Junk food diet; Reality or harmful fad?

By Nazia Khan

The fact about maintaining a balanced diet and exercising for at least 60 minutes every day is stressed, but can eating junk food, a “food group” that is known to make people gain weight, actually make you lose weight? Well there is a way. It’s called the “Twinkie Diet”.

Mark Haub a professor at Kansas State specializing in human nutrition attempted this diet. For 10 weeks, Haub only ate junk foods, such as Twinkies, just like the name of this diet.

He also ate Doritos, Oreos, sugary cereals and other sugary sweet snacks. Within those 10 weeks, he lost 27 pounds.

Mark Haub’s hypothesis was that gaining weight had everything to do with counting calories and not with the nutrition value. Haubs experiment, consisted of him eating only at 1,800 calories out of the 2,300 calories a man his size would usually eat in a day.

Every three hours Haub would eat a snack food instead of meals. Most people would think that he is just hurting himself by eating all that junk, but surprisingly Haub’s bad cholesterol had decreased by 20 percent and his good cholesterol increased by 20 percent.

There is a type of fat called triglycerides that he reduced by 39 percent. Haub’s body fat had decreased from 33.4 percent to 24.9 percent in those 10 weeks.

Although he had success with this experiment, it still had some problems. Only two thirds of his diet was junk.

In addition to his junk food diet, Haub also took a multivitamin pill, drank a protein shake every day and also ate vegetables, such as a can of beans or three to four celery sticks.

Mark Haub says, “these foods are consumed by a lot of people. It may be an issue of portion size and moderation rather than total removal. I just think it’s unrealistic to expect people to totally drop these foods for vegetables and fruits. It may be healthy, but not realistic.”

Before Haub tried the Twinkie diet he tried eating healthy, like eating whole grains and fibers and everything that is advertised to be healthy.

Haub stated, “There seems to be a disconnect between eating healthy and being healthy. It may not be the same. I was eating healthier, but I wasn’t healthy. I was eating too much.”

When he was on the Twinkie Diet, he was still exercising.

He had avoided meat, whole grains and fruits, but once he started eating meat again, his cholesterol had risen back up. Haub is not sure whether this diet is healthy or not.

Since he is not sure about how healthy this diet is, he does not recommend it to anyone.