THE SEVEN DEADLY FOODS
It’s often said that the difference between alcohol and food is that you don’t need alcohol to live but you have to eat. That’s true, but YOU DON’T HAVE TO EAT THE SEVEN DEADLY FOODS!
What do the SEVEN DEADLY FOODS have in common? They all hold the key that unlocks the door to our fat compartment so that we might store the fat we eat and, more importantly, get the mood reward that accompanies the storing of fat. It’s the mood reward that drives the eating of these foods. When there is a food shortage, this reward system is functional. In the presence of food excess, in the susceptible person, it becomes DYSFUNCTIONAL!
Does that mean, if I am fat, that I am dysfunctional? No, it means that you have developed some dysfunctional behaviors to try to achieve emotional balance.
STEP ONE in dealing with any dysfunctional behavior is to change that behavior. In alcoholism, it is referred to as ABSTINENCE. With emotional eating, the first step in overcoming the behavior is also abstinence. In alcoholism, abstinence is more straightforward. Alcohol is easy to identify! It comes in bottles and you have to be a certain age to buy it. Food is trickier. Forty years ago we were told that FAT IS YOUR ENEMY! Now we have learned that CARBS ARE OUR ENEMY. Most people think of CARBS as being starchy foods although not all carbohydrates (such as fruit) are bad when it comes to gaining weight.
The seven foods listed below are to the emotional eater what alcohol is to the alcoholic. They are all forms of RAPIDLY-ABSORBED GLUCOSE, or RAG. RAG results in our body releasing large amounts of INSULIN, the hormone responsible for opening the door to store fat.
Just as not everyone is susceptible to becoming alcoholic, not everyone is an emotional eater. However, if you are fat, YOU ARE AN EMOTIONAL EATER. Just as a non-alcoholic can’t possibly understand alcoholism, a person who is not fat cannot understand emotional eating.
Fortunately (or unfortunately), I (Dr. Kaplan) am fat! I decided I must walk the walk before I could talk the talk. What I recommend is what I do, and it is working. I am only a few steps ahead of you but I can show you the way.
Let’s discuss each food in turn then follow it with WHAT YOU CAN EAT!
The first question I usually get is “Can I have brown rice?” The answer, unfortunately, is NO. That’s because when brown rice is cooked, the hull splits in a fashion that still makes rice a RAG food. In other words, rice raises your blood sugar quickly and results in significant insulin secretion. I know you “love” rice because it makes you feel good, but that good feeling means you’re storing fat!
The only vegetable on the taboo list, it also includes sweet potato. Hawaiians have to put taro root in this category as well. Ditto for yucca. All these starchy root vegetables are also excellent insulin stimulators and, hence, must be avoided by those of us susceptible to weight gain. Don’t get too depressed yet as there are many good things you can eat.
Kernel corn is highly recommended but popcorn is verboten. Why? I’ll use my dog as an example. I bought my dog a rubber ball that I can stuff with liverwurst and be entertained watching him struggle to get the food out. It takes him about ten minutes of sincere effort. Now imagine I smeared the liverwurst on the outside of the ball. How long would it take him to eat it? Ten seconds! If you take the corn kernel and turn it inside-out, the starch is absorbed much faster resulting in, you guessed it, RAG!
4) FLOUR PRODUCTS
Like with popcorn, if you take corn kernels and crush them into flour, they again become RAG. So corn tortillas are on the hit-list (as is cornbread). Other crushed grains are in the same category, wheat being the flour you’re most familiar with. Bread and pasta may be what you think of first but anything sold in a bakery is off-limits. That includes (get ready) crackers, chips, cookies, cakes (DIETING IS NOT A PIECE OF CAKE), pastries, pretzels, cereals and muffins. Exceptions are bean flours such as hummus and refried beans. That’s because beans contain soluble fiber which slows the release of food from the stomach making it a SAG (slowly-absorbed glucose)!
