Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Lossby Joel Fuhrman
Hailed a "medical breakthrough" by Dr. Mehmet Oz, EAT TO LIVE offers a highly effective, scientifically proven way to lose weight quickly. The key to Dr. Joel Fuhrman's revolutionary six-week plan is simple: health = nutrients / calories. When the ratio of nutrients to calories in the food you eat is high, you lose weight. The more nutrient-dense food you eat, the less you crave fat, sweets, and high-caloric foods.
EAT TO LIVE has been revised to include inspiring success stories from people who have used the program to lose shockingly large amounts of weight and recover from life-threatening illnesses; Dr. Fuhrman's nutrient density index; up-to-date scientific research supporting the principles behind Dr. Fuhrman's plan; new recipes and meal ideas; and much more. This easy-to-follow, nutritionally sound diet can help anyone shed pounds quickly-and keep them off.
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Eat to LiveThe Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss, Revised Edition
By Fuhrman, Joel
Little, Brown and CompanyCopyright © 2011 Fuhrman, Joel
All right reserved.
Digging Our Graves with Forks and Knives
THE EFFECTS OF THE AMERICAN DIET, PART I
Case Study: Robert lost over sixty pounds and saved his life!
I was generally thin until about thirty-two years of age. I gained about thirty pounds seemingly overnight. At thirty-four, I began having labored breathing and was diagnosed with sarcoidosis, which caused significant scarring over a large area of my lungs. I began the standard treatment of a biopsy and steroids.
At age thirty-seven, I was fifty pounds overweight. My life changed one afternoon at an all-you-can-eat buffet. The button on my last comfortable pair of pants snapped and the zipper broke. It was funny, embarrassing, and deadly serious all at the same time. That day, I decided I had to change and went to the bookstore to find some answers. I stumbled upon Dr. Fuhrman’s book, and it made sense to me.
Six months later, I was sixty pounds lighter, but my wife brought to my attention a lump in my neck. The lump had been there for years, but without all my fat obscuring it, it was now readily visible. I had assumed that my gasping was a result of the sarcoidosis, but I had a massive thyroid cyst, which blocked my windpipe and cut off my air supply. The doctors decided that it needed to come out. A couple of days prior to surgery, I was given an MRI, which showed that I had no traces of the sarcoidosis. It had completely cleared up, just as Dr. Fuhrman had predicted.
During the surgery the cyst burst as soon as the surgeon attempted to cut it out with his scalpel, causing me to go into anaphylactic shock. Had the doctor not first drained the fluid with a needle, I might have died. Even more sobering is the fact that had I not adopted Dr. Fuhrman’s advice, the cyst would have remained obscured and would have burst on its own. I would not have had the benefit of being on the operating table.
I am now forty-six years old, I run about twenty miles a week, and I have unbelievable stamina. My systolic blood pressure went from 140 to 108, and my current LDL cholesterol level is 40 (that is not a typo). I feel great. I look ten years younger than I did two years ago and take no medications. I have competed in several triathlons and am preparing for my first marathon.
Not long after my surgery, I sought out Dr. Fuhrman to thank him. You too can achieve your ideal weight, reverse disease, and, yes, even delay the aging process.
Americans have been among the first people worldwide to have the luxury of bombarding themselves with nutrient-deficient, high-calorie food, often called empty-calorie or junk food. By “empty-calorie,” I mean food that is deficient in nutrients and fiber. More Americans than ever before are eating these high-calorie foods while remaining inactive—a dangerous combination.
The number one health problem in the United States is obesity, and if the current trend continues, by the year 2048 all adults in the United States will be overweight or obese. The National Institutes of Health estimate that obesity is associated with a twofold increase in mortality, costing society more than $100 billion per year. This is especially discouraging for dieters because after spending so much money attempting to lose weight, 95 percent of them gain all the weight back and then add on even more pounds within three years. This incredibly high failure rate holds true for the vast majority of weight-loss schemes, programs, and diets.
Obesity and its sequelae pose a serious challenge to physicians. Both primary-care physicians and obesity-treatment specialists fail to make an impact on the long-term health of most of their patients. Studies show that initial weight loss is followed by weight regain.
Those who genetically store fat more efficiently may have had a survival advantage thousands of years ago when food was scarce, or in a famine, but in today’s modern food pantry they are the ones with the survival disadvantage. People whose parents are obese have a tenfold increased risk of being obese. On the other hand, obese families tend to have obese pets, which is obviously not genetic. So it is the combination of food choices, inactivity, and genetics that determines obesity. More important, one can’t change one’s genes, so blaming them doesn’t solve the problem. Rather than taking an honest look at what causes obesity, Americans are still looking for a miraculous cure—a magic diet or some other effortless gimmick.
