Going Bananas on This Fad Diet is Dangerous Say Health Experts
Would you be willing to eat up to 50 bananas a day if it meant it would make you thin? According to Shape magazine, you may want to reconsider what they say is just another fad Mono Diet that could ruin your health.
Mono Diets are specialty diets - or some say “lifestyles” - that essentially limits your food choice to just one food type every day, 3 meals per day. More typically though, it’s a type of high carbohydrate, raw vegan lifestyle diet where a huge amount of raw fruits and a much smaller amount of raw greens are eaten until about 4 p.m., after which, a high-carb cooked dinner consisting of high-starch plant foods like potatoes.
According to a recent article in Shape magazine online, writer Rachael Schultz tells readers that one of the most famous mono diet advocates of this kind of dieting is “Freelee the Banana Girl” who reportedly eats up to 50 bananas (approximately 5,000 calories) per day and sports a flat tummy.
Ms. Freelee has a website called “30 Bananas a Day” and is author of the e-book “Go Fruit Yourself,” all of which promote the notion that like for her, following a mono diet plan can lead to significant weight loss and help you regain your health.
Her website states that the rules to her high carb, raw vegan lifestyle are based on what she refers to as the “Raw Till 4” (RT4) plan that includes the following tenets:
1. Only plant foods are allowed on this program. No animal products, no exceptions.
2. Raw fruits & greens (mainly fruits) must only be eaten until 4pm (or 2 hours prior to dinner time), and then a high carb cooked dinner of high starch plant foods. No cooked food during the day.
3. 800+ calories from fruit for breakfast and 800+ from fruit for lunch are recommended for success, and then a high carb cooked dinner of 500+ calories. Aim for minimum 2100 calories per day for women, 3000 for men.
4. Aim for as close to 90/5/5 as possible in your calorie ratio: that’s 90% of calories from carbohydrates and 5% of calories each from fats and proteins. Try to keep fat intake consistently below 10% and carbohydrate intake consistently above 80%.
Note that there is minimal protein here, and even legumes are not allowed as they are not high-carb enough to qualify for the diet plan.
So what do health experts have to say about this diet? Essentially, that while weight loss will likely happen―at least for a while―that the mono diet follower is in fact putting their health at risk by nutritionally starving their body while feeling full.
Ms. Schultz quotes Manuel Villacorta, R.D., author of Whole Body Reboot: The Peruvian Super Foods Diet to Detoxify, Energize, and Supercharge Fat Loss as saying that, “Eating 50 bananas a day is crazy—it would create a massive nutrient deficiency,” as he explains that, “We need to eat a variety of foods because they each provide different nutrients essential to the functioning of our bodies.”
One essential nutrient Ms. Shultz points out lacking in the aforementioned mono diet is that of fat, which the nervous system needs for proper functioning as well aiding the absorption of important fat-soluble nutrients like vitamins E, D, and K.
Furthermore, following an extreme mono diet could be considered not only physically, but psychologically damaging as well―likened to a type of eating disorder explains Ms. Shultz who reports that “Freelee the Banana Girl” admits on her website to a past history of bulimia, anorexia and extreme dieting.
So for Shape magazine, it’s a big thumbs down as they recommend against mono dieting, but do recommend vegan diets that include a wider range of fruits and vegetables that together will prevent nutritional starvation.
For a more nutritional vegan type diet, here is some info about Peruvian superfoods used by the Incas for weight loss.
“The Mono Meal Plan Is One Fad Diet You Shouldn't Follow” Shape magazine online