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The Starch Solution

Eat a plant based diet that includes starch to change your health.

BACKGROUND Start the Diet Now Advertisement

The Starch Solution is a new book written by Dr. John A. McDougall and Mary McDougall that sheds some light on the varying information available involving carbohydrates and dieting. Dr. McDougall is a bestselling author with over 44 years’ experience in the nutrition and disease industry. He was featured in the movie and book titled Forks Over Knives. Various diets have instilled fear in people when it comes to carbs over the past couple decades, but this book sets out to clear that up. Dr. McDougall and his wife Mary run the McDougall Live-In program which is located in Santa Rosa, California.

The premise of The Starch Solution is to switch out the protein and fat in your diet for carbohydrates through eating a plant-based diet. This book has a similar message to the documentary titled Got the Facts on Milk in which Dr. McDougall is featured and questions the validity of consuming milk and dairy products. Through The Starch Solution, Dr. McDougall has helped patients lose over 125 pounds in a matter of months and helped people conquer life threatening illnesses like heart disease, arthritis and type 2 diabetes. This book offers readers a guide for the needed changes they can make in their lifestyle to gain health. The book includes a 7-Day Sure Start plan and 100 different recipes that can be prepared at home.

PRO
  • Program has been proven to improve health
  • Can result in dramatic weight loss
  • Allows you to heal several weight related ailments
  • Encourages eating starches to keep your body satisfied
  • Save money on your grocery bill
  • Great for those that are morbidly obese
CON
  • Requires giving up all animal protein and dairy
  • May be difficult to adjust to
  • Suggests this is the only way to be healthy
DIET and NUTRITION

The Starch Solution offers a diet that is plant-based along with various starches to keep you satisfied and healthy. Some of the things you will be eating on this diet include various vegetables along with starches that include potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, lentils and brown rice. This book offers a step by step program that you can follow to eliminate the dairy and animal protein that may be causing your health and weight issues. The program is based on the research of the popular China Study that was highly publicized in the documentary Forks Over Knives. The Starch Solution covers all of the research information that you need to know along with the five major poisons that are found in animal foods.

The program is laid out so that you can start with the 7-Day Sure Start Plan. There are tasty recipes laid out in the book so that you can meet the needs of your body and appetite. The categories for recipes include salads, burgers and wraps, main dishes, sweet endings and others. The makeup of the diet you will adopt through The Starch Solution consists of 70 percent starch, no meat or dairy, 10 percent fruits and 20 percent vegetables. Starches identified in this book are barley, buckwheat, corn, millet, oats, rice, rye, sorghum, wheat, wild rice, beans, lentils, peas, fruits and vegetables. Some of the featured recipes offered in the book are outlined below.

  • Tunisian Sweet Potato Stew
  • Tex-Mex Potatoes
  • Red Lentil Sweet Potato Curry
  • Tofu Tacos
EXERCISE

The main focus of The Starch Solution is on the research around changing the way you eat to improve your health. Many reviewers have stated that the results are achieved mainly through the nutrition but adding some exercise like walking will allow you to reach your goals faster. There is no specific exercise program outlined in the book though.

CONCLUSION

The Starch Solution does offer a solution that will help you lose weight. For some, the measures of eliminating fat, dairy and meat may be too extreme to stick with long term though. This book does offer a lot of research and success stories so it may help you reach your weight loss and health goals. There are other ways of eating that can offer exceptional health benefits that aren’t so extreme. It really depends on the person and their preference. If you can follow this way of eating then you will likely see some great results.

Common Misspellings

The starchy solution, the starch sollution, starch sollutions, the starch diet, the starch weight loss program


Related Diets: Forks Over Knives, Vegan Diner, Vegan for Life


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(Page 1 of 2, 24 total comments)

Judy Carreon

I happened onto The McDougall plan last year. It has been life changing for me and my husband. I am 59, was overweight, suffering from swollen joints and on my way to needing medication for high blood pressure. Since following this plan I have lost 25 lbs, still losing. My blood pressure and blood work are good. I recently passed a physical for life insurance and was given a preferred rate due to my health. My husband who suffered a severe stroke 2 years ago has improved and this plan has helped him to get off of all his Rx meds except one (with his Dr's guidance) and we are hoping that he will eventually be off of that! It has improved his health DRAMATICALLY! Our quality of life is better and our future is brighter because of the work done by Dr. McDougall and his collegues. Is it easy? No, there is definitely a mental shift that needs to take place. But being in control of the direction of our health and feeling good is definitely worth it!

