If your doctor has told you that you have high blood pressure or that your cholesterol or triglycerides are too high, ask him or her for your numbers. If would like to find out whether you are one of the 80 percent of people who can control high blood pressure and/or cholesterol with diet alone, follow the SHOW ME! Diet for just two weeks. Then have your doctor re-check your cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure. You’ll probably also find that you have lost several pounds. For a full explanation of the program and the research behind it, read The Healthy Heart Miracle.
The only foods you eat on the SHOW ME! diet are oatmeal for breakfast, and whole-meal salads (“Mix & Match Salads”) for lunch and dinner. But you won’t need to go hungry, because you decide on the portion size. Don’t stuff yourself, but eat until you are comfortably full and satisfied. If you prefer frequent small meals and snacks, that’s fine, too; just divide your salads up and eat as often as you like. You can also have oatmeal at other times of the day if you wish.
Use a long-cooking oatmeal (rolled, steel cut, Scottish or Irish style oats.) Do not use quick-cooking or instant types. To save time, cook up a large batch — enough for several days or a week — following the package instructions. Store the leftovers in a refrigerator container, and reheat each day’s portion in a microwave dish.
Flavor your oatmeal with a little cinnamon or nutmeg, and add a handful of raisins or other dried fruit to the pot if you wish. You may also add fresh fruit – up to one cup of the fruit of your choice – but eat the fruit WITH the oatmeal, not alone as a snack.
Note: If you cannot eat oatmeal for some reason, substitute brown rice or another whole grain, flavored and served the same way as oatmeal. Look for brown rice with at least 3 grams of fiber. Or try Kashi Breakfast Pilaf, a mixture of whole grains that is widely available and delicious.
If you like milk on your oatmeal, use skim milk, nonfat yogurt, or a low-fat soy milk or other vegetarian milk. Do not drink it as a beverage; this is for your oatmeal only.
For breakfast, lunch, dinner, and anytime in between, beverages must contain NO calories. Use water (plain, flavored, or bubbly; tap water is fine), tea, or any other calorie-free drink you like.
Once you’ve proved to yourself and your doctor that you can control your blood pressure and cholesterol with diet, you’ll need to learn how to apply this way of eating for the rest of your life. The Healthy Heart Miracle has complete instructions, menus and dozens of recipes to show you that eating this way is not only easy, it’s delicious and satisfying. The Good Food Book, free right here on my website, contains much of the same information.
Long-Term Diet Recommendations
Even I don’t expect anyone to stay on this diet for more than a couple of weeks. When you finish this two-week trial and are convinced that you can make the lifestyle changes you need to prevent heart attacks and diabetes, read about my Modified DASH Diet for the way I recommend that you eat for the rest of your life.