The Whole Grain Diet Miracle
Lisa Hark, PhD, RD, and Darwin Deen, MD, MS Reviewed by Susan Moores, MS, RD Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson January 2007
- The Whole Grain Diet Miracle will help you change your eating habits and improve your long-term health.
- If you follow the menus, incorporate the recipes into your daily schedule and exercise regularly, you will have more energy, feel better, look better and live longer.
- By eating three servings a day of whole grains, you can lose weight permanently, live longer, increase your energy and prevent disease.
The diet begins with a "two-week jumpstart session." Ten rules apply to the session:
- No drinking alcohol.
- No skipping meals.
- Eat on schedule (at similar times each day)
- Try to eat two cups of fruit and 2½ cups of vegetables every day.
- Eat when you are hungry. Stop before you feel full. Eat slowly.
- Turn the TV off when eating.
- Limit television to one hour per day.
- Take a multivitamin every day.
- Consider taking a calcium supplement.
- Make it a goal to exercise three hours each week.
The jumpstart session includes a meal plan that incorporates the recommended three (or more) servings of whole grains a day. After completing the initial phase, a two-week "everyday" set of rules and menus kicks in. Portion size, mindful eating and other calorie-reducing tips are offered.
Nutrition Pros and Cons:
The opening chapter discusses the nutritional benefits of whole grains, and includes information on how to find, store and cook them. Next, the book provides information about the impact of whole grains on health conditions, specifically heart disease, diabetes, cancer and GI disorders. One of the best parts of the book is the section on grains themselves. Sixteen grains are profiled, complete with a brief history of the grain, a description of the grain, how to cook it, its nutritional highlights and the health benefits associated with it. This portion of the book is a great resource, particularly if one's repertoire of whole grains is somewhat limited (as is the case for many Americans). There is information on the more "common" grains such as wheat, rice, corn and oats, but there are also wonderful profiles of faro, kamut, quinoa, sorghum, teff and other less-familiar grains. The meal plans are well balanced, nutritious and will likely introduce readers to new healthful, flavorful foods. The 50 recipes in the book are interesting, creative and a welcome inclusion. Each recipe suggests alternate grains that can be used as substitutes.
There are no calorie levels provided for either two-week jumpstart plan. People wishing to follow this diet may need outside help from a registered dietitian to adapt the plans to their calorie needs. Many of the meals require food preparation, which might be a hurdle for novice cooks or people who have neither the time nor interest in cooking.
It's no secret that consumers struggle with the concept of whole grains: what they are, where to find them, what they taste like and how to use them. This book is an excellent resource for filling those gaps. If consumers are looking for a weight-loss plan in the more traditional sense, they may need assistance in putting together a "diet" that adds in flexibility and help for individual cooking abilities and food preferences.