The Barnes Diet

THE BARNES DIET
Dr. Broda Barnes was a Family Physician who revolutionized our concepts of nutrition and of hypothyroidism. He also had a PhD in thyroid biochemistry. He emphasized the wide variety of symptoms in hypothyroidism, from cold intolerance to heat intolerance; from weight loss to weight gain; from high to low blood pressure, etc. But above all, he felt that that the diagnosis was best made by finding a body temperature below normal. And, he realized that an enlarged thyroid gland, goiter, was not common. In the 1970's he estimated that 40% of the population is relatively hypothyroid, despite 'normal' blood studies of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone or Thyroxin. I have found that 90% of individuals today have subnormal temperature.

Barnes major contribution, however, is his demonstration that a RELATIVELY low carbohydrate diet is best for losing weight, maintaining optimal weight and for lowering cholesterol. The diet he recommended consisted of 70 grams of protein, 90 grams of fat and 50 grams of carbohydrate.

Breakfast consisted of:

  • 2 eggs
  • 3 strips of bacon, or sausage or ham
  • 2 oz of orange juice
  • Coffee or tea, with cream if desired

Lunch and Dinner:

  • Meat, fish or fowl
  • Vegetable with butter
  • Salad with lots of dressing
  • One serving of fruit
  • One glass of milk, tea or coffee
  • A good B complex supplement

This diet satisfies most appetites, lowers total cholesterol, raises HDL cholesterol and improves health in most people. It does get monotonous. I found that the following works well:

Breakfast:

  • Eggs, with cheese
  • Bacon, ham or sausage if desired
  • 4 oz of fruit juice
  • One slice of sourdough bread, toasted

Lunch and Dinner:

  • Unlimited fish, fowl or meat
  • Unlimited non-starchy vegetables with unlimited fatty dressing on salads
  • One more piece of sourdough bread at one meal and one serving of fruit at one meal

This diet is much more palatable to most people and is much better tolerated than the Atkins diet. Barnes often recommended thyroid supplementation. For anyone with low body temperature — below 98.6 orally after 9 AM, iodine supplementation of 1500 to 2000 micrograms daily. And of course take an excellent multivitamin.