I decided to check in with my cousin, Gail Kardish, a Registered Dietician, about Dr. Oz’s Two-Week Rapid Weight Loss Plan and the DASH Diet which I have yet to really delve into. Gail is an oxymoron; sweet yet feisty, adorable and innocent looking (she has dimples) but with a wicked sense of humour, extremely intelligent but knows how to have fun, and is youthful with an old soul. By the way, as cute as she is, Gail preferred that I use a photo of her new budgie, Kiwi because she loves to show him off. Gail shared my love of all things Disney and even though she’s one of my youngest cousins of our immediate family group, she’s savvy and really knows her stuff. I knew that she was the right person to talk to about all things Oz when I saw an e-card on her facebook profile that said, “For Registered Dietician Day this year, we’d all like our gift this year to be the death of Dr. Oz.” I don’t think that they mean that literally, but it is nice to get a fresh perspective on the good doctor. She had so much great information, that I’m splitting her interview into two entries.
Q: Do Registered Dietician’s really hate Dr. Oz or is that a joke? If so, why?
A: YES! Dr. Oz does not have a nutritional background, yet he gives out dietary advice with no scientific data to support him. Remember, all of the sound advice he gives at times, a Registered Dietician will provide as well, only the advice will be customized for the patient. His advice can be based on fads not facts that have complete scientific evidence to back them up. Dieticians that work with patients that have eating disorders don’t like him because he advises plans where you completely avoid certain food groups which is dangerous and contradicts sound nutritional advice. Even Naturopaths dislike what he has to say. One of the biggest challenges is that people take Dr. Oz at his word and he knows that and is abusing that power.
Q: Let’s break down the 2 Week Rapid Weight Loss Plan item by item and get your thoughts…
A: The hot water and lemon is there to make you pee which starts off your day with losing valuable electrolytes (they regulate our nerve and muscle function, our body’s hydration, blood pH, blood pressure, and the rebuilding of damaged tissue).
The smoothie is fine, but requires protein powder. This powder may not get absorbed as well as protein from other food based sources.
Green tea, eating healthy fats and the Low-GI vegetables both sound good. Six ounces of protein may not be enough though. You also do not get the recommended daily allowance of dairy. There clearly are not enough carbs on the diet. About 55% of your diet should come from carbohydrates – they are really important. Overall, there are much healthier ways to improve your diet and promote weight loss. With this plan, you are mostly losing liquids and when you start eating normally, you will gain back the weight that you lost.
Q: How about the DASH Diet? What are you thoughts on that plan?
A: It’s been awhile since I looked at DASH, but it is scientifically based and a much more balanced diet. It includes all of the major food groups and you get the benefits of the nutrients that each food group has to offer. The calories seem low to me (note – I mentioned to Gail that 1400-1600 calories were my aim) though on this diet. The average healthy, sedentary women needs 2000 calories a day simply to maintain her weight. You should never go lower than 1200 calories a day or try to lose more than 1-2 pounds a week. Each person needs a specific plan. The plan does have the benefit of small “cheats”. You can’t completely eliminate your favourite foods from your diet because one day, you’ll go crazy and you’ll wind up binging instead of just satisfying the craving that you do have.
Q: DASH for the average person, suggests that you have 4 servings of fruit a day and 4 servings of vegetables. Isn’t that a little high for fruit and a little low for vegetables?
A: You can easily eat more vegetables and most vegetables are generally considered “free” foods for most eating plans. The problem is that vegetables can fill you up and a lot of people eat them at the expense of the other food groups losing out on the nutritional benefits that the other food groups have to offer. The number of fruit servings are fine. People are afraid of eating fruit because of the natural sugars. The fibre in fruit counteracts the spikes in your blood sugar. Fruit juice doesn’t have fibre and can cause these spikes.
Tomorrow, I’ll share Gail’s thoughts on Weight Watchers, cleanses and other things Oz.
Today, I am grateful that my brilliant cousin gave up so much of her time to answer all of my questions so thoughtfully. Until tomorrow, I am…