Recipes abound all over the Internet, and cookbooks published by people that follow a plant-based diet, accompanied by plenty of contradictions as well.
Oil or not oil?
Low carb-high protein or vice-versa?
Eat soy or avoid soy?
How to cut through all the noise:
Patience and research.
After several years investigating plenty of voices in the vegan community, the medical establishment, the media, and checking results on my own health, all things considered, the approach that works for me is the low-fat, whole food, plant-based diet.
What was I looking for?
A coherent voice with a medical approach and research studies to provide a road-map, and a scientific explanation why my health was improving so much with low-fat, whole food, plant-based diet; besides, it’s an opposite approach of what’s today mainstream dietary guidelines.
What did I find?
My favorite doctors who encourage the low-fat, whole food, plant-based diet, and follow it themselves: Dr. John McDougall, Dr. Neal Barnard, and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr, MD.
A word of caution:
As Dr. Esselstyn states “it’s a profound lifestyle change,” so consult your physician.
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These are the books I read to learn how to start eating a plant-based diet:
1.- The Starch Solution
I love this book.
Read The Starch Solution if you are afraid to eat carbs.
A diet based on healthful starches, vegetables, and fruits.
Dr. McDougall reasons that healthful starches are not responsible for weight gain, and disease. Moreover, He considers diets like Atkins-type with low carb, high-protein approach to cause negative effects, “every year, millions of people lose weight without necessarily improving their health.”
Mary McDougall presents recipes to complete Dr. McDougall nutrition program.
The diet is kind to the planet. Full Review
2.- The Healthiest Diet on the Planet
Dr. McDougall keeps his motto “the fat you eat is the fat you wear.” He shares his worries and actions about what’s going on with the dietary guidelines 2015-2020 in the United States.
Dr. McDougall analyzes The Healthiest Diet on the Planet vs diets such as the Wheat Belly Diet, the Grain Brain Diet, and the Paleo Diet.
Mary McDougall presents low-fat recipes according to the program guidelines. Full Review
3.- Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease
Dr. Esselstyn’s book presents “the dramatic experiences of twenty-three men and one woman who came to me in despair and without hope some twenty years ago.”
All the patients recovered their health with Dr. Esselstyn guidance.
I consider Dr. Esselstyn’s diet the strictest in this post. Why?
Because nuts, avocado, and coconut are not allowed.
But, there’s a reason:
Dr. Esselstyn diet is strict about fat intake because it’s crucial to his patients with severe coronary artery disease. Be aware, his “nutritional program is strict, and allows no shortcuts.”
Over 150 recipes to choose for every meal. Full Review
4.- Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes
Vital to know that even slim people can accumulate fat within their muscle cells and pave their way for diabetes according to Dr. Barnard. Also, “these traces of fat start accumulating many years before diabetes manifests.”
Dr. Barnard advises “the best way to get the right kind and amount of fat in your diet is to skip animal products, fried foods, and oily food products and get your nutrition from vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains.”
Dr. Barnard states “if the influx of fat stops, the fat inside the cells dissipates, and when that happens, the cells start to regain their normal function.” He presents a complete program that includes, diet, exercise, stress management, and no smoking.
The book includes menus and recipes for seven days. Full Review
There’s more to well-being than diet, but it’s unquestionable its contribution to health.
Nowadays, with so many people publishing and becoming health gurus, it’s important to research, check with your doctor, and to be aware of your body reactions to food.
In general, people confuse being thin with being healthy, and that’s not always the case.
If you are interested in low-fat, whole food, plant-based diet check the information provided by Dr. John McDougall, Dr. Neal Barnard, and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr, MD.