Q: “I have tried the high protein diet before & lost weight but I felt sluggish, got constipated & developed bad breath. When I went off the diet, the weight came back & I still felt sluggish & tired. I’m confused”.

A: Greg: There are lots of ways to lose weight but they are not all healthy ways. As Dr Joel Fuhrman says, heroine addicts or those on chemotherapy generally lose weight, but these are not healthy ways to lose weight. High protein diets like the Atkins or CSIRO diets contain too much animal protein & can lead to weight loss but at a price. High protein leads to increased metabolic acidosis,  which then sets the foundation for diseases like osteoporosis, diabetes, arthritis & cancer amongst others.

The excess ketones produced on this diet by the body breaking down its fat stores then produces bad breath. And this is the least harmful of the problems that eventually result from too much protein. Not good!

Without doubt the very high protein diets like Atkins, popular a few years ago with some celebrities, presents the greatest healt risk. Atkins himself stated that pregnant women should NOT go on his diet! When a nutritional philosophy is not suitable for everyone,  it is not suitable for anyone.

Q: ” I have a weight problem & have been advised to cut out potatoes, fruit, rice & sugar. Is this advisable?”

A: Greg: Let’s look at this logically. Potatoes have been the staple food of Ireland & Peru for centuries &, until recently, there were not any weight concerns there. In fact, 2008 was named by WHO as the International Year of the Potato.There are as many calories in a potato as in an apple! The poor “spud” has been found guilty without a fair trial! The potatoes are innocent, but not the same can be said of its accomplices- cream, cheese, mayonnaise, butter, margarine, oils & trans fats. Baked potatoes, avocado & a large raw salad is a wonderful high-nutient- per calorie meal which will NOT pose a weight problem, but will help build robust health & energy.

Regarding fruit, when I consult people on weight loss, I never hear them say ” I’m overweight because I eat too many papayas!” Fruit has been supporting mankind’s health around the world for hundreds of thousands of years. If every overweight person on earth replaced one meal per day with only fruit, the world would be a lighter (& healthier) place!

Having said this, caution needs to be applied. There are problems with commercial fruit juices, & even too much freshly squeezed fruit juice can cause problems because of the fructose (fruit sugar) concentration. We also have the almost ubiquitous additive called high-fructiose corn syrup, (although more common in America), which should be avoided.

Also, some people have a sensitivity to certain fruits because of things like salicylates & amines. Each person is an individual & must be individually assessed, which is why our consultations go into such detail.

Furthermore, the consumption of whole fruit in America, Australia & the UK has decreased over the years while our average weight has increased.

Regular, moderate fruit consumption for the average person is a health boon, not a health hazard.

On rice, similar reasoning applies. 25%of the world’s population (Asia) has rice as its staple, & they do not suffer weight problems as we do. Admittedly, obesity is increasing here but that can’t be blamed on rice, but on the adoption of the western way of eating.

White rice is an inferior food with much of its goodness refined out. Brown rice is preferred.

Sugar, however, is a different matter! White, processed sugar (sucrose) is a relatively recent addition to man’s diet since the Industrial Revolution. Since then its consumption has soared to alarming levels. It contains lots of calories but no nutrients, no fibre & no water. One can of regular soft drink contains more than 20 teaspoons of sucrose! Definitely not recommended.

Q: “My diet is definitely better than the average person’s. I avoid fast food, don’t eat red meat & don’t eat sweets & empty calories & eat my 5 vegetables & 2 fruit a day as recommended. I exercise regularly, am not overweight but still not in great health, having high blood pressure, sinus congestion & an enlarged prostate. What more can I do as the doctor wants toput put me on medication for all 3 problems?

A: Greg: You’ve stated what you don’t eat but said very little about what you do eat. I find that by “fine tuning” a person’s diet, in a couple of weeks significant improvements are experienced. This fine tuning requires a detailed dietary & life-style analysis & then a personalized dietary & lifestyle program is advised.

We often see people with your 3 problems improve to such an extent that drugs are not needed. In your situation, as with many others, fine tuning makes all the difference, just as in a luxury car.

This type of consultation is one of our specialties.

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