Monday, February 21, 2011

Amlose Free Diet


I read Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker's very difficult to find book, Lose the Weight You Hate.  It is a rambling book, filled with unnecessary case stories, so I condensed it down to three pages, which I know could be reduced more, but I think you need some explanations on why he allows some foods you'd never expect, like corn.  The only case story you need is mine: Age 53, post menopausal, 5’2” tall and lost 10 of the 35 pounds I plan to lose in three weeks.  I never felt hungry or denied.  This is the easiest diet ever!

Amylase in saliva breaks amylose down into glucose, which is stored as fat.
No Amylose prevents rapid rises in blood sugar and keeps insulin from making fat.
·         Calories that are most efficiently stored as FAT comes from a particular type of complex carbohydrate (amylose) which the body quickly breaks down into simple glucose.
·         By avoiding those foods that trigger sudden rises in blood sugar – foods high in amylose and other sugars – we can reduce the efficiency of fat storage.  As you create less fat, your body will be forced to mobilize the fat storage for energy, a process which will result in weigt loss. 
·         By preventing surges in blood sugar, this diet short-circuits the “starvation response” and thus inhibits “protien wasting” …which is the culprit responsible for re-gaining lost weight.
·      Choosing low-glycemic Index food will also prevent over-production of cholesterol, helping to reduce blood pressure and control diabetes in many patients.

A “diet diary” monitors your intake.  Keep a close eye on your eating patterns to ensure healthy nutrition.  Those that do not keep a log usually fail to achieve their weight loss goals.


THE NO-AMYLOSE DIET   -   The “00-2-3” Rule
0 amylose
0 sugars (glucose or sucrose), corn syrup, and maltodextrin (found in low fat foods)
2 servings protein (at least 6-8 oz) each day
3 servings fruits each day
3 servings of low-glycemic index/amylose-free (above ground) vegetables each day

Skipping meals will not help you lose weight!  About starvation dieting: eating less/skipping meals triggers a starvation response that sets in whenever we skip meals or eat significantly less than our usual amount at any given meal and produces an artificial fasting state.  The next meal consumed will be absorbed and retain many more nutrients (especially fat!).  If you are not a breakfast eater - consuming a handful of grapes, an apple, or a piece of ham in the morning to avoid the insulin-controlled starvation response and tells your brain you are not starving. 

If you want to, plan a Diet Holiday every couple of weeks to enjoy something you’ve been craving, like some pasta or a slice of cake at a birthday party.  This is a satisfying way to quell the denied feeling most dieters experience.  You may find that after a few forksful of the fantasy food, it turns out to be just a fantasy, and that you really don’t feel compelled to eat the entire plateful of lasagna after all.

THESE ARE HIGH IN AMYLOSE AND NOT ALLOWED – eat nothing made from wheat, rice, oats, barley or rye.  No bagels, bread (not even the healthy kind), cereals, muffins, pasta, potatoes, sweets, honey, bananas, sugar, low fat or healthy choice usually has sweeteners added. No vegetables grown underground, defined as a root or a tuber (including, but not limited to radishes, carrots, all potatoes, including sweet potatoes, and peanuts).  NO Bananas and no store bought fruit juices (contain sweetners), low fat salad dressings (sweeteners), Avoid eating any fat you can “see” and any fat that turns solid at room temperature. No cakes or pies, sugary soft drinks, chocolate. No french fries.

