Having turned 57 this year and experiencing some health issues, I found my interest in health and nutrition took on a whole new meaning. I began looking into ways of improving my eating habits. I found several options such as raw foods, vegetarian, vegan, juicing, and plant based vs starch based diets.
I came across a book by Dr. McDougall who wrote “The Starch Solution: Eat the Foods You Love, Regain Your Health, and Lose the Weight for Good”! as well as “The McDougall Program for Maximum Weight Loss”. The starch based diet seemed rather interesting. Several key elements that sparked my attention dealt with the following:
1. Carbohydrates, our bodies are designed to eat them- In the words of Dr. McDougall, “Carbohydrates are to hunger what oxygen is to the need to breathe and water is to thirst’. The American diet is primarily carbohydrate-deficient foods.
2. The role of meat and dairy in our diets – Some of the foods we consider our “main” course such as meat, poultry, and fish do not contain any carbohydrates. The same can be said for butter, lard and oils, oils being nothing more than liquid fat. Cheese has only two percent carbohydrates. Not only will these foods not fill your need for carbohydrates but they will not satisfy your appetite. Where does this leave you? Hungry, a body that is wanting to know when you are going to feed it.
3. How much fruit and vegetable do we need? One third to one half of our meals should consist of green and yellow vegetables or asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, onion, tomato and mushrooms. A full list of the allowed vegetables can be found in his book.
4. Health issues that can be stopped, reversed or even cured-Not only can obesity be cured by following a starch based diet but other spontaneous healing diseases listed in his book “The Starch Solution” include acne, cholesterol (high), diabetes (type 2), and hypertension.
5. Weight loss a natural side effect of eating a starch based diet- Dr. McDougall states that chronic obesity can be cured and you don’t have to starve yourself. He claims that you need to change the composition of your diet, fill it with the foods that offer lots of carbohydrates and very little fat.
The bottom line is we are what we eat! If we want to live a healthier lifestyle, we need to make permanent changes starting now.