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Omega Plan: The Medically Proven Diet That Restores Your Body's Essential Nutritional Balance

Omega Plan: The Medically Proven Diet That Restores Your Body's Essential Nutritional Balance

by Artemis P. Simopoulos, Jo Robinson

The Omega Plan  presents breakthrough research that will transform the way you think about fat. Fat is more than fuel. Some "good" fats are essential nutrients that influence every aspect of your being, from the beating of your heart to your ability to learn and remember. A renowned expert on nutrition, Dr. Artemis P. Simopoulos tells you exactly which


The Omega Plan  presents breakthrough research that will transform the way you think about fat. Fat is more than fuel. Some "good" fats are essential nutrients that influence every aspect of your being, from the beating of your heart to your ability to learn and remember. A renowned expert on nutrition, Dr. Artemis P. Simopoulos tells you exactly which fats and other nutrients you need to experience optimal health.

Dr. Simopoulos is an international authority on essential fatty acids or EFAs, the building blocks of fats that are necessary for good health. There are two families of EFAs: omega-6 and omega-3. An ideal diet contains a balance of these nutrients, yet the modern American diet contains far more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3s. This hidden imbalance makes you more vulnerable to heart disease, cancer, obesity, inflammations, autoimmune diseases, allergies, diabetes and depression — all of the so-called diseases of civilization. The medically proven Omega Plan balances EFAs and other essential nutrients, helping your body to function as nature intended.

The Omega Plan is a natural, time-tested diet. New studies have shown that we function best when we eat foods that are similar to those eaten by our remote ancestors, a diet including an abundance of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables and the proper balance of EFAs.

Unlike other nutrition programs, The Omega Plan offers delicious options. First, the diet is 35 percent fat, allowing you to eat real salad dressings, mayonnaise, cheese and the occasional chocolate dessert — absolutely guilt free! You will be healthier on this program than if you were to eat nothing but steamed vegetables, rice and tofu. You will happily stay on this diet for life, and you won't gain weight.

On The Omega Plan, you won't have to calculate your lean body mass, convert your food into "units," or struggle to satisfy a rigid ratio of fat, carbohydrates and protein. By simply choosing the right fats and eating more fresh fruit, vegetables and legumes, you will be satisfying most of The Omega Plan's seven dietary guidelines. To make your life even easier, the book contains 50 simple recipes, a detailed shopping list and tips for choosing healthful restaurant and convenience food. In three weeks' time, you will have learned to distinguish between the "good" fats and the "bad" fats, restocked your kitchen with healthier ingredients and begun to reap all the proven health benefits of this landmark program. The Omega Plan will restore the natural balance of essential nutrients to your diet and greatly increase your chances of living a long, lean and healthy life.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.25(d)

