The Simple Diet better than Jenny Craig or Atkins Diet

Posted on December 12, 2011. Filed under: nutrition, obesity, weight | Tags: , , , , |

The Simple Diet promotes more weight loss and better health outcomes than other nutrition approaches to weight management that are reported in the medical literature. The Simple Diet promotes twice as much weight loss as the Jenny Craig program and three times as much weight loss as the Atkins Diet over a six-month period. Research reports document the following weight losses in six months: counseling by a dietitian, 2 pounds (1); Ornish Diet, 5 pounds (2); Slim Fast, 7 pounds (3); Weight Watchers, 9 pounds (1); Atkins Diet, 11 pounds (2); Jenny Craig, 16 pounds (4); and The Simple Diet, 32 pounds (5-7) .

1.   Heshka S, Greenway F, Anderson JW et al. Self-help weight loss versus a structured commercial program after 26 weeks: a randomized controlled study. Am J Med 2000;109:282-7.

2.   Gardner CD, Kiazand A, Alhassan S et al. Comparison of the Atkins, Zone, Ornish, and LEARN diets for change inweight and related risk factors among overweight premenopausal women: The A to Z weight loss study. A randomized trial. JAMA 2007;297:969-77.

3.   Heymsfield SB, van Mierlo CA, van der Knaap HC, Heo M, Frier HI. Weight management using a meal replacement strategy: meta and pooling analysis from six studies. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 2003;27:537-49.

4.   Rock CL, Pakiz B, Flatt SW, Quintana EL. Randomized trial of a multifaceted commercial weight loss program. Obesity (Silver Spring) 2007;15:939-49.

5.   Furlow EA, Anderson JW. A systematic review of targeted outcomes associated with a medically supervised commercial weight loss program. J Amer Diet Assoc 2009;109:1417-21.

6.   Anderson JW, Reynolds LR, Bush HM, Rinsky JL, Washnock C. Effect of a behavioral/nutritional intervention program on weight loss in obese adults: a randomized controlled trial. Postgrad Med 2011;123:205-13.

7.   Anderson JW, Gustafson NJ. The Simple Diet: A Doctor’s Science-Based Plan. New York: Berkley Books, 2011. (available from amazon.com)

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Orlistat (alli) does not cause liver disease

Posted on September 5, 2009. Filed under: 1, diet, obesity, weight | Tags: , , , |

Orlistat, the active component of alli, has been more extensively studied than any other drug approved for treatment of obesity. Over 30,000 individuals have participated in more than 100 clinical research studies. These studies have measured tests of liver function and have not indicated that orlistat is associated with adverse effects on the liver. In fact, medical doctors who specialize in liver disease have used orlistat for treatment of several types of liver disease. “Fatty liver disease”, accumulation of excessive fat in the liver is very common in overweight individuals. Liver specialists have tested orlistat for treatment of fatty liver and preliminary results from about a dozen studies suggest that orlistat decreases fat accumulation in the liver and improves chemical tests of liver function. Extremely rarely, several different types of liver problems have occurred when individuals have taken orlistat but, currently, there is no specific information indicating that orlistat has been related to these liver problems. There are several reasons that overweight persons could develop liver problems while on a weight-loss diet. Most overweight people have excessive fat in the liver; when they lose weight there often are mild, temporary changes in liver function. Overweight persons are a high risk for gallstones and when they lose weight they commonly form new gallstones. Use of weight loss herbal remedies, other drugs, or alcohol could contribute to liver problems. The current evidence indicates that it is extremely unlikely that individuals who do not have liver problems would be at risk for liver problems while using orlistat.

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All fibers are not created equal

Posted on May 9, 2009. Filed under: cholesterol, diabetes, inulin, nutrition, oat bran, obesity, psyllium, resistant starch, weight |

Dietary fiber consumption has many health benefits. Persons who have the highest intakes of whole grains are significantly less likely to develop heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal disorders, and certain forms of cancer (Anderson JW, Nutrition Reviews, Apr. 2009). Currently scientists are actively testing various types of fiber to discern which types of fibers contribute to these health benefits.

Wheat bran was popularized by the late Dr. Denis Burkitt, a friend and mentor. Wheat bran has a major benefit for regularity—it keeps things moving. It also may lower blood pressure slightly and probably contributes to weight management. However, it does not lower blood cholesterol or smooth out the blood sugar after a meal. Oat bran is the most versatile type of fiber in that it has all the health benefits currently attributed to dietary fiber, namely: improves laxation, lowers blood cholesterol, lowers the blood glucose rise after meals (glycemic effects), lowers blood pressure, assists in weight loss and management, and is a prebiotic that enhances immune function. (I was called Dr. Oat Bran during the 1980’s, the Oat Bran Decade).

Psyllium is the most potent fiber supplement in that it improves laxation, lowers blood cholesterol, lowers the blood glucose rise after meals (glycemic effects), lowers blood pressure, and assists in weight loss and management. Psyllium does not appear to be a prebiotic or enhance immune function.

Many viscous, soluble fibers such as oat and barley gum, guar gum, pectins and konjac mannan have these benefits: lowers blood cholesterol, lowers the blood glucose rise after meals (glycemic effects), and assists in weight loss and management. Some of these fibers such as oat and barley gum (B-glucans) are prebiotics and enhance immune function.

