Staying Healthy

Dr. Dean Reviews Today’s Most Popular Diets Part 2

Last week I posted Part 1 of my review of today’s most popular diets.  As I said,

My goal was and continues to be to spare you the endless time and frustration of cycling through diets that don’t help you achieve your health and fitness goals.

Today, I’m going to review the following diets: Glycemic Index, Paleo, Specific Carbohydrate, GAPS, FODMAP, Gluten Free, Dash, and Food Combining. Then, on Friday, I’m going to review my original thoughts on the Ketogenic diet, why I changed my mind, how I modified this diet for my use including doing intermittent fasting, and how to choose between the two diets I do suggest, Yeast Free and Ketogenic.

The Next Eight Diets

Glycemic Index Diet

The Glycemic Index Diet focuses on measuring carbohydrates because there are some carbohydrates, like white bread, cookies, white potatoes, that make your blood sugar rise quickly. So, they call it a Glycemic Index because of how quickly your blood sugar rises after you eat a certain carb. In this diet, you’re trying to eat foods that produce a steadier rise of your blood sugar. This usually occurs because the food would have more fiber to slow down the sugar absorption and you feel fuller. So, with the slow sustained rise in your blood sugar and feeling fuller because of the fiber, you’re not as hungry and you feel more satisfied. Also, by preventing surgeries and blood sugar, it lowers insulin levels and can help lower your insulin resistance and therefore prevent diabetes.

The diets that that came out of the Glycemic Index Diet would be ones like Sugar Busters, The Zone, or Nutrisystem. High glycemic foods, 70 or higher. You can investigate this. 100, I guess, would be like some sort of sugar. It isn’t exactly sugar. There are things that are in fact more quickly absorbed than sugar. So, 70 or higher is white rice, white bread, pretzels, bagels, white baked potatoes, crackers, sugar sweetened beverages. The medium glycemic foods, 56 to 69, that’s bananas, grapes, spaghetti, ice cream, raisins, and corn on the cob. Low glycemic, 55 and under, are oatmeal, peanuts, peas, carrots, beans, skim milk, and most fruits. except bananas and grapes and watermelon. So, that’s something that kind of went by the wayside a bit. It’s like I said, has been picked up by Nutrisystem, and then they all they produce products that I don’t know how they get away with it, because they’re just very high in sugar and dairy and soy.

The Paleo Diet

The next diet I’m reviewing is the Paleo Diet. It’s also called, “the Caveman diet.” It’s mainly based on foods presumed to have been available to Paleolithic hunter-gatherers. It includes no farmed foods. So, it’s got your vegetables, fruits, nuts, roots, meats. It exludes, as most good diets do, sugar, processed oils.  It excludes salt. Table salt… yes.  But sea salt, I don’t think you should exclude sea salt at all. Excludes alcohol, coffee, dairy, grains, and legumes.

It was popularized by in the best-selling book, The Paleo Diet, by Loren Cordain. I mentioned him, he faces off against T. Colin Campbell in some good debates. He took his work from a gastroenterologist who wrote back in 1975 about this type of diet. In 2013 the diet was Google’s most searched for weight loss method.

So, the original diet was 55% of daily calories from seafood and lean meat evenly divided;  15% of daily care calories from fruit; 15% from vegetables; and 15% from nuts and seeds. No dairy, almost no grains, no legumes, no added salt, and no added sugar.

They say there are nutritional deficiencies that come out of this – Vitamin D and calcium. I don’t know. If you’re eating fish, you should be getting some vitamin D. But calcium deficiency? Yes, if you’re not eating any dairy. I think the main risk that I can see is toxins from high fish consumption. If over half of your calories from seafood or lean meat, you’re eating seafood probably even once a day, if you’re having two protein meals a day. So, you really must watch your mercury overload, and if you if you don’t have enough calcium, you’re not going to have enough magnesium as well. Low in calcium  – that could have been happening in Paleo times unless you’re crunching on animal bones or making bone broth. But if they weren’t using any cooking…details, details The mercury in a high-fat diet now that probably wasn’t the case in Paleo times. The soil would have had more magnesium in minerals, and, I mean how can they look at any sort of health benefits or longevity since supposedly cavemen only lasted into their 30s.

Specific Carbohydrate Diet

The next eating program I’m reviewing is the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. The Specific Carbohydrate Diet is one of the restrictive diets. See, this is where I think society began developing gut problems, most likely from yeast overgrowth. But instead of treating yeast, people began experimenting with diet restrictions to try to solve the problem.

This restrictive diet was described by Sidney Haas in 1924 to treat celiac disease. It was popularized in 1987 by Elaine Gottschal, whose daughter at age 7 had bleeding ulcerative colitis. Elaine, whom I knew in Canada when she lived up there, went to Haas, who was then 92 years old, and learned about the diet. Then, at for age 47, Elaine went back to school, got her bachelor’s degree and master’s in biology, nutritional biochemistry, and cellular biology. She passed away in 2005, and she’s a hero. She really popularized this diet.

