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The Protein Power diet

What is the Protein Power diet?

The Protein Power diet is a type of low- carbohydrate, high-protein diet plan.

Written by a married couple of doctors, Michael and Mary Dan Eades, the book promises that you will "feel fit and boost your health -- in just weeks!" The cover includes praise from one of their diet-expert-author competitors, Barry Sears, author of The Zone, who calls their book nothing less than "The Nutritional Primer of the Nineties."

What sets Protein Power apart is the wealth of historical information about low-carbohydrate diets and how these have influenced dieters galore, ever since William Banting wrote his Letter on Corpulence in the mid 1800s. The Eades also provide scientific explanations for the functions of insulin and glucagons, the major hormones involved in the food-to-fuel process, along with plenty of encouragement and practical suggestions, such as what to order in a French restaurant or fast food restaurant.

What you can eat on the Protein Power diet

Those of you who crave meat, eggs and cheese will have a great time on the Protein Power diet. Vegetarians will not, because tofu is the main source of protein allowed to non-meat eaters. As even the most dedicated know, tofu three times a day can get tiresome.

To determine your daily protein quotient, the authors take you through a series of steps and measurements to determine your body fat and lean body mass, as well as ask you to assess your physical activity level.

You may choose your protein from fish, poultry, red meat, low-fat cheese (cottage cheese, feta, mozzarella, Muenster), eggs and tofu. If you want to lose a lot of fat (the authors don't say you lose weight, but fat instead) or correct a health problem, you can add only 30 grams of carbohydrate, or less, divided throughout the day. If your need to lose is not so great, you can up that quota to 55 grams per day. Favourite low-carb foods? Lists of low-carb fruit and vegetables are given to make your life easier. These include leafy green vegetables, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, aubergine, courgette, green beans, asparagus, celery, cucumber, mushrooms, and a surprise fruit that rarely makes the diet lists: avocado, high in fat, but low in carbs.

Add in 25 grams of fibre (you can subtract the fibre grams from the carbohydrate grams in commercially processed foods, which gives you more carbs to play with), and healthy fats: olive and nut oils, avocado and butter. Drink at least eight glasses of water per day. A glass of wine or a light beer is OK, but their carbs count, too.

The book's sample menus don't sound too temperate: breakfast might be smoked salmon and a cream cheese omelette, one-half cup of fresh strawberries, a slice of toast with butter and coffee; for lunch, one-half avocado stuffed with chicken salad made with mayonnaise, served on a bed of fresh greens. Dinner might be a lean cut of meat, ten steamed asparagus spears, salad, one-half tomato and a small glass of red wine if desired. Diet fizzy drinks and artificial sweeteners are permitted in moderation.

To round out nutritional needs, the authors recommend taking a high-quality vitamin-and-mineral supplement, along with at least 90 milligrams of potassium.

The book contains sample menus, more than 100 recipes, and suggestions on how to order in every kind of restaurant.

WebMD Medical Reference

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