Read an Excerpt

Found: The Missing Ingredients for Optimal Health
In recent years, medical research has shattered many of our simplistic notions about diet. For example, the popular ideas that "fat makes you fat" and that animal fat is "bad" and vegetable oil is "good" have been overturned by exciting new discoveries about fat that are helping to fight disease and promote optimal health. Similarly, the naive notion that vitamin supplements can replace fruits and vegetables has given way to a new appreciation for the treasure trove of nutrients these wholesome foods contain, including antioxidants that are not vitamins, folate, and cancer-fighting nutrients called "phytochemicals." This book translates these new findings into a simple, delicious dietary plan that will greatly increase your chances of living a long, lean, and healthy life.
One of the main conclusions to come from the medical labs is that you don't have to give up fat to lose weight or enjoy better health. Most weight-loss diets and so-called healthy diets throw out the good fat with the bad fat, leaving you with dry, lackluster food. Very few people are able to stay on such a diet, resulting in a sense of frustration and failure. The Omega Plan, the breakthrough dietary plan featured in this book, replaces harmful fats with beneficial ones, allowing you to eat from 30 to 35 percent of your calories as fat—absolutely free of guilt! In fact, I will be urging you to eat more of certain kinds of fat. Yet studies show that you will be healthier on this new, moderate-fat program than if you were to submit yourself to a dreary succession of watery salad dressings, fat-free cheese, rice cakes, steamed vegetables, and skinlesschicken breasts poached in broth.
And, no, you won't gain weight. In fact, as you will learn in later chapters, when you combine The Omega Plan with a program of regular exercise, you will increase your chances of being fit and lean. If you have a substantial amount of weight to lose (ten pounds or more), this book can help you do that as well. Chapter 13 features two weight-loss versions of The Omega Plan—a "fast burn" program, and a more moderate weight-loss program. Both contain the same generous percentage of fat as the regular diet. Today, you can start losing up to two pounds a week as you reap all the health benefits of the regular program.
New Discoveries About Fatty Acids
Our new appraisal of fat comes from studying its molecular building blocks—"fatty acids." When you pour vegetable oil into a measuring cup, it looks like one uniform substance, but on a submicroscopic level, it is composed of six or more different types of fatty acids. New studies show that the individual fatty acids can have remarkably different effects on your health. Some promote cancer growth; some block it. Some increase your risk of heart attack and stroke; some reduce it. Some are more likely to be stored as body fat; others are quickly burned as fuel. Some are linked with depression and other mental problems; some foster emotional well-being. The way a given fat influences your health depends on its unique blend of fatty acids.
Unfortunately, the typical Western diet is loaded with the types of fatty acids that are linked with some of our most serious health problems, while it is markedly deficient in some that are essential for optimal health. Even if you are well informed about nutrition and very careful about what you eat, you may still be fueling your body with the wrong ratio of fatty acids. Many of the physicians, medical researchers, and even dietitians who attend my lectures discover that they are eating the same unbalanced blend of fats as the general public.
The Bad Fats and the Good Fats
One type of fat—saturated fat—has lived up to its reputation of being a "bad" fat. Found in meat, dairy products, and some tropical oils, saturated fat increases your risk of coronary artery disease, diabetes, and obesity. Recently, another culprit has been identified—"trans-fatty" acids, manmade molecules that are produced during the hydrogenation of vegetable oil. New studies show that trans-fatty acids can be even worse for your cardiovascular system than saturated fat and may also increase the risk of breast cancer. Switching from butter to margarine was not such a good idea after all.
Some fatty acids, however, are actually good for your health. Monounsaturated fatty acids, the type found in olive oil and canola oil, help protect your cardiovascular system. They also reduce the risk of certain metabolic disorders such as "insulin resistance" and diabetes, and are linked with a lower rate of cancer. This good news is beginning to reach the general public, resulting in a newfound popularity for canola oil and olive oil, a healthy trend that is consistent with The Omega Plan.
But some of the most significant research about fatty acids has remained locked in the medical journals. In particular, few people know about the health benefits that come from eating the right balance of "essential fatty acids," or EFAs. EFAs are fatty acids that are necessary for normal growth and development and cannot be manufactured in your body; you must get them from your diet. There are two families of EFAs, "omega-6" fatty acids and "omega-3" fatty acids. Omega-6 fatty acids are most abundant in common vegetable oils such as corn, safflower, cottonseed, and sunflower oils. Omega-3 fatty acids are found primarily in seafood, green leafy vegetables, fish, canola oil, and walnuts. A critical finding is that your body functions best when your diet contains a balanced ratio of EFAs, yet the typical Western diet contains approximately fourteen to twenty times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3s.1-7 This imbalance is now being linked with a long list of serious conditions and diseases including:
*Heart attack
*Insulin resistance
*Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
*Postpartum depression
*Alzheimer's disease
To learn more about EFAs, researchers have raised lab animals on diets similar to ours that are high in omega-6 fatty acids and low in omega-3 fatty acids. Invariably, the animals have suffered. When implanted with cancer cells, for example, their tumors have grown faster, larger, and more invasive. When allowed free access to food, the animals have gained weight and developed a common metabolic disorder called "insulin resistance." When given psychological and mental tests, they've had a difficult time finding their way out of mazes, engaged in more random and self-destructive behavior, and been less willing to explore open spaces. Evidence that I will present throughout this book strongly suggests that eating an unbalanced ratio of essential fatty acids is causing the same havoc in our own bodies as well.

What People are Saying About This

Jean Carper
Of all the diets this is the one most apt to make most Americans feel better, live longer and stay healthier. Dr. Simopoulos absolutely knows what she is talking about. The book is full of gems of dietary wisdom and practical advice.
and the high protein/high fat diets that may be anathema to our hearts
"This is the most solidly-based nutritional program currently available. The information is easily understandable, not obscured by technical jargon. And the recipes produce dishes that actually taste good! The Omega Plan is a major step forward for readers concerned with their own health."'S. BOYD EATON, MD, author of The Paleolithic Prescription andclinical associate professor of radiology, Emory University School of Medicine"I'm not a betting woman, but if I were, I'd put my money on Dr. Artemis Simopoulos as most likely to be remembered as the great nutritional/geneticist breakthrough genius of our age. For those of us 'at sea' between the high carb diets that may point us toward overweight and diabetes

Meet the Author

Artemis Simopoulos, M.D., is a world authority on essential fatty acids and was nutritional adviser to the Office of Consumer Affairs at the White House. She is the author of The Healing Diet and the editor in chief of World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics. She lives in Washington, DC.

Jo Robinson is a free-lance writer specializing in books about personal and social change. She is the co-author of four other books, including Emotional Incest, and the best-selling Getting the Love You Want. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and son.

Jean Coppock Staeheli continues to help people make changes in their lives through her work in the Portland Health Institute's clinical programs, graduate courses and workshops, and services to health professionals. She also writes about health related topics. Jean lives in Tigard, Oregon, with her husband and two daughters.

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