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The Inuit-style Meat-only Diet

Plan's name: The Inuit-style Meat-only Diet

Book(s): "Strong Medicine" by Dr Blake F. Donaldson, MD. Originally Published:1960 (Doubleday, New York). Subsequent Publication: 1962 (Cassell, London)

About the author: Author: Dr Blake F. Donaldson, MD

Basic Philosophy: Blake Donaldson was a New York Cardiologist in the 1920s. He needed his patients to lose weight, but after a year of unsuccessful results using traditional low-calorie diets, he looked for a reliable alternative. Using teeth as an indicator of body condition generally, and thus diet, he went to the Natural History Museum looking for specimens. He found remarkably good sets of teeth among skeletons dug up from Inuit Burial Grounds. He investigated Inuit diets, and consulted Dr Vilhjalmur Stefansson, who had lived with the Inuit, and had subsequently taken part in a year-long meat-only diet under close medical scrutiny. Donaldson became convinced that a meat-only diet was necessary for his patients, and began prescribing it, with great success.

Donaldson's stated philosophy was that "Continuous success in any line of endeavour, including weight loss, demands rigid adherence to biological laws…There are probably only two biologically perfect foods - fresh fat meat (i.e. meat with fat on it) and water". He considered the role of amino acids to be vital for the repair of damaged cells, and stated many times that fresh fat meat contains all 10 essential amino acids, as well as several non-essential ones. The quantities of food he prescribed were considered to be the minimum necessary to give the body the amount of these amino acids he calculated it requires.

By the numbers: : N/A

Method: There are two phases of the Donaldson Diet: One - stay on the strict diet until target weight is reached. After that - add certain previously prohibited foods into the diet (potato, salt, peas, grapefruit). If the weight stays at target, the cure is complete, but the patient still has to remain on the revised diet indefinitely. If weight rises, then the cure is not complete, and the strict diet must be re-adopted till it is. Donaldson did sometimes permit experimentation, by introducing one new food item at a time for a few days, to measure the body's tolerance of it, and assess whether it could be safely added to the diet.

Minimum diet: One Porterhouse Steak three times a day, of which the cooked weight was 6 ounces lean meat and 2 ounces fat. There was no upper limit, and patients were encouraged to eat as much more permitted food as they liked. The type of meat was varied, but the cooked weights remained the same. Half a cup of black, sugarless coffee was taken at each meal, with an additional 6 tumblers of water daily between meals.

Like Mackarness, Donaldson viewed eating the fat as essential, and both recommend the 3:1 ratio of lean meat to fat. Donaldson regarded a brisk half-hour walk before breakfast as essential, as did Pennington.

Unique Fatures: Donaldson always insisted on a meticulous medical record of the patient's parents and grandparents, as well as the patient themselves. "In order to know what you are dealing with in the patient, you must go first to all four of the patient's grandparents". He considered 60 common complaints and allergies to be manifestations of shock tissue, passed down genetically, and took the presence of these ailments to corroborate the basic causes of obesity. He treated the ailments with vaccinations of milk, using the peptides (or foreign protein) in milk to raise the body's resistance to other peptides already in the system, and thus eliminate the symptoms of the disorder or allergy. Dr Donaldson treated 15,000 obese patients with his diet, and quoted a success rate of 70%. This was not because the diet was unsuccessful in 30% of cases, but because 30% of his patients were unable to continue with the diet to its conclusion. He called his book "Strong Medicine" precisely because he knew his diet required willpower and dedication, and he knew from the experience with his patients that not everyone is up to it.

Summarized by: Andy Davies

New! The Low-Carb Gourmet, by Karen Barnaby

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