For three years, Dr. John McDougall provided medical care to the Hawaii Hamakua Sugar Company’s workers and their families. And what he discovered during that time was the exact opposite of what he’d expected.
The healthiest of his patients were the elderly ones. Almost none suffered from:
or prostate cancer. But his younger patients?
Many were sick with obesity and the most common chronic diseases afflicting other Americans. The difference in the generations’ health, Dr. McDougall observed, was connected to the difference in their diets.
His older patients had remained faithful to their ancestor’s grain- and vegetable-rich foods. The younger ones, however, had adopted a standard American diet (SAD) of animal-based and processed foods.
So the stark difference in their physical health should come as no surprise, Dr. McDougall argues in the first chapter of The Starch Solution: “We humans are built to thrive on starch. The more rice, corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and beans we eat, the trimmer, more energetic, and healthier we become.”
And promoting a plant-based diet without clarifying the importance of starch? That amounts to sharing only half the information.
“Without the addition of starch, a diet of low-calorie leafy greens like lettuce and kale, crucifers like broccoli and cauliflower, and fruits like apples and oranges will leave you feeling hungry and fatigued.”
After reading The Starch Solution, I now understand why my loving Peruvian grandmother refused to give me a meal that didn’t include rice and beans.
She instinctively knew what was best for me!