Obesity is not just a cosmetic issue—extra weight leads to an earlier death, as many studies confirm. Overweight individuals are more likely to die from all causes, including heart disease and cancer. Two-thirds of those with weight problems also have hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, or another obesity-related condition. It is a major cause of early mortality in the United States. Since dieting almost never works and the health risks of obesity are so life-threatening, more and more people are desperately turning to drugs and surgical procedures to lose weight.
Health Complications of Obesity
Increased overall premature mortality
Coronary artery disease
Obstructive sleep apnea
Fatty infiltration of liver
Restrictive lung disease
The results so many of my patients have achieved utilizing the Eat to Live guidelines over the past twenty years rival what can be achieved with surgical weight-reduction techniques, without the associated morbidity and mortality.
Surgery for Weight Reduction and Its Risks
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), wound problems and complications from blood clots are common after-effects of gastric bypass and gastroplasty surgery. The NIH has also reported that those undergoing surgical treatment for obesity have had substantial nutritional and metabolic complications, gastritis, esophagitis, outlet stenosis, and abdominal hernias. More than 10 percent required another operation to fix problems resulting from the first surgery.
In addition to undergoing extremely risky surgeries, Americans have been bombarded with a battery of gimmicky diets that promise to combat obesity. Almost all diets are ineffective. They don’t work, because no matter how much weight you lose when you are on a diet, you put it right back on when you go off. Measuring portions and trying to eat fewer calories, typically called “dieting,” almost never result in permanent weight loss and actually worsen the problem over time. Such “dieting” temporarily slows down your metabolic rate, so often more weight comes back than you lost. You wind up heavier than you were before you started dieting. This leads many to claim, “I’ve tried everything, and nothing works. It must be genetic. Who wouldn’t give up?”
You may already know that the conventional “solution” to being overweight—low-calorie dieting—doesn’t work. But you may not know why. It is for this simple yet much overlooked reason: for the vast majority of people, being overweight is not caused by how much they eat but by what they eat. The idea that people get heavy because they consume a high volume of food is a myth. Eating large amounts of the right food is your key to success and is what makes this plan workable for the rest of your life. What makes many people over weight is not that they eat so much more but that they get a higher percentage of their calories from fat and refined carbohydrates, or mostly low-nutrient foods. This low-nutrient diet establishes a favorable cellular environment for disease to flourish.
Regardless of your metabolism or genetics, you can achieve a normal weight once you start a high-nutrient diet style. Since the majority of all Americans are overweight, the problem is not primarily genetic. Though genes are an important ingredient, physical activity and food choices play a far more significant role. In studies on identical twins with the tendency to be overweight, scientists found that physical activity is the strongest environmental determinant of total body and central abdominal fat mass. Even those with a strong family history of obesity effectively lose weight with increased physical activity and appropriate dietary modifications.
Most of the time, the reason people are overweight is too little physical activity, in conjunction with a high-calorie, low-nutrient diet. Eating a diet with plenty of low-fiber, calorie-dense foods, such as oil and refined carbohydrates, is the main culprit.
As long as you are eating fatty foods and refined carbohydrates, it is impossible to lose weight healthfully. In fact, this vicious combination of a sedentary lifestyle and eating typical “American” food (high-fat, low-fiber) is the primary reason we have such an incredibly overweight population.
Killing the Next Generation
This book may not appeal to individuals who are in denial about the dangers of their eating habits and those of their children. Many will do anything to continue their love affair with disease-causing foods and will sacrifice their health in the process. Many people prefer not to know about the dangers of their unhealthy diet because they think it will interfere with their eating pleasure. They are wrong. Healthy eating can result in even more pleasure.
If you have to give up something you get pleasure from, your subconscious may prefer to ignore solid evidence or defend illogically held views. Many ferociously defend their unhealthy eating practices. Others just claim, “I already eat a healthy diet,” even though they do not.
There is a general resistance to change. It would be much easier if healthful eating practices and the scientific importance of nutritional excellence were instilled in us as children. Unfortunately, children are eating more poorly today than ever before.
Most Americans are not aware that the diet they feed their children guarantees a high cancer probability down the road. They don’t even contemplate that eating fast-food meals may be just as risky (or more so) as letting their children smoke cigarettes.
The 1992 Bogalusa Heart Study confirmed the existence of fatty plaques and streaks (the beginning of atherosclerosis) in most children and teenagers!
