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Montignac, Michel

French inventor of a weight-losing diet. This is not based on calorie intake (you can eat as much as you like, as long as it"s the correct food), but on combining the right foods to keep the bodies production of insulin down.

He discounts traditional theories separating simple carbohydrates (such as sugar) to their complex versions (typified by pasta and potatoes), but has produced his own list of forbidden foods marked on a glycemic index - the lower the marks the better. Mashed potato (95), honey and jam (90), carrots (85) and beer (110) are taboo; while green vegetables (15), pulses (30), whole-wheat pasta (45), brown rice (50) and fresh fruit (35) can be eaten freely - although the latter can only be eaten well away from other foods.

Caffeine is completely banned, as it stimulates the pancreas to secrete insulin. A little wine and cheese and foie gras are however allowed after the initial stages.

He has also written a publication - "How to Cure Yourself with Wine" - one column has a list of clinical conditions, another the wines that will cure them - Cahors for anemia, Médoc for angina etc!

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at ‘Simon Scrutton French Cookery Classes’ on Google – and learn how to make top class bistro-style dishes. Suitable for beginners upwards. Small classes.

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