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Cake diet


Also listed as: Diet, cake
Related terms
Author information

Related Terms
  • Cake, Dean Kapsalakis, diet, extra-fortification, extra-fortified.

  • The "cake diet" is an eating and lifestyle plan written by Dean Kapsalakis. In his book, the The Let's Eat Cake Diet, Kapsalakis proposes that "nature is the guiding principle to ideal nutritional practices." Therefore, the cake diet does not require adherents to eat foods that they do not like, simply because they are healthy. The book offers modified recipes of American favorites, such as meatloaf, manicotti, and, of course, cake. This process of recipe modification is known as "extra-fortification."
  • The cake diet has its origin in Kapsalakis' realization that Americans are averse to eliminating high fat foods with little nutritional value from their diets. Kapsalakis suggests that people should eat more of the food that they like, provided that its nutritional value has been "extra-fortified."
  • No mainstream health organization endorses the cake diet, presumably because the consumption of sugar in amounts beyond recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) place a patient at serious risk of obesity, which in turn is a serious risk factor for developing type II diabetes.
  • Kapsalakis has promoted The Let's Eat Cake Diet on many major network television talk shows and is currently on a book tour. The popularity of this fad diet is expected to increase among Americans in the next several years.

Theory / Evidence
  • Underlying the cake diet is the assumption that people crave sugary junk foods, and that most people will not abandon these foods for health benefits alone. Rather than struggling with elimination of these foods, Kapsalakis encourages the modification of junk food recipes.
  • Dean Kapsalakis cites the changing opinions of nutrition experts, such as the U.S. Food and Drug administration (FDA), on foods such as eggs as proof that science does not know what an individual needs to eat. Kapsalakis says that each person should eat to their taste. The fat, sugar, and cholesterol content of a food is not regarded as problematic as long as these food are extra-fortified.
  • Clinical trials to support the cake diet are lacking. However, Kapsalakis' website includes a feature where individuals may ask him a question and receive a "biologically informed" answer.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not endorse any high sugar diet, regardless of other nutritional benefits.
  • In a 2006 study, the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences at Tennessee State University found that estimating the serving size of a wedge-shaped food poses a unique challenge for consumers and nutritionists. Such difficulties in serving size estimation may cause a problem for adherents of this diet, who are advised to rely on cakes, pies, cheeses, pizzas and other disc-shaped foods for a majority of their nutritional intake. The scientists who conducted the study issued a strong recommendation for the use of an adjustable wedge in order to appropriately gauge serving size.
  • Currently, there are no higher quality trials specifically discussing the cake diet.


Author information
  • This information has been edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (

  1. Food and Drug Administration.
  2. Godwin S, Chambers E 4th, Cleveland L, Ingwersen L. A new portion size estimation aid for wedge-shaped foods. J Am Diet Assoc. 2006 Aug;106(8):1246-50.
  3. The Cake Diet. October 13, 2006.

  • The cake diet rejects the notion that people should abandon the enjoyment of eating highly sugary junk foods in order to eat highly nutritious foods, even if those foods are not endorsed by mainstream health advocates
  • The cake diet modifies recipes of traditionally high calorie, low nutrition foods that render these snacks of more benefit to the body. Extra ingredients are added to store-bought foods and food mixes in order to increase nutritional value without compromising taste.
  • Kapsalakis' book includes 15 dessert and 80 main course recipes that are oriented towards the collective guilty culinary pleasures of Americans. Following the cake diet requires cooking food to the specifications of the recipes, or making pre-made and pre-packaged "extra fortified." To this extent, following the cake diet requires dedication to cooking out of Kapsalakis' book or taking the time to add ingredients to pre-made and pre-packaged foods to make them "extra fortified."
  • The cake diet does not issue an opinion on portion control, snacking between meals, or the number of meals that should be eaten per day.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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