You wouldn’t let your children sit around the table smoking cigars and drinking whiskey, because it is not socially acceptable, but it is fine to let them consume cola, fries cooked in trans fat, and a cheeseburger regularly. Many children eat doughnuts, cookies, cupcakes, and candy on a daily basis. It is difficult for parents to understand the insidious, slow destruction of their children’s genetic potential and the foundation for serious illness that is being built by the consumption of these foods.
It would be unrealistic to feel optimistic about the health and well-being of the next generation when there is an unprecedented increase in the average weight of children in this country and record levels of childhood obesity. Most ominous were the results reported by the 1992 Bogalusa Heart Study, which studied autopsies performed on children killed in accidental deaths. The study confirmed the existence of fatty plaques and streaks (the beginning of atherosclerosis) in most children and teenagers! These researchers concluded: “These results emphasize the need for preventive cardiology in early life.” I guess “preventive cardiology” is a convoluted term that means eating healthfully.
Another autopsy study appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine found that more than 85 percent of adults between the ages of twenty-one and thirty-nine already have atherosclerotic changes in their coronary arteries. Fatty streaks and fibrous plaques covered large areas of the coronary arteries. Everyone knows that junk foods are not healthy, but few understand their consequences—serious life-threatening illness. Clearly, the diets we consume as children have a powerful influence on our future health and eventual premature demise.
There is considerable data to suggest that childhood diet has a greater impact on the later incidence of certain cancers than does a poor diet later in life. It is estimated that as many as 25 percent of schoolchildren today are obese. Early obesity sets the stage for adult obesity. An overweight child develops heart disease earlier in life. Mortality data suggests that being overweight during early adult life is more dangerous than a similar degree of heaviness later in adult life.
Drugs Are Not the Solution
New drugs are continually introduced that attempt to lessen the effects of our nation’s self-destructive eating behavior. Most often, our society treats disease after the degenerative illness has appeared, an illness that is the result of thirty to sixty years of nutritional self-abuse.
Drug companies and researchers attempt to develop and market medications to stem the obesity epidemic. This approach will always be doomed to fail. The body will always pay a price for consuming medicines, which usually have toxic effects. The “side” effects are not the only toxic effect of medications. Doctors learn in their introductory pharmacology course in medical school that all medications are toxic to varying degrees, whether side effects are experienced or not. Pharmacology professors stress never to forget that. You cannot escape the immutable biological laws of cause and effect through ingesting medicinal substances.
If we don’t make significant changes in the foods we choose to consume, taking drugs prescribed by physicians will not improve our health or extend our lives. If we wish true health protection, we need to remove the cause. We must stop abusing ourselves with disease-causing foods.
Surprise! Lean People Live Longer
In the Nurses’ Health Study, researchers examined the association between body mass index and overall mortality and mortality from specific causes in more than 100,000 women. After limiting the analysis to nonsmokers, it was very clear that the longest-lived women were the leanest. The researchers concluded that the increasingly permissive U.S. weight guidelines are unjustified and potentially harmful.
Dr. I-Min Lee, of the Harvard School of Public Health, said her twenty-seven-year study of 19,297 men found there was no such thing as being too thin. (Obviously, it is possible to be too thin; however, it is uncommon and usually called anorexia, but that is not the subject of this book.) Among men who never smoked, the lowest mortality occurred in the lightest fifth. Those who were in the thinnest 20 percent in the early 1960s were two and a half times less likely to have died of cardiovascular disease by 1988 than those in the heaviest fifth. Overall, the thinnest were two-thirds more likely to be alive in 1988 than the heaviest. Lee stated, “We observed a direct relationship between body weight and mortality. By that I mean that the thinnest fifth of men experienced the lowest mortality, and mortality increased progressively with heavier and heavier weight.” The point is not to judge your ideal weight by traditional weight-loss tables, which are based on Americans’ overweight averages. After carefully examining the twenty-five major studies available on the subject, I have found that the evidence indicates that optimal weight, as determined by who lives the longest, occurs at weights at least 10 percent below the average body-weight tables. Most weight-guideline charts still place the public at risk by reinforcing an unhealthy overweight standard. By my calculations, it is not merely 70 percent of Americans who are overweight, it is more like 85 percent.
The Longer Your Waistline, the Shorter Your Lifeline
As a good rule of thumb: for optimal health and longevity, a man should not have more than one-half inch of skin that he can pinch near his umbilicus (belly button) and a woman should not have more than one inch. Almost any fat on the body over this minimum is a health risk. If you have gained even as little as ten pounds since the age of eighteen or twenty, then you could be at significant increased risk for health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. The truth is that most people who think they are at the right weight still have too much fat on their body.
