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    dtms1 posted:
    I think the McDougall diet is a wonderful diet and will promote health. However, he calls his diet starch based. To me this means that you start off with potatoes, rice, tacos etc and add some vegetables. It isn't like that at all. At his live in center, the buffet table begins with salads of leafy greens, vegetable salads, spinach salads, cooked vegetables, soups and I think all of the above might include beans. At the end of the buffet table are the starches. So the big difference between McDougall and Fuhrman seems to be that on Fuhrman's food pyramid the quantity of nuts and seeds is greater than the quantity of potatoes and rice, although even fuhrman says if you need to lose weight start with only an ounce of nuts and seeds. All the good healthful diets seem to be about the same.

    twinb63 responded:
    Agreed. Most low fat, high carb diets are different in minor ways. Specific to your post, this is from the E2L yahoo group:

    What are the differences between Eat to Live and the McDougall Program?
    While there are several plans that advocate vegetarian or near-vegetarian low-fat diets, the three that are basically vegan (or recommend a vegan option) are Dr. John McDougall's McDougall Program and Maximum Weight Loss Program and Dr. Joel Fuhrman's Eat to Live . All three eliminate processed oils and fats (such as margarine) and focus on eating unrefined plant foods.
    What are the differences between these programs?
    The two McDougall programs are discussed in detail at the website . Basically, both McDougall plans are starch-based; that is, most of the daily calories come from grains, potatoes, and winter squash, while beans and fruits are limited.
    The [a name="ETL"> Eat to Live 6-Week program is similar to the Maximum Weight Loss Plan in that foods containing refined flours (breads, etc.) are eliminated. Basically, the goal of Eat to Live is to eat foods that have a very high nutrition to calorie ratio and avoid foods that don't provide much nutrition for the calories they contain. Fruits and vegetables pack the most nutrition, so the diet is based on them. The goal is to try to eat at least 1 pound daily of raw vegetables; 1 pound of cooked, non-starchy vegetables; 4 servings of fruit; and 1 cup of beans. Those foods are unlimited.
    The plan limits other foods: 1 cup maximum of starchy vegetables or whole grains, 1 ounce of raw nuts and seeds, and 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds. All animal products and refined oils are off limits, and refined grain products, such as bread, are not encouraged. After a person has reached a healthy weight, very limited amounts of less-healthy food may be added in (for those who absolutely will not give them up.) For more information, see the Fatfree Vegan Eat to Live page.
    This plan is somewhat like McDougall's Maximum Weight Loss program (MWLP). The biggest difference is that while McDougall limits beans and allows unlimited unprocessed grains, it's the opposite for Eat to Live. Dr. Fuhrman says that beans provide more nutrition (not just protein, but micronutrients and phytochemicals) per calorie than grains and potatoes do. On the MWLP, McDougall doesn't allow any nuts or seeds, but Fuhrman says that the good fats in (unroasted, unsalted) nuts and seeds are important. One more difference is that Fuhrman doesn't limit fruit, while McDougall limits it to 2 per day. Fuhrman does say to stay away from dried fruit until you've lost all the weight you need to.

    dtms1 replied to twinb63's response:
    Yes. Once again while the plan and even McDougall in his talks say that most of the calories come from grains, potatoes and starchy vegetables, at his center by the time you get to the starchy vegetables on the buffet table you are likely so full that you would be eating only a small amount of the starches. Unless I misinterpreted the pictures I have seen of his buffet table and people actually start at the other end where the starches are.

    jc3737 replied to dtms1's response:
    It does seem reasonable when Dr McDougall says we can't get enough calories without starches and given some of the data on resistant starches he may have a point.I'm interested in figuring out which is the better diet or which elements to pick and choose from each diet.

    Seems that Dr Fuhrman is right about sodium and nuts but Dr McDougall may be right about the majority of calories coming from starches.That's just my analysis to date.
    EngineerGuy replied to jc3737's response:
    Hi Dolores,

    Hi jc,

    I was probably on Fuhrman a year before I realized that there are important differences.

    Everything said above is true.

    When I followed Pritikin, weekly I ate over a bag of brown rice and over 5 pounds of potatoes. Plus lots of sourdough bread. Plus oatmeal. Now the rice, potatoes and bread are gone, as far as a daily basis. Now I eat oatmeal (uncooked) in the evening, like cereal, but far fewer total starches. And far more vegetables and beans and nuts and seeds. I've really shifted away from whole grains. I eat 3-4 oz nuts and seeds daily, so I am not actually on a low fat diet. That is quite a shift. Also higher protein that before, with the nuts, beans and 2 pounds of veggies. Also, I believe fewer total calories.

    Another fascinating modality of Fuhrman is to minimize the number of meals. I eat 3 meals during the weekdays (due to work schedule) and 2 meals on weekends. Pritikin advocated 6 meals a day. Animal experiments show a longer life with fewer meals (same calories and weight). I got my extreme lactose intolerance 2 years after starting 6 meals a day, and the lactose intolerance went away 30 years later, a few months after I went to 3 meals a day. Occasional dry mouth while sleeping, went away, too. I don't know what Dr. McDougall's advice is toward meal frequency.

    jc, I can appreciate when you say McDougall may be right about the majority of calories coming from starches. That's no longer true for me. I reduced my exercise, to 30 min daily, to help make the transition. Later, increase exercise, if desired.

