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The Schwarzbein Principle: The Truth about Losing Weight, Being Healthy and Feeling Younger Paperback – May 1, 1999
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From her work with insulin-resistant patients with Type II diabetes, Dr. Schwarzbein concludes that low-fat diets cause heart attacks, eating fat makes you lose body fat, and it's important to eat high-cholesterol foods every day. Picture cardiologists and dieticians tearing their hair out and overweight people cheering as they dive into Eggs Benedict with sausage.
According to Schwarzbein, the high-carbohydrate, low-fat, moderate-protein diet that most dieticians and disease-prevention organizations recommend is the culprit that turns people into diabetics, makes them age faster and get degenerative diseases, and keeps them fat and unhealthy. She supports her theory with case studies of people who were sick and miserable on high-carbo, low-fat diets and who sprang to life when they "balanced" their diets with more fat and protein. Schwarzbein recommends avoiding "man-made carbohydrates"--processed carbs--in favor of those you could "pick, gather or milk." She instructs patients to eat "as much good fat as their body needs": eggs, avocados, flaxseed oil, butter, mayonnaise, and olive oil. Sorry, but fried foods and hydrogenated fats are "bad fats," or "damaged fats," as Schwarzbein calls them. You can eat as many eggs a day as you want on this plan, plus meat (even sausage--as long as it's nitrate-free--and pâté), saturated fat, cream, and nonstarchy vegetables. The book includes a four-week meal plan and about 15 recipes.
About the Author
Dr. Diana Schwarzbein has achieved the reputation as the cutting-edge expert on hormone replacement therapy and reversing type II diabetes through her groundbreaking nutritional and lifestyle program. Her practice specializes in endocrinology, metabolism, diabetes, osteoporosis, menopause and thyroid. She lives in Santa Barbara, California with her husband where she conducts workshops and private sessions.
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I recommend this book (though I have a few disagreements) for anyone ready to make changes in their lives, improve their overall health by reducing heart attack risk and avoiding diabetes and other metabolic issues.
My only disagreements are that it speaks of insulin resistant, which I am, and have had to get off grains completely. Some of her examples include toast.
Also as a woman in her mid 50s, I avoid estrogenic foods, such as soy, because I make enough but not enough progesterone. With that, I say you must know your own body.
Fast forward 8 years. I haven't been living this lifestyle and I've gained 10 more pounds. I've been exercising daily over the past 3 months with no significant weight loss. On my walk one morning, I was meditating and I asked my body what I needed to do to lose weight. I felt like I've been eating healthy, drinking a lot of smoothies and water, and mostly eating fruit and healthy carbs. Then I had a very distinct thought that I needed to start the Schwarzbein Priniciple again. I had completely forgotten about this lifestyle! This is the only eating plan that has ever worked for me. And I can have bacon and not feel guilty about it!
I've given this book 4 stars instead of 5 because some of the material is outdated. For instance, the whole idea of HRT was mostly dropped like a hot rock when it came to light that drugs such as Premarin might increase the risk of developing cancer. Perhaps bio-identical hormones are safer; perhaps not. Time will tell. Schwarzbein's eating plan, however, does work well for many people and is flexible enough to be easy to live with. I don't think of it as a diet; it's just the way I eat.
I haven't found a Dr who is as thorough and passionate about bio-identical hormone replacement therapy as Dr Scwarzbein, but I'm determined to keep looking. I've recommended this book already to more than a dozen women and I don't typically make unsolicited recommendations.
The author is an M.D. who formulated this program based on her experience in treating diabetics. She also had her own history in her youth of eating a lot of candy, which caused her many problems - she devotes a chapter to describing that experience.
It is obvious from her writing that she is not against carbohydrates, just that they should be eaten in moderation and that they should come from "real" sources, like vegetables. They should not be consumed from man-made sources such as donuts and ice cream.
She also states very convincingly that stimulants, like coffee, should also be left alone because they cause insulin levels to spike.
The author is in favor of a balanced diet of proteins, fats, and, in moderation, carbohydrates. This is what make sense to me. That is the way man ate before so many foods were overly processed, and before our country had such a problem with obesity, diabetes, and heart problems. Eating too many carbohydrates, as the author shows, causes insulin resistance, which in turn contributes to these problems and more.