A commonly used formula for determining ideal body weight follows:
Women: Approximately ninety-five pounds for the first five feet of height and then four pounds for every inch thereafter.
95 + 16 = 111
95 + 24 = 119
Men: Approximately 105 pounds for the first five feet of height and then five pounds for every inch thereafter. Therefore, a 5'10" male should weigh approximately 155 pounds.
All formulas that approximate ideal weights are only rough guides, since we all have different body types and bone structure.
Body mass index (BMI) is used as a convenient indicator of overweight risk and is often used in medical investigations. BMI is calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by height in meters (squared). Another way to calculate BMI is to use this formula:
A BMI over 24 is considered overweight and greater than 30, obese. However, it is just as easy for most of us merely to use waist circumference.
I prefer waist circumference and abdominal fat measurements because BMI can be inaccurately high if the person is athletic and very muscular. Ideally, your BMI should be below 23, unless you lift weights and have considerable muscle mass. As an example, I am of average height and build (5'10" and 150 pounds) and my BMI is 21.5. My waist circumference is 30.5 inches. Waist circumference should be measured at the navel.
The traditional view is that men who have a waist circumference over forty inches and women with one over thirty-five inches are significantly overweight with a high risk of health problems and heart attacks. Evidence suggests that abdominal fat measurement is a better predictor of risk than overall weight or size. Fat deposits around your waist are a greater health risk than extra fat in other places, such as the hips and thighs.
What if you feel you are too thin? If you have too much fat on your body but feel you are too thin, then you should exercise to build muscle to gain weight. I often have patients tell me they think they look too thin, or their friends or family members tell them they look too thin, even though they are still clearly overweight. Bear in mind that by their standards you may be too thin, or at least thinner than they are. The question to ask is, is their standard a healthy one? I doubt it. Either way: Do not try to force yourself to overeat to gain weight! Eat only as much food as your hunger drive demands, and no more. If you exercise, your appetite will increase in response. You should not try to put on weight merely by eating, because that will only add more fat to your frame, not muscle. Additional fat, regardless of whether you like the way you look when you are fatter or not, will shorten your life span.
Once you start eating healthfully, you may find you are getting thinner than expected. Most people lose weight until they reach their ideal weight and then they stop losing weight. Ideal weight is an individual thing, but it is harder to lose muscle than fat, so once the fat is off your body, your weight will stabilize. Stabilization at a thin, muscular weight occurs because your body gives you strong signals to eat, signals that I call “true hunger.” True hunger maintains your muscle reserve, not your fat.
The Only Way to Significantly Increase Life Span
The evidence for increasing one’s life span through dietary restriction is enormous and irrefutable. Reduced caloric intake is the only experimental technique to consistently extend maximum life span. This has been shown in all species tested, from insects and fish to rats and cats. There are so many hundreds of studies that only a small number are referenced below.
Scientists have long known that mice that eat fewer calories live longer. Research has demonstrated the same effect in primates (i.e., you). A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that restricting calories by 30 percent significantly increased life span in monkeys. The experimental diet, while still providing adequate nourishment, slowed monkeys’ metabolism and reduced their body temperatures, changes similar to those in the long-lived thin mice. Decreased levels of triglycerides and increased HDL (the good) cholesterol were also observed. Studies over the years, on many different species of animals, have confirmed that those animals that were fed less lived longest. In fact, allowing an animal to eat as much food as it desires can reduce its life span by as much as one-half.
High-nutrient, low-calorie eating results in dramatic increases in life span as well as prevention of chronic illnesses. From rodents to primates we see:
Resistance to experimentally induced cancers
Protection from spontaneous and genetically predisposed cancers
A delay in the onset of late-life diseases
Nonappearance of atherosclerosis and diabetes
Lower cholesterol and triglycerides and increased HDL
Improved insulin sensitivity
Enhancement of the energy-conservation mechanism, including reduced body temperature
Reduction in oxidative stress
Reduction in parameters of cellular aging, including cellular congestion
Enhancement of cellular repair mechanisms, including DNA repair enzymes
Reduction in inflammatory response and immune cell proliferation
Improved defenses against environmental stresses
Suppression of the genetic alterations associated with aging
Protection of genes associated with removal of oxygen radicals
Inhibited production of metabolites that are potent cross-linking agents
Slowed metabolic rate
The link between thinness and longevity, and obesity and a shorter life span, is concrete. Another important consideration in other animal studies is that fat and protein restriction have an additional effect on lengthening life span. Apparently, higher fat and higher protein intake promotes hormone production, speeds up reproductive readiness and other indicators of aging, and promotes the growth of certain tumors. For example, excess protein intake has been shown to raise insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) levels, which are linked to higher rates of prostate and breast cancer.
