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The Starch Solution

The Starch Solution

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

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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.

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  • 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
  • Requires giving up all animal protein and dairy
  • May be difficult to adjust to
  • Suggests this is the only way to be healthy

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

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.


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 MisspellingsCommon Misspellings

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

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(Page 2 of 2, 30 total comments)

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



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



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



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



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

Jerri Smith


I love the book! The reading I am doing is helping me stay motivated toward my lifestyle goal of Vegan. I can walk unassisted after heeding the advice of my physician and changing my diet via the 21 day Jump Start! Thanks McDougall's!

posted Jul 20th, 2012 12:27 am user comment



I have followed Dr. McDougall's advice since 1995. I think I will live to be 100 years old. :-) The diet has reduced my cholesterol, triglicerides, blood sugar and added to my energy level. I weight what I did when I was in college on the swim team. Just look at how healthy Dr. McDougall is and you will see that it works.

posted Jul 20th, 2012 12:24 am

Lois Blumenthal


I lost 60 lbs 7 years ago and kept it off using McDougall's advice in a previous book about the same diet. My grocery bill went down to $40 or $50 per week, I wasn't hungry because I ate potatoes and apples and oatmeal and other filling starches - didn't cheat or spend money on fake meats, or soymilk - just ate real vegetables and grains and at age 66 feel better than I did in my 40s. I'd tried lots of diets before, but his is the only one that has ever worked for me. Big Fan! Loosing that horrible extra weight is something I can hardly believe is real! My knees and ankles stopped hurting and buying clothes is fun again. I know this all sounds over-the-top, but I'm not paid to say this - imagine how happy I am to have lost that weight! That's why I can't stop recommending Dr. McDougall.

posted Jul 20th, 2012 12:02 am

Ashley C.


This book is awesome! It is chock full of information and very well cited. The "cons" listed above, such as having to go to "extreme measures" by giving up meat, dairy and oil seem like rather small sacrifices when compared to the alternative of suffering from chronic and often fatal illness such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Helping the environment and stopping the horrific treatment of animals all while losing weight and reversing disease is not much of a con to me! It was amazing to realize just how much misinformation I have been fed throughout the years. This book cuts through all the industry lies and gives a clear solution for how to lose weight and cure chronic illness. The best part for me is that you are never hungry when you eat this way. This book is a relatively easy read, is very informative, has inspiring success stories, and yummy recipes! Highly recommend!

posted Jul 19th, 2012 8:12 am


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