5) SUGARED DRINKS
While dry sugar (sucrose) is not one of the forbidden foods, once you dissolve it in water, it turns dangerous. Even high-fructose corn syrup (which is a fructose-glucose mixture) stimulates insulin in a fashion to qualify as a RAG-like insulin stimulator. And don’t be fooled by other sugar-like carbohydrates like dextrose (the FDA defines only sucrose as “sugar”). The biggest offender in this category are regular sodas (diet sodas are OK). That’s because we are offered them in massive quantities (Gulp!). A 12 ounce soda contains the equivalent of ten teaspoons of sugar. I’m not worried about you eating ten teaspoons of dry sugar! Please note that fruit juice is OK, just check the ingredients to assure it is 100% juice and not a mixture of juice and high-fructose corn syrup.
6) FROZEN DAIRY
Why is non-frozen dairy OK but frozen dairy not? If you forget to put away your ice cream and it melts, do you drink it? I don’t. That’s because it tastes too sweet if it’s thawed. While it’s frozen it numbs your tongue so you don’t notice the sweetness. So ice cream and frozen yogurt or frozen custard need to be on the “do-not” list, because they qualify as insulin stimulators.
7) CHOCOLATE CANDY
This one was the most difficult for me to say goodbye. It took over a year to finally get to the point of just saying no.
THESE SEVEN FOODS HAVE ONE THING IN COMMON. ALTHOUGH MOST OF THEM CONTAIN NO SIGNIFICANT FAT, THEY ALL MAKE YOUR BODY OPEN THE DOOR TO YOUR FAT COMPARTMENT TO ALLOW YOU TO STORE ANY FAT YOU EAT!
Having given you the bad news, let’s move on to the good news about this diet.
THERE ARE MANY DELICIOUS FOODS STILL AVAILABLE TO YOU!
In place of rice, potato, and flour products:
CORN, BEANS (all varieties), &amp; PEAS (give peas a chance! I know…corny), BARLEY, QUINOA (a high protein grain)
In place of cereals:
OATMEAL, GRANOLA (if mostly nuts or seeds)
In place of popcorn:
NUTS (peanuts and tree nuts) AND/OR SEEDS
In place of regular sodas: DIET SODAS, FRUIT JUICES, SELTZER, WATER (what a concept!)
In place of frozen dairy:
POPSICLES (only 100% fruit juice), SORBET, FROZEN FRUIT (TRY GRAPES)
In place of chocolate candy:
CHOCOLATE PUDDING, FLAN, WHIPPED CREAM, PIE FILLING (NO CRUST!)
Now that you have the substitutes for the seven deadlies, let’s add in all the good stuff that will make this diet enjoyable:
IN ADDITION TO THE CHOICES ABOVE, PLEASE ENJOY ALL OF THE FOLLOWING:
ALL PROTEIN SOURCES – these include chicken and other poultry, meats (beef, pork, lamb, etc.), non-frozen dairy (cheese, milk, cottage cheese, sour cream, etc.), eggs (all you want!)
ALL FRUITS AND VEGETABLES – fresh, frozen, or canned
ALL SAUCES, SALAD DRESSINGS, AND CONDIMENTS (ketchup, mustard, spices etc.)
COFFEE AND ALCOHOL (unless you’ve got a drinking problem!)
SOUPS! – All soups are acceptable! Don’t worry about an occasional rice grain of tiny piece of potato. Try to eat around noodles and tortilla strips.
SALADS – Accidental ingestion of a random crouton or tortilla strip is not deadly but, when you are done with your salad, there should be croutons (or tortilla strips) left over!
NOW I WOULD SUGGEST YOU MOVE OVER TO THE MENUS SECTION TO SEE HOW WE CAN TAKE THESE BUILDING BLOCKS AND CREATE VERY SATISFYING MEALS AND SNACKS. NO PORTION CONTROL NEEDED! AS LONG AS THE DOOR TO THE FAT COMPARTMENT STAYS CLOSED, PORTIONS ARE AUTOMATICALLY CONTROLLED!