Dr. Travis Stork’s “Lose Your Belly Diet” is Reducetarian

Dr. Travis Stork of “The Doctors” fame, wants you to eat less meat. No, really. In his latest book, The Lose Your Belly Diet, Dr.  Stork advocates a host of trendy diet ideas. But the most interesting is his advice to focus on plant protein.

If you aren’t familiar with Dr. Stork, he’s a cast member of “The Doctors” a daytime TV show devoted to the latest in medical news and trends (I’m basing this on what I’ve managed to glean from channel surfing at the gym). Dr. Stork was first seen by tv audiences on “The Bachelor” and is an Emergency Room physician by training.

But he’s also the New York Times best selling author of a series of diet books, the latest of which is “The Lose Your Belly Diet”

dr. stork lose your belly diet“The Lose Your Belly Diet” is reducetarian

The Lose Your Belly Diet asks readers to eat more whole foods, more plant foods, and more plant fiber. And more plant protein. In fact, in this book Dr. Stork actually ONLY recommends plant-based foods, although his recipes include meat and dairy. If you ignore the recipe section and focus on his advice, you’ll find yourself eating a plant-based diet.

There’s no mention of veganism, vegetarianism, or even plant-based diets in the index. And that’s probably for the best. All the diet actually does is take into account the World Health Organization’s recommendations to reduce red and processed meat. But it is presented in a way that doesn’t sound preachy or vegan, so it’s probably more acceptable to the general population.

It’s interesting that so many diet books still recommend diets high in saturated fat and cholesterol to their readers, in spite of mountains of scientific consensus. But the tide is shifting, and I think The Lose Your Belly Diet is one of the first mainstream diets to recommend readers eat less meat.

Dr. Stork loves your “Gut Microbiome”- and other buzzwords

Plants, it seems, are great for your digestive system, or “gut microbiome” as Dr. Stork prefers. The book contains more research than I was expecting, and I’m favourably impressed, as diet books go.

That said, obviously Dr. Stork can’t get away without being a little bit trendy. It is a diet book after all. I felt the emphasis on the gut was a little excessive, but it is a diet about “losing your belly”, I guess it makes sense.  Still, I get a little tired of hearing about it. So if you feel the same way, this is probably not the book for you.

Ultimately, I found the book encouraging

Although I’ve never been a fan of Dr. Stork, diets, or diet books, I found this book to be remarkably innocuous, as diet books go. No crazy suggestions or unhealthy obsessions are promoted. It’s basically just common sense about how to eat in light of current diet research.

As an ethical vegan, I obviously don’t encourage people to adopt reducetarian diets, because I think that the most ethical decision is to stop eating animals and their byproducts. But I’m encouraged to see mainstream diet books telling people to eat more plants and less meat. After decades of low-carb and paleo diets, it’s nice to see more rational options for the general public. I also appreciate he doesn’t try to sell probiotic supplements to his readers, advising them to focus on whole foods instead.

One of the biggest obstacles to encouraging others to abandon animal products is the false belief that they are necessary for health. The Lose Your Belly Diet challenges that dogma by reminding readers that they are deficient in plants, not animal products.

As annoying as it might be to get asked “where your protein comes from” there are still many people who genuinely believe they can’t be healthy without meat, dairy and eggs. I’m heartened to see that this dogma is being to be questioned by mainstream physicians without ties to any ideological camp. And while this is advice that should be widely accepted by the public and medical professionals, it’s taken a while for doctors to openly tell their patients to eat more vegetables and less animal products.

I sincerely hope this book is a sign of things to come, and not a passing fad.

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