Diet craziness: Is that all you’re eating?

I’ve been shaking my head over Ashton Kutcher’s ill-fated foray into the fruitarian diet ever since I heard that his over-the-top attempt at method acting landed him in the hospital. There are a lot of crazy extreme diets out there, but restricting yourself to one food group really takes the cake (only without cake, in this case).
Most people who go on diets have an “all or nothing” mentality. They are either on the diet, or off the diet. That’s the main reason why diets don’t work: People go right back to where they started from, or worse, as soon as they lose weight and go off the diet.
That all or nothingness gets a little crazier when people decide that a certain food or food group is either very good or very bad. The fact is that any “healthy” food can become unhealthy if eaten in such excess that it creates an imbalance in the diet. No “unhealthy” food is going to cause a problem if eaten in reasonable portions every so often (provided the food isn’t poisonous and doesn’t provoke an allergic reaction, of course).
When someone decides that if a little fruit is good, all fruit all the time must be better, that’s not healthy. When someone decides that if they let one bite of dessert or a single potato chip cross their lips, catastrophe will ensue, that’s not healthy either. There’s a nice article in U.S. News and World Report on where Kutcher’s diet went wrong. I especially liked this quote from registered dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner:
“There is no one magic bullet—no magic food or food group that will keep us healthy. Variety is more than the spice of life. It’s the basis of optimal health.”
I concur wholeheartedly. If you want to read about more diet craziness, check out the CNN slideshow “Diets through history: The good, the bad and the scary.” Indeed!