Vintage 1950s Knox Diet

Inside one of my vintage diet booklets from the 1950s is the “Choice-Of-Foods” diet from Knox Gelatine. As to be expected, aspics, food molds and other forms of “gel cookery” are an integral part of the diet and recipes are provided. In addition to the meals, gelatin drinks are touted as between meal snacks, such as a cold glass of gelatin with 3/4 cup fruit juice or, served hot when mixed with broth. The Knox “Booster” drink contains 3-6 tablespoons of dry milk.


The Choice-Of-Foods diet, based on meal planning data from the American Diabetes Association and the American Dietetic Association, is promoted as time-saving because you don’t have to count calories.


Three different diets are offered with total calorie values of 1,200, 1,600 or 1,800. Foods are grouped into seven different category lists: vegetables, breads, milk, fats, fruits, meats and snacks. Listings within each category are broken down into serving sizes that appear to have equal calorie values. Depending on which of the three daily calorie totals you’re following, you’re permitted to have a certain number of servings of each.


According to the diet, you can have unlimited amounts of these particular foods, but only in raw form:


The unlimited foods in the Knox list are low in sugar and calories but high in fiber. They separated out and limited the higher value choices in the “vegetable” category. Compare this to Weight Watchers’ list of 200 plus foods that won’t “cost you” any “points” in their PointsPlus® universe! 

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