John McDougall MD: Reversing Disease with a Starch-Based Diet

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John McDougall, MD is the founder of The McDougall Program and the author of numerous best selling books including The Starch Solution. He has been studying, writing, and speaking about the effects of nutrition on disease since 1968, and has helped thousands of patients reverse serious illness, such as heart disease, type-2 diabetes, arthritis, and even cancer (like my superhuman friend Dr. Ruth Heidrich), with a low-fat, high-carb, starch-based diet.

One thing that the healthiest, longest-living people around the world have in common is they eat a starch-based diet. And I should also mention that The Gerson Therapy is a low-fat, high-carb, starch-based diet.

For newcomers to the blog, this is not the diet I followed to heal cancer. That can be found on my FAQ page. But it is similar to the diet I eat today. My diet is about 65% carbohydrates (lentils, rice, beans potatoes, fruit, etc.), 25% fat (nuts, seeds, avocados) and 10% protein (mostly plant-based). I eat more fat because I have a super high metabolism. If you’re curious about what impact this diet has had on my health, see my blood test results from last year.

Dr. McDougall and I had a blast recording this interview, and I know you’ll love his bold, pull-no-punches opinion of many standard conventional medical practices, and his take the latest dietary fads. I’ve learned a lot from Dr McDougall, and I know you will too. Enjoy!

Listen to the podcast on iTunes here

Android users listen on Stitcher

Or watch it right here

Show Notes
-Why Dr. McDougall lost faith in medicine

-What he observed in his early years of practice in Hawaii that opened his eyes to the impact of the Western diet on health

-The reason disease rates are rising all over the world

-His thoughts on the low carb movement

-How diet causes cancer

-Why lung cancer in Japanese smokers was 1/4 as common as in Americans

-Do standard treatments cure cancer?

-How early detection has skewed the cancer survival statistics

-Why he recommends against mammograms, prostate exams and colonoscopies

-Foods that cause colon cancer, and foods that prevent it

-The one food he would want to eat if stranded on a deserted island

-What happened to the man who only ate potatoes for 30 days

-The diet of the gladiators, the Tarahumara running indians, and kenyan marathon champions

-Advice on gaining weight for people with high metabolisms

-The diets of unhealthy vegetarians and vegans

Selected links from the interview
The Starch Solution by Dr. John McDougall MD (Buy it!)
The McDougall Quick & Easy Cookbook
Dr. McDougall’s Feb 2015 Newsletter: A Healthy Diet Will Slow/Stop Most Cancers
Cochrane Review: Mammography

Safer alternatives to a standard colonoscopy
Fecal occult blood test: Stool test that can identify the presence of bleeding polyps or tumors
Cologuard Test: Stool DNA test
Sigmoidoscopy: Short scope that checks only the lower colon and rectum

Beat Cancer Kitchen: Deliciously Simple Plant-Based Anticancer Recipes Get it on Amazon here
Beat Cancer Daily 365 Days of Inspiration, Encouragement, and Action Steps to Survive and Thrive Get it on Amazon here
Chris Beat Cancer: A Comprehensive Plan for Healing Naturally Get it on Amazon here, or anywhere books are sold.

I've interviewed over 70 people who've healed all types and stages of cancer. Check them out here. Or use the search bar to find survivors of specific cancer types.

I also created a coaching program for cancer patients, caregivers, and anyone who is serious about prevention called SQUARE ONE. It contains the step-by-step strategies used by myself and many others who have healed cancer with a holistic approach using nutrition and natural non-toxic therapies.

Watch SQUARE ONE Module 1 for free here


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This Post Has 24 Comments

  1. Manjit Kaur

    Excellent and informative interview! Thank you to both!

  2. Dana Russell

    Hi Chris,
    I am asking this here and on facebook to ensure I get an answer as quickly as possible. After watching and listening to the entire interview with Dr. McDougall my only concern is, this diet for breast cancer is what everyone in the industry for changing the diet to low carbs so the cancer does not feed on the sugar that complex carbs quickly turn into has been highly recommending at every turn. I have deprived myself of pasta for a year and a half now trying desperately to keep those bad carbs out of my body, as well, Suzanne Somers has a completely different diet that does not include pastas or sugar, but does include organic meat, organic butter, etc… and I have learned so very much from her over the course of my cancer wellness plan.
    This changes the course of my diet and to me is good news, however, I am still skeptical due to the fact that I do still have active cancer and want nothing to cause it to proliferate in any way shape of form..
    Please please please help my with this dear Chris.

    1. Chris Wark

      Hi Dana. If your cancer is still active and growing, you should reconsider your strategy. Make sure you are testing your markers every 30 days via blood work or the Navarro urine test to determine if changes that you make are working.

    2. Heather

      hemp oil protocol may help, 3gm fresh turmeric plus curcumin, melatonin in high doses, rub on the skin a Q tip of iodine each day, hyperthermia ( look at MaxAwareness on you tube – now TRULY HEAL) ,Hyperthermia sweats out toxins and increases immune response and kills cancer from heat shock. hyperthermia is the number one treatment of many complimentary oncology treatment clinics. All all the best.

  3. sharon

    Hi Chris,
    The doctor did not mention any alternatives to mammograms, I am sure ALL women will want to know of safe alternatives.

    1. Christina

      Thermograms instead of mammograms!:-) look it up!

  4. Anjee

    I really enjoyed this. Thanks for sharing Chris.

