What You Should Know
The salad and salmon diet is the brainchild of Dr. Ronald Hoffman, host of the syndicated radio show Health Talk. The diet does not include items containing flour, sugar, or hydrogenated fats. It incorporates limited whole grains, olive oil, foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, fruit, legumes, low starch vegetables, and lean proteins such as fish and poultry.
Not only beneficial for weight loss, proponents make additional claims for the salad and salmon diet. Among these claims are cholesterol reduction, better insulin absorption, reduction of triglycerides, relief from hypertension, help for certain cancers, improved immune function, and better general health.
Foods included in the diet: Fresh fish, including salmon, trout, tuna, and mackerel; olive oil; shellfish, shrimp, lobster; skinless chicken or turkey, beefalo, game meat; tofu, beans, lentils, split peas and other legumes; plain, low fat yogurt; eggs, fresh vegetables and greens; water, freshly made vegetable juices; 4 ounces of whole grains per day, such as brown rice, millet, bulgar wheat, or rolled oats; one apple, pear, or citrus fruit per day.
Since the diet is called salad and salmon, you can bet that the emphasis is on fresh greens and cold-water fish containing Omega 3 fatty acids. You can prepare your fish raw in sushi, or cook it by broiling, poaching, baking or grilling using a minimum of olive oil. Spice it up with herbs and garlic. The salad contingent includes sprouts, leaf lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.
Dr. Hoffman simplifies the diet by presenting it in three key groups: 1. foods to emphasize-fish and vegetables, 2. foods in moderation-whole grains and fruit, starchy vegetables, jams and dried fruit, and 3. foods to avoid-sugar, flour, hydrogenised fats, salt, butter, alcohol, and processed meats.
Key features of the salad and salmon diet are diversity in those emphasized foods to avoid boredom and cheating, plus relaxed guidelines on portion amounts and calorie intake. The Hoffman approach is more of a permanent lifestyle change rather than a few weeks of restrictions.
- Several varieties of fish and lean meat to choose from
- No prescribed limits on emphasized foods
- Lots of protein and vegetable choices
- Food must be prepared at home to meet diet guidelines
- Fruit intake limited to one piece per day
- Finding foods with no flour is difficult
Because the salad and salmon diet is really more of a permanent lifestyle change than a quickie crash diet, some people will find its restrictions difficult to face. Anyone with an ounce of willpower can give up bread and desserts for a limited time, but phasing them out permanently is sort of a bleak enterprise. Another concern is that fresh cold-water fish is often more expensive than such mainstays as hamburger or pork chops. Plus, if you love fruit, you may have a problem with this fruit-restricted regimen. While the salad and salmon guidelines are sensible, they may not be do-able for everyone.