Inulins and resistant starches are fairly new members of the fiber family. Inulin and similar carbohydrates are clearly prebiotics and enhance immune function. The other health benefits of inulin are uncertain but it does not appear to lower blood cholesterol.

Resistant starches include a wide variety of starches in foods and starches that are modified to make them resistant to the action of digestive enzymes in the small intestine. These starches are not digested but travel to the colon where they are completely fermented by bacteria. While most are fermented, like inulin, most are not prebiotics and do not enhance immune function. Further work is required in this area. The main benefit of the resistant starches is that they lower the blood glucose increase after a meal (glycemic effect). None of the resistant starches have been approved to make a claim that they have laxation benefits.

Thus, all fibers are not created equal and the consumer must decide what health benefits are most important. Currently oat bran foods and psyllium supplements appear to provide the widest range of health benefits.

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Diabetes Book Availability

Posted on September 12, 2008. Filed under: diabetes, diet, nutrition, obesity, weight |

Dear friends,

Thank you for your comments related to my diabetes book. Unfortunately technical books, like textbooks, are expensive because the market is small. Maybe your public library could purchase one. Amazon.com carries our book, search for Pasupuleti, V, the first author. Sometimes good deals are available though them.

Please send me your questions as comments and I will try to answer them specificallly.

In a few words, if you are at risk for diabetes (strong family history, history of gestational diabetes, have a borderline blood glucose) these are things you can do. Most important, try to get down to your desirable weight (a BMI under 25- many websites help you calculate your BMI). Walk 30-45 minutes six days a week. Cut down on your intake of fat, especially red meat, all beef, pork and dark meat. Increase your intake of fiber from whole grain breads, cereals and beans. Take the supplements (magnesium, chromium, vanadium) described in my earlier Post.

Thanks and good luck.


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Reactive hypoglycemia

Posted on May 20, 2008. Filed under: 1, diet, diet, nutrition, weight | Tags: |

Recently a young lady e-mailed me about the management of reactive hypoglycemia. This condition causes the blood glucose to drop to low levels between meals and cause weakness or shakiness. We have been doing research on this for many years and have successfully treated many dozens of people. Here are some caveats. It is not necessary to have a glucose tolerance test– I obtained a hemoglobin A1c to confirm low blood glucose. The hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) gives an estimated average of the blood glucose over the last 6 weeks. If a person has been having low blood glucose values between meals the HbA1c values is a few tenths of a point below the normal range.

Usual causes: diabetes in the familly and a tendency to diabetes; previous stomach surgery of a stomach that empties too fast; and idiopathic (meaning we don’t know exactly why). Rare causes are an underactive adrenal gland or pituitary gland.

Diet and exercise are the best and most effective treatment. High fiber foods– like oatmeal, beans, whole grain products– and starchy foods– rice, pasta, potatoes– work very well. Soy foods like edamame, tofu, soy nuts, and soy milk also help. Initially people need to avoid sugar, sweets, and fruit. However, after a few weeks people can resume using whole fruit but not fruit juice. Raisins are a good snack between meals. Avoid high fat animal products such as sausage, bacon, high fat beef and pork and select white meat of chicken or turkey for protein choices.

Since a tendency towards diabetes is present in about half of US adults the above diet, exercise and, if overweight, getting to a healthy weight are very helpful.  

Like many conditions, your health is in your hands. Best wishes.

Jim (NutDoc)

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What are nutrition solutions?

Posted on January 21, 2008. Filed under: cholesterol, diabetes, nutrition, weight | Tags: , , , , |


Many people prefer to manage health with diet and exercise rather than drugs. For 40 years my research and practice has focused on control of blood fats, diabetes, high blood pressure and weight through nutrition measures. In this blog I will share with you some of the approaches we have used.

Jim Anderson, MD, (aka, NutDoc), trained in internal medicine, endocrinology and nutrition. I have done biochemistry lab research, hundreds of clinicals with drugs or nutrition for all these conditions, but have felt most fulfilled in trying to bring this research experience to the clinic where I have had an active practice. 

In this blog I will be sharing specific suggestions that  you can incorporate into your own lifestyle to improve health. Specifically, I will initially share the strategies that have been successful with my own patients. I will start with approaches to lowering blood cholesterol since drug use has recently been challenged. In the 1980’s I was know as the “oat doc.” In the 1990’s I became the “soy doc.” Now I want to be the “nut doc.”

About 30 years ago we developed new diets– high carbohydrate and fiber (HCF)– diets to better manage diabetes. We found that most people with diabetes could reduce their need for medications or insulin by 25-75% using this diet. These diet experiences helped many people lose weight but we needed better education stategies to empower people to make long-standing changes in lifestyle habits. In 1985 we established the HMR Weight Management Program at the University of Kentucky and have helped thousands of persons lose weight and maintain successful weight management long-term. We will share some of these guidances in this blog.

Send us your questions. On a regular basis we will post guidelines related to specific areas. While we will not be able to send answers to individual questions we will try to post comments  of general interest and respond to questions of general interest.

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    Nutrition solutions for dealing with cholesterol, diabetes, or weight management.


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