Dr. Andrew Weil is a Harvard-trained MD and a recognized pioneer in the field of integrative medicine. Dr. Weil markets his anti-inflammatory diet through his website, DrWeil.com. Subscribers pay $2.99 per week for diet tips, recipes, advice, and other content prepared by Dr. Weil or one of 30 contributors. Dr. Weil first introduced his anti-inflammatory diet in his 2007 book, Healthy Aging, which also addresses other components of well-being, such as attitude and physical activity.
Critics note that many of Dr. Weil’s recommendations are unsupported by scientific evidence and used to market products, such as dietary supplements, food products, books, DVDs, and more. Dr. Weil is a licensed physician; however, he did not complete residency training in any field.
The anti-inflammatory diet is intended to help all individuals combat the adverse effects of inflammation. For people with autoimmune disease, Weil recommends a reduced-protein version of the anti-inflammatory diet which eliminates milk products and milk proteins. Cow’s milk, according to Weil, is a specific culprit in autoimmune-related inflammation.
Weil advocates his own version of the USDA’s Food Guide Pyramid. For reference, the USDA’s Food Guide Pyramid is a graphical version of the Institute of Medicine’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a compilation of evidence-based dietary recommendations developed by a panel of researchers and health professionals.
Similar to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Weil recommends that individuals focus on whole grains, fruits and vegetables, reducing and limiting intake of sweets. There are also several key differences between guidelines and Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet. These include:
Weil suggests choosing organic foods “where possible”. He also urges consumers to follow reports on which conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables contain the highest levels of pesticide, so they can avoid them. Weil does not say that say that consumers should specifically purchase his supplement formulas or Weil-endorsed food products. However, his website does market them prominently and it would be difficult to find a product that conforms to his recommendations without buying his formula.
Most of the tenets of Dr. Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet are exactly in line with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, although they are presented in new ways that may appeal to patients.
About the Author
Heather Breen is a physician and registered dietitian living in Charlotte, North Carolina.
This blog post was originally published by AutoimmuneMom.com, written by Heather Breen, and first published on May 15, 2012.