It limits the use of complex carbohydrates as well as disaccharides and polysaccharides. Monosaccharides are allowed. Prohibited foods include cereal, grains, potatoes, lactose, and dairy products. It is gluten-free, since no grains are permitted.

When I was writing IBS for Dummies,I got in touch with the specific carbohydrate diet community and was and I told them they were actually promoting a yeast-free diet and maybe that’s what was being treated and being so helpful. But there was really no one in charge who was interested in what I had to say.

A 2013 review on specific carbohydrate diet said we lacked large perspective control trials to provide dietary recommendations. Taken together, studies of exclusive antral which is intravenous exclusion diets or semi-vegetarian diet suggest that minimizing exposure of the intestinal lumen to selected foods may prolong the remission states of patients.  It’s up to the individual to test a diet and see if it works for them. Studies on diets are quite difficult to quantify and the diet that came out of the Specific Carbohydrate – GAPS.


I’m now going to review the GAPS diet. Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride developed the GAPS diet to treat her autistic son. The nutritional protocol restricts all grains, commercial dairy, starchy vegetables, processed carbohydrates, focusing on easily digestible and nutrient-dense foods.


I’ll jump right away to FODMAP, FODMAP is a crazy acronym derived from fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols. These are short chain carbohydrates poorly absorbed in the small intestine.  No, you know, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet allows monosaccharides. Now, suddenly, they’re bad. So, it mimics what I went through with patients in my early practice in the late 70s and early 80s where they just kept avoiding things. Now, they are being a bit more “scientific” about it. But it’s still just avoidance instead of looking at the underlying yeast overgrowth and mineral deficiencies that cause the body to react.

I would say about this that I can’t endorse this diet because for one thing in their list of oligosaccharides to avoid (includes cabbage, onions. and garlic). So, if you avoid garlic you know you’re allowing the yeast overgrowth. In their polyols, they’re avoiding avocados, snow peas. So, then it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

You must individually test foods. I had a child once who was allergic to his carrot juice and got migraines from it. So, I say this diet is targeting a leaky gut, but they aren’t acknowledging the leaky gut could be caused by yeast overgrowth and these toxins. This allows incompletely digested food molecules to be absorbed into the bloodstream and cause problems.

Gluten Free Diet

Gluten sensitivity is affecting 1-2% of the general population. But I think we must study the epigenetics of gluten, not just rely on the genetics. I don’t think you can have such a genetic problem this quickly in evolution, within one or two generations. I bring up these points in an article I wrote, Solving the MSG Problem.

I used to think that hybridization of wheat increased the gluten content. But, apparently, that’s not the case, because they say our gluten content now is less than ancient grains. It’s likely an increase of celiac because the body is not able to protect itself if it’s mineral deficient or if it has yeast overgrowth creating a leaky gut or if you’ve been eating wheat several times a day your whole life.


DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. This is a specific project of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The control diet was low in potassium, calcium, magnesium, and fiber. The DASH diet was rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium. So, they knew those were important. It was also high in whole grains, poultry, fish, and nuts. DASH is lower in red meat, sweets, and sugar-containing beverages. Researchers have found that the DASH Diet is more effective than a low oxalate diet in the prevention and treatment of kidney stones.

I think because they do focus on magnesium, it’s somewhat helpful. But, not in any substantial way.

Food Combining and Hydrochloric Acid

Question: What do you think about food combining? Do you think that animal protein should not be combined with carbs such as potatoes, rice. and grains in order to have a cleaner digestive process? For example, in food combining, you wouldn’t eat steak and potatoes together. You can have both but not at the same time. What about the philosophy of not eating any animal protein ‘til evening and only after eating vegetables?

Answer: First, I think that comes up from people’s digestion being compromised, not having enough hydrochloric acid in the stomach. So, I think it’s a matter of working with digestive enzymes with hydrochloric acid to help those symptoms. Magnesium will help support your hydrochloric acid in your stomach. I’m not in favor of people either avoiding foods or doing, you know, doing all this jiu-jitsu around their diet to try to accommodate deficiencies of minerals and of hydrochloric acid. So, personally I do take a combination digestive enzyme/hydrochloric acid with a large meal.

One of the things I’ve heard you recommend is NOW digestive enzymes. Do you still recommend those?  Yes, NOW brand has, I think, they’re called super enzymes. But, make sure they keep putting the hydrochloric acid in there, okay? Then, you’ve got some just HCl with pepsin.

I think you’ve told me about that before. Do you know anything about SP? That’s a Standard Process product. I don’t think it has hydrochloric acid. I’ll look it up. Okay? Very good all right excellent okay. Now, let’s see, oh my gosh I’m sorry, yeah it does have 700 milligrams of 18=betaine hydrochloride as well as pancreas pepsin so yeah that could work. I did it’s probably quite expensive though, but his product does have hydrochloric acid.

My 2017 Review of Keto

The Ketogenic Diet is a high fat diet. They say they eat adequate protein and low carbohydrates. This diet was used primarily to treat epilepsy and children and somehow it got to be the latest weight-loss craze.

