What Color Is Your Diet? Review
Judi Goldstone, MD
What Color Is Your Diet? is a diet book featuring the health benefits of adding more color into your diet for better health. It's not specifically a weight loss diet. But as it warns against excess sugars and fats, promotes regular physical activity, and encourages sensible portions of healthy foods, a person following the diet would eventually lose excess weight. Losing weight by eating a super nutritious colorful diet is what experts say is the best way to slowly lose weight and keep it off.
What Color Is Your Diet? is written by respected author David Heber, MD, PhD, founding director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, and dietitian Susan Bowerman, MS, RD.
Heber says Americans don’t get enough fruits and vegetables in their diets and his category system of colors makes it easier to improve and fill in the nutrient gaps in our diets.
The 2005 Dietary Guidelines identifies fruits and vegetables as food groups to encourage. Adults should consume 2 cups of fruit and 2½ cups vegetables each day on the standard reference 2,000 calorie diet.
Most Americans fall short of meeting these goals. According to the CDC's 2005 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, only 32.6% of adults consumed fruit two or more times a day and 27.2% ate vegetables three or more times a day.
Most Americans could stand to eat more fruits and vegetables of any color.
What You Can Eat With What Color is Your Diet?
If its natural color is intense, it should be part of your diet. We're talking red tomatoes here, not red meat. The basic idea is to eat a wide variety of different-colored vegetables and fruits -- about a pound a day or one serving of each of the seven color categories.
Because each color category represents different nutrients and antioxidants, Heber suggests one serving from each color. A serving is defined as one cup raw fruits or vegetables or ½ cup cooked.
A week of menus for men and another for women provides suggestions for fitting in all the produce while limiting foods deemed off the menu. Detailed lists of each color group and recommended portion sizes make it easy to create your own menus. Recipes, shopping lists, travel, and dining out tips are included.
On the menu:
- Soy products
- White poultry meat
- Nonfat and reduced-fat dairy
- Egg whites
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Air-popped popcorn
- Olive and avocado oils
- Nuts and seeds
- Other foods allowed in small amounts
Off the menu:
- High-fat red meats
- Whole eggs
- Farmed salmon
- Butter and margarine
- Cakes, pastries
- Trans fat
- Foods that are primarily calories with few nutrients
Heber wants you to rethink your dinner plate and replace those starchy white foods like rice with colorful produce and satisfy your sweet tooth with naturally sweet fruit.