the weight loss plan. According to the diet claims, participants can expect to lose between 10 and 17 pounds in the first week, but most of that is water weight, and it's not safe to lose that much weight that quickly.

Soup Is the Star

Similar to the cabbage soup diet, another fad diet, the food star of the Heart Institute Diet is soup. You're not restricted to just cabbage soup, but the diet requires you to eat at least one serving of soup each day. In fact, you can eat as much soup as you want most days. The most recommended soups are broth-based, which means they contain stock and vegetables such as carrots, celery, tomatoes, green beans and peppers.

Additional Foods You Can Eat

Meat is another food that plays a big part in the Heart Institute Diet. For example, the Heart Institute Diet allows you to eat up to 20 ounces of beef in one day. Another recommendation is that you eat two or three steaks in one day. You're also allowed to eat plenty of fruit, such as bananas and cantaloupe, as well as brown rice, leafy green vegetables, skim milk and the occasional baked potato.

The Risks

The American Heart Association cautions against high-protein diets because many protein foods, such as steak, are also high in saturated fat. Eliminating much of the carbohydrates you'd normally eat, as is the case with the Heart Institute Diet, can also leave you deficient in certain nutrients, such as fiber. The large amounts of soup can lead to an overconsumption of sodium, as well as an underconsumption of potassium, magnesium and calcium, all of which can raise blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association.

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