The Shangri-La Diet
The Shangri-La Diet: What the Experts Say
Linking flavor and weight loss is an interesting concept, but not one
familiar to most registered dietitians.
''It sounds sexy and easy, but it is riddled with holes,'' says American
Dietetic Association spokesperson David Grotto, RD. ''What I like is that you
can eat whatever you want. But choosing unfamiliar foods and drinking olive oil
or sugar water between meals is not practical, nor is it likely to be something
most people will do for a long time.'' He points out that there is no
scientific literature to substantiate Robert's approach to manipulating hunger
and set point with tasteless calories.
Another nutritionist dismisses The Shangri-La Diet as mostly gimmick.
''It is ludicrous to make a statement that the better a food tastes, the more
fattening it is. Delicious food does not need to be fattening," says Ellie
Krieger, RD, host of Food Network's Healthy Appetite.
Some of the book's advice is not in line with expert recommendations on
weight loss. For example, Grotto takes issue with the author's recommendation
to add cinnamon to pizza. (The idea is that making the flavor less familiar
will help break the taste-calorie connection.)
''Cinnamon may have an impact on blood sugar but adding it to pizza will not
make it any less fattening, even the first time,'' says Grotto.
''It would be very hard to sustain a diet like this one because the
enjoyment factor of food is not part of the program and neither is
exercise, which is almost more important than what you eat when trying to
The Shangri-La Diet: Food for Thought
If The Shangri-La Diet sounds too good to be true, it probably
The diet's premise is unusual. It is based on a few studies in rats,
anecdotes of successful dieters, and the author's personal experience -- not
the clinical trials that scientists insist upon when making public health
Testimonials are not a substitute for science, and anecdotal evidence is not
sufficient to prove Roberts' theory behind The Shangri-La Diet. More
studies are needed to test what effect tasteless and unfamiliar foods have on