For the past year or so, I’ve been unabashedly endorsing a whole food, plant-based diet. After all these years and all these studies, I’ve come to believe it is the diet most health-promoting for most people. I’m often asked to describe it. What foods do you include, do you eliminate, do you sprinkle, do you shovel? Well, Dr. McDougall just published a very elementary picture book of his Starch Diet, one of the best versions of a plant-based diet out there. (Raw food diets, fruit diets, “vegan” diets, vegetarian diets, etc. are all types of plant-based diets, but each of them has drawbacks which I’ve discussed over the years.)
Not one to mince words, he calls it: “Dr. McDougall’s Color Picture Book: Food Poisoning And How To Cure It By Eating Beans, Corn, Pasta, Potatoes, And Rice.” (I’ve linked the entire 62-page book here in pdf format.)
In a nutshell, The McDougall Diet:
- Is based on starches with vegetables and fruits.
- Does not contain any animal foods or vegetable oils.
- May contain some salt, sugar, and/or spice.
That’s it, seriously. Find foods you like that fit this description and eat them until your heart and stomach are content. No portion control, no counting calories. No kidding. The diet has been tested in randomized clinical trials of free living people and it works … it works for weight loss, diabetes prevention, heart disease prevention, arthritis management and prevention, and a slew of other chronic ailments, support for which you can find on my blog and of course on McDougall’s site. It works because it’s difficult to eat thousands of calories of low-fat, fiber-rich, health-promoting plant foods without feeling full.
Here are a few slides. Beans soups are my mainstay:
I just developed a wonderful fat-free hummus that I eat on sandwiches like this. You can buy fat-free hummus too:
I was surprised at this, that he didn’t promote vegetables more. But since this post is turning out to be a testimonial, I’ll add that I’ve found this to be the case. I can eat a big bowl of steamed vegetables and feel absolutely stuffed but it disappears in several hours. On the plus side, eating lots of non-starchy vegetables is a great way to lose weight, if that’s your goal: