The Page Food Plan
Dr. Melvin E. Page was born in 1894 in Picture Rocks, Pennsylvania. He was the son of a physician and the eldest of three brothers, two of whom were successful inventors. Dr. Page was one of the early pioneers in nutritional biochemistry.
His treatment and philosophy was simple and logical.
- The harmful effects of the use of white sugar and refined carbohydrates can’t be ignored.
- The harmful effects of using chemical additives and other food preservatives for the sake of “shelf life” upsets body chemistry
- Using whole food Vitamins concentrates, Minerals and Digestive Enzymes to supplement daily food intake might be necessary.
- That milk is not the perfect food for everyone.
“The Page Food Plan” was developed not because Dr. Page was trying to create a diet but simply because he noticed certain foods upset the body chemistry more than others. His food plan was developed on the glycemic index encouraging patients to eat unlimited quantities of green leafy vegetables. Ironically, today Dr. Page is better known for his diet than for his other medical accomplishments.
The Plan Fundamentals
Today there is much confusion about diet plans and diets. Dr. Page’s food plan is not a diet but a food plan as the name implies. It was created at the famous Page Clinic in Florida, blood chemistry panels were taken every three to four days on all patients. He based his food plan from the early research of Drs. Weston Price and Francis Pottenger, who showed the relationship of quality of the foods you ate affected your health, both physical and emotional. Dr. Page called it a food plan because he found certain foods to upset the body chemistry. It made no difference what your genetic disposition was, the same foods upset the body chemistry. Certain genetic dispositions were able to handle those foods better than others, but after thousands of blood chemistry panels his food plan proved true by normalizing the patient’s blood chemistry without any other intervention.
Many of today’s popular diets are based on Dr. Page’s work. Dr. Page emphasized removing absolutely all refined carbohydrates (such as sugar and processed flour) and pasteurized cow’s milk from the diet. On the plan’s food list sheet (download here), notice the percentage of carbohydrates is indicated. Dr. Page felt that it was not only important to eat quality proteins and fats, but quality carbohydrates as well. This food plan is designed to assist your body in its ability to create and maintain “balanced body chemistry.”
The “Phase 1” of the food plan is designed for one to two weeks; the “Phase 2” of the food plan is a maintenance plan. Both can be not only extremely helpful, but in many cases essential in controlling blood sugar and hormone imbalances while balancing many other types of biochemistry problems.
The longer you are on this food plan and the more closely you follow it, the easier it will be to stick to it. This will result in your feeling and looking so much better than you did on your old way of eating. As you become healthier, your cravings for those foods that are not the best choices for you will diminish.
Foods to Eat and Not Eat
Proteins: Eat small amounts of proteins frequently. It is best if you have some protein at each meal. It need not be a large amount at any one time. In fact, it is best if you stick to smaller amounts (< 2–4 ounces of meat, fish, foul, or eggs at a time). Both animal and vegetarian sources of protein are beneficial. Choose a variety of meat products and try to find the healthiest options available; i.e., free range, antibiotic free, and/or organic, whenever possible. Eggs for most people are an excellent source of protein. Eat the whole egg, the lecithin in the yolk is essential to lower blood fat and improve liver and brain function. With any protein, the way in which you prepare it is critical. The closer to raw or rare the better. Remember, any time meats and vegetables are heated over 110° Fahrenheit; crucial enzymes are damaged and lost. Avoid frying. Grilled, boiled, steamed, soft boiled, or poached are best methods for preparing foods.
Vegetables: Eat more, more, more. This is the one area where most everyone can improve his/her diet, and it is an especially important area for you. Always look for a variety, although make the green leafy types your preference. This includes spinach, chard, beet greens, kale, broccoli, mustard greens, etc.
As stated above for proteins, the quality of your produce (fresh and organic preferred) and the method of preparation is critical. Raw is preferred with lightly steamed or sautéed as your second choice for all vegetables. Use only butter or olive oil to sauté. When eating salads, try not to eat iceberg lettuce. Rather, use lettuces with a rich green color, sprouts and raw nuts. Don’t make salads your only choice for vegetables.
Fruits: Most people wrongly try to drink their fruits. Fruit juice is loaded with the simple sugar fructose, which is shunted into forming triglycerides and ultimately stored as fat. Without the fiber in the fruit, juice sends a rapid burst of fructose into the blood stream. When you do eat fruit, only eat one type of fruit at a time on an empty stomach; second, avoid the sweetest fruits – tropical fruits, except papaya which is very rich in digestive enzymes (fruits from colder climates are preferred); and third, eat only the highest quality, fresh and organic when possible.
Carbohydrates: This is a very tricky area. Most people have one classification for carbohydrates when in reality there are really three different types — complex, simple, and processed. Unfortunately, for most patients suffering with imbalance problems, almost any carbohydrate is a no-no. It is a physiological fact that the more carbohydrates you eat the more you will want. Craving carbohydrates is a symptom of an imbalance, so you can use this craving to monitor your progress. Overall, eat vegetables as your carbohydrate choice and limit grains (even the whole grains can be trouble). When you do eat whole grains, take them in moderation, and only at dinner. If you start the day with carbohydrates, you are more likely to crave them throughout the day, and then you’ll eat more and it’s downhill from there. Absolutely stay away from white breads (100% rye bread is the least of the evils), muffins, cookies, candies, crackers, pastas, white rice and most baked goods.
There’s another dark side to processed carbohydrates that isn’t talked about much — the connection to weight gain, elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, heart disease, and cancer. You don’t even need to know the details to get the idea how much trouble carbohydrates can be.
Wheat and Grains: There has been a tremendous amount of debate regarding grains. Whole unprocessed grains can be rich sources of vitamins and minerals, but with soil depletion and the special strains of grain that modern agriculture has developed, it isn’t clear what nutrients remain. The two predominantly used grains in this country are genetically engineered and have five times the gluten content and only 1/3 of the protein content of the original wheat from which they were derived. This high gluten content is to blame for many patients’ allergic reactions. When scholars have studied disease patterns and the decline of various civilizations, many of the degenerative diseases developed when cultivation of grains became a major part of their diet. Chemicals naturally found in certain grains, lack of the appropriate enzymes, and the carbohydrate content of grains make them a source of trouble for many individuals. My opinion at this time is to minimize grains such as wheat and barley. Unprocessed rye, rolled oats, and brown rice can be considered on occasion to give you more variety. Some of the Danish and German brown breads, like pumpernickel, seem to be nutritious.
Sweeteners: Use only a small amount of raw Tupelo honey or Stevia as sweetener. Absolutely NO Nutri-Sweet®, corn syrup, or table sugar. Although Dr. Page did not allow raw cane sugar, it does provide the nutrients to aid in its metabolism. If you cheat, be smart and use only small amounts with a meal.
Fats: The bad news is you probably do not get enough of the right fats in your diet. So, please use olive oil (cold pressed, extra virgin), walnut oil, flax seed and grape seed oils. These are all actually beneficial, as long as they are cold-pressed. Avoid all hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats. They are poisons to your system. Never eat margarine again. Also, avoid peanut butter. Eat all the avocados and raw nuts you desire.
If you think eating fat will make you fat, think again. When you eat fat, a chemical signal is sent to your brain to slow down the movement of food out of your stomach. As a result, you feel full. It is not surprising that recent research is showing that those who eat “fat-free” products tend to actually consume more calories than those who eat foods that have not had their fat content reduced (low fat usually means high sugar/high calories). In addition, fats are used not only for energy, but also for building the membrane around every single cell in your body. Fats also play a role in the formation of hormones, which of course make you feel and function well. It is far worse to be hormone-depleted from a low fat diet than it is to overeat fat. The sickest patients we see are the ones who have been on a fat-free diet for a long period of time. Like carbohydrates, choose your fats wisely — this program is not suggesting fried or processed foods.
Milk Products: Forget pasteurized cow milk products (milk, certain cheeses, sour cream, half & half, ice cream, cottage cheese and yogurt). If you only knew all the potential problems from pasteurized milk, you’d swear it off forever. Dr. Page found out that milk was actually more detrimental than sugar for many people (man is the only mammal that continues to drink milk after weaning). Avoiding dairy products will make it much easier for you to attain your optimal level of health and hormonal balance. Raw butter and Kefir (liquid yogurt), however, are excellent sources of essential nutrients and vitamins. Raw goat and sheep cheeses and milk products are great alternatives because their genetic code and fat content appear to be more like those of humans. I’d still be cautious with these, however.
There has been a lot of hype about using soy milk and rice milk to replace dairy products. They sound like healthy alternatives, but in reality, they are highly processed foods that are primarily simple carbohydrates. You’re better off doing without these as well. And of course, Vitamite®, Mocha Mix®, and the other dairy substitutes are highly-processed nutrient-depleted products that honestly should not be considered a food.
Liquids: Water is best, minimum one gallon a day, and herbal tea. Avoid all soda. No coffee until you are fully recovered, if then. Fruit juices are forbidden because of their high fructose content and dumping of sugar into the blood stream. An occasional small glass of vegetable juice with a meal is probably okay, but water really is best.
If you enjoy wine or beer and still insist, there are some guidelines. First, drink only with meals. Red wine has less sugar and more of the beneficial polyphenols than white wines. Most of the good foreign beer is actually brewed and contains far more nutrients than the pasteurized chemicals called beer made by the large commercial breweries in the United States . Trader Joe’s usually has a good selection. Less is better. Occasional rather than regular. Because coffee and alcohol force you to lose water, you’ll have to drink more water to compensate.
The most important life-giving substance in the body is water. The daily routine of the body depends on a turnover of about 40,000 glasses of water per day. In the process, your body loses a minimum of six glasses per day, even if you don’t do anything. With movement, exercise, and sugar intake, etc., you can require up to over 15 glasses of water per day. Consider this: the concentration of water in your brain has been estimated to be 85% and the water content of your tissues like your liver, kidney, muscle, heart, intestines, etc. is 75%. The concentration of water outside of the cells is about 94%. That means that water wants to move from the outside of the cell (diluted) into the cell (more concentrated) to balance things. The urge water has to move is called hydroelectric power. That’s the same electrical power generated at hydroelectric dams (like Hoover Dam). The energy make-up in your body is in part hydroelectric. I just know you wouldn’t mind a little boost in energy.
Eat Smaller Amounts More Frequently
Eating a smaller amount reduces the stress of digestion on your energy supply. Eating small meals conserves energy. Give your energy generator a chance to keep up with digestion by not overwhelming it with a large meal. (The average meal time in the United States is 15 minutes. In Europe , the average meal time is 1 to1½ hours. Little wonder Americans suffer such a high rate of digestive disorders.) When digestion is impaired, yeast overgrowth, gas, inflammation, food reactions, etc., are the results.
Another reason for eating smaller meals is to prevent the ups and downs of your blood sugar level, so you end up craving less sugar. As mentioned earlier, you can overwhelm your digestive capacity. You can also overwhelm your body’s ability to handle sugar in the blood. Since the body will not (or should not) allow the blood sugar level to get too high, insulin and other hormones are secreted to lower the blood sugar. Often times, the insulin response is too strong and, within a short period of time, insulin has driven the blood sugar level down. As a result of low blood sugar, you get a powerful craving for sugar or other carbohydrates. You then usually overeat, and the cycle of ups and downs continues, resulting in yo-yo blood sugar results (depression and the lack of energy are all part of this cycle). Eating a small meal again will virtually stop this cycle.
Eating smaller meals also has advantages for your immune response to ingested food. It turns out that a small amount of food enters the blood without first going through the normal digestive pathway through the liver. As a result, this food is seen by the body not as nourishment, but as a threat and you will stimulate an immune reaction. Normally, a small immune reaction is not even noticed, but if a large amount of food is eaten (or if a food is eaten over and over again) the immune reaction can cause symptoms. Over time, disease develops.
By eating smaller amounts, the size of the reaction that occurs is small and inconsequential. A large meal, and thus a large assault of the immune system, could cause many symptoms of an activated immune system including fatigue, joint aches, flu-like symptoms, headaches, etc… This reaction was called the Metabolic Rejectivity Syndrome by the late nutritional pioneer Arthur L. Kaslow, M.D. Through thousands of his patients’ food diaries, he compiled a list of high risk foods that is much the same as Dr. Page’s.
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