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The Promise

Paint by numbers is easy, right? So is eating by colors, which is the concept behind What Color is Your Diet?

Author David Heber, MD, says Americans don’t get enough fruits and vegetables in their diets. His category system of colors makes it easier to fill in the nutrient gaps. By eating a wide range of fruits and vegetables, you’ll improve your overall health and lose weight.

What You Can Eat and What You Can't

On the plan, you’ll likely eat a lot more fruits and vegetables.

You'll be eating one serving (1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw) a day from each of the diet’s seven color categories:

Red: Lycopene-rich tomatoes, pink grapefruit, watermelon

Red/purple: Anthocyanin-rich grapes, berries, prunes, red apples

Orange: Alpha- and beta-carotene-rich carrots, mangoes, apricots, cantaloupe, winter squash

Orange/yellow: Carotenoid- and vitamin C-rich oranges, tangerines, peaches, nectarines, papaya

Yellow/green:Lutein- and zeaxanthin-rich spinach; collard, mustard, or turnip greens; corn; peas; avocado; honeydew melon

Green: Sulforaphane-, isothiocyanate- and indoles-rich broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, bok choy

White/green: Flavonoid-rich garlic, onion, celery, pears, white wine, endive, chives

The book offers a week of sample menus, and detailed lists of foods in each color group to help create your own. Aside from fruits and vegetables, the diet includes:

  • Lean protein (egg whites, soy, wild-caught fish, seafood, white-meat poultry, nonfat and low-fat dairy)
  • Healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, nuts)
  • Fiber (beans, seeds, air-popped popcorn)
  • Whole grains
  • Herbs and spices

The diet does not include:

  • High-fat red meat
  • Farmed fish
  • Egg yolks
  • Butter, margarine
  • Full-fat baked goods
  • Trans fats
  • Candy or other low-nutrient foods

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