·         Only two vegetables grown underground are allowed: onions and garlic.
·         Some of the allowed vegetables include: cucumbers, celery, lettuce (iceberg has zero nutritional value), zucchini, eggplant, brussel sprouts, peppers, lentils, corn, peas, and all the bean family – navy, string, lima, soy and all the rest
·         Some of the allowed fruits include: apples, pears, plums, peaches, oranges and grapes, raisins, prunes and freshly squeezed fruit juice (no added sugars).  NO BANANAS ALLOWED!
·         Protein always acts as an acceptable option, when selecting a snack or maintenance transition food on this diet. Choose meats that are lower in fat. (be careful with saturated fat in pastrami, salami, and bologna).
·         Butter and whole milk and creams are OK  Raw is better than pasteurized.
·         Nuts that grow on trees: cashews, almonds, pistachios, but read package labels to avoid sweeteners.
·         Cream of mushroom and cream of asparagus soup are milk-based, and are harmless in terms of blood sugar rates.  Same with tomato soup – provided you can find one with no sugar added
·         OK are pickles, artichoke hearts, olives, cheese, condiments, spice
·         Popcorn and baked corn chips (beware of sugary coatings and fake cheese coatings) You can put butter on popcorn.  Watch the microwave ones, they may contain sugar.  Pop the plain salted, then if I want, drizzle real butter.
·         Coffee, tea, sugar free sodas, sugar free Popsicles, s/f jello
·         Quinoa ( is a wonderful food that I use as a replacement for rice and also as a breakfast cereal.  Warmed, with cream and Splenda added, it tasted similar to cream of wheat with the texture of some tapioca tossed in.  For dinner, plain quinoa has a wonderful nutty/rice flavor, and can be mixed with other foods like onion and garlic, as you would couscous.  Cook like you would rice, shorten simmer time to 15 minutes.
Breakfast  - Enjoy as much fruit at as you wish.  Include some protein, like eggs and cheese.  In a pinch, get a sausage biscuit, throw away the bread and pat the fat out of the meat with a napkin.
Lunch – Have a good salad, but no low-fat dressing.  Add some sliced ham, turkey, roast beef, or tuna.  Or have a chicken caeser salad.  Have a cup of soup, but avoid noodles and vegetable soups that include carrots, potatoes, or barley.
Afternoon snack – Fresh fruit, butter-free popcorn, or baked tortilla chips (guac or salsa are okay too!)
Dinner – Protein (a steak, chicken breast, broiled fish) along with two different kinds of above-ground vegetables (for example, lima beans and butternut squash or stewed tomatoes and fresh corn on the cob)
Spices or Condiments – No restrictions.  Use good judgement when using yogurt or cheese as flavor-enhancers because of the concentrated amounts of milk fat, sugar, corn syrup and maltodetrins.  Read labels. (low-fat yogurt is loaded with high-fructose corn syrup.  Ketsup too.)
Alcohol – Drinking alcohol actually causes blood sugar levels to drop.  Beware that tonic water is loaded with sugar, and alcohol carries 7 calories per gram.  You are allowed up to two mixed drinks (no sugar!) or three 4-ounce glasses of wine or four bottles of beer (head for the low carb brands, like Mich Ultra) per day.

Breakfast – tomato juice, canteloupe slices, coffee the way you like it, huevos rancheros.
Lunch  salad: chick peas, olives, artichoke hearts, extra turkey chunks, green peppers, sugar-free lemonade
Dinner  garden salad: tomatoes, blue cheese, mushroom, avacado, and Sweet Sausage Casserole (recipe follows), fresh peaches and pears, sugar-free iced tea.

Once you’ve met your weight goal, on MAINTENANCE you can add to this to the Sample Menu:
(Insulin 10, 1 Amylose per day)
 Maintenance uses the low-glycemic index diet, “0-1-2-3”
Breakfast – add two slices of toast
Lunch – no change
Snack – Tostidos and salsa
Dinner – buttered garden peas
 Suggest you find a list of Glycemic Index (GI) values.

SWEET SAUSAGE CASSEROLE (Dr. Shoemaker's recipe.  It has flour, go figure.)
Brown one pound sweet Italian sausage, cut into small chunks.  Let simmer, then drain off excess fat and pat dry with a paper towel. Toss with one tablespoon flour.  Saute in butter: 6 cups sliced zucchini and 1 cup chopped onion.  Add 2 tablespoons flour and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Mix in 16 oz. cottage cheese, 1 cup parmesan cheese, 2 beaten eggs, the meat, and place in prepared casserole dish.  Bake 325F for 30 minutes. Top with 4 oz. cheddar cheese, bake two more minutes to melt cheese.  Serves 6


Stevie Jo said...

I am curious why you say fat is high in amylose.... Amylose is a starch- I dont believe there is starch in fat

Anonymous said...

Great blog entry! I've been wanting to know what's on this diet without reading the book. Shoemaker is a genius, but he's no writer. I'm surprised that so many sugars are allowed because so many of his patients have mold issues and that is a big no-no. People with mold issues can't eat any diet sweeteners or any fruit. I guess this is more of a weight loss book and not a mold illness book? What about brown rice or black rice?

Anonymous said...

I have heard that you aren't supposed to eat onions on the low amylose diet. How can I check your sources? Is there a place online that is free, and provides scientific information about this diet?

Jennifer said...

Great post and very helpful, thank you!
My new doctor just started me out on this yesterday and she said that onions are OK to have.

Chris Walker said...

Gord. This post condemning amylose is so confused. You should be victimizing amylopectin, which is a fast digested starch, due to its branched nature. Amylose is linear, and is broekn down in a linear fashion, all through the intestine, down to the colon.

Then you praise waxy corn, which is the ultimate garbage food, that is used in processed foods for gelatinization, and by body builders for fast carbs.

The food you should be praising, is Hi Maize, which is high in amylose, and low in amylopectin, which is the opposite of waxy maize.

When diabetics actually measure their sugar after consuming pure starch carbs, they get perplexing results, because what they are told is wrong. It's fat that interferes with glucose.

You are just another example of this confused wrongess.

Anonymous said...

On this website of the USA dry pea and lentil council, it says that beans, lentils, etc have high amylose content.

How then can they be on a NO amylose diet?

BGB said...

Isn't doctor Shoemaker actually quite overweight himself? Has anyone seen pics and videos of this man? I just watched a youtube video of him. He looks quite big to me.