Starch Solution: Eat Carbs and Lose Weight

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

starch-solution-dietThe Starch Solution by Dr. John McDougall says there is a specific diet that best supports the health of every animal. And according to him the ideal diet for humans is based on starches.

In The Starch Solution, he asserts that eating more rice, corn, potatoes and beans is the secret to losing weight.

Not only that – it will improve your wellbeing – as well as helping to save the planet.

Dr. McDougall is also the author of The McDougall Diet

Starch Solution Basics

McDougall explains that scientific experts have long concluded that we are designed to eat a diet consisting mostly of plant foods.

Recent research has shown that we produce up to eight times more starch-digesting enzymes in our saliva than other primates.

McDougall proposes this as evidence that the foods best suited to human physiology are starches.

The diet recommended by McDougall consists of 70 percent starch (rice potatoes, beans etc.), 10 percent fruit and 20 percent vegetables. You will center the food on your plate around starches with the addition of nonstarchy vegetables and fruit to add color and flavor.

You can also add fat-free seasonings for variety and to make your meals more interesting.

Health Benefits of Starches

  • Foods containing starch – like rice, potatoes and beans – are very low in fat making them ideal for weight loss.
  • Starches promote satisfaction and enjoyment of food by stimulating the sweet taste buds. Most people enjoy eating them and refer to them as “comfort foods”.
  • They are a good source of nutrients including proteins, essential fats, vitamins, and minerals. Some starches such as potatoes and sweet potatoes can be regarded as complete foods because they can meet all of our nutritional needs.

Foods To Avoid

On this program you should avoid all meat, fish, dairy, eggs, animal fats such as lard and butter, vegetable oils including olive oil, processed and packaged foods (except those containing only permitted ingredients).

McDougall advises avoiding these foods all the time for the rest of your life. It is probably all right if you break the diet once or twice a year. But indulging too often makes it hard to get back on track so it is better to avoid these foods altogether.

Limited Foods

There are a few foods that are allowed but they may slow your progress. This includes avocado, dried fruit, fruit juice, nuts, seeds, and simple sugars such as maple syrup.

They are best consumed in small quantities as part of a starch-based meal. If you want to accelerate weight loss or are recovering from a chronic disease you are advised to avoid these foods altogether.

Recommended Foods

Whole grain bread, pasta, brown rice, oats, corn tortillas, lentils, pinto beans, chickpeas, black beans, potato, sweet potato, butternut squash, pumpkin, green vegetables, fruit, tofu, soy milk, cashew milk, natural peanut butter, fat-free salad dressing, salsa, soy sauce, fat-free cocoa powder, herbs and spices, agave nectar.

Sample Day’s Meal Plan


French Toast sprinkled with cinnamon
Sliced cantaloupe


Fresh Tomato Wraps
Steamed kale

Afternoon Snack

Bunch of grapes


Polenta with Black Beans and Mango Salsa
Tossed green salad with low-fat dressing


Banana Ice Cream

Exercise Not Required But Helpful

The Starch Solution does not require you to follow a specific exercise plan. As long as you follow the diet guidelines you will lose weight and improve your health.

To achieve maximum weight loss you should exercise more frequently because it burns more calories and reduces your appetite.

Costs and Expenses

The Starch Solution: Eat the Foods You Love, Regain Your Health, and Lose the Weight for Good! Retails at $26.99.

Click here to purchase this diet for a discounted price.

Dr. John McDougall Video


  • Supported by scientific research.
  • May reduce the risk of conditions including diabetes and heart disease.
  • Most people enjoy eating starchy foods like bread, pasta, rice and potatoes.
  • Does not require calorie counting or restricted portion sizes.
  • Includes a seven-day meal plan with recipes.
  • Offers advice for faster weight loss results.
  • Contains inspiring patient testimonials of weight loss and recovery from medical conditions.


  • Very restrictive and requires elimination of many foods including meat, fish, eggs, dairy and oils.
  • Some dieters may experience digestive discomfort when starting the diet due to increased consumption of fiber.
  • Unless carefully planned, the diet may be low in certain nutrients such as zinc, selenium and vitamin B12.
  • Difficult to eat in restaurants and at social events.
  • May require more time for food preparation.
  • Does not encourage exercise.

A Low Fat High Fiber Diet

The Starch Solution outlines the scientific research in support of the health and weight loss benefits of a starch-based diet. It is a low-fat, high-fiber diet, which should enable most people to lose weight effectively.

Unlike some low-fat diets this program is centered on fresh and unprocessed foods, with strict avoidance of refined foods. This makes the diet suitable as a lifestyle approach to healthy eating with the potential to dramatically improve general health.

