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The Special K diet or Special K challenge is a 14 day program designed to jump start weight loss. It was designed by registered dietitians employed by the Kellogg Company. The diet's purpose is to offer a healthy and inexpensive way to reduce daily calorie intake. It replaces high fat foods with lower fat/high fiber foods and promotes a variety of products manufactured by Kellogg.
Several items in the Special K diet contain peanut, chocolate, wheat, egg and dairy ingredients. Effects of the diet on those with such allergies can include:
- difficulty breathing
- shock and--in severe cases--death
If you have food allergies, make sure you thoroughly read the ingredients contained in the products you select for your meals on this diet. Depending on your allergies, you may be able to continue the Special K diet by limiting your use of certain foods on the diet.
- Several items in the Special K diet contain peanut, chocolate, wheat, egg and dairy ingredients.
- Effects of the diet on those with such allergies can include: * rash
* difficulty breathing
* shock and--in severe cases--death If you have food allergies, make sure you thoroughly read the ingredients contained in the products you select for your meals on this diet.
Celiac Sprue Complications
Can You Eat Eggs on a Gluten-free, Casein-free Diet?
Weight loss, diarrhea, skin or intestinal lesions, vitamin and mineral deficiencies and cancer can occur in individuals who suffer from celiac sprue. Celiac sprue is an autoimmune disorder that allows gluten and other components of wheat to severely damage the intestinal lining. Gluten is present in most grains--including those featured in the Special K diet--and is used as a preservative and food stabilizer 1. Unlike an allergic response, you may not notice some of these symptoms until well into the disease process. If you have been diagnosed with celiac sprue, consult your doctor before beginning the Special K diet.
- Weight loss, diarrhea, skin or intestinal lesions, vitamin and mineral deficiencies and cancer can occur in individuals who suffer from celiac sprue.
- Celiac sprue is an autoimmune disorder that allows gluten and other components of wheat to severely damage the intestinal lining.
Digestive disorders such as gas, bloating, stomach cramps and diarrhea may occur if you are lactose intolerant. This diet contains a variety of dairy products, so if you have lactose intolerance, take a dietary enzyme to help with predigesting the lactose products contained in the diet. When possible, use nondairy substitutes when the diet calls for milk. Digestive reactions usually will occur within the first few minutes after a meal.
- Digestive disorders such as gas, bloating, stomach cramps and diarrhea may occur if you are lactose intolerant.
Can You Eat Eggs on a Gluten-free, Casein-free Diet?
Gluten-Free Mediterranean Diet
Signs & Symptoms of Wheat & Whole Grain Allergies
Gluten Free Diet for Stomach Bloating
Does Dairy Cause Gallbladder Pain?
Gluten & Dairy-Free Diet for Kids
Does Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Contain Gluten?
Can Wheat Cause Severe Gas & Stomach Pain?
Probiotics for Pancreatitis
Symptoms of Oat Allergy
- Gluten Free Works: Gluten Free Diet
- Mattes RD. Ready-to-eat cereal used as a meal replacement promotes weight loss in humans. J Am Coll Nutr. 2002;21(6):570-7. doi:10.1080/07315724.2002.10719257
- Kellogg's. Jeans don't lie. Updated September 2007.
- Food and Nutrition Service. Dietary Guidelines for Americans. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Updated December 19, 2018.
- Special K Red Berries Cereal. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Published April 1, 2019.
- Rebello CJ, Johnson WD, Martin CK, et al. Instant oatmeal increases satiety and reduces energy intake compared to a ready-to-eat oat-based breakfast cereal: A randomized crossover trial. J Am Coll Nutr. 2016;35(1):41-9. doi:10.1080/07315724.2015.1032442
- Gianturco P, Perez V. A meta-analysis of intervention trials examining the effects of a simple 2-week weight loss program on body weight and waist circumference. J Nutrition Health Food Sci. 2016;4(1):1-9. doi:10.15226/jnhfs.2016.00154
- Shaw P, Walton J, Jakeman P. The effects of the Special K challenge on body composition and biomarkers of metabolic health in healthy adults. J Nutr Health Sci. 2015;2(4):403. doi:10.15744/2393-9060.2.403
- Vander Wal JS, McBurney MI, Cho S, Dhurandhar NV. Ready-to-eat cereal products as meal replacements for weight loss. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2007;58(5):331-40. doi:10.1080/09637480701240802
Dale Bird-Cortes has more than 20 years experience as a registered dietitian/nutrition consultant. Currently in private practice in the West Michigan area, Bird-Cortes is a freelance writer for Demand Studios and has written for newspapers, "Patrons and Protectors," ASPEN Publishers, and a variety of health care organizations.