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Alternative Diet Programs - Topic Overview

What are alternative diets used for?

Alternative 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 as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), fibromyalgia, and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. But there is not conclusive research to determine whether these conditions have a dietary link.

Are alternative diets safe?

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 alternative therapy.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 29, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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