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The Sonoma diet was developed by Connie Guttersen, PhD, RD, registered dietician, dietary consultant and author of the book, The Sonoma Diet  (Meredith Books, 2005). Named for the California region famous for its vineyards and Mediterranean climate, the Sonoma diet features a modified Mediterranean diet.

Many experts believe the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest in the world. The Sonoma diet allows for most fresh, wholesome foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy, and eliminates highly processed foods with saturated fats, refined white flour and added sugar.

The Sonoma diet is similar to the Mediterranean diet, abundant in foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs, whole grains, brown and wild rice, beans and lentils, low-fat dairy, olive oil, nuts, skinless white meat poultry, lean red meats, and fish. After reaching your target weight, the Sonoma diet lifestyle also includes wine in moderation and occasional sweets, but  permanently eliminates refined foods and hydrogenated fats. In particular, Dr. Guttersen recommends 10 power foods known for their disease-fighting nutrients including almonds, bell peppers, blueberries, broccoli, extra-virgin olive oil, grapes, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes, and whole grains.

The Sonoma diet includes a 10-day induction period, called Wave 1, which allows only low-calorie, portion-controlled wholesome foods and eliminates sugar and highly processed, refined foods. The diet promises a 2 to 5 pound weight loss over the 10 days. The Wave 2 program is then followed until reaching your target weight and allows for a wider array of foods including some sugar-free desserts and up to 6 ounces of wine daily. After reaching your target weight, the Sonoma diet lifestyle, called Wave 3, includes wine in moderation and occasional sweets as rare treats. However, refined foods and hydrogenated fats are permanently eliminated from the diet. Although refined, processed foods and sugars are not good for you, some experts believe that it may be too extreme to completely ban them from the diet forever. Instead, they recommend minimizing consumption of refined, energy-dense foods. The diet also includes daily physical activity.

The Sonoma diet stresses eating the best foods on the planet. "Lots of the best fresh fruits and vegetables instead of processed foods and sugary sweets," writes Guttersen. "Generous allotments of whole grain bread and cereals instead of refined white flour products. Skinless white meat poultry, lean red meats, lamb, pork, veal, eggs, non-fat dairy, soybeans, and plenty of fish for your protein. Olive oil and nuts as your main dietary fat sources."

  1. Guttersen C. The Sonoma Diet, New York, NY: Meredith Books, 2005.

  2. The Sonoma Diet: What It Is, WebMD:

  3. http://www.webmd.com/content/Article/120/113868.htm

  4. The Sonoma Diet: What You Can Eat, WebMD:

  5. http://www.webmd.com/content/Article/120/113869.htm

  6. The Sonoma Diet: How It Works, WebMD:

  7. http://www.webmd.com/content/Article/120/113870.htm

  8. The Sonoma Diet: What the Experts Say, WebMD:

  9. http://www.webmd.com/content/Article/120/113871.htm

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