posted Jul 24th, 2012 12:25 am


Andrea

Our family was already vegan when my 3 year old son was diagnosed with Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH) with a spinal tumor. I myself was slightly overweight regardless of eating what I though was healthy, spending 5 days a week in the gym and restricting calories. We were "junk food vegans" without knowing it though. After his diagnosis, we watched forks over knives, and started reading up on Dr. McDougall and Dr. Esselstyn's work. We switched to a whole foods plant based diet and opted out of Chemo to a "wait and see" approach. Almost 1 year later my son is in remission and I lost losts of weight effortlessly. This is not a diet for us, this is just plain good health. You want health-this is what it looks like. Telling your 4 year old he is done with the hospital is what it looks like.

posted Jul 23rd, 2012 4:32 pm


Michelle

Everywhere we turn in our family, someone is affected with diabetes. My grandmother died at 56 from diabetes and at the young age of 53, I found my mother in a diabetic coma from which she never recovered. My 39 year old sister is severely inflicted with the disease and thus is on a waiting list for a liver transplant. This family history was enough of a wake up call for me. I am 44 years young and in the best shape ever thanks to the work of Dr. McDougall and his colleagues. We first became aware of Dr. McDougall's work after viewing FOK. Both send a very strong message regarding the importance of eating a plant based diet. We love all of the resources and recipes from both programs, however, we are somewhat confused: Should the salad be the center of the meal or should the complex carbohydrates be the center of the meal. We decided to not make it so difficult by basing our menu for the day on what we feel like eating. Some days we are more veggie heavy and some days more starch. It seems to be working very well.

posted Jul 23rd, 2012 3:30 pm


Ellen Jaffe Jones

Down 25 pounds, saved myself from being on meds the rest of my life from a colon blockage and an ER-ordered hysterectomy. All my numbers on your Star McDougaller page. Wrote my book from your inspiration and as a little thanks to you, Dr. Barnard and other veg docs who have saved so many lives! I continue to place in 5K races and enjoy great health. So very grateful!

posted Jul 23rd, 2012 3:04 pm


Ben

Definitely the best diet I have ever known; I have been following this diet for years. If it wasn't for Dr. McDougall, I would be dead by now, or very close to it. But thanks to a diet of plants, I am in better health now than I have ever been before; I can run, bike, hike, and thoroughly enjoy using my body, and look forward to the next 70 years of life.

posted Jul 22nd, 2012 11:33 pm


Linda A.

Wonderful program. Not at all hard to follow and highly effective. I've been "McDougalling" for over 20 years. Started with fear and trembling! Never looked back from his then, 12 day program. I cannot understand why some folks won't even give it a try! Those who do often become instant believers. It's just making the decision to start that is needed. After a day or so, not even will power is required!

posted Jul 21st, 2012 9:06 am


Lori W

I cannot thank Dr. McDougall enough for the work that he does to promote health. My husband and I started eating this way just over a year ago. Since that time, my husband has lost over 50 pounds and has gotten off his medications for high blood pressure, acid-reflux, anxiety and a heart arrythmia. But my favorite improvement is his breath! It no longer smells rotten. As for myself, I am still a work in progress. I have lost 95 pounds and have cleared up my skin, allergies and sinus issues. My female problems are totally gone and I no longer worry about a possible hysterectomy. I am no longer morbidly obese or pre-diabetic. I have never had this much energy. "The Starch Solution" lays out the plan for a lifestyle of delicious and satisfying eating while guiding our bodies to our ideal weight. I especially appreciate the references to facts and studies that effectively validate this way of eating. Dr. McDougall's website is also a valuable resource for learning, sharing and support.

posted Jul 20th, 2012 3:13 pm


dan wells

Everything Dr. McDougall says in this book is true. It works great. I used to have to weigh and record all my calorie counts everyday to keep my weight under control but since eating a starch based diet, I no longer have to watch my calories. I just eat whole plant foods until I'm full.

posted Jul 20th, 2012 12:02 pm


Elsdon Ward

I have not read the book. But I have been on the website. I am following the diet i am 63, and started woth morbidly obese, with water in my ankles, skin problems and pains in my legs and joints.
After one month - my leg pains have gone - the skin has regenerated on my hands - lost 12 lbs already - better on my feet and full of confidence. I know that my blood is clean and my arteries are healing. This is for me a miracle - I have young children and need a second chance. This is real and it works - the food is delicious so anyone who needs advice on this in the UK send me a mail!!

posted Jul 20th, 2012 7:17 am


Andrew Morris

Excellent diet. I have been eating this way for 8 years and my health has never been better. Ceasing dairy foods is easy and after 3 weeks you won't miss them. Highly recommended.

