Dr. Wortman’s Amazing Diet

Dr. Jay Wortman took charge of his diabetes—his way—and inadvertently created a sensational new diet that is changing a Northern community. 

After two decades of service in public health and a distinguished career, Métis physician Dr. Jay Wortman developed diabetes. When he followed his instincts and eliminated carbohydrates from his diet, he was surprised at how much better he felt.

This lead him to develop a diet based on traditional Native American food.

Two Culprits

The diet avoids sugar and starch—two elements Wortman believes are responsible for the growing epidemic of diabetes and obesity, particularly among the aboriginal population.

"Obesity, diabetes and heart disease were unknown in these populations until very recently. No aboriginal language has a word for diabetes," says Wortman.

Proven Success

When the northern community of Alert Bay decided to try Dr. Wortman’s diet, their results were equally impressive.  Participants saw an increased improvement in their diabetes and lost 10.1 percent of body weight, shed 9.7 percent of their waist circumference and improved their waist-to-hip ratio. A film crew followed the community through its diet and the result was the CBC documentary called My Big Fat Diet.

Permitted Foods: beef, pork, chicken, fish or seafood, cauliflower, broccoli, all the salad greens, eggs, cream, but no milk since it contains lactose, a form of sugar.

Forbidden foods: milk, pasta, rice, potatoes, bread and sugar.

Try a Meal

Here is a typical meal plan based on Dr. Wortman’s recipes:

Beef Short Ribs
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 hours
Serves: 4

5 lbs beef short ribs
Medium onion, sliced
1 whole garlic, chopped
3 cans Moneys sliced mushrooms, drained
1 1/2 cups porcini mushrooms
1 tsp butter
1 cube beef bouillon
1 ½ litre red wine (optional)


  1. Brown short ribs in butter.
  2. Layer with the vegetables in a Dutch oven (or used any other heavy stove-top pot or crock pot).
  3. Add red wine and bouillon, enough to cover the ribs.
  4. Cook with lid on over low heat for 3 hours or until beef is tender.
  5. To thicken sauce, remove ribs and run the sauce through a food processor, return to pan and reduce before placing ribs back in. Can be stored in freezer.

Blueberry Pecan Feta Salad
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4

Organic mixed salad greens
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 1/2 cup crumbled feta
1 1/4 cup chopped pecans


  1. Toss ingredients in large salad bowl.
  2. Dress using My Favourite Salad Dressing.

My Favourite Salad Dressing
In a bowl combine the following:

3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar (or plain white vinegar)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp Hellmann’s mayonnaise
Pinch of salt
Coarsely ground pepper
Pinch of Equal

Roasted Cauliflower
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4

1 large cauliflower
Olive oil to cover
1 pinch course salt


  1. Cut cauliflower into florets, wash and drain.
  2. Cover with liberal amount of olive oil and coarse salt.
  3. Place on baking sheet.
  4. Bake at 350˚F, tossing every 15 minutes until tender (about 40 minutes).

Low-Carb Almond Cookies
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

2 cups almond flour
1 ½ cup Splenda or other sugar-free sweetener
1 1/2 cup soft butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract


  1. Mix the butter and sweetener together.
  2. Add the vanilla and almond extract to the butter mixture.
  3. Fold in the butter mixture into the almond flour.
  4. Make the dough into small balls.
  5. Place in an oven heated to 300˚F (148˚C).
  6. Bake for five minutes.
  7. Take out of oven and press lightly with a fork.
  8. Return to oven and bake for another 15 minutes or until golden.
  9. Cool before eating.

Recipes courtesy of Dr. Jay Wortman.

For more recipes, click here.