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Diet, Nutrition, Weight Loss and Longevity: It is Not as Complicated as You May Think

By Simon Yu, MD

Relax! My dietary recommendations have been updated and it is not complicated. Diet and Nutrition are the basic foundation for prevention, wellness and healing. A proper dietary program may help you lose weight and enhance longevity. So many dietary books are contradictory, confusing and illusive for many Americans. It is a challenge to give advice for my chronically ill patients who are overweight or malnourished and underweight. Following my own dietary discretion for the choice of foods, portion control and taste for sweets has been challenging for me. My dietary recommendations are offered not as an authority on nutrition, but as practical tips based on experience.

Twenty years ago, I wrote a general recommendation, “Peak Performance Diet,” based on the Zone Diet by Barry Sears, Ph.D., the Blood Type Diet by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo, and the IgG delayed Food Allergy test. For some patients, if the allergy test is too expensive, I tell them to avoid dairy, wheat, gluten, corn, soy and peanuts. These are the most common food allergens positive on the test.

The recommended share of the macronutrients: protein, fat and carbohydrates, are based on your metabolism as a slow oxidizer or fast oxidizer. In general, I recommend 1/3 of calories from protein, 1/3 fat and 1/3 carbohydrates for slow oxidizers, similar to the Zone Diet by Barry Sears. For fast oxidizers, the recommendation shifts to 50% fat, 30% protein and 20% carbohydrates.

General food combination rules, glycemic index and sub-clinical hypothyroidism are also addressed in my “Peak Performance Diet” article. Micronutrient trace minerals assessment is based on hair mineral analysis by Analytical Research Labs, founded by Dr. Paul Eck. If my patients need more in-depth information about cooking and portion control, etc., I recommend they work with a dietician/nutritionist for further guidance. These basic recommendations have benefitted many patients over the years.

Since I wrote my Peak Performance Diet guidance about 20 years ago, there have been many new dietary books published. It is difficult to elaborate them all, covering the Paleo Diet, Ketogenic Diet, Microbiome Diet and a whole list of weight loss books.

There are several dietary books worth mentioning as most patients can benefit by reading and applying their principles. The Plant Paradox, by Steve Gundry, MD. covers the hidden dangers in “healthy” foods that cause disease and weight gain based on lectins and lectin incompatibility. It is entertaining to read, insightful and thought provoking. After reading his book, I switched to white bread instead of whole wheat bread. I don’t eat bread that often but his book will convince you to eat white bread and white rice rather than whole wheat bread or brown rice, and avoid tomatoes and many more surprises.

There are also books based on fasting, intermittent fasting or fasting-mimicking diet. Fasting is not the same as starvation. Fasting can save your life. Fasting has been a part of religious practice for spiritual health but is also good for overall health. When done right, it is an incredibly cost effective medical therapy that no medications, physicians or high tech hospitals can match.

Many people have written about the medical benefits of fasting. Fasting Can Save Your Life, by Herbert M. Shelton, describes the clear difference between a fast and a starvation, how to fast in nine steps, and how to break a fast properly. He has had many successful cases, which I described in my article, “40 Day Fast for Parasite Eradication.” The Complete Guide to Fasting, by Jason Fung, MD, provides many tools to help you get started on fasting in a scientific yet easy to read format, from a 24 hour Fasting Protocol to a 7-14 day Fasting Protocol.

The Longevity Diet, by Valter Longo, Ph.D., published in 2018, features a 5-Day Fasting-Mimicking Diet for all the health benefits of fasting without the hunger. Backed by the latest science, it cuts through the confusion, based on 5 Pillars of the Longevity Diet: 1) Basic Research, 2) Epidemiology, 3) Clinical Studies, 4) Centenarian Studies and 5) the Study of Complex Systems.

The plant-based Longevity Diet is proven to help with weight loss, reducing abdominal fat without losing lean body mass, preventing age-related muscle and bone loss, and reducing risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s dementia and cancer.

I heard his lecture last year and tried the commercially available, prepared Prolon 5-Day Fasting-Mimicking Diet (Prolonfmd.com) with my wife, Kate, for three months. I was able to lose 8 pounds and Kate, even more. You still get hungry during the 5 days/month diet, but it is manageable and one is able to work. While convenient, one of the major drawbacks is that Prolon was quite expensive when you can do a 5-day fast at hardly any cost following Herbert M. Shelton’s or Jason Fung’s Fasting protocol.

Using the Peak Performance Diet, based on the Zone Diet by Barry Sears, Blood Type Diet by D’Adamo, Food Allergy and Fast/Slow oxidation diet, and by adding Steven Gundry’s Plant Paradox and a modified fasting protocol by Shelton, Fung or Longo, you may achieve a higher level of success on your diet, nutrition, weight loss and longevity. It is not as complicated as you may think.

Remember: half of what we eat keeps us alive, and the other half of what we eat keeps doctors, dentists, medical specialists, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies alive. We have a choice which half to eat. The future of our diet and specific supplementation will be based on genetic testing as an addendum, not as a replacement for the above dietary recommendations. It is still in its infancy, and we still have to make the right choices for what we eat every day.

Dr. Simon Yu, M.D. is a Board Certified Internist. He practices Internal Medicine with an emphasis on Integrative Medicine to use the best each has to offer. For more articles and information about integrative medicine, patient success stories, and Dr. Yu’s health book, Accidental Cure: Extraordinary Medicine for Extraordinary Patients, visit his website at www.PreventionAndHealing.com or call Prevention and Healing, Inc., 314-432-7802. You can also attend a free monthly presentation and discussion by Dr. Yu on Integrative Medicine at his office on the second Tuesday each month at 6:30 pm. Call to verify the date. Seating is limited, arrive early.

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