posted Jul 20th, 2012 5:33 am


christine

This way of eating just plain makes sense. I am losing weight effortlessly and feeling full all the time. Best of all I feel healthy and energetic. There is an adjustment period as you change habits and learn about new foods, but my diet has so much more variety now than it ever did before. I will eat this way for the rest of my life! Dr. McDougall knows his stuff and backs everything up with solid research. He's not afraid to go against the status quo to spread his message of healthy eating.

posted Jul 20th, 2012 4:35 am


Mery

I have been following Dr. McDougall's plan for the last ten years. At 62, for the first time in my adult life my weight no longer yo-yo's. Now I have the figure I did in high school! And giving up dairy is the best thing I've ever done for my health. I used to be a cheese-aholic and would get a severe case of bronchitis at least once a year. But I have not had even one episode since I gave up dairy. AND my bone density is very good. Also I have endless energy. Wish I would have started the program so much sooner.

I love the variety in a plant-based diet. The food is so tasty. I never feel deprived.

I love that Dr. McDougall's message is tried and true. It is a beacon in this time of escalating health care costs.

posted Jul 20th, 2012 4:23 am


Jill Fratianne

The Starch Solution/diet has changed my life forever. After a year of following the program... all I can say is that it's all true. Thank you for giving me back my health, mental sanity, and general well being. We are what we eat... simple, but true concept.

posted Jul 20th, 2012 3:45 am


Claudia

I lost 80 pounds easily and also my fibromyalgia!--am now off all medications and feel great at 61 years old. (My son also lost 80 pounds on this easy diet--in just 3 months. We've both kept the weight off for over five years.) The McDougall way of eating is WEIGH to go!!!

posted Jul 20th, 2012 1:27 am


Valerie Mayfield

My husband watch the documentary "Forks over Knifes" and it changed our lives forever! We started with a 10 Juice Fast and then became Vegan for Life, and try our best to be organic Vegans.... We love it, my husband and I have been following Dr. McDougal's advice and trying to educate the world.. We order the soups online by the case... We also have a huge garden.. The book opened our eyes, it was so simple to change, I knew it had to be something so obvious that was making everyone sick, it seems like everyday someone else has cancer, diabetes, obesity, etc... It is the awful food and dead meat they are eating... We became Vegan last Jan. and we have lost 35 pounds... We don't really think about it anymore, we just eat all healthy foods all the time.... Thank you!!!!!!!! We feel great!!!

posted Jul 20th, 2012 1:11 am


James

I thought this would be a lot harder than it was. I was one of those guys who said:
"If it doesn't have meat in it, it must be an appetizer." I soon realized however that it wasn't my tastes that would have to change, but my mind, because the food was amazing!

I don't miss meat or dairy at all... in fact, the more I learned, the more horrified I was that I had ever eaten it. I'm not a hippie, I don't do yoga and I'm not a very good cook, but you don't need to be any of those things to value your body and what you feed it.
Starch-based is definitely the way to go. The book does a great job of explaining this SCIENCE-BASED approach. He cites all of his assertions with credible scientific evidence. This is definitely not a fad... it's a lifestyle... and I'm diggin' it.

posted Jul 20th, 2012 1:04 am


David F

I started eating the type of diet described in The Starch Solution five years ago. My cholesterol has dropped 40 points, my blood pressure has dropped to 110/70 and I've lost 15 pounds. People said I was skinny before I started this diet but now I'm super skinny like I was in college, 30 years ago. I take being called skinny as a compliment. I know some people have a hard time giving up meat and dairy products, but I don't miss them at all. I never had any cravings for them when I changed my diet. I was also a huge cheesaholic, the technical name is turophile (really, google it) prior to adopting a starch based diet. One more thing, I lost the weight without ever feeling hungry and people always ask me how I can eat so much and stay skinny. I tell them to read The Starch Solution.

posted Jul 20th, 2012 12:47 am


mgatesnyc

Incredible book. I highly recommend. It's a healthy diet where you never feel hungry because the diet is centered around starch. I've lost thirty pounds and feel terrific.

posted Jul 20th, 2012 12:40 am


Yvonne

The book is great - it is well referenced and full of tons of information. I have lost 53 lbs so far and I feel GREAT. Dr Mcdougall's other books are great too and I wish I had started sooner! The food is great too and very easy to cook. Great book and great program.

posted Jul 20th, 2012 12:38 am


Annie

Eating the starch solution way (whole grains, fruits, vegetables, no added oils) is easy, satisfying, filling (I never have to limit myself) and keeps me at my ideal weight and in good health. I have no reservations. Would love to see some clinical research data.

posted Jul 20th, 2012 12:31 am



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