    From a health perspective, it is more valuable to lower the metabolism, rather than maintain a great amount of exercise. We must exercise for optimal health, but after a certain amount, more is not necessarily better.

    Best regards, EngineerGuy
    jc3737 replied to EngineerGuy's response:
    I used the word "may" because I'm just giving a temporary opinion.I should add I think Fuhrman is right about eating more fruit than McDougall allows.All that extra potassium is great for blood pressure.

    There are people who make claims for both sides....each saying their diet is better....but the only long term science is with Dr Essee,but I suspect Fuhrman's diet is equally as good at reversing heart disease....and the low sodium is better for eye health and blood pressure.
    dtms1 replied to jc3737's response:
    Here's the thing about high starch diets. About 19 years ago when I was first diagnosed with diabetes, I decided to go on a Pritikin type diet. In three months my blood sugar plummeted from 254 fasting (over 340 non fasting) to normal. l was on pills but during time went off them without telling the doctor. I was amazed that my blood sugar dropped so much on so many starches (and no fat) and other diabetics that I knew were on pills for years and adding more pills and having their glucose go higher all the time. To tell you the truth, it still amazes me because ask any dietitian and you will be told to cut back on starches and eat a lot of protein. Check out the internet diabetes groups.

    For me I find that it is best to eat more potatoes and rice than Fuhrman recommends but probably less than McDougall recommends. (this is for my blood sugar. I have no idea what is happening as far as cholesterol, carotid arteries etc.)
    jc3737 replied to dtms1's response:
    I would say you are right and the experts are dead wrong.I have found that healthy starches(not processed white flour)lower my blood glucose and fruits (which are natural sugar) also lower my blood glucose.Thats not what the experts say should happen but I measure my blood glucose several times a day when i'm I know the effect foods have on me.I can't say my experience is true for others but you seem to be experiencing the same thing i am.

    I rarely bother looking at the hypertension or diabetes forums because no one wants to talk about what really works....on the hypertension board medication is all anyone wants to talk about.

    Lots of fruit and vegetables have allowed me to solve my blood sugar and blood pressure problems....but it took an enormous amount of fruit to get blood pressure under control....I eat a banana,grapes,rasberries,blueberries,strawberries,and a baked potatoe with every meal...each and every meal...I was worried that much sugar ,while solving my blood pressure probelm, would raise my blood sugar.I was shocked to find that it lowered it.Certainly the opposite of what the experts say.
    xring replied to jc3737's response:
    Many people on diabetes forums and also in my diabetes support groups are more interested in hearing about how they can eat what they want & still have normal blood sugar & blood lipids. They don't want to hear about the effects of their favorite foods on their health.....they're more interested in which drugs will allow them to eat what they want, so at lab time, their doctor says "you're doing fine."

    An interesting conversation at my last diabetes support group meeting between the CDE/Nutritionist & a participant: (keep in mind, this participant is at least 170 lbs overweight & has a lot of trouble walking - it's likely some of her medications cause weight gain)

    Participant: "I'm lucky my son is a Pharmaceutical Representative. I take 14 medications.

    CDE: I'm sure if you bumped up your exercise & adjusted your diet, you wouldn't need so many drugs."

    Participant: "You know, my son told me about a new diabetes drug - "Onglyza" & I'd like to try it."

    CDE: "Uh....if you're already taking 14 drugs, wouldn't you want to try lifestyle changes?"

    Participant: "I'd like to find out more information about Onglyza."

    CDE: "Well, OK....(hands her a pamphlet about Onglyza)
    Politicians should serve two terms. One in office
    EngineerGuy replied to xring's response:
    Hi folks,

    Thanks for great perspectives from your experience. I read them with great interest. The basic message is that our program works. I include all of us as a group, in this way.

    One interesting perspective is that Fuhrman recommends getting hungry between meals, and 2 or 3 meals a day. This eventually lowers the metabolism, and strengthens the body's ability to store nutrients from foods. On weekends, I eat 2 meals. For the diabetic, this helps the body store nutrients and glucose from meals, thus lowering the peak glucose. Then the glucose level is lower for many hours between meals, because the digestive system is finished digesting and resting, and the body is drawing from reserves. This is a very healthy metabolic condition. That's why animals fed fewer meals (same total calories) live longer.

    Best regards, EngineerGuy
    dtms1 replied to jc3737's response:
    Here is my experience. I usually eat four meals a day of about 300 calories each sometimes more. If I skip the last meal at 8 pm or eat a salad at 8, my blood sugar is a bit over 100. The other night I had about 1/3 cup edamame, a microwaved potato and a banana.and the next morning my blood sugar was 79. Go figure. I do know that maximum sugar output by the liver is at four in the morning and maximum insulin output is at 4 in the afternoon. I am guessing that with salads and skimpy meals, the blood sugar might go very low at night and the liver puts out more sugar to compensate. I have cut back on exercise a lot because I am going crazy with projects from my spanish class and spend practically every waking moment doing this. I know. This is bad.

    Dolores P.S. Just went for my semi annual visit to the retina specialist. He was amazed. He always says that and I love the atta boys. No macular degeneration, no cataracts, no retina problems, no glaucoma.. And good sugar numbers with no meds--after 19 years with diabetes. Do have some pvd which drives me crazy.
    EngineerGuy replied to dtms1's response:
    Hi Dolores,

    Congrats on the healthy eyes. That shows you are doing it right. And we appreciate your comments, contributions and hilarious insights.

    Best regards, EngineerGuy

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