Food Doctor Diet
The Food Doctor Diet is written by Ian Marber, a graduate of the Institute for Optimum Nutrition. Marber is head of the Food Doctor clinic in London, where he advises clients on a wide range of nutrition problems. This simple and straightforward programme promises to help you achieve a healthy digestive system, good health, and lifelong weight control, without your feeling hungry or having to count calories.
How the Food Doctor Diet claims to work
This plan focuses on achieving good health, especially for your digestive system. The author suggests that a healthy digestive system will enhance the absorption of nutrients, and reduce cravings for sugary and processed foods and for sweet, fizzy drinks. In the book he educates readers about the normal physiology of digestion, absorption, and intestinal bacteria.
The programme recommends including lean proteins, complex or starchy carbohydrates that are broken down slowly, monounsaturated fats, and a variety of healthy foods in the daily diet. Regular exercise is also recommended, and the author states that the plan is safe, sustainable, and simple to follow.
The Food Doctor Diet regimen
The Food Doctor Diet places a great deal of emphasis on intestinal health. The author believes that a diet high in saturated fats, processed foods, and /or sugar can lead to the growth of yeasts and unfriendly bacteria in the gut, which can cause bloating, food cravings, and problems such as thrush. The Food Doctor plan focuses on lean proteins, essential fats, fibre, and carbohydrates that are absorbed slowly.
The book begins with an initial seven-day plan designed to improve digestion and reduce fermentation in the gut. The plan is based around small meals and regular snacks. Fruit is forbidden in the first week because it contains fructose, which the author believes encourages the growth of unfriendly bacteria. Meat is also forbidden in this initial stage as are tea, coffee, and alcohol. This initial phase is followed by ten principles on how to achieve a long-term healthy eating programme, which the author refers to as a “Plan for Life”.
The plan places a lot of emphasis on selecting carbohydrates that have a low glycaemic index and then combining them with lean protein foods and fibrous vegetables to slow absorption of their sugars into the bloodstream. The author suggests that the ideal ratio of nutrients for lunch will come from a meal in which 40 per cent of the food on the plate is lean protein, such as a grilled skinless chicken breast, 20 per cent is complex carbohydrate, such as brown rice, and the remaining 40 per cent is vegetables. If you eat late in the evening the author recommends that you aim for a meal in which 50 per cent of the food on the plate is lean protein, such as grilled fish, and the remainder is filled with vegetables.
Numerous recipes are included to help you succeed during the initial phase, including broth-based vegetable soups, which are an integral part of the menus. A food diary is also supplied to enable you to track what you eat and drink as well as how you feel during the first three days of the initial week. A shopping list for the seven-day menu plan is also provided.
The Plan For Life section of the book supplies useful information about food shopping and healthy ways to cook. In addition, the author sets out specific principles, such as the importance of eating protein with carbohydrates and drinking adequate fluids. The book also includes ideas for meal planning and a lot of healthy recipes that appear quite tasty and easy to prepare.
Is the Food Doctor Diet healthy?
The principles of the Food Doctor Diet are sound. In both the initial seven-day menu plan and the Plan for Life, portion sizes are small and many will be hungry trying to follow the programme, but almost everyone should lose weight. While we are not convinced of the validity of the healthy digestive system concept, the diet recommended is healthy and the “principles” proposed will help many to achieve their dietary goals. Many interesting recipes are included, which adds to the value of this book. We do not agree that many patients' weight problems are related to intestinal inflammation, but this book may be especially helpful for patients with digestive problems such as gluten enteropathy (coeliac disease)
- ■Glass of hot water with lemon juice
- ■2 eggs, poached or scrambled
- ■Slice of rye bread, lightly toasted
- ■Bowl of home-made soup
- ■Grilled turkey breast
- ■Brown rice
- ■Salad that contains 5 different vegetables and salad leaves
- ■Stir-fried mixed vegetables such as carrots, courgettes, asparagus, and baby corn, with strips of skinless chicken breast or prawns
- ■Glass of mineral water
- ■Oatcakes with sliced turkey or guacamole
- ■Apple or pear with 5 Brazil nuts
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