Scarsdale DietThe Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet is a book by Scarsdale, New York physician Dr. Herman Tarnower and Samm Sinclair Baker, originally published in 1979. The book became a bestseller and (as of 2006) was still in print. The "Scarsdale Diet," a low-carbohydrate, low-calorie weight-loss diet, is still popular today.
The original low carb, high fiber weight loss plan and the predecessor of subsequent diets like the Atkins Diet, the Scarsdale Diet specifies a very specific diet which is supposed to be followed exactly. A grapefruit for breakfast each day is meant to supply enzymes necessary for buring the 700-calorie per day diet. Artificial sweeteners are used in place of sugar. The diet is to be followed
for 7 or 14 days, alternating with a less rigorous regime.
Critics acknowledge that the diet gives quick results, but say that weight loss on the plan results simply from the reduced caloric intake; is mostly water; is quickly regained; and that the diet is so extreme as to be unhealthy, however many followers of the diet report positive results.
The diet book received an unexpected boost in sales when its author Dr. Tarnower was murdered, March 10, 1980,
by his long-time lover Jean Harris, the headmistress of the Madeira Girls' School, a fashionable boarding school.
In 2005, the American-based Food Network listed the Scarsdale diet as number two of its top five food fads of the 1970s.
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