If you’ve been struggling with your weight, your blood pressure, your cholesterol, or your blood sugar on a diet of pasta and whole grain, living the fat-free, low-fat, no-fat way and failing, stop blaming yourself! You haven’t failed; you’ve just been on the wrong diet. If you’ve been feeling discouraged because your doctor said, “Cut the fat to 30 grams a day or less and your weight will come down,” and you did, but it didn’t, don’t despair. Help is here! If you suffer from elevated cholesterol and you’ve forgotten what’s it’s like to eat a juicy steak for dinner and can’t remember the last time you ate an egg, and your levels remain elevated, take heart. Changing your diet can and will help you regain control over these metabolic disorders. You can lose fat, you can reduce your cholesterol and triglycerides, you can lower your blood pressure, you can normalize your blood sugar by changing the way you eat – and you can maintain these benefits for a lifetime. Good health is within your grasp – all you need is the right information.
(1) Determine your protein needs and plan your meals around the right number of grams of protein. Choose
fish, poultry, red meat, low-fat cheese (cottage cheese, feta, mozzarella, muenster), eggs, tofu. Be
sure you get enough protein (your body can’t store it); if you’re hungry, it’s fine to go beyond your
requirement. 1 ounce of protein = 7 grams.
(2) Add 30 carbohydrate grams or less divided throughout the day (if you need to lose a lot of fat and/or
correct a health problem) – or 55 or less per day if you want to lose a little fat, recompose your body
(your lean to fat ratio), or improve your general health. If you’re taking medication for a serious
health problem or you’re more than 20 percent overweight, you should have medical supervision. Remember,
you can subtract the fiber grams from the carbhydrate grams in commercial foods (check the labels) which
means you can eat more carbs. Choose green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, peppers, avocados (yes!)
broccoli, eggplant, zucchini, green beans, asparagus, celery, cucumber, mushrooms, and salads.
(3) Aim for 25 grams of fiber each day.
(4) Don’t worry about fat, but choose healthy fats: olive oil, nut oils, avocado, and butter (yes!). Your
body can and will use incoming fat as fuel.
(5) Never let yourself get hungry – keep snacks on hand and eat regular meals.
(6) Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.
(7) A glass of wine (3 grams of carbohydrate) or a Miller Lite beer (slightly over 3 is fine), but count the
(8) Take a high-quality vitamin supplement plus at least 90 mg of potassium.
(9) You will (temporarily) be cutting out sugar and starches, even potatoes and beans (except green beans)
and corn. Dessert can be a low-carb fruit – berries, peaches, melon – or sugar-free Jell-O.
(10) If you snack, remember to subtract those carb grams from your next meal.
(11) Exercise! – resistance training (with weights) is best, but any activity that makes you sweat is fine.
(12) When in doubt, eat lean meat, fish, or fowl and salad.
The cornerstone of any good nutritional program is an adequate amount of high-quality protein. Whatever stage of our nutritional program you’re in, it is of paramount importance that you get adequate daily protein.