The McDougall diet is unlike most medically based diet plans in that it doesn't limit the amount eaten, but radically changes what is eaten and how it is prepared. These recipes eliminate fats, meats and dairy products. The McDougalls ( The McDougall Program ) run an in-patient program at St. Helena Hospital in Santa Rosa, Calif., for people who want to drastically change their eating habits. The recipes substitute water for cooking oil and soy-based products for dairy ingredients. The McDougalls write that their diet plan is less extreme than the Kempner Diet developed at Duke University Medical School, and that it would seem to be a good choice for athletes or people who must change their eating habits either because of health problems or severe food allergies. For the rest of the eating public, however, the McDougalls's claims are bound to raise eyebrows; to wit, ``The incidence of human leukemia worldwide is in direct proportion to the amount of dairy products consumed,'' and ``I realized early in my career that the diseases from which most people suffer are caused by eating too much rich food.'' To their credit, the McDougalls do offer a wide range of recipes drawn from many different ethnic backgrounds--e.g., black bean burritos and waffles. They also discuss how to adapt a recipe to their regimen. Their recipes are well-organized, and a list of health food mail-order stores is provided. Given the draconian nature of the McDougall diet, however, it's not something to start without careful consideration. (July)
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The McDougall Program is a health plan that revolves around a starch-based fat-and cholesterol-free diet. John McDougall, author of The McDougall Program ( LJ 4/15/90), runs an in-patient program at a California hospital. Mary, his wife, developed most of the 300-plus recipes presented here. A few, such as a Holiday Vegebird constructed out of brown rice and bread stuffing (it even has fake giblets), come from fans of the program. The McDougall plan does have some famous followers, but, overall, the dishes in this collection are unlikely to attract many new converts. And, oddly enough for a diet book, there are no nutritional analyses attached to individual recipes. Buy for demand.
The McDougalls begin by offering a brief synopsis of their dietary philosophy and the nutritional program featured in their previous books. Certainly the dietary plan they propose can be heralded only as radical--free of all dairy products, meat, fish, poultry, and all types of oils. John McDougall's medical experience has led him to view changed eating habits as an instrument of healing, so the recommendation is not to cut back on ingredients identified as causing health problems but to cut them out entirely. Recipes are formulated for a starch-based diet, with the addition of fruits and vegetables. Considering the popularity of more holistic approaches to health maintenance, there may well be a demand for the McDougalls' zealous attitude toward nutritional advice.