Top 5 Diet Trends of the 1980s

Diet trends come and go, one week it may be the Hollywood juice diet, the next Nutrisystem is paying celebrities for endorsements. The one constant in dieting advice is change and things have certainly changed in diet trends since the 1980’s. Some of the popular diets in the 80s included the Scarsdale diet which encouraged high protein intake, low carbohydrate intake and very low caloric intake.  The popularity of chicken exploded as a healthier alternative to beef as researchers had connected the intake of too much red meat with heart disease.  These diet trends were based on the scientific evidence that was available and fortunately today, we know much more about how to shed unwanted fat.

Top 5 Diet trends of the 80’s

Lean Chicken
In the 1980’s the popularity of lean chicken exploded in popularity. Research at the time concluded that red meat had been shown to be a cause in the ever increasing heart disease epidemic and those looking to stave off these risks switched their preferred protein at dinner time to lean chicken rather than beef. This trend has continued and white meats such as Chicken and Turkey continue to be very popular in the diets of many. Beef still is very popular, though not as much as it had been before this trend emerged.

Low Fat foods High Sugar Snack Foods
In an attempt to combat the growing obesity issue, many low fat products were created as alternatives to the popular foods with higher fat content. Many of these foods however merely substituted sugar and simple carbohydrates for fat, which would later prove to be a fatal flaw in this method of nutrition. Low fat high sugar “diet foods” flooded grocery stores and these foods while without fat, found many willing consumers as the added sugar created many tasty treats. We would later come to learn that many of these foods were largely responsible for the furthering of the obesity issue as research would later show that the nutritional value of these snack foods achieved nothing but creating sugar cravings and packing on the pounds.

Slim Fast
This program gained notoriety in the late 1980’s as dieters rushed to order these products. Though the company claimed to provide all the nutrition one needed in a can, these shakes were rarely successful for many who tried the program. Studies would show that the digestion process burns calories and that actual food is a much better means of nutrition than supplementing a liquid mixture.

Oat Bran Fad
Upon learning that whole grains cut cholesterol Oat Bran muffins became hugely popular as a way for people to gain a healthier nutritional plan. Fads in the coming generations would largely dispel this myth as while whole grains are necessary, the sugar associated with the making of these muffins often times produced weight gain. After popular diets in the 90’s saw great results in utilizing low carb, low sugar dieting techniques, this dieting fad fell out of favor.

Weight Loss clinics
From Jenny Craig to Weight Watchers, diet clinics sprang up around the country offering a place for those struggling with the weight to come learn how to shed the pounds. Many of these clinics saw clients produce results however with the non sustainability of many of these diets, weight regain was and continues to be very common on these programs.

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