Vegetarian Junk Food?
Q&A with Bill Harris, M.D.

Q. My name is Mindy. I am a vegetarian. I do not eat eggs, cheese or drink cows milk. I occasionally will eat something that has milk or eggs in the ingredients such as processed food. I am a junk food almost vegan. I love french fries potato chips etc. I also eat some good food also. I am 5' 2" tall and I weigh 178 lbs.

A. Dear Mindy,

Those figures give you a body mass index (BMI) of 32.6 which puts you in the range of Overweight II. (Normal BMI is 18.4-25).

I am a recovering alcoholic. I have not drank for 4 years. I am suffering from gastritis. I also have gastric reflux. I went to the doctor and they did a barium test on me. It showed the gastritis and acid reflux.

This is consistent with your dietary and alcohol history.

The doctor prescribed Prevacid. I took it for about two months and it quit working. I also do not want to take pills daily. I have read that once you start taking that type of medication you cannot get back off of it. I would like to loose approximately 40 lbs. What is your advice on the gastritis. What should I do diet wise and any other suggestions. I am sick of being sick. I am miserable most of the time.

I think you have already identified your problem, now it's up to you to act on what you know. French fries and potato chips are high fat items and fat stays in the stomach a long time and raises the gastric acid concentration. Gastritis and reflux follow easily.

The keys to good health are regular exercise and a diet centered on fresh vegetables and fruit with grains and starches used to just barely fill in Calorie requirements. If you can somehow motivate yourself to follow the recommendations at.....

On Becoming Vegan

Diet and Exercise Questionnaire

Some Vegan Starter Recipes

Nutrient analysis of the recipes. should be able to lose ~ a pound a week until you're down to 136# at which point (42 weeks later) your BMI will be normal at 24.9.

Good luck.


-William Harris, M.D.