Stick to the essentials

It’s that time of the year again. Weight loss adds are plentiful on TV and On-Line. So-called nutritious food packages, boxed foods, diet supplements, weight loss systems, and promises aplenty about their health and weight-loss benefits. One person in four world-wide is obese not to mention the overweight billions. What a market!


Keto, Paleo, Vegan, Mediterranean, Plant based, Calorie reduced, Fat free, Sugar free, Diabetic etc. etc. diet and lifestyle eating recommendations. What to do if anything?


My advice is to eat real food.

The fresh vegetable and fruit produce, bread, meat, fresh fish, eggs, and dairy available at your grocery or farmer’s market are rarely ingredient labeled with chemicals. These real foods will supply you and your family with all the nutrients needed for good health.


If there is an ingredient label on the things you buy it is often processed and accompanied by sugar, added chemicals, colour and preservatives. There are many exceptions so read all labels. All of the “oses” are sugar eg. sucrose, glucose, maltose, lactose and arabinose.


Consider supporting local farmers with on-line orders and in-person markets as the season permits for real food.


The three ESSENTIAL nutrients are Fat, Carbohydrate and Protein.



Don’t avoid saturated fat such as coconut oil, lard, shortening and butter. They are your best sources of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Remember that vegetable oil is unsaturated and highly processed! Almost everything fried in fast food outlets and restaurants is done so with processed vegetable oil. Avoid it. Always consider olive oil and nut oils instead and choose broiled foods in restaurants. Deep fried real food in lard or full fat shortening is fine.


Recent systematic review studies show NO relationship of blood cholesterol levels with what we eat. The world-renowned Cochrane studies in fact have shown an inverse relationship between LDL (so called bad) cholesterol levels and cardiovascular disease/death. In other words, if your LDL cholesterol is high you are less likely to suffer than if it is low.

This flies in the face of what our doctors are telling us while prescribing billions of dollars of statin medication worldwide.

*My statement above is not a recommendation to change your medications without enlightened medical advice.



Sucrose(sugar) is not food. Reduce it. Choose veggies that grow above ground for less sugar.

Beans, lettuce, spices, peppers, tomatoes, squash, celery, chard and such (corn excepted).

“Starchy” potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, radishes and carrots are healthy.

Avocados and berries are spectacular fruits. Eat your choice of fruit if not in cans, bottles and packages.


If a true Vegan diet is your choice. . . No meat, fish, eggs or dairy . . .then supplements are required! If your omega 3 as DHA is insufficient supplement Vitamins B12, D3 and K2. Then heme iron, choline, calcium and retinol. Ancient tribal vegan diets contained these necessary supplement nutrients in attached soil and insect/invertebrate residue it is believed.

A carefully crafted vegetarian/vegan mixed diet can be healthy and supplement free.



If you eat real food you will get all the protein you need. Every real food contains protein in varying amounts except fully saturated fats like coconut oil, butter and lard.



If you are considering a heathier diet, here are the Dr. Derek Turner recommendations:


Don’t eat sugar…sucrose is NOT food. Never in coffee or tea and avoid artificial sweeteners.

Eat real food. Local farmers have lots of it.

Avoid all fast food restaurants except McDonald’s for coffee.

Use smaller plates and fill them with real food.

Eat slowly and chew a lot. Put your fork down as you chew.

Push away from the table as soon as you feel like you are getting full. Drink water.

Consider intermittent fasting which really means eating 2 not 3 meals a day. Don’t snack.

Consume olive oil and eat vegetables that grow above the ground. (cook with butter, olive oil or coconut oil).

Avoid corn and all corn products.

Consume berries & avocado for fruit. Avoid all juices. No diet pop but sparkling water is OK.

Significantly reduce bread, grains, cereals, crackers, cookies, sweets of any kind. (this is difficult)

If you drink alcohol: Drink dry red wine, not booze and moderate to 2-3 glasses a day. White wine is often over sweet with sugar.

Eat meat, fish, eggs and dairy along with above ground grown veggies and berries.

Seeds are OK in moderation as are nuts. . . moderation!

Exercise lightly and stretch. What you eat and don’t eat are FAR MORE IMPORTANT than exercise for weight control.



35% whipping cream is lactose and sugar free.  Some coffee houses will serve full cream with your coffee if you ask.

It is unnecessary to count: protein, starch, calories, roughage and cholesterol. If you eat real food you will get enough protein and roughage. Virtually every food has some protein except fully saturated fat. You can consume honey and maple syrup rarely.

A rib steak is only 7% fat and all of that fat is saturated and healthy.

If you snack, food or drink, which should be rarely, remember that ALL ingested food and drink raise the insulin levels in your blood and you cannot burn body fat if there is insulin in your blood!


Finally, Happy New Year. Light some candles from Harvest Honey, dress up with some jewelry from one of the Ottawa Street Market vendors and sit down to an unprocessed local farm real food meal with a glass of Ontario Pinot Noir.


Thank you for reading,

Dr. Derek MJ Turner


*The opinions herein expressed are my own. I practice dentistry and research nutrition.