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • Charles Peden

    “Does not encourage exercise” should be in the PROS column. Also, the recommended foods include many processed foods (i.e. bread, cocoa powder, cashew milk, etc.). I guess processed foods make you fat like the 1.7 billion Asians eating white rice…that argument sounds familiar.

  • Sam

    I was almost 400lbs. I got all the way down to 200lbs by eating what the Canadian Food Guide suggested and wherever possible opting for the low fat options. And nothing else. No exercise. I recently put back on some weight because I stopped following that plan. I have gone back to my original plan and have already lost 10 lbs in bout 3 weeks. Not bad I think. No quick fix. Just healthy eating.

  • Terry Kierce

    I’ve been studying the research recently, after watching “Forks Over Knives“, and caught Dr McDougal on the second DVD: “Extended Interviews” (sequel to Forks over Knives), and a few other studies supporting a Vegan diet. I’m leaning heavily towards the Starch Based Center approach and hope to start this week.. I’ve come to believe that meat and dairy are a major source of our nation’s poor health.

  • Amanda

    I am very confused at how you can avoid dairy and then eat banana ice cream for dessert?!? Doesn’t make sense to me.

    • ted

      It’s banana ice cream made without milk. Because banana’s have a creamy texture they can be frozen and turned into a “ice cream” like dessert.

    • Amanda

      And, how do you make french toast without eggs?

      • Drew

        With some non-dairy milk and mashed up bananas. They’re delicious, you might be surprised.

  • Graham

    I guess by “supported by scientific research” he means “supported by a limited selection of cherrypicked scientific research studies.”

    • Miranda

      This is how I feel. What research is mentioned is very limited and isn’t explained fully. And the studies he does cover more in-depth have such a small sample size that they aren’t very statistically significant. He also fails to cover any studies showing the benefits of fat and protein and the negative affects of carbs, or even try to refute these studies. He also groups a Western Diet with any meat eating diet which is not the case. The western diet is full of processed foods, unhealthy fats, and sugar. Eating whole foods with healthy cuts of meat, eggs, and dairy is not the Western Diet.

  • davidkeagle

    I read the story about her gi problems and her success she said it s in the 2002 neesletter can I purchase that nrwsletter thank you

  • John

    I am six weeks in and have lost 21lbs. I have never bought a diet book nor been on a diet before. I do not consider this a diet, but a new way of eating. I am sure I will eat regular during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. Maybe next 4th of July. I was already taking B12, so that is not an issue for me. Heck, if I get down to my goal, I might eat meat once a week or month.

  • Joe

    Wife and I have been following this diet for two months. We both lost weight and feel good. She is back into bikinis and mini skirts, so that is an added bonus ;)

  • Anna

    I don’t think eating the foods our bodies were designed to eat is restrictive at all – I have done very well on the plan myself, dropping 35 pounds in 4 months, and that is without exercise. Exercise is definitely good for you for many reasons, but you’re not going to burn enough calories to really affect weight loss unless you’re doing it several hours a day. It’s much more important to eat the right foods. His diet certainly doesn’t need to be ‘carefully planned’ to avoid being low in nutrients, these foods are what we were designed to eat, so they do meet our nutritional needs. He addresses all of this in the book and explains why the only one you might need to worry about is B12, and even that is only if you’ve been eating this way for 3 years or more. By the way – animals get their B12 from bacteria on plant foods, and we could too except we tend to wash them before we eat them.

    • jed

      I also like the diet and being a little older the fiber is a plus for me I have been on it for 2 weeks and dropped 10 pounds, but I ride a bicycle on the road about 10 miles a day. I think I will really start loosing the weight fast and it is what our ancestors ate.

    • Mike

      We weren’t designed, we evolved. To put it another way we’ve been eating grains for less than 10,000 years and in cases like Northern Europe quite a lot less, we’ve been eating meat, fruit and Veg for well over 100,000 years. We are omnivores, this is born out by physiology and history. If you need pills the diet is wrong, PERIOD.

      • Derek


        How long ago do you think human beings started using fire to cook their food? There is no way to prove a time, but historians have a time frame they suspect. Now how long have humans been around? Do the math.
        This coming from a meat eater who acknowledges that plant based is the way to go but is just not “there” yet mentally.

      • Rabbit

        Ah, the Paleo propaganda.

        Might wanna tell your cave buddies to stop swilling all those PROTEIN SUPPS.

      • John

        What diet do you suggest? How is it working for you?

    • Aly

      Well said Anna ! I have 35 pounds to lose, I hope I can drop them in 4 months as well :) Starting the diet today !

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