Dr. Andrew Weil's Diet

Dr. Andrew Weil’s diet is fairly simple and sensible. Dr. Weil’s philosophy "eat less, exercise more". Dr. Weil believes that the key to optimum health is to eat well.

His ideas have an Eastern influence. Weill notes that what we eat has an impact on our health. Weil however, points out that diet is only one aspect of our lifestyle. And our lifestyle in turn, is only another aspect in a myriad of factors that determine wellbeing.

How it works?

As was previously stated, Weil’s diet is sensible and straightforward. His idea is pretty much to strive for balance.

Carbohydrates

Carbs or starchy vegetables and grains are converted into glucose to be used for energy. Carbs are good brain food. Too much pile on one’s weight. Ketosis is bad for the health if left unchecked for a period of time. It causes high cholesterol and calcium depletion. Get your needed source of carbohydrates from unrefined grains and vegetables – or those who have low glycemic index.

Fats

Fats and oils are more concentrated forms of energy than carbs. Fats have to be chemically converted to glucose so that the body can use it. What we are trying to achieve here is the right balance. A bit of fat can actually be good for you.

The right amount of fat prevents skin inflammation, hair loss and susceptibility to infections. Too much fat though can cause high blood pressure and increase the risks of heart diseases and cancer.

Proteins

Proteins are necessary to build, maintain and repair the body. Proteins can also be turned into glucose. Proteins contain 20 amino acids, 10 of which must be regularly supplied by foods.

Too much proteins is tough on the digestive system and may also strain the liver and kidneys. Not enough proteins can cause malnutrition, increased susceptibility to infection, and even death.

Exercise

Although Weil did not elaborate much in his books, he says that exercise is an integral part of his program. He recommends regular exercises to increase caloric output and turn the basic weight loss equation in your favor.

What you can eat?

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrate should comprise 50-60% of your calorie intake. Opt for unrefined grains and vegetables as much as possible. These release glucose into the bloodstream more slowly, thus they won’t cause spikes after meals.

Other carbs you may go for include: apples, baked beans, oatmeal, and stone-ground whole-wheat bread. Basmati and brown rice are favored over brown rice, because they release glucose at a much more reasonable speed when eaten with other foods.

Fats

30% of calories should come from fats, granted that most of them are monosaturated oils such as olive oils. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids are also recommended such as sardines, mackerel and salmons, flax seeds and walnuts.

Proteins

Protein should comprise only 10-20% of your diet. Opt for beans, soybeans rather that animal meat as much as possible.

Fibers

Weil recommends eating 40 grams of fiber a day. Fruits, especially berries, are good sources of fiber, other food like those listed above (beans and whole grains) are also good sources of fiber, just stick to the portion suggestions.

Milk and alternative calcium sources

Weil recommends avoiding milk and consuming limited amounts of dairy products. This is because most people of Asian and African-American descent have difficulty digesting milk, mostly from lactose intolerance. Some may be allergic milk protein.

Weil claims that we don’t need to drink to keep up with our calcium needs. Too much protein eats up our protein supply. Weil’s diet, which recommends low protein consumption, won’t eat up the calcium in our body.

Foods such as sardines, leafy greens, broccoli, and various sea vegetables, such as nori, dulse, and kombu, as well as tofu, sesame seeds, calcium-fortified orange juice, and fortified soy milk are good milk-alternatives.