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Natural Beauty - The Wrinkle-Free Diet
By Daryn Eller
Like millions of other Americans, I went on a diet this past January. But unlike most of my resolution-minded counterparts, I wasn’t trying to get rid of any extra weight. Rather, I wanted to reduce the puffiness around my eyes, improve skin tone, and minimize some of the fine, crinkly lines on my 40–plus face. The anti-wrinkle diet I followed promised glowing results—in just three days!—if I cut out sugar, ate more fruit, vegetables, healthy fats, and lean protein, and added fish to my diet. In fact, I was instructed to eat no fewer than two servings of wild salmon for each of the three days, even more if I could stomach it.
The creator of my diet is Nicholas Perricone, author of the best-selling books The Wrinkle Cure and The Perricone Prescription, and a former assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Yale University School of Medicine. I’m not the only one who finds his diet intriguing: More than 1.2 million of his books are in print and each title has spent several months on the New
York Times best-seller list.
Perricone designed this “nutritional face-lift,” as he calls it, as a sort of teaser. After three days, he tells readers, the results will be dramatic enough to convince you to embark on a more extensive 28-day plan—and then, presumably, you’ll feel compelled to change your eating habits forever.
The three-day plan gives a realistic preview of how, if Perricone had his way, all of us would eat all of the time. Each day, besides downing two servings of wild salmon, I ate cantaloupe and a couple of cups of romaine lettuce with olive oil and lemon juice at lunch; a few almonds or olives, half a pear or green apple, and chicken or turkey breast for snack; and more cantaloupe and romaine lettuce, plus sautéed asparagus, spinach, or broccoli, for dinner. The only starch I was allowed was a half cup of oatmeal at breakfast. Water—lots of it—and green tea were my beverages. The regular diet is different in that it allows more variety, adding black bean and vegetable barley soups, chicken and tuna salads, and a wider array of fruits and vegetables to the mix. It also recommends a long list of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory supplements for general health as well as skin health—many of which are available for sale on Perricone’s website. And, of course, salmon—at least one serving a day.
Just as important as eating the right foods, says Perricone, is ridding your diet of the wrong ones. My three-day diet was almost completely free of saturated fat and starchy carbohydrates (especially highly processed carbs like white bread, white rice, and pasta) and allowed no sugar or caffeine. Much as I wanted my morning bowl of cereal (and to my growling tummy, a half cup of oatmeal is not a morning bowl of cereal), it was o-u-t, out.
So what’s the rationale behind these dietary dictums? Perricone’s eating plan is built on the premise that food is one of the many factors that cause skin to wrinkle and sag, including ...