The Perricone Promise
What Is The Perricone Promise?
Unlike most diets, the Perricone diet -- in its current incarnation, at least -- doesn't focus on weight loss. Instead, dermatologist Nicholas Perricone, MD, claims that he's found a diet and regimen of supplements and lotions that can make you look younger and live longer.
But wait. Perricone also says his approach can also decrease inflammation in every organ system, improve your metabolism, lift your mood, make your heart resistant to disease, decrease the risk of cancer, improve bone density, repair the skin, rejuvenate your immune system, and possibly help you lose weight.
Over the last few years, Perricone has popped up everywhere. He's made his pitch on Oprah, Today, 20/20, and many other shows. He's had several specials on PBS. He has endorsements from celebrities like Courtney Cox, who calls herself a "huge fan." Perricone's line of supplements and skin care products -- or "cosmeceuticals" as he calls them -- are sold on his web site, at some high-end department stores, and at his own shop on Madison Avenue in New York. He's also written many books, most of them best-sellers. Some examples are:
The Perricone Weight-Loss Diet: A Simple 3-Part Plan to Lose the Fat, the Wrinkles, and the Years (2007)
Dr. Perricone's 7 Secrets to Beauty, Health, and Longevity: The Miracle of Cellular Rejuvenation (2007)
The Perricone Weight Loss Diet (2005)
The Clear Skin Prescription: The Perricone Program to Eliminate Problem Skin (2004)
The Perricone Promise (2004)
The Acne Prescription: The Perricone Program for Healthy Skin at Every Age (2003)
The Perricone Prescription (2002)
The Wrinkle Cure (2000)
So what's the angle? Every fad diet has to have a villain, and Perricone's is inflammation. His basic idea is that swelling is at the cause of wrinkles, acne, and other skin conditions as well as many other medical problems. And what's the cause of all this swelling? Food and the inflammatory response. He says that bad food choices are "directly responsible for wrinkles, degenerative diseases, and accelerated aging."
However, he claims that following his diet and regimen of supplements and lotions helps "reverse the aging process." Perricone says that his diet will make you look younger in as little as three days.
Some of Perricone's suggestions are sensible and founded on accepted science, but others are sketchier. Perricone frequently talks about his own research, but very little of it has ever been published or reviewed by outside experts. While Perricone makes some big claims, his diet is strict, costly, and largely unproven.
What You Can Eat on The Perricone Promise
The Perricone Promise diet is rigid. He wants you to cut out foods that, he says, cause inflammation. The list of foods to avoid is long. It includes:
- Breads (especially French baguettes and croissants)
- Breakfast cereals (except non-instant oatmeal)
- Fruit juice
- Many fruits, like grapes, mangos, oranges, papaya, raisins, watermelon
- Many vegetables, like carrots, corn, peas, potatoes, pumpkin
- Pasta and noodles
- Soda (including diet soda)
- Hard cheese