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The Whole Grain Diet Miracle - Great Whole Grain Foods & Whole Grain Recipes

A Review of a Book Written by Dr. Lisa Hark and Dr. Darwin Dean

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

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Updated February 01, 2011

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

The Whole Grain Diet Miracle, written by dietitian Dr. Lisa Hark and physician Dr. Darwin Dean, gives good whole-grain foods information and whole grain recipes. The book claims that the diet will "help to improve your long-term health by helping you to lose weight, live longer and increase energy".

The Two Week Jumpstart Session

During the first two weeks on the diet you are supposed to:

  • avoid alcohol
  • not skip meals
  • eat at the same time every day
  • try to eat two cups of fruit and two cups of vegetables every day
  • eat only when you are hungry, stop before you feel full, and eat slowly
  • turn the TV off when you are eating and limit TV in general to one hour per day
  • take a multivitamin every day and consider taking a calcium supplement
  • exercise for three hours each week

The jumpstart session includes meal plans that incorporate a minimum of three servings of whole grains a day (as per the Dietary Guidelines for Americans).

All of these suggestions are sound and widely accepted by medical and dietetic professionals.

The Everyday Diet

After completing the initial diet phase, you start an "everyday" phase. The authors discuss portion sizes, mindful eating strategies and other helpful calorie-reducing tips. The book continues in this section to provide menus that offer three servings a day of whole grains, and regular exercise is also encouraged.

Whole Grain Education

Likely the most useful part of the book is the section on grains themselves. The nutritional benefits in general of whole grains for preventing and managing health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and GI disorders is discussed. Sixteen different grains are profiled with instructions on how to cook them. Common grains like wheat, rice, corn and oats are included, but also less-familiar grains like faro, kamut, quinoa, sorhum, and teff are also detailed. The book goes on to include these grains in 50 creative recipes that all give suggestions for alternate grains that can be substituted, creating even more recipe ideas.

The Take-Home

This book is an excellent resource on whole grains. If you read it, you will undoubtedly learn something new about whole grains, how to cook them, or new ways to incorporate them into your meal plans.

Diabetics and people looking to lose weight may need more assistance than what is provided in this book, however. The jumpstart plans do not provide calorie levels. While the book gives good conceptual advice, a session with a registered dietitian may be necessary to adapt plans to meet specific calorie and dietary needs.

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