One of the key elements of the traditional Hawaiian
diet was a strong reliance on whole, complex carbohy-
drates in the form of whole grains. This is also common
to most traditional cultures.
Most traditional diets were very low in fat. The
range for most traditional cultures is around 6 to 19 per-
cent fat. Consistent with these diets, the HawaiiDiet™
Pyramid produces a very low-fat diet because of its
focus on low-fat, whole-plant-based foods. Animal
flesh and added fats and oils are virtually or
completely eliminated, and fats come from the oils
found naturally in the foods. Some individuals may
have the genetic makeup to tolerate higher fat diets.
However, for those who have a problem with weight, a
low-fat diet is ideal based on our research.
Nearly all ancient traditional diets were semi-
vegetarian or vegetarian. From the perspective of
cholesterol-related disease, a no-cholesterol diet is ideal
and, since all dietary cholesterol comes from animal
products (including fish and fowl), the ideal diet is
vegetarian (provided it is done properly).
Today, a wealth of research indicates that this is an
optimal diet for human weight control and health.
All major traditional cultural diets were grain and
plant-based. This means that vegetables and fruit were
eaten in great abundance. The HawaiiDiet™ makes the
best use of these most delicious foods.
Food (also known as "EMI" for Eat More Index).
The SMI is a table that describes food based on
an "Index" number that helps you evaluate the
weight loss effect of foods.
Just make sure that you're eating only approved types
of foods. That should be no problem. You'll find plenty
of variety in the HawaiiDiet™ Pyramid, and you'll be
able to find the foods that help you lose weight by
using the SMI. This way of eating offers the best
variety, the best flavors, the best textures of any type of
Let me give you an overview of the index I devised to
help you examine which foods satisfy you the most per
calorie. It is a totally new way of looking at food and is
one of the pillars of the diet. The SMI number gener-
ally represents the number of pounds of food it takes to
provide 2,500 calories, which is one day's worth of
calo- ries for an average active woman or average
inactive man. For example, the SMI value of corn is
6.5, which means that it takes 6.5 pounds of corn to
make your daily 2,500 calories.
Obviously, average individuals will have great
difficulty eating this much corn (30 ears!) and will
likely eat less than this amount and still be full.
eating as much as they want, they will still lose weight.
By sharp contrast, foods that are low in SMI can easily
produce weight gain. The foods that are lowest in SMI
are oils and fats.
Oils and fats have an SMI value of 0.61 (100% fat) and
can easily be eaten in enough quantity to produce
weight gain. Butter and margarine are 0.76 (99% to
100% fat), mayonnaise is 0.78 (98% fat). Such very low
SMI foods are what I consider "diet destroyers" and
should be avoided or minimized.
In other words, the higher the SMI number of a food
(that is, the more pounds of food it takes to provide your
daily calories), the more likely you are to be satisfied by
eating a selected food. Choosing foods in this way
emphasizes the positive aspect and encourages people
to "eat more" of these foods, which helps promote
automatic weight loss. In this way, the SMI allows you
to select foods that will help you lose weight while you
eat until you're satisfied. For a full description of the
SMI, see my earlier book, Dr. Shintani's Eat More, Weigh