Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Alternative Diet Programs
alternative diet programs center on the belief that you can improve your health
by eating or avoiding certain foods. Alternative approaches to nutrition vary
widely. Some alternative diets have been developed as a way to stay healthy.
Others have been suggested as therapies for specific illnesses, such as cancer
and heart disease. Most programs emphasize dietary changes plus lifestyle
changes, such as routine exercise and stress reduction.
examples of alternative diet programs include:
diets attempt to improve physical and/or mental well-being. Many alternative
diets claim to prevent or cure diseases, such as cancer and heart disease. But
alternative diets have not been studied enough to prove that they work.
Some people believe that diet can help prevent or treat conditions such
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD),
autoimmune diseases such as
rheumatoid arthritis. But there is not conclusive
research to determine whether these conditions have a dietary link.
Some alternative diet
programs are safe when practiced in moderation. But diets that severely limit
food choices or exclude entire food groups can lead to nutritional deficiencies
or other health problems.
Children, pregnant or nursing women,
and people with chronic illnesses should not start any alternative diet without
first consulting a doctor.
Always tell your doctor if you are
using an alternative therapy or if you are thinking about combining an
alternative therapy with your conventional medical treatment. It may not be
safe to forgo your conventional medical treatment and rely only on an
Other Works Consulted
Katz DL, Friedman RSC (2008). Food allergy and
intolerance. In Nutrition in Clinical Practice, pp.
275–280. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
Mahan LK, Swift KM (2012). Medical nutrition therapy for adverse reactions to food: Food allergies and intolerances. In LK Mahan et al., eds., Krause's Food and the Nutrition Care Process, 13th ed., pp. 562–591. St Louis, MO: Saunders.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (2012). Understanding food allergy. (NIH Publication No. 12-5518). Available online: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/foodAllergy/understanding/Pages/default.aspx.
Current as of:
June 11, 2013
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more, visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.