My favorite dietary approach is a modified Mediterranean Diet.  This has been associated with lower cancer and heart disease rates.  I have provided a link to a website that provides excellent information about it.  But first, my modification.  If you are carrying more weight than you wish to (or you are Diabetic) you have to modify the first rung of the Mediterranean diet food pyramid.  Basically, this means a reduction in carbohydrates.  The more excess weight that you are carrying the more you need to modify it.  The things that need to be kicked out of the first level of the diet are rice, potatoes and pasta in particular. The only carbohydrates that I can endorse come from whole grains.  This does include bread and cereal (in moderation) of the whole grain variety. If you do this the modified Mediterranean diet will have you shedding weight faster than you can believe, and it won't feel as thought you are on a "diet". If you are Diabetic this will have to be monitored, like any change, in your regiment.  How this diet can fit your individual needs can be discussed when I see you in my office.  Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet —rich in vegetables, fruits, grains (remember my modification), beans and fish—has once again been proven to be heart-protective. Researchers report in a recent issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association (1999; 99: 779-785)  that participants in the Lyon Diet Heart Study who had previously suffered heart attacks and who switched to the omega-3 fatty acid-rich diet had a 47 to 72% lower risk of suffering a second heart attack or stroke. It’s “heartening” to know that simple dietary changes are more effective at lowering heart disease risk than expensive, and potentially dangerous, heart medications. 
Here's a link to Dr. Sinatra's ( a well respected cardiologist in the anti-aging field) website page on the Mediterranean diet.

Links to Low Carbohydrate Information:
What Your Ancestors Ate
Hottest Low Carb. Diet

Dr. Atkins Speaks Out

The book that I most often recommend for a low carb approach is The South Beach Diet.  It is written in a straight forward manner and it is an easy read.  It is a somewhat improved Atkins diet.

In order to lose weight, it is essential to control the diet and exercise. And, paradoxically, in order to lose fat, it is also necessary to eat. But, the key is to eat right. Here are a few points to take note of before considering the complexities of human metabolism and weight control:

The body is a complex, living organism, which is controlled by the brain, influenced by the human will, and limited by the efficiencies of the body's individual organs and psychophysical systems. Adhering to consistent dietary and exercise objectives can train the brain to control the body in new, and more efficient ways.
The body is not meant to be starved. Starvation diets are extremely ineffective for losing fat because when the body is deprived of food, when it finally receives food again the brain will tell the body to store, of all things, FAT, in order to prepare for the next episode of starvation. If you want to lose fat, then DO NOT starve yourself. Instead, develop healthy eating habits and exercise regularly.
Fat is manufactured by cells called adipocytes. Adipocytes develop over time, in response to the body's need to store energy. Once the adipocytes are formed, they tend to stay, and may shrink or grow in size depending upon the amount of fat they generate. Exercise and food reduction will not kill adipocytes, but will make them smaller and less apparent as fat on the body.
The best way for a normally health person to lose weight is to calculate the minimum daily caloric requirements and consume only that quantity and exercise regularly.

Here are the basic steps in determining your nutritional requirements for effective weight loss:

  1. Calculate Minimum Daily Caloric Requirements
  2. Determine your Recommended Daily Values of Nutrients
  3. Establish regular eating habits consistent with your dietary needs

There is much to consider in establishing a well balanced diet that will meet individual needs. Thus, this page is focused solely on meeting the minimum caloric and nutritional requirements, and the establishment of regular eating and exercise habits. We recommend you consult me, a dietician, or books on health and nutrition for determining specific foods and daily meals that are right for you.

Minimum Daily Caloric Requirements

Minimum Daily Caloric Requirements can be calculated simply as follows:

  1. Determine basal metabolic needs: Approximately 10 calories are required for each pound of body weight. So, a 150-lb. individual would require about 1500 calories daily to sustain basal metabolism.
  2. Add an additional 3 calories per pound of body weight to compensate for normal daily activities. Thus, the 150-lb. individual would need an extra 450 calories for daily activities, for a total of 1950 calories per day.
  3. Add the estimated number of calories required for daily exercise. Most books on diet and exercise will give detailed information on the number of calories expended per hour, for each type of sport and body type and weight. Consult the tables of these books for an accurate estimate of the number of calories you expend with exercise.

Recommended Daily Values of Nutrients

The FDA has established Daily Values for the amount of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, protein, and other nutrients in the diet. It is important to design your dietary regimen with these minimum daily values in mind because the body cannot sustain good health without meeting these minimums. However, these minimums are just that, minimums. Optimal health quite often calls for higher nutritional intake in the form of supplements. This is not just intuitive, but scientific. The doctors who scorns the use of supplements make fools of themselves by being opinionated about what they don’t know they don’t know.

Vitamins and Minerals. Certain vitamins and minerals are essential to the diet in tiny quantities. Most Americans don't meet their optimal daily needs, as many of our foods are lacking enough of these nutrients. People who have deficiencies or greater nutrient needs should consider customized vitamin supplementation

Carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are critical for energy. Carbohydrates are in an over-abundance in the typical Western diet. Our biological systems were designed in Paleolithic times (before agriculture), but we feed ourselves as though starvation is pounding at the gates. Agriculture was invented to stave off starvation, but in an affluent society it gives us too many poor choices with which to kill ourselves. The discussion of carbohydrates and balanced nutrition are an integral part of my anti-aging regiment.

There are several types of carbohydrates the consumer should be aware of.

Simple carbohydrates are small sugar molecules that are absorbed into the blood stream and metabolized very rapidly. Monosaccharides are simple sugars, such as fructose (fruits) and glucose (fruits). Disaccharides are more complex carbohydrates, like sucrose (candy) and lactose (milk). Mono- and Disaccharides should be consumed in limited quantities.

Complex carbohydrates consist of long chain sugar molecules that break down much more slowly than simple carbohydrates. Starches found in cereals, pastas, and vegetables are complex carbohydrates that still need to be consumed with limitations. One needs to understand where to get their carbohydrates and where not to. Not even all vegetables fall into the same category of acceptable or less-than-desirable. This is an important part of our anti-aging nutritional guidance.

Protein. Protein is critical in the diet as a source of amino acids for building muscles and active proteins (enzymes) in the body. Proteins are found in meat, eggs, milk, beans, nuts and other sources. Consult books on diet and nutrition for the dietary quality of each protein source. Many of my patients have high cholesterol and/or Diabetes; these patients need special guidance and monitoring of protein intake in an anti-aging regiment.

Certain proteins contain what are called essential amino acids, or amino acids that the body needs to supplement through the diet. This table separates the essential from the non-essential amino acids.

Amino Acids




Glutamic Acid
Aspartic Acid

Fat. Fat is also an important element of a good diet. Small amounts of polyunsaturated fats, and specific fats, such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, lubricate joints, add flexibility to the skin, and function as building blocks for cell membranes in the entire body. With fat can come cholesterol. Choose foods low in cholesterol, as cholesterol can be bad for the health of the heart and arteries. Actually, it is the saturated fat content that is even more important than cholesterol content. A third kind of fat is monosaturated fat. It protects against the evils of the other nasty fats that we take in. This is the fat (oil) found in olive oil, and why you see olive oil touted in so many healthy diets such as the Mediterranean diet below. It is critical for people, especially those with certain medical conditions (high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes) to have their fat, carbohydrate and protein intake kept in balance by consulting with a dietician or me. 

Here's a novel approach to longevity through dietary manipulation.  This one is not an easy sell.  It involves overall low caloric intake for the long haul. But, think about it.  If you know any octogenarians in good health do they eat like a bird, or do they sit down to three good square meals a day? The Secret To Longevity