Like other single-food weight loss fads such as the Egg diet or the Twinkie diet, the Strawberry diet doesn't meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture's criteria for a healthy, balanced eating plan. Although it exists in a number of forms, none encourage dieters to establish sustainable eating habits or to exercise regularly. Do not attempt any form of the Strawberry diet until you've spoken to your doctor about the possible drawbacks and dangers.
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The most extreme version of the Strawberry diet originated in 2004 with former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham. While traveling with her husband in Europe, Beckham supposedly began a diet that consisted of nothing more than one meal of strawberries each day. Even if Beckham consumed 5 cups of sliced strawberries at this meal, it would only supply 266 calories and less than 6 grams of protein. For more protein, the "Mirror" reported that Beckham would occasionally supplement her strawberry-only diet with prawns.
In 2014, Kim Kardashian began a version of the diet that included strawberries for every meal several days a week with strawberry smoothies as snacks. Variations include three- and four-day plans that supply approximately 1,200 calories per day and incorporate strawberries in every meal and snack. A sample day's menu could start with a fruit salad of apples, bananas and strawberries paired with yogurt for breakfast and a strawberry, asparagus and turkey breast salad for lunch. Dinner might be a baked potato served with a cottage cheese and strawberry salad. Strawberries and yogurt or a strawberry smoothie could be snacks during the day.
Following either the strawberry-only or strawberries-at-every-meal version of the Strawberry diet will result in weight loss since both are low in calories. Strawberries are low in fat, high in fiber and an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese. Berries like strawberries are also rich in cyanidin, a flavonoid compound that may help lower your risk of conditions like heart disease. Versions of the Strawberry diet that include foods other than the berries typically incorporate lean proteins and other fresh fruits and vegetables.
The most extreme version of the diet does not provide enough calories. A woman should consume no fewer than 1,200 calories each day to ensure that she's getting enough vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients. A man should have at least 1,800 calories daily. The Strawberry diet may also cause side effects like lack of energy and diarrhea and may weaken your immune system and organs such as your heart. Even moderate versions of the plan don't include whole grains and could give dieters the belief that strawberries are a magical fat-burning food, which West Virginia University assures is not true. Any weight you lose on the diet may return when you resume your regular eating habits.
- Female First: Victoria Beckham's Strawberry Diet
- Mirror: Celebrity Diets - From Fad to Fab
- London Evening Standard: Kim Kardashian Goes on 'Strawberry Only' Diet
- American College of Sports Medicine: Metabolism is Modifiable with the Right Lifestyle Changes
- CNN Health: How Crash Diets Harm Your Health
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Strawberries, Raw
- Healthy Dietpedia.com: Fresh Berry Diet
- The 3 Day Diet Plan: Strawberry Nutrition Diet
- University of California Davis: Nutrition and Health Info-Sheet
- West Virginia University: 10 Dieting Myths