In the wide field of longevity research there is only one finding that has held up over the years: eating less prolongs life, as long as nutrient intake is adequate. All other longevity ideas are merely conjectural and unproven. Such theories include taking hormones such as estrogen, DHEA, growth hormones, and melatonin, as well as nutritional supplements. So far, there is no solid evidence that supplying the body with any nutritional element over and above the level present in adequate amounts in a nutrient-dense diet will prolong life. This is in contrast to the overwhelming evidence regarding protein and caloric restriction.
This important and irrefutable finding is a crucial feature of the H = N/C equation. We all must recognize that if we are to reach the limit of the human life span, we must not overeat on high-calorie food. Eating empty-calorie food makes it impossible to achieve optimal health and maximize our genetic potential.
To Avoid Overeating on High-Calorie Foods, Fill Up on Nutrient-Rich Ones
An important corollary to the principle of limiting high-calorie food is that the only way for a human being to safely achieve the benefits of caloric restriction while ensuring that the diet is nutritionally adequate is to avoid as much as possible those foods that are nutrient-poor.
Indeed, this is the crucial consideration in deciding what to eat. We need to eat foods with adequate nutrients so we won’t need to consume excess “empty” calories to reach our nutritional requirements. Eating foods that are rich in nutrients and fiber, and low in calories, “fills us up,” so to speak, thus preventing us from overeating.
To grasp why this works, let us look at how the brain controls our dietary drive. A complicated system of chemoreceptors in the nerves lining the digestive tract carefully monitor the calorie and nutrient density of every mouthful and send such information to the hypothalamus in the brain, which controls dietary drive.
There are also stretch receptors in the stomach to signal satiety by detecting the volume of food eaten, not the weight of the food. If you are not filled up with nutrients and fiber, the brain will send out signals telling you to eat more food, or overeat.
In fact, if you consume sufficient nutrients and fiber, you will become biochemically filled (nutrients) and mechanically filled (fiber), and your desire to consume calories will be blunted or turned down. One key factor that determines whether you will be overweight is your failure to consume sufficient fiber and nutrients. This has been illustrated in scientific studies.
How does this work in practice? Let’s say we conduct a scientific experiment and observe a group of people by measuring the average number of calories they consumed at each dinner. Next, we give them a whole orange and a whole apple prior to dinner. The result would be that the participants would reduce their caloric intake, on the average, by the amount of calories in the fruit. Now, instead of giving them two fruits, give them the same amount of calories from fruit juice.
What will happen? They will eat the same amount of food as they did when they had nothing at the beginning of their meal. In other words, the juice did not reduce the calories consumed in the meal—instead, the juice became additional calories. This has been shown to occur with beer, soft drinks, and other sources of liquid calories.
Liquid calories, without the fiber present in the whole food, have little effect in blunting our caloric drive. Studies show that fruit juice and other sweet beverages lead to obesity in children as well.
If you are serious about losing weight, don’t drink your fruit—eat it. Too much fiber and too many nutrients are removed during juicing, and many of the remaining nutrients are lost through processing, heat, and storage time. If you are not overweight, drinking freshly prepared juice is acceptable as long as it does not serve as a substitute for eating those fresh fruits and vegetables. There is no substitute for natural whole foods.
There is a tendency for many of us to want to believe in magic. People want to believe that in spite of our indiscretions and excesses, we can still maintain optimal health by taking a pill, powder, or other potion. However, this is a false hope, a hope that has been silenced by too much scientific evidence. There is no magic. There is no miracle weight-loss pill. There is only the natural world of law and order, of cause and effect. If you want optimal health and longevity, you must engage the cause. And if you want to lose fat weight safely, you must eat a diet of predominantly unrefined foods that are nutrient-and fiber-rich.
What if I Have a Slow Metabolic Rate?
Your body weight may be affected slightly by genetics, but that effect is not strong. Furthermore, I am convinced that inheriting a slow metabolic rate with a tendency to gain weight is not a flaw or defect but rather a genetic gift that can be taken advantage of. How is this possible? A slower metabolism is associated with a longer life span in all species of animals. It can be speculated that if one lived sixty thousand or just a few hundred years ago, a slower metabolic rate might have increased our survival opportunity, since getting sufficient calories was difficult. For example, the majority of Pilgrims who arrived on our shores on the Mayflower died that first winter. They could not make or find enough food to eat, so only those with the genetic gift of a slow metabolic rate survived.
