Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Eat More, Weigh Less: What It Is

From an article on the Ornish book:

Eat More, Weigh Less: What You Can Eat

Ornish counsels that we will find success not by restricting calories, but by watching the ones we eat. He breaks this down into foods that should be eaten all of the time, some of the time, and none of the time.

The following foods can be eaten whenever you are hungry, until you are full:

  • Beans and legumes
  • Fruits -- anything from apples to watermelon, from raspberries to pineapples
  • Grains
  • Vegetables

These foods should be eaten in moderation:

  • Nonfat dairy products -- skim milk, nonfat yogurt, nonfat cheeses, nonfat sour cream, and egg whites
  • Nonfat or very low-fat commercially available products --from Life Choice frozen dinners to Haagen-Dazs frozen yogurt bars and Entenmann's fat-free desserts (but if sugar is among the first few ingredients listed, put it back on the shelf)

These foods should be avoided:

  • Meat of all kinds -- red and white, fish and fowl (if we can't give up meat, we should at least eat as little as possible)
  • Oils and oil-containing products, such as margarine and most salad dressings
  • Avocados
  • Olives
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Dairy products (other than the nonfat ones above)
  • Sugar and simple sugar derivatives -- honey, molasses, corn syrup, and high-fructose syrup
  • Alcohol
  • Anything commercially prepared that has more than two grams of fat per serving

That's it. If you stick to this plan, you will meet Ornish's recommendation of less than 10% of your calories from fat, without the need to count fat grams or calories. Ornish suggests eating a lot of little meals because this diet makes you feel hungry more often. You will feel full faster, and you'll eat more food without increasing the number of calories.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Is a vegan diet safe?

Not all vegan diets are created equally. Eliminating animal products from the diet does not guarantee a health- promoting diet. Much of the benefit derived from eliminating the risks of animal products in the diet (see breakout box) can be offset if the diet is not a health-promoting diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, raw nuts and seeds and sprouts and the variable addition of minimally processed whole grains and beans. Potato chips, french fries, alcohol, soda pop and chocolate might all be vegan but that hardly qualifies them as healthy.

Vegetarians and vegans often consume large quantities of highly processed foods containing large amounts of oil, sugar, flour and salt. If they believe that their avoidance of animal products alone will grant them dispensation from the devastating consequences of the dietary pleasure trap, they may be sadly disappointed.

They say that some vegans get headaches — from their halos being too tight. A vegan diet may be undertaken for many reasons: health, social, environmental and/or spiritual. A vegan diet may help you get into heaven, but it will not delay how quickly you get there, unless you avoid some potential pitfalls.

In addition to the problems caused by the dietary pleasure trap resulting in the consumption of highly processed foods, vegans are subject to the deficiency of two important nutrient