The McDougall diet is a low-fat diet intended to help individuals lose weight and enjoy better health. It is even said to help reverse certain health conditions, without requiring medication. The diet was created by an American doctor named Dr. John McDougall. Dr. McDougall asserts that a range of diseases can be prevented if people eat whole, unprocessed foods that have low-fat content. His diet places particular focus on the consumption of starches.
The McDougall diet began after one of Dr. McDougall’s patients asked him whether he thought a person’s diet contributed to health conditions. The doctor went on to ask his patients about their diets and conduct research into the connection between diet, lifestyle, and health problems. Eventually, the doctor began to experiment with changing his diet to include more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while eliminating his intake of meat and dairy products. As a result, he experienced such benefits to his health as lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. He lost weight as well.
Individuals who’ve followed the McDougall diet have claimed to experience significant weight loss and a range of improvements in their overall health. Among these health improvements are lowered blood pressure and better control of blood sugar. Some people have experienced relief from headaches, constipation, and fatigue. Some patients have even experienced fewer allergy and arthritis symptoms.
To follow the McDougall diet, a dieter stops eating meat, fish, and poultry. In fact, he’s not supposed to consume any animal products at all, so he also eliminates eggs, milk, dairy products, and shellfish from his diet. The dieter also cuts fats and oils from his diet, which works to encourage speedy weight loss. Eliminating these foods may also help improve a person’s health, as meat and animal products are sources of cholesterol and fats contribute to a wide range of medical conditions.
A person new to this diet might assume that all plant foods are acceptable. This is not the case with the McDougall diet. A person on this diet also eliminates high-fat plant foods, such as peanut butter, olives, and nuts. Even tofu makes the list of foods to eliminate. The idea is that getting rid of these foods helps a person to maximize weight loss.
Refined flour is also restricted from this diet. This means eliminating breads, crackers, and pasta products that are made using refined flour. Instead of such foods, the dieter is supposed to eat whole grain products. Whole grains are not only helpful for those who are hoping to lose weight, but they are also considered heart healthy and helpful for cancer prevention. Dieters should also eliminate or dramatically reduce their use of added sugars, including honey and molasses.
Fresh fruits and vegetables, especially those that are green or yellow, are emphasized with this diet as well as whole grains and starches. Foods such as potatoes, beans, and peas are consumed not only for their healthy qualities, but also for their ability to make the dieter feel full and satisfied for longer. Foods that are safe to consume raw are also included, as they may help boost weight loss.