The New Beverly Hills Diet
How The New Beverly Hills Diet Works continued...
What Mazel wants you to know about the food groups is:
- Fruits ("mini-carbohydrates" but in a group all their own) are essentially self-digesting. Their enzymes begin converting them to nutrients in your small intestine within 15-20 minutes.
- All other carbohydrates can take up to 3 hours to digest, a process that begins in the mouth, with saliva. Mazel's advice when eating carbs? Chew, chew, chew.
- Proteins, says Mazel, can take 10 hours or more to digest, and vitally need the help of your stomach's acid.
- Fats are "almost never eaten alone, so we really don't know how they act alone in our digestive systems," says Mazel, who believes they do slow digestion.
Digestive inefficiencies come in, says Mazel, when you "trap" a faster-digesting food, like a carbohydrate-rich potato, behind a slower one, like steak.
Mazel asserts that while your body works on digesting the protein with stomach acids, it's neutralizing the saliva enzymes necessary to digest the carbohydrates and that this poorly digested food is what leads to weight gain.
Don't trap faster-digesting foods behind slower ones and the weight loss can be "astonishing," Mazel says. "You can have both -- hamburgers and hipbones, cheesecake and cheekbones -- all the foods you love and the body you've always dreamed of."
As for exercise, it's not a compulsory part of Mazel's diet plan, though she does admit it plays an important role in mental health, a fit heart, and good circulation.
What the Experts Say About The New Beverly Hills Diet
Based on his understanding of the Beverly Hills diet before its recent update, David W. Grotto, RD, LD, a former spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association), had this to say: "This diet is really promoting itself as a weight loss program -- and it would do that. Sustaining the diet, however, would be a concern because of a lack of nutritional adequacy."
And the theory of food combining doesn't hold water, says Grotto. "The reason people lose weight on [Mazel's] program is that overall, they are eating less calories, not due to the effects of food combining."
However, Grotto sees the plan's promotion of produce as a plus. "Pretty much all Americans fall short of eating enough fruits and vegetables."
Many other experts reiterate Grotto's reservations, however, citing a lack of support for the theory of food combining and concern that the diet is short on important nutrients.
Food for Thought
Mazel's writing style is extremely positive and very encouraging, and might help diet fence sitters through a tough time. And though she often implies you can "eat anything you want" on her plan, she is an advocate of portion control.
But her theories that exercise is unrelated to weight loss, that calories don't really matter, and that food combining is the best way to lose weight, limit the diet's usefulness long-term.
Grotto sums up, "I would almost lump [Mazel's] dietary program in with the obscure and useless programs -- like Alexander the Greats' nothing-but-alcohol diet. It's nutritionally incomplete and there are better programs out there.
"If you're looking for advice on an appropriate diet for yourself, visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics at eatright.org," he says.