Jan 262010

I’ve mentioned Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s book Eat To Live in several posts, but I realize I’ve never actually written a full review of it. That situation needs to be fixed, because this is my favorite diet and nutrition book of all time (so far at least).  I ran into this book when I was having health problems. After a period of largely raw foods, I fell back on Joel’s diet for more long-term eating and it’s wonderful.

Dr. Fuhrman is the doctor that other doctors send their patients to when their lives depend on losing a lot of weight. And his diet does the job for them. But it’s  not simply the diet that makes the book a must-have. Dr. Fuhrman’s explanations of nutrition and the kinds of food that cause weight problems is simply brilliant. Light bulbs went off all over my head when I read it. In brief, Dr. Fuhrman is concerned with the nutrient density of foods.  Our body is well equipped with “detectors” in our stomach and digestive system that can sense the density, calories, and basic nutrients in our food. Using this information, the body can make sophisticated calculations about when it is full and what it wants us to eat that keep us at the perfect weight. At least, that’s how it works with real food – with the kind of food human beings have been eating for thousands of years.

Our body’s sensory equipment is completely overloaded when when fill our stomach with foods that contain enormous amounts of calories with almost no nutrients. It’s like putting a 50 lb sack of sugar on a postal scale. It completely sabotages the body’s regulatory mechanism. As a result, you think you are still hungry. And you ARE. You are hungry for nutrients. You are suffering malnutrition while packing away huge numbers of calories.

Dr. Fuhrman’s plan, then, is to fill yourself with nutrient-dense foods. These foods will make you feel full and satisfied, because your body can properly  sense that it is getting all the nutrition it needs.

Dr. Fuhrman’s diet has a few simple rules. You eat a lot of greens and vegetables, some cooked and some raw. You eat a lot of fruit. And you eat a little whole grain or starchy food and nuts. You minimize other fats and meat. How strict you have to be with these depends on how much weight you need to loose. The plan is not completely raw-food, but it incorporates much more raw fruits and vegetables than most of us are used to. Fuhrman is one of the experts involved in the “Raw for 30” program for reversing diabetes, so he understands the value of raw food.

Fuhrman has other books that expand on the recipes and diet choices of this first book – but this one is where you learn the nutritional facts – all meticulously researched – that are the basis of his programs. Highly recommended.

Oct 252009

joel-fuhrman Joel Fuhrman is a medical doctor who writes on the topic of healing and weight loss through nutrition. His flagship book is Eat to Live, which is one of the most remarkably clear and informative books on nutrition I have ever read. Fuhrman, who was a champion figure skater earlier in his life, has apparently developed a reputation among other doctors of being the one they will refer a patient to when that patients life depends on them losing weight.

In fascinating and compelling writing, Fuhrman explains nutritional concepts in a way that motivate and inspire you. His diet is primarily vegetarian and low fat, and not only produces remarkable weight loss, but also reverses conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

Dr Fuhrman was also involved with Dr Cousens in the “Raw for 30” experimantal program for reversing diabetes which was so remarkably successful.  For those who aren’t quite ready for the raw food diet of Dr. Cousens, Dr Fuhrman’s diet is an excellent and wonderfully healthy alternative, combining raw vegan, cook vegan, and (in the maintenance phase) small amounts of animal products if desired.

Below is a video of Dr. Fuhrman describing his program and giving some amazing real case examples of what it can do.

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