Culinary History,  Food History,  Health,  Healthy,  History

The Diets of Yesteryear

Ever since there have been humans on earth, there have been standards of beauty and health. And ever since there have been standards of beauty and health, there have been diets. For both man and woman.

A lot of diet and exercise ideas came about because people were seeking to fit the standards of their culture regarding health. For example, there have been several times throughout history where women were encouraged to gain more weight instead of losing it because it was thought to be more attractive and that a plumb woman was more healthy!

And to be fair to men, they have often been told to look strong, well-built and muscular. Of course, your culture, ancient or modern, defined what that meant! Interestingly, the word “diet” comes from the Greek and means “a way of life”.

For fun, here’s a peek at some of the unusual diets of yesterday!

  • The Graham Diet – This is a diet that was invited by a Presbyterian minister, Sylvester Graham. His diet was one of the first vegetarian diets. And he is also the inventor of the graham cracker!
  • The Lucky Strike Diet – This diet, encouraged by the brand of cigarettes of the 1920s known as “Lucky Strikes”, told people to grab a cigarette instead of a sweet after dinner!
  • The Grapefruit Diet – Invented in the 1930s and also known as the “Hollywood Diet”. For this diet, people ate grapefruit at every meal.
  • The Cabbage Soup Diet – Invented in the 1950s. Like the Grapefruit diet, but this time with cabbage soup.
  • The Chewing Diet – This diet was invented in the Edwardian age and recommended that people chew their food at least 32 times to absorb all the nutrients!

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