Q. Where does the simple food plan come from? Where can I get further details?
A. It has been adapted from Dr Perlmutter’s book Grain Brain. See the free website www.drperlmutter.com or buy his book for further details. It is part of a more general plan for better brain and body health.
Q. Are there any alternative plans I can follow?
A. Yes. They all have the similar reasoning and reach the same conclusions, although they vary in the detail.
www.dietdoctor.com free site and very informative.
Fat Chance by Dr Robert Lustig. Dr Lustig is a Paediatric Endocrinologist and children’s obesity expert.
Wheat Belly by Dr William Davies who is a Cardiologist- ideal for people with IBS, or central obesity.
Sweet Nothing by Nicole Mowbray who is a journalist. Ideal for people with a sweet tooth.
Low Carb Living for Families by Monique Le Roux Forslund and Professor Tim Noakes Professor Tim Noakes is a Professor of Exercise and Sports science. Ideal for people with kids.
The Decarb Diet by Howard Rybko
The 5-2 Diet by Dr Michelle Harvie and Professor Tony Howell. These specialists work at the breast cancer prevention centre in Manchester. Their plan involves following a very low carbohydrate diet for 2 days a week, and a Mediterranean diet for the remaining 5 days.
Paleo diet. See Paleo diets on the Internet for further details
Mindfulness- a guide to peace in a frantic world by Mark Williams and Danny Penman and MindFullness the No- Diet Diet e-book by Elaine Hillides can both be great habit breakers.
Q. What about fibre. Won’t I get constipated?
A. You can get plenty of fibre from vegetables so should not get constipated. Wheat is not essential.
Q. What, no healthy whole grains?
A. Whole grains cause a big rise in your blood glucose, and so are not recommended on this plan.
Q. So what do you eat for breakfast then?
A. Most people eat eggs (omelettes, or scrambled or boiled eggs), or meat or cheese with some salad or vegetables. Some people eat porridge oats with nuts. Or last night's left overs. If you are not in the habit of having breakfast you don’t need to start.
Q. What about my cholesterol, I thoughts eggs/cheese were bad for cholesterol?
A. It is now accepted that eating healthy fat such as that in meat, cheese and eggs does not lead to a rise in cholesterol in the blood. It has also been shown that this way of eating normalises the blood lipids.
Q. I love bread and pasta. Do I really have to give them up?
A. No, but you can choose to. Both bread and pasta raise your blood glucose significantly so are not recommended. If you are overweight, they will probably have contributed to that. Many people now choose to spiralise vegetables and use those instead of pasta.
Q. Do I have to do it all the time? What if I am going to a restaurant or going on holiday?
A. It is up to you. If you want to make a difference, aim to follow it for around 90% of the time.
Q. What is not recommended on this plan?
A. Take Away foods, Fast Foods, diet foods, processed foods, fizzy drinks whether sugar free or not, and foods from the gluten free section, apart from oats. We are advising you to stick to unprocessed foods, so no bread, cakes, pasta, pies or any food made with flour, and no sugar, apart from what is naturally present. Studies have shown that people on diet foods put on more weight than people eating non-diet foods, so they are best avoided.
Q. I thought fruit was really healthy?
Fruit also raises your blood glucose significantly. For this reason it is best regarded as a treat. Remember that this is a guideline, so aim for twice a week, or a small quantity daily and have it with a meal.
Q. That makes me think of the 5 a day rule. What about the famous 5 a day?
A. Did you know that the whole idea was made up by some fruit and vegetable producers and has no basis in science? Vegetables are much better than fruit, as they have less sugar in them.
Q. It sounds expensive. Is it expensive?
A. It doesn’t have to be expensive. This plan gradually retrains your appetite so you eat less food, which costs you less. Also, you do not need a great quantity of meat per meal. You will probably buy little and often, as fresh food goes off more quickly and so have less waste too. Bob Briggs on Butter makes your pants Fall off talks about low cost food from Wal Mart and says that you don't have to eat organic and grass fed to get healthier.
Q. Is it the same as the Atkins diet?
A. No, although the principle of “good fat” is the same. This plan is high in good fat, medium in protein and low in carbohydrate. If you also consider you will be doing it 90% of the time it is quite flexible.
Q. I am vegetarian/ vegan. Can I follow this plan?
A. Yes. Vegetarians should have no problem. There is a section giving advice to Vegans on the website www.drperlmutter.com mentioned above.
Q. I am diabetic. Can I follow this plan?
A. Yes. If you are not insulin dependent it should be straightforward, but consult your doctor, as you may need less medication. If you are insulin dependent you should consult your doctor for advice on your insulin requirements in advance of following the new plan. People’s insulin requirements usually go down. Some patients have chosen to follow Dr Richard Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution, which is free on line, as well as being in book form, and follows similar principles to the basic food list that we use.
Also see Dr Troy Stapleton's You Tube clip of how he manages his own Type 1 Diabetes.
Q. I have IBS- can I follow this plan?
A. Yes, it is generally low in FODMAPs, but if you do react to anything take note and stop it. Further advice on FODMAPs is available by googling FODMAPs and IBS
Q. Can anyone follow it e.g. children, elderly people
A. Yes, anyone can live by this guideline, and the flexibility to do it 90% of the time makes it quite easy. For children you may prefer to take a look at the Low Carb Living for families book by Monique Le roux Forsland.
Q. Is 30 minutes exercise an essential part of the plan?
Exercise is good for you but it is not essential for weight loss. You certainly do not need to overdo it, and a taxing exercise schedule is not necessary. Exercise as much as you can within your capabilities, even if it is just chair-based exercise. It is good for your general health.
Q. Why don’t the government/ department of health/ DiabetesUK recommend this plan
A. These are relatively new ideas and change at a national level takes time.
If you are following the current standard advice and it works for you, decide for yourself if there is a reason to change.
Many people would benefit from reducing sugar significantly, by looking for and avoiding hidden sugar in food, as well as reducing the quantity of foods containing wheat, if only because it is often combined with sugar.It is recommended as an option on www.diabetes.co.uk
Q. Fast or slow change?
A. Up to you. If you are going to do it fast you will need some advice, as people can get carbohydrate withdrawal symptoms, so buy one of the books and follow the guidance. www.iquitsugar is an 8 week programme to help you come off sugar in all its forms. I was an Expert Advisor on the programme starting in June 2015 and October 2015
Q. Any other questions?
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