As you can see, it is not always bad to have a slow metabolic rate. It can be good. Sure, it is bad in today’s environment of relentless eating and when consuming a high-calorie, low-nutrient diet. Sure, it will increase your risk of diabetes and heart disease and cancer, given today’s food-consumption patterns. However, if correct food choices are made to maintain a normal weight, the individual with a slower metabolism may age more slowly.
Our body is like a machine. If we constantly run the machinery at high speed, it will wear out faster. Since animals with slower metabolic rates live longer, eating more calories, which drives up our metabolic rate, will cause us only to age faster. Contrary to what you may have heard and read in the past, our goal should be the opposite: to eat less, only as much as we need to maintain a slim and muscular weight, and no more, so as to keep our metabolic rate relatively slow.
So stop worrying about your slower metabolic rate. A slower metabolic rate from dieting is not the primary cause of your weight problem. Keep these three important points in mind:
Resting metabolic rates do decline slightly during periods of lower caloric intake, but not enough to significantly inhibit weight loss.
Resting metabolic rates return to normal soon after caloric intake is no longer restricted. The lowered metabolic rate does not stay low permanently and make future dieting more difficult.
A sudden lowering of the metabolic rate from dieting does not explain the weight gain/loss cycles experienced by many overweight people. These fluctuations in weight are primarily from going on and getting off diets. It is especially difficult to stay with a reduced-calorie diet when it never truly satisfies the individual’s biochemical need for nutrients, fiber, and phytochemicals.
Those with a genetic tendency to be overweight may actually have the genetic potential to outlive the rest of us. The key to their successful longevity lies in their choosing a nutrient-rich, fiber-rich, lower-calorie diet, as well as getting adequate physical activity. By adjusting the nutrient-per-calorie density of your diet to your metabolic rate, you can use your slow metabolism to your advantage. When you can maintain a normal weight in spite of a slow metabolism, you will be able to achieve significant longevity.
An Unprecedented Opportunity in Human History
Science and the development of modern refrigeration and transportation methods have given us access to high-quality, nutrient-dense food. In today’s modern society, we have available to us the largest variety of fresh and frozen natural foods in human history. Using the foods available to us today, we can devise diets and menus with better nutrient density and nutrient diversity than ever before possible.
This book gives you the information and the motivation you need to take advantage of this opportunity to improve your health and maximize your chances for a disease-free life.
You have a clear choice. You can live longer and healthier than ever before, or you can do what most modern populations do: eat to create disease and a premature death. Since you are reading this book, you have opted to live longer and healthier. “Eat to live” and you will achieve a happier and more pleasurable life.
Excerpted from Eat to Live by Fuhrman, Joel Copyright © 2011 by Fuhrman, Joel. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
Joel Fuhrman, MD, is a board-certified family physician who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional and natural methods. His other books include Eat for Health and Disease-Proof Your Child. He lives and maintains a private practice in Flemington, New Jersey.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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WOW, so simple to lose weight on this plant-based diet. With the amount of books written on diet plans, the amount of diet centers, and the endless advertising of diet pills, one would think that America would be a society of healthy people free of disease and at their optimal weight. Instead,there has been a rise in overweight and obese peoplein the United States. Dr. Fuhrman’s research shows, “In spite of the more than $110 million consumers spend every dayon diets and "reducing" programs (more than $40 billion per year),Americans are the most obese people in history”. Eat to Live (ETL) offers a different outlook on eating. It comesacross in a gentle way without suggesting a strict diet and exercise program to lose weight. Best of all, this isn’t a “get skinny quick” sell. It is based on doing what so many in the diet industry failed to do – give you a life plan for health AND weight loss. It also describes some of the common diets that Americans may have tried, or all still on, and why these diets are “fad diets” and DON’T WORK! These diets are for the short-term, not the long-term. ETL showed me how the Standard American Diet (SAD) has caused only an increase in the rate of disease and overweight people, with the most common disease being heart disease. It’s so sad to think that this disease is no longer one suffered in old age – the young are also having heart attacks. This is because our children are eating processed foods and high quantities of meat and dairy products. The new approach to a true lifestyle change introduced in this bookas the formula, H=N/C, which is Health equals Nutrient/Calories, or “health predicted by your nutrient intake divided by your intake of calories”. In other words, there is no limit to what you eat when you make good food choices, which is vegetables, fruits, and beans. That’s it. So simple – so easy.And the best part is that you don’t even have to try and lose weight with this approach, your body will normalize to its desired weight by itself and it will be maintained for your lifetime. Now, this book is not only about losing weight, but offers an approach that will also keep you healthy or remedy an unhealthy situation that you may be living with. That