CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet Disadvantages

Article navigation

There are a number of disadvantages to the CSIRO Total Wellbeing diet:

  • This diet is not suitable for any type of vegetarian as it does not provide meatless alternatives for any meal
  • Difficult to maintain this diet long-term for many people
  • Not recommended for people with kidney disease
  • Ketosis – dangerous for people certain health conditions
  • Ketosis produces toxic by-products known as ketones
  • Not recommended for pregnant and lactating women
  • Potential for health risks to people on this diet long term
  • This diet has not yet been tested over the long term
  • Weight lost initially is mainly due to water / fluid loss
  • This diet does not contain sufficient levels of all vital nutrients
There are a number of disadvantages to the CSIRO Total Wellbeing diet... it does not provide meatless alternatives for any meal


  1. The CSIRO Total Wellbeing diet was formulated with meat-eaters in mind and while the advice from the authors is that it can be adapted for vegetarians, it requires complete tailoring by a qualified dietician to ensure it meets nutritional requirements for them
  2. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). Report: Analysis of Health Problems Associated with High-Protein, High-Fat, Carbohydrate-Restricted Diets Reported via an Online Registry, 25 May 2004. Accessed on 10 January 2008. The author of the PCRM report notes that while low carbohydrate diets do show “modest short-term weight loss”, there have been no studies on the long term health effects of these diets. The report goes on to discuss the negative health impacts of high fat (especially high saturated fat) diets
  3. Yancy WS  Jr, Olsen MK, Guyton JR, Bakst RP, Westman EC. A low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-fat diet to treat obesity and hyperlipidemia: a randomized, controlled trial. Ann Intern Med 2004; 140: 769-777
  4. The Cleveland Clinic. The Lowdown on Low Carbs, 10 January 2004. Accessed on 10 January 2008. The Cleveland Clinic’s review of the Atkins diet is to suggest that it does not contain enough nutrients and may be difficult to sustain long term, which encourages yo-yo dieting. The Cleveland Clinic is one of the major hospitals in the USA and is well-respected for their health advice and research
  5. Adam-Perrot A, Clifton P, Brouns F. Low-carbohydrate diets: nutritional and physiological aspects. Obes Rev. 2006 Feb;7(1):49-58
  6. National Institutes of Health – ClinicalTrials.gov. Effectiveness of a Low Carbohydrate Diet Versus a High Carbohydrate Diet in Promoting Weight Loss and Improved Health. Ongoing clinical trial from April 2005 – June 2009 with 240 participants. This study will look at the effects of a low carbohydrate diet versus a high carbohydrate diet on weight loss over a longer period (of four years). The study also aims to measure the risk of cardiovascular disease (blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as blood pressure levels), bone health, kidney function and endocrine (insulin and glucose in particular) mechanisms over the course of the study in both groups. The sponsor of this clinical trial is the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
  7. Astrup A, Meinert Larsen T, Harper A. Atkins and other low-carbohydrate diets: hoax or an effective tool for weight loss? The Lancet, 2004; 364:897-899. Accessed on 10 January 2008
  8. Due to the restriction of various foods (dairy, grains, fruit), this diet may not provide sufficient levels of all the vital nutrients (calcium, B vitamins and fibre) required to sustain good health



comments powered by Disqus