An American nutritionist says that the morning banana diet can be a recipe for disaster for most people.
Kerri Glassman, a contributor to the programme 'The Early Show', says that Japanese people are particularly crazy about the morning diet of bananas.
According to her, people there are suggested that they eat as many as bananas with worm water as they want for breakfast. After that, they can have a basic lunch that can include pizza and fries, and a mid-afternoon meal of snacks, which can even be a sweet.
And the dinner, which has to be before 8 p.m., can include anything an individual wants.
People are asked not to have anything after dinner, and to go to bed before midnight.
"You can have as many bananas as you want for breakfast? Maybe the idea is you get so full, you don't want to eat a big lunch, or a big dinner?" said a sceptical Maggie Rodriguez, co-anchor on the show.
Glassman, however, said: "That's part of it. Bananas do have fibre, and they're gonna help fill you up to some extent. But still, many people we know, no matter how many bananas you have for breakfast, (if) they're told you can have whatever you want for lunch and dinner, you could be having a turkey sandwich, trying to lose weight, and then all of a sudden, you switch to pizza and fries, you're gonna gain weight."
The nutritionist added: "It's a recipe for disaster for most people. However, for some people, if you're eating, let's say, lots of sweets throughout the day, and now you're told you can't have any sweets except for one small sweet at three (p.m.), you might lose some weight. Also, for some people, if you're an emotional eater and you over-consume thousands of calories at night, you're gonna cut calories (with this diet). So, for some people, you may lose a little bit of weight, but for most people, it's a recipe for disaster."
She agreed that it appeared to be a good idea to have warm water with breakfast.
"Some people believe it helps with digestion. And it's common for some people to have the warm water in the morning. You're increasing your fluid intake in the morning, but this diet gives no explanation why (the warm water helps)," she added.
She, however, insisted that the morning banana diet could not be regarded as the stuff of a roadmap for lifetime eating.
"For the most people, bananas are not a magical food. They're just not. They have fibre. They have protein. They have potassium. They're an excellent food that should be incorporated into your diet but, just like the grapefruit diet or cabbage soup diet, there's no magical food," she said.
Glassman further said that bananas "have some resistant starch. That is a type of fibre that passes through your system into your colon without being digested. There is some new research that shows it might actually help burn fat. Now, even if that's true and, let's say, it does help do that, there are other resistant starches out there, in potatoes, in beans. You still can't over-consume as many bananas as you want, and you still can't eat whatever you want, including steak and fries every day for lunch.
"Incorporate bananas into a healthy diet. That's the way to go. But we still need whole grains and vegetables," among many other types of food, she added.