is the true message - Living a long and healthy life free from common diseases caused by SAD, such as cancer, heart conditions, arthritis, and diabetes. There are tons of documented research examples in ETL to justify why every American ought to switch to a plant-based diet. There is no denying the evidence. It is all there. The book contains an easy start guide to changing your eating style with: -A six day eating plan -A shopping list that you can use after your six days of detoxing. -Various recipes that are delicious! It’s amazing the type meals you can create without high fat protein, dairy, and eggs. I highly recommend ETL for anyone that is suffering from a disease, or who wants to start living a healthy life. It is your choice, but I would encourage you to read this book as it will change your mind on what you consume. Dr. Fuhrman has also come out with a revised edition of Eat to Live, which is on the New York Times Best Seller list right now, because of his recent appearance on the Dr. Oz show. So leave behind the toxicity and enjoy a long healthy life, you will be glad you did. I am. Lovingly, JP Richards Founder and CEO of wwwDotMettaMealsDotcom The Easiest and Healthiest Way to Adopt a Plant-Based Diet
I don't understand how a previous reviewer can just minimize this book to say that it's just about eating more fruits and veggies, and that we knew this 30 years ago. I think that's insulting to the life changing information in this book. I like many have read up over the years, and knew (or thought I knew) how to eat right. I was never a fast food/junk eater, not a snacker, didn't eat late, cooked most meals, loved fruits and veggies, etc.. But I turned to this book because what I thought I knew was not working. Since I have read this book, I have talking about it to and buying copies of this book for so many people. It is changing my health as we speak, and I want to spread the word. Yes, it does suggest a mostly vegetarian lifestyle. But that doesn't mean I will stop eating animal protein. It just made me want to eat much less, and get my protein from vegetables and beans. We are all responsible for our own bodies, and the information that Dr. Fuhrman provides gives you better guidelines in such a well written, informative, riveting format. It is a completely doable lifestyle change and you will never have to go on a gimmick diet again. This book is condusive to mindful eating, and if everyone thought more before they put something into their bodies, we would all have better health.
It's been 12 months. I weighed 226 lbs. The doctor was going to put me on blood pressure medication. I now weigh 169lbs. No medication. For $9; what have you got to lose?
The information in this book is wonderful. Dr. Fuhrman offers what seems like simple advice: "high nutrient" eating, but also explains what foods to eat and what foods aren't really healthy that some might normally think of as healthy. The recipes are so wonderful (so are the ones in his book about feeding children right). I have been eating like this for about 8 weeks and have lost about 20 pounds. (the more you have to lose the faster it comes off though). I am finally down to what is considered a normal BMI!... but I am staying on Fuhrman's plan for life. The six week plan is more strict than just "Eating to live" and I have read Furhman's other books too... of course he explains everything so well.. it is worth the read. Kudos to you Dr. F!
This plan is easy to follow. Eat a lot of food and lose the weight and get healthy. This plan saved my life by getting my heart and liver in a normal healthy state. I recommend this book and plan to everybody. Then information in this book is true and well reasearched and/ or proven through studies.
In 1 month I have lost 20 lbs. I have not started exercising so this weight loss is from the change in diet only. My health has improved, I feel great, and I have alot more energy. Sticking to this way of eating has not been hard for me at all, after a few days I adjusted and I do not crave all the unhealthy processed food that surrounds my everyday life. You are what you eat, and now I am full of healthy fruits and veg and I feel better than ever. I recommend this diet, it has been extremely successful and easy to follow for me.
The Furman plan is logical, but may be hard to "stick to". Also, it is very difficult to read the charts, tables, and graphs with nook format. I would give the book a higher rating if it were not so hard to disiminate certain content. Better to purchase the hardback.
You don't have to follow the diet explicitly to see results. Take the information and do research as well. There is evidence in many books to support what Dr. Fuhrman has published. People need to be aware of where their food comes from and the harm we are doing to ourselves everyday that we decide to go through McDonald's instead of eating a healthy lunch made at home. A great companion to this is the movie Food, Inc.
This book was recommended by a friend. Dr. Furhman provides the scientific side of food, benefits of eating clean. The scientific part was a little hard to understand but made sense in the end. He explains what your body will experience and when I started this diet it was amazing how right on he was. Of the all the diet/lifestyle change books I've tried, Eat To Live is hands down the best informative book and guideline to follow. You just have to be motivated amd stick to your goals.
This is serious stuff for serious people. It is simple and direct. A game changer. Revolutionary!
I'm serious, this book has the power to save lives. It's information everyone should know. If you are trying to lose weight, Dr. Fuhrman teaches you the secret: get healthy. It's not about dieting, or quick fixes, or magic solutions. It's eating for optimal health. When you do that, the RESULTS are truly magical. He teaches you exactly how to eat and WHY. Knowing the science behind his plan is very powerful. I can't reccomend this book enough.
