Nov. 20, 2013 at 2:50 PM ET
There’s a new diet craze that’s so crazy this nutritionist had to say something about it. It’s called monomeals because you eat just one—that’s right, one—food per meal (usually a fruit or raw vegetable). Think pineapple for breakfast, mango for lunch, perhaps two avocados for dinner, or get this -- bananas for the entire week!
The monomeals fad assumes that eating one food at a time is easier to digest. Not so. Consuming a varied diet of wholesome, nutritious food that includes 50 percent colorful vegetables and fruits; 25 percent nuts, seeds, beans, eggs, with fish, chicken, turkey; and 25 percent unprocessed, whole, sprouted grains (think Ezekiel breads, cereals, quinoa, spelt), provides the full compliment of life-sustaining nutrition your body needs to get you through the day.
Eating a single-food diet could be a set up for nutritional deficiencies—namely protein, calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin D and vitamin B12. It's the process of combining protein and complex carbs in the same meal that's healthy and can be a boon to your weight-loss goals. It stabilizes your blood sugar and insulin levels, cuts cravings and helps you to eat less.
Monomeals proponents maintain that eating one food at a time helps you to eat less. They say having one food in your mouth will make you fully appreciate when you’re full. What? The fact is it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to send the message to your brain that you are full—no matter what you’re eating. Just slow down and viola! You actually eat less when you listen to your body.
But you must feed your body. The monomeals diet has been around for a long time, it's not really new. It's called a Food Jag. (In toddlers it's called the “Terrible Twos.” They eat just one food, say hot dogs, for weeks, but eventually grow out of it).
Bottom line? Your body needs nutrients, in the proper quantities, for normal bodily function. There is no food that can do that on its own, hence every nutritionist's recommendation to eat a variety of foods. That's based on science—not a fad on social media.
Rovenia Brock, Ph.D. is the author, Dr. Ro’s Ten Secrets to Livin’ Healthy and a member of the Dr. Oz Medical Advisory Board
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.