Birmingham Cardiac Diet

Updated March 23, 2017

The Birmingham Cardiac Diet is a quick weight loss plan that is purported to originate with the cardiac unit at "Birmingham, Alabama Hospital" or "Birmingham Hospital." Considering the diet's name, which includes the term, "cardiac," it is expected that the diet is a heart-healthy diet. But the truth about this diet is not so simple.


The Birmingham Cardiac Diet it claims to be a quick weight loss diet. Its name implies that the diet is heart-healthy. Finally, there are claims that this diet comes out of the "Birmingham Hospital Cardiac Unit." The related factors to these claims are important. Quick weight loss programs are not healthy for anyone, let alone for people with cardiac health problems. Also troubling is the fact that there is no Birmingham Hospital; nor is there a Birmingham Alabama Hospital.


Information available about the Birmingham Cardiac Diet includes claims that the diet is used for cardiac patients who need to lose weight quickly prior to surgery. The simple three-day menu is composed of foods that supposedly stimulate the metabolism, which promotes rapid weight loss. Other promises associated with the diet include that it works as a cleansing diet and that it promotes increased energy.


A notable feature of the Birmingham Cardiac Diet is that is has a multitude of names. Some of its aliases are "American Heart Association 3-Day Diet," "Birmingham England Cardiology 3 Day Diet," and "Hershey Medical Center 3-Day Diet." Apparently, if a hospital is in the name, it lends medical credibility. The diet plan includes three daily menus that are composed of similar, yet specific foods. The meals are plain and the foods do not vary much from one day to the next. Black coffee or tea are consumed each morning and with two of the three lunches. The list of foods includes toast, grapefruit, tuna,crackers, ice cream, apples and carrots or beets.(see Resources for the specific menus).

Expert Insight

The American Heart Association offers specific nutritional advice for heart healthy diets. Further, the AHA provides specific recommendations regarding quick weight loss or fad diets. Do not use them. Rather, they recommend a steady course of healthy eating for one's entire life. Specified foods include vegetables and fruits that are high in fibre and that lower blood pressure. Foods that help to reduce cholesterol such as whole grains and to eat omega-3 fatty acids in the form of fish, which is indicated for people with coronary problems and for healthy hearts.


Healthy cleanses do not support drinking caffeinated beverages during a cleanse. Furthermore, cleanses emphasise fresh fruit and vegetables along with minerals and vitamins to cleanse toxins and to promote healthy liver and other organ functions. The Birmingham Cardiac Diet is not a healthy cleansing diet. The diet does not advocate consuming whole grains or complex carbohydrates, which have a healthy effect on the body. Some of the foods, like apples and ice cream, are not healthy for people with blood sugar (low or high) issues, which can have cardiac implications.

Disclaimer: This article does not promote nor suggest that the Birmingham Cardiac Diet is a heart-healthy diet, nor does the author recommend this or any quick weight loss program for anyone. If considering any change in diet, consult a health care professional.

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About the Author

Alyson Paige has a master's degree in canon law and began writing professionally in 1998. Her articles specialize in culture, business and home and garden, among many other topics.