Hello all, I'm a longtime browser of everything on this website (in particular the discussion boards and newsletters). Just a quick note to say - thanks Doctor, and thanks to you all for the excellent and *free* information on this website, truly a goldmine of information and of *practical* use! This site is a shining example of "open source" at its best
A little about myself - I'm from southern India, emigrated to the US in my mid-20's, and I'm just over 50. I live with my wife and two young children in the Northeast. I have no immediate health problems; however my heredity has always been a concern (Dad died of causes related to uncontrolled type-2 diabetes; Mom, now in her mid-70's, has a history of high blood pressure and cholesterol).
My first introduction to approaches similar to this one was thanks to Dr. Neal Barnard, I saw one of his telecasts on PBS and tried out his recommendations. I liked most aspects of Dr. Barnard's teachings, however I didn't care for his cautionary advice against brown rice (due to his concerns about GI). I do love my rice given my southern Indian upbringing!
So I searched some more and thankfully, found the McDougall way as taught so well by the information here.
For the last eight months or so, I've been on a diet centered on steamed brown basmati rice, plus some sweet potatoes (boiled) and some beans (steamed) - plus non-starchy vegetables (both boiled and as a fresh salad). I have all of these items with practically every meal, and couldn't be happier! I usually eat 2 to 3 meals every day.
Over the last ~6 months, I've also been on a personal mission to eliminate salt, sugar and oil completely from my diet - this mainly started as a somewhat "spiritual" experiment, to simplify my life. The experience has been a revelation. As many others have pointed out here, I've since discovered the "true taste" of natural foods and do not feel deprived *at all*.
I had some basic bloodwork done recently and these were the results:
A1C - 5.4 (unchanged from an earlier Dr. Barnard-style diet, where I was restricting myself to *much* less brown rice)
Cholesterol - total: 123, LDL - 65, HDL - 46, triglycerides - 61
As a data point, this perhaps may be of use to others first trying out this way of eating - I got the results above while consuming pretty large quantities of starches: each day, anywhere from 5 to 7.5 cups of steamed brown basmati, 2 to 4 cups of sliced and boiled sweet potatoes, and some beans, usually steamed pigeon peas.
So my limited experience does validate what's said here - people who are worried about blood sugar ought to care primarily about eliminating oils, fats, refined foods and animal products; and not bother with restricting whole-meal starches.
So - thanks again, for the help and advice offered here. Truly a valuable service!