Eat Right for Your Metabolism – by Felicia Drury Kliment – is about choosing a diet based on your metabolic type. Rather than following a one-size-fits-all approach, Kliment offers a number of approaches to improve health and to lose weight.At the beginning, this book seems fascinating. It is no “lose 8 pounds in 2 weeks” quick-fix. Kliment argues that by looking at our ancestral diet, we can get a clue as to which proteins digest with ease. If a food fails to digest properly, it stays in the digestive tract, and can deteriorate into highly acidic debris.
This situation can lead to a multitude of health issues. In this regard, Kliment is expanding on her previous work – The Acid-Alkaline Balance Diet, and the emphasis of Eat Right is all about improving health.
There is certainly merit in this concept, and the author makes an interesting statement:
Symptoms that are assumed to be caused by food allergens quite often turn out to be the result of eating protein foods that aren’t digested well.
If you experience health problems – then any information that may help alleviate symptoms is welcome – and I approached this book with an eagerness to find some answers.
Unfortunately as the book went on, I became increasingly confused by the many pieces of information that failed provide a cohesive answer.
Meat Eater or Grain Eater?
Kliment suggests two primary kinds of diet – based on how easily certain protein foods are digested. A meat eater tends to be better at digesting red meat proteins. The grain eater tends to digest grains better, along with poultry and seafood.
The two diets are not mutually exclusive, and a third metabolic type is given – the omnivore – a mixture of grain and meat eater.
Much of the remainder of the book is devoted to dietary advice (including many meal plans and some recipes) for each of these primary “metabolic types”.
So Which Are You?
A consultation with a specialist rarely translates well into a self-help book. Sadly this is where much ‘alternative’ medical or nutritional advice can fall apart. Self-diagnosis is always difficult, and the author of Eat Right offers a number of very subjective ‘tests’ to determine your type.
For example: “When you have a grain-eating metabolism, your heart beats faster than usual, your breath comes more quickly…” (p 39). I would argue that this has more to do with cardiovascular fitness, than having an abundance of ‘grain-friendly’ digestive enzymes.
Not Low Fat, Not Low Carb
The “grain or meat” paradigm has nothing to do with macro-nutrient ratios – and the author devotes a fair chunk of space to dismissing both low-fat and low-carb diets.
Eat Right argues that saturated fat is not as evil as we’ve been told – and she provides some convincing well-researched arguments. Kliment also warns against high-protein diets – claiming that a highly acidic environment will increase tissue inflammation. There may be truth in this, but unfortunately Kliment goes against her mantra of individualism by prescribing a precise macro nutrient ratio for everyone (60% carb, 15% protein, 25% fat).
I finished this book feeling somewhat bewildered. I believe there are some genuine kernels of truth in the book. Nutrition is individualistic – and different foods affect people differently – without necessarily being classified as allergens.
However determining these foods is very difficult, and may well need to be done in consultation with someone who is knowledgeable in this area.
The line of thought that Kliment is presenting deserves some attention, but we need better methods of determining exactly which foods digest well – and which ones cause problems.
Eat Right For Your Metabolism, by Felicia Kliment. 312 pages. Available at Amazon.