FOR THE HEALTH PROFESSIONAL
I. RATIONALE OF THE PRTTIKIN DIET
Scientific literature contains much evidence supporting the thesis that excessive intake of fats, cholesterol, simple carbohydrates, and protein is deleterious to the system. The many studies cited here underlie the position that the diet of the developed nations the Western diet is strongly associated with degenerative diseases. The high fat and cholesterol content seems to be the primary factor; simple carbohydrates are a major secondary factor.
In the Western diet, fats generally comprise over 40 percent of total calories. Conversely, societies with a low prevalence of degenerative diseases use low-fat diets almost without exception. Usually less than 20 percent of their total calorie intake comes from fats; unrefined carbohydrates are their main calorie source.
For years, carbohydrates have been unjustly maligned. Confusion exists as to their metabolic effects because important distinctions between the rapidly absorbed simple carbohydrates sugar, molasses, and honey and the slowly absorbed unrefined carbohydrates fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are often oVerlooked. Carbohydrates, as grown, provide ideal body fuel and the fiber needed for a healthy intestinal tract. When starches and other polysaccharides are refined, stripped of fiber, and converted to monosaccharides and disaccharides, they create metabolic problems and potential disease. Carbohydrates, as grown, also provide ample vitamin and mineral nutrition.