I really enjoyed this book and while I thought this woukd be easy to do, it was extremely difficult. No matter how much I ate (fruits/veggies) I was not satisfied without protein (meat) and dairy. I will be trying to follow the guidelines that allow for those additions and hope to still see some benefits.
I lost 30 pounds over a year ago just using Dr. Fuhrman's recommendation of eating "more fruits and vegetables to crowd out unhealthy things". I have bought about a dozen copies for other people as gifts. This is just common (or not so common) sense. It's not about losing weight; it's about getting to a healthy state. It may take a while to incorporate everything he says into my life, but so far I have had outstanding results. I also liked the fact that he backs up everything he says with evidence from studies.
Also recommend "Treat Your Own Knee Arthritis" if you have knee pain that keeps you from exercising.
I watched Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead and discovered Dr. Furhman. I completed a 10 day juice fast and read Eat to Live during that time. I knew I was going to continue to stay healthy, and Eat to Live set me on the right path to do so. I live by Dr. Furhman's word and strictly stick to the diet suggested in the book. I have lost 45 lbs in two months and hope to remain vegan the rest of my life. Dr. Furhman cut me loose of the American diet and thank him for that.
I want to stop following traditional American ways of eating. I want to reverse cancer, inflammation, cholesterol, weight gain,depression...and I have found that this is my solution...for LIFE. At first, a person might get overwhelmed and feel like the book is too strict. But it really is the true way to nourish God's temple..within your body. I never feel hungry, given the fact that fruits and vegetables are encouraged in abundance. The first week I felt headache y, only because I missed all the salt, sugar, and caffeine I was putting into myself. But after that...I could get up for work easier,I could endure long hours effortlessly, and maintain a steady energy supply, and happier mood. I really recommend this book. It will change lives.
I had changed my diet 5 years ago to more beans, veges, nuts and grains. My husband made fun of me and ended up with stage 3 colon cancer last year. I got him eating more fuits and vegetables during chemo and doctors were amazed at his progress. I ordered Eat to Live. My husband made fun of me. Good thing I read it because I was getting away from nutrient rich foods. My husband has embrased this lifestyle so he will not get cancer again. Love all the information and studies. Oh, his doctors never once talked nutrition with him, go firgure!
Every women should be following this diet. He talks about the gbomds that are so important in everybodys diet. This diet makes you think about whats really in foods we eat everyday. Great information, thank you Dr. Furhman.
This book had too many scientific facts, but the ideas are life changing. I started my vegan diet two days ago and dont't plan on quitting. Ever.
This book puts all the myths aside. Food choices are available at the grocery store. And there are no portions. Fruit, vegetables and nuts are major source of your food intake.
Unless you've followed the nutritional program described in this book, you cannot adequately review this book. I have lost 11 pounds in less than one month. BUT, the biggest change though has been a significant reduction in joint & muscle pain. My blood pressure is now running around 116/68 instead of 140/80 without any medication. I have not have my blood work done yet; that it still a few weeks away, but I'm expecting good things. I read "Eat to Live" to improve my health and losing weight was just a very nice side affect. This is a new way of life for me and something I can continue to live with.
This book has absolutely changed my life. After I completely read this book I decided to put it to the test and have lost 10+ pounds in three to four weeks, plus I have lowered my cholesterole-sugar-sodium and triglycerides levels. I have learned to eat nutritious foods, not delicious foods. I feel lighter, more satisfied-less hungry and healthy. I eat fish and meat (turkey-chicken) only once a week pan grilled or baked not fried. I recommend this book to anyone who is struggling with health issues such as obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterole, and high sugar. But you must commit to yourself to get healthier by eating nutritious food and exercising. I hope you will read this book and let it change your life too as it has mine.
It does work but not realistic to keep meat out of your diet for so long. Was able to keep on diet for 3months before introducing meat back into diet. Lost a lot of weight in three months. Love the idea behind this way of life though.
I'm almost done reading this on my NOOK and find that I am really paying attention to what I eat. So many facts about the vegies I always loved but didn't know the goodness (vitamins and minerals) that really was in them! I'm eating more fruit than before and although I like fruit, was never a big fan. Always ate more vegies. Now tho...more fruit and even more vegies and I really do feel better. I seem to be sleeping better and some arthritis seems to be less painful. It will be a process to weed out some of the things I grew up eating without thought but it will take time and mindful thinking... I have recommended this already to others. Enjoying and highlighting lots of information!!
Fuