Nitrite-containing meats: ham, hot dogs, sausages, cold cuts, and
Supermarket quality meat: pork, beef, organ meats, and poultry. They
are contaminated with substances that are suspected of causing birth
defects and cancers.
Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils: margarines,
vegetable shortenings: found in most packaged foods from cookies to
Charcoal-broiled and smoked foods.
foods should be eaten rarely, if ever. Never eat them if you are
trying to regain your lost health and appearance. These are very
rich foods. They should be reserved for that special occasion, the
feast. For most healthy people, these feasts should occur less than
once a month. Anyone still trying to regain the best possible level
of health should always avoid feasts. Be forewarned: for some
sensitive people, like those with inflammatory arthritis, one feast
can result in devastating pains lasting for weeks.
Range-fed beef without hormones or chemicals.
Organically grown poultry.
Vegetable oils (including olive oil, flaxseed oil, canola oil,
coconut, and all "free" oils).
modified feast foods should be eaten no more than once a week, and
then only in small amounts. Anyone looking for improvement in their
health should never eat them. These dairy and egg foods have been
modified to lower the fat and cholesterol content. Removal of the
fat reduces the level of fat-soluble chemical contaminants. However,
they are still too high in animal protein, and contain no dietary
fiber. Dairy products are the leading cause of food allergies, and
eggs are often listed as the second most common food allergen.
milk (skim milk).
(dry curd) cottage cheese.
cheese (like mozzarella).
(contains water, sugar, fruit juice, and often egg whites or low-fat
Rich Plant Foods
plant foods may account for a small portion of your daily food
intake (less than 10 percent of your calories per day) but only
after you have attained the level of health you are striving for. In
general, these foods are more harmful than health-supporting. Never
eat these foods if you have problems with your health that remain
unresolved. They can easily add to your body fat. If you begin using
this group of foods and find that you are also gaining weight or
getting back some of your old ailments, then stop eating these foods
High-fat plant foods contain large amounts of fat, and are very high
butters (like peanut butter).
spreads (like tahini).
(fiber has also been removed).
Simple sugar foods provide concentrated calories and often little
puree (like applesauce
of vitamins and minerals).
fruit (best) (significant content of fiber, vitamins and minerals).
Refined grains and flours have had much of their fiber content,
vitamins, and minerals removed. Some products have had a few
vitamins and minerals added back (enrichment).
rice (cereal- or glucose-coated).
flours (such as white flour, used in bread, bagels and noodle
are health-supporting. They allow your body to attain and maintain
its naturally intended state of good health. They should account for
the greatest share (at least 90 percent) of your calories if you are
healthy and for all of them if you are still working to regain your
grains, such as wheat, rice, barley, millet, rye, oats, corn, and
grains, such as whole-wheat flour, corn meal, brown rice flour, rye
flour, oatmeal, and bulgur.
vegetables, such as white potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, and
and yellow vegetables, such as spinach, kale, zucchini, broccoli,
cabbage, carrots, and onions.
seeds and beans, such as alfalfa, radish, wheat, mung bean, and
peas, lentils, such as kidney beans, white beans, garbanzo beans,
pinto beans, split peas, and red lentils. (These legumes are
high-protein. They should be restricted to about one cup of cooked
food on average daily and restricted even more for people with
osteoporosis, kidney stones, and liver or kidney failure.)
fruits. (All edible varieties of these are suitable; however, most
people should limit them to about three per day. They contain simple
sugars that are largely protected by fiber. People trying to lose
weight and people with high triglycerides should consider further
Ten Ideas We Have Improved On in Three
not be surprised to learn that we got it mostly right the first time
more than 30 years
ago. After six years of exhaustive study of the scientific research
and almost every vegetarian cookbook published in the preceding
eighty years we learned a lot from other people's hard work. During
those six years between 1977 and 1983 when The McDougall Plan
was being written, Mary also designed homey recipes, cooked the
meals, and the McDougall family taste-tested each and every one of
them. Here is what we can
be they derived
from cow, pig, chicken, or fish muscles or the ovum of a bird or the
lactation fluids of a mammal
high-fat or low-fat
-- are all so
similar in their make-up that they must be considered together, and
should be strictly avoided for health reasons. The destruction of
the Earth due to the
livestock industry makes avoiding animal foods imperative.
Chicken and Turkey are no
improvement over beef and pork products. Consumers are just fooling
themselves and might as well have a beefsteak on their birthday
rather than a dried-up piece of white breast meat.
Fish are health-wise no better
than any of the other muscle foods. Since the time The McDougall
Plan was written nearly 90% of the world's large fish and other
sea life have vanished. In order to restore our oceans, lakes, and
streams people must understand the importance of not eating and
further contributing to the depletion of these natural resources.
Dairy Products and
Egg Whites are very high in
animal protein and sulfur-containing amino acids, which promote
bone, kidney and liver damage. Trading high-fat foods for low-fat
foods in this category is a matter of choosing whether to be shot or
Soy Foods, such as traditional
soymilk, tofu and miso are sensible additions to a healthy diet, but
should be used in small amounts because they are rich in fat and
protein. Fake foods, such as soy burgers, soy luncheon meats, soy
hot dogs, and soy cheeses made from isolated soy proteins and a
number of other chemicals should be strictly avoided.
Oils, regardless of the health
claims, such as "high in omega-3s" or "good fats" are serious health
hazards and should be clearly distinguished from whole foods that
are high in vegetable fats such as
seeds, avocados, and olives.
is a pleasurable taste that can make compliance with the McDougall
Diet much easier. Research over the past three decades shows salt is
well tolerated by most people and rarely is a contributor to poor
health. However, to be on the cautious side, use salt sparingly.
Simple Sugars are all basically
the same and make foods delicious. Used sparingly they add great
pleasure to the McDougall Diet without causing harm.
Focus is emphasized in every
possible way. The McDougall Diet has always been taught as a
starch-based diet with the addition of fresh or frozen vegetables
and fruits. Until people eat most of their calories from higher
calorie plant foods, such as rice, corn, beans, and potatoes, they
struggle. Emphasizing these comfort foods makes everything about the
McDougall Program work easily.
in meals is a key to better health and appearance. Mary's cooking
style in our home has become focused on simple meals. She prepares
dishes such as sweet potatoes and broccoli or rice with steamed
green veggies, which are topped with delicious sauces. With
simplicity, advantages like greater weight loss, better health, and
lower food costs are enjoyed.