The dangerous diet that could ruin your health

Image result for The Mono Diet says you can eat as much as you want -- but only of one food, such as bananas.

The Mono Diet says you can eat as much as you want — but only of one food, such as bananas.

When Alicia Hunter, 49, heard about a diet where she could eat as much of her favorite fruit as she wanted, the Upper East Side woman was hooked. There was one small catch, though: It was the onlything she could eat.

“In an attempt to lose weight for the holidays, I ate only melon for almost 30 days after I heard about the Mono Diet,” says Hunter, an eyelash-extension professional. “I lost 7 pounds, but I never want [to eat] melon again.”

The diet dictates that you eat only one food for several weeks to lose weight fast, something that many experts warn is dangerous and only successful in the short term. Hunter, however, used it to kick-start a long-term weight-loss plan to shed the pounds, and raved about the benefits.

“I kept the weight off and actually lost another 8 pounds since then on other diets,” she says.

The Mono Diet (sometimes referred to as Banana Island or Monotrophic Diet) has become increasingly popular since a YouTube star nicknamed “Freelee the Banana Girl” (real name: Leanne Ratcliffe) boasted about her weight loss in 2014. She claimed to have lost 40 pounds eating close to 30 bananas a day.

‘It’s an incredibly restrictive and unbalanced diet and I do not recommend that anyone follow it.’

Since then, a new version, the Sweet Potato Diet, was released in April, touting how the spud can help you lose 12 pounds in just two weeks. Meanwhile, the hashtag #monomeal on Instagram, which highlights pictures of people’s meals containing a single food, has more than 38,000 posts, and the diet was one of the most searched in 2016, according to Google. Comedian and magician Penn Jillette even wrote a book last year about how he lost 100 pounds by eating nothing but potatoes for two weeks to kick off his diet. And Matt Damon revealed he ate only chicken breasts to drop weight for his role in “Courage Under Fire.”

“Yes, this diet can produce weight loss,” says Frances Largeman-Roth, registered dietitian and author of “Eating in Color.” “But, the weight loss is a result of caloric restriction — not because any particular food is magically producing weight loss. It’s an incredibly restrictive and unbalanced diet and I do not recommend that anyone follow it.”

In addition to a low caloric intake (Hunter estimates she ate about 800 calories a day worth of melon), which can cause symptoms like dizziness, a Mono Diet can also lead to some serious health problems. The diet landed Ashton Kutcher in the emergency room in 2013 after he followed the “Mucusless Diet Healing System,” and based his diet solely on fruit.

Modal Trigger
Alicia HunterKimberly Bach

“I ended up in the hospital two days before we started shooting [‘Jobs’],” he told reporters at the Sundance Film Festival. Months later, at a press conference, he said that, “My insulin levels got pretty messed up and my pancreas kind of went . . . crazy. The levels were really off, and it was painful.”

Amy Gorin, a Jersey City-based registered dietitian and nutritionist, says such diets can have “a negative effect on your metabolism and may cause muscle loss. By eating just one food, you’d be taking in too much of certain vitamins or minerals — for example, potassium from bananas. Additionally, it will be very hard to maintain any weight loss once you go back to eating a normal diet.”

While Hunter didn’t have an issue keeping off the initial weight she lost, and raved about her glowing skin, others who tried it didn’t have as great an experience.

“I was desperate to lose weight, so I decided to eat only carrots for an entire month,” says New Jersey music teacher Beth Glickman, 58. “I lost about 10 pounds in one month, but the palms of my hands turned orange! Needless to say, the diet didn’t last much longer than that.”


Bee, wasp stings more dangerous than snake, spider bites

IANS | Jan 17, 2017, 03.29 PM IST

Bee, wasp stings more dangerous than snake, spider bites ( Juliet Kind/Getty Images)Bee, wasp stings more dangerous than snake, spider bites ( Juliet Kind/Getty Images)
An Australian research has discovered that venom from bees and wasps, rather than those from jellyfish, spiders or snakes, poses bigger public health threat, a study has revealed.

The Australia-first national analysis of 13 years’ data on bites and stings from venomous creatures, undertaken by the University of Melbourne, revealed that bees and wasps were responsible for a third of hospitalisations for venomous stings and bites, Xinhua news agency reported.

Spider bites were the second most prevalent cause of hospitalization in the 13-year period, accounting for 30 per cent of all admissions, while snake bites were third at 15 per cent.

Overall, 42,000 people were admitted to hospital for venomous bites or stings in the 13-year period and 64 people were killed, 34 of which were due to an allergic reaction to an insect bite that caused anaphylactic shock.

Ronelle Welton, a public health expert at the Australian Venom Unit at the University of Melbourne, said she was surprised that there were so many deaths and hospitalisations in the populated coastal areas of Australia.

“More than half of deaths happened at home, and almost two-thirds (64 percent) occurred, not in the isolated areas we might expect, but rather, in major cities and inner-regional areas where healthcare is readily accessible,” Welton said in a news release on Tuesday.

Welton said she believes the reason insect bites were so deadly was that people could be complacent in seeking medical attention and anaphylaxis can kill quickly.

Three quarters of those who died as a result of snake bites made it to hospital compared to just 44 per cent of those who were killed by insect bites.

Stay updated on the go with Times of India News App. Click here to download it for your device.


Air quality still in `dangerous’ territory

N | Nov 11, 2016, 11.14 AM IST

<p>Air quality still in `dangerous' territory<br></p>Air quality still in `dangerous’ territory

Despite the weather having cleared in the past few days, Delhi’s air quality index has continued to remain in the `severe’ category , indicating that there has been no reduction in pollutants over the city. Thursday’s AQI was down to 408 from Wednesday’s 424 but experts say there is little reason to cheer since even this level is highly dangerous.

The Met department said that Friday and Saturday would see another build-up of smog, but it would be temporary . “The weather will remain dry but we expect moderate to shallow fog over Haryana, Delhi and UP,” said a Met official.

Dr D Saha, additional director of CPCB said that it was imperative that no further pollution be added to the air. “Because of the wind pattern, crop burning in Haryana and Punjab will lead to more pollution in the capital,” he said.

The Met department has predicted a gradual rise in minimum temperatures by 2-3 degrees Celsius over northwest India during the next 48 hours.

Stay updated on the go with Times of India News App. Click here to download it for your device.