The Rice Diet started as a radical treatment for malignant hypertension before the advent of antihypertensive drugs; the original diet included strict dietary restriction and hospitalization for monitoring. Some contemporary versions have been greatly relaxed, and have been described as fad diets.
The Rice Diet Program was founded in 1939 by Dr. Walter Kempner, a refugee from the Nazis, who was at that time associated with Duke University. Kempner had many patients with malignant hypertension and kidney failure, and there were no good treatments for those patients. He believed that the kidney had two functions, one excretory and the other metabolic, and “he theorized that the protein and electrolyte load on the kidney was reduced to a minimum, the kidney might be better performing its more essential metabolic role. His reasoning is obscure, but he began to treat patients with malignant hypertension, and they were rapidly improved. Kempner’s implementation was very strict, But also careful – patients were hospitalized for several weeks at the beginning of treatment. The initial treatment was made with a diet of “white rice, sugar, fruit, fruit juices, vitamins and iron, and provided about 2000 calories, 20 grams of protein, and 700-1000 ml of liquid as Sodium content was extremely low, about 250 milligrams per day, and the content of 100 milligrams per day. ” If results were good, after several small months of lean meat and vegetables were added to the diet. Kempner obtained remarkable results, and was invited to attend a meeting of the New York Academy of Medicine in 1946.
Kempner retired from the Duke Faculty in 1974, but consulted until 1992. The commercialization of drugs to treat hypertension. In 2002 the program became independent of Duke University, and in 2013 the Rice House Healthcare Program opened in Durham, North Carolina. The Rice House Healthcare Program is an inpatient facility where the diet is monitored. The rice diet has been popularized in several forms; this version of the diet has been categorized as a fad diet with possible disadvantages including flatulence, flatulence, and the risk of feeling too hungry.