I find it very unbalanced. It’s trying to trick your body into using fat as an energy source and not carbs or protein. A gram of fat has nine calories, so that compares to a gram of protein at four calories. So, if you’re burning off fat. you’re burning off more calories.

The classic keto diet contains four times the fat compared to one part of combined protein and carbohydrates. A variant is using coconut oil as a medium-chain fat. The downside I’d say so it’s very unbalanced, another way that you come become depleted of magnesium. It’s not sustainable for most people – five percent = if that’s him – under carbs five percent of a fifteen hundred calorie diet is 30 calories or seven point five grams. The only carbohydrate that I could find that would meet the five percent criteria was a medium-sized carrot at eight grams. That’s it. That’s your carbs for the day. I know I’m being a bit dramatic. but I would not find it sustainable.

Also, I find the high high fat can be can overload your liver bile resources in order to metabolize that fat. So, a lot of people are burping and bloating on this diet. It’s very high in calcium because you eat a lot of dairy to make up your fat content It’s low in magnesium.

In terms of dairy there are 600 milligrams of calcium in three ounces of cheddar cheese, etc. Folks that drink kefir get 190 milligrams of calcium in six ounces, and I know vegetarians who drink quarts of kefir a day to supposedly get their protein., not realizing they’re taking way too much calcium.

Ketogenic practitioners admit that you can get muscle cramps and that’s from too much calcium and constipation from too much calcium in the diet and kidney stones from too much calcium. Magnesium is required to keep calcium in solution and directed to the bones and teeth. If there isn’t enough, calcium will precipitate into arteries- the coronary carotid and renal arteries and help create kidney stones, gallstones, heel spurs, breast tissue calcifications, and much more long term. Ketogenic diets can lead to problems where the body thinks it’s starving and down regulates thyroid function.

There was a Keto question about their talk of intermittent fasting 16 hours. Basic fasting including sleep puts people into ketosis, and she said I think about my first month on the Total Body ReSet, and she compared it to or wondered if that’s what I was attempting with the ReStructure, etc. But what I’ll say is that personally, you know if I have my last food like 7:00 or even 8:00 p.m. and the 12 hours later 7:00 a.m. or 8:00 a.m. I personally don’t eat until about 11:00. So, I’m doing a 14-15 hour fast, and it’s not difficult to do. While I think intermittent fasting is helpful, however, if you’re rushing off to, you know, to work for the day and you need some food, then it would be difficult to attempt this intermittent fasting.

Why I Changed My Mind about Keto

Since doing the diet review webinar in 2017, I had many customers, family members, friends, and writers ask me to revisit my opinion of the Keto Diet. So, I did more research and self-experimentation with Keto menu planning and eating and had some amazing results. So, I did a webinar in January 2018 that shared my findings and personal experience, along with a book that details my journey with Keto.

I’ll be writing about this in detail in next Friday’s post. But I’ll let you in on a secret, meeting Dr. Jason Feng in Canada, reading his book, and interviewing him for my Internet Radio Show were enriching experiences I wouldn’t have missed!

Now, that I’ve whetted your appetite for more information, let me finish my review by answering the…

Best Questions from My Diet Review Webinar

Question: How soon before and after meal can you drink water so that it does not dilute digestive acids?

Answer: You have to self-experiment, so you understand how our body is processing your food. I know if I drink before an hour after a meal and bend over, then I’ll get a little bit of, you know, regurgitation. Even so it’s like a half an hour before and an hour after if you’re taking your hydrochloric acid. Try to swallow it with just a couple of ounces of water or take it like I do suggest  – take it at the end of a meal but if water is an issue take it in the middle of a meal with a couple ounces of water so that the water just doesn’t sit on top.

Question: Can I add ReMag to hot water?

Answer: Yes. That’s what we found out when we were doing our manufacturing tour. That stuff is pretty stable.

Question: What is the difference between potassium iodide and the iodine from kelp?

Answer:  What happens with kelp? I’m not in favor of it because you don’t know how much iodine is in it. But these days you know where they’re saying there could be radioactive iodine in the kelp and mercury because it’s a sea product. So, all I know is about the potassium iodide product you mentioned is it’s a clean mineral, and we test it for all those heavy metals and it’s a clean amount. It’s a just the RDA amount but the thing is if you take it in the form that we have it the stabilized ions it’s all absorbed. You’re taking it consistently, and that’s what the body wants is consistency. It’s not that you take 50 milligrams of iodine for months and then stop. It’s all about consistency.

Question: Do you add a raw egg to your ReStructure?

Answer: I add one to mine sometimes and sometimes I loved cooked egg.  So, I usually save my eggs for a nice little egg in the hole.

More to Come on Friday

As I said earlier, on Friday, I will go into a detailed explanation of why I changed my mind about Keto, how I use Keto dieting and intermittent fasting in my own life, and how to choose between the two diets I suggest using – Yeast Free and Ketogenic.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please write my team at


Dr. Carolyn Dean

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