  5. serendipity12

    I have been a reader for most of this year and learn a great deal from Chris Beat Cancer. I listened to Dr. McDougall’s presentation and have a hard time understanding his philosophy. I went to his website and saw his reference to Daniel in the Bible. I am afraid he misunderstands Daniel when he abstains from the kings food of meat and wine. We know that Daniel said he did not want to be ‘defiled’ by the food, and the only thing in Daniels religious beliefs that would have defiled him was going against the dietary laws- so pork, shellfish, blood in the food, blood in the wine, etc. This is what would have defiled Daniel- not properly prepared meat. Dr. McDougall is entitled to his own philosophy of eating, but I am afraid he is not qualified to teach Scripture as a blueprint for our diet today.

    1. Chris Wark

      Daniel chapter 1 clearly states that Daniel’s request was to eat vegetables (aka pulse) and drink water for 10 days. That’s the Daniel Fast. Beyond that, we know historically that only kings and the very rich ate meat three times per day.

  6. Sarah

    The phone rang during your discussion about breast lump removal… did he say “do” or “don’t” have it removed?

    1. Chris Wark

      He said “do”

  7. Liz C.

    Just finished reading A Biblical Guide for Alteranative Medicine. A GREAT read for any believer. The authors continually stress the importance of knowing the spiritual roots of any treatment and how that does (or does not align) with God’s word. I recommend that book to anyone working through cancer (like me) or any other disease.

  8. Sharon

    Chris, I read on Dr. Mcdougall’s site that he does NOT recommend thermograms for breast exams, please explain the reason, thank you.

    1. serendipity12

      That’s concerning. I was considering getting one. I also would like to know why and would ultrasounds be recommended ?

      1. Heather

        ultrasounds are more accurate than mammograms – some very large tumours don’t show in mammograms. If there is a question mark then a mammogram can be done. Some medical mushrooms and kelp can be used to repair after radiation. Google mushrooms for radiation exposure.

    2. AAF

      Very likely it has to do with excessive radiation. If you do a mammogram yearly starting at age 35, by the time you are 50, that would be 15 x being exposed. No doubt this alone could very well increase your chance of cancer. There are some studies indicating Thermagraphy (no radiation) is a viable alternative. So, some folks are no longer doing mammography and do this instead. I have chosen something unique, although I understand one integrative doctor is saying something similar for many of her patients. I do mammography one year and Thermagraphy the next. Alternating. I may stretch it out slightly longer. My goal is to reduce my exposure to radiation. I’m continuing my research. For me, something like this seems to make good sense. Yearly exposure to radiation concerns me greatly! Each must make their own decision.

    3. AAF

      Apologize. I thought I read he doesn’t recommend “mammography.” I’m surprised he doesn’t favor Thermagraphy. I didn’t see that. I see Chris said he doesn’t recommend Mammagraphy. This makes sense to me.

  9. serendipity12

    Thank you for your reply Chris. I still stand by the statement that the only thing that would have defiled Daniel was to go against the dietary laws of his religion. He may not have trusted the kings chefs to prepare meat in the prescribed way. I’m sure I don’t have to go through all the times when meat was eaten in the Bible with God’s full blessing. I also understand that meat would not have been eaten in the quantities it is eaten today. That however is not a reason to act like us meat eaters are infidels.

  10. John Choi

    Hi Chris, or whoever wants to respond. Dr. M suggests removing a cancer “lump”. And I know you have mentioned previously that you have met many people who cured cancer without surgery. My wife has active BC and we have been doing mostly the Bill Henderson Protocol for a few months and a variation of Gerson Therapy before that. Although I don’t have cancer, I was very unhealthy (high cholesterol, high blood pressure, definitely diabetic symptoms, headaches, etc). We both feel much healthier, but her lump is still very present and in fact is slightly larger. We really don’t want to have surgery. Any suggestions on how to get rid of this lump without conventional methods? Seems very few people out there that did not do surgery for BC. Your thoughts?

  11. krocklin

    What about eggs? if no oil, what can you use for cooking just to keep food from sticking? and by rice I assume you don’t mean white rice?

  12. Babs Phillips

    Sorry, ya’ll, but McDougal’s “method” is so contrary to so many other alternative experts that it kind of puts a cog in the wheel for me. If cancer feeds on sugars, then why load the body with carbs that turn to sugar? This is very confusing to me and almost wish “experts” would come to an agreement and stop feeding us confusing information!

    1. jamie ji

      yeah i was thinking the same thing. not to mention all of the chemicals that those foods are bathed in (glyphosate is being used to dry grains and beans in the fields) . this seems a little too much like vegan propaganda. i’ve been a vegetarian for years but this is a bit much.

  13. Jamie

    The work you are doing is amazing! I can’t put into words how grateful I am, to find so much info about natural healing. I have been searching and searching for info on LUPUS and haven’t found much. I haven’t had the results I was hoping for, after making so many changes to my diet and supplement intake. Coffee enemas made my hair loss increase! I know this is the right path to cure Lupus, but I want to know if the protocol changes at all, for Lupus. (i.e. no caffeine, ect.) I’ve had practitioners tell me to avoid coffee and green tea. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. Keep up the amazing work, Chris!

  14. rjjc

    Gerson has rice, beans on a no eat list: Dried beans and legumes:
    Lentils are introduced if patient is doing well at about 6 months at once every 2 weeks. Soak overnight and
    sprout for one day before cooking. Arsenic has been found in rice so they say no to that also. too much starch is too much sugar which most people do not tolerate well. also no pineapple or berries Gerson states. Mostly green foods and cauliflower and an occasional yam–I do not consider this a high carb diet. High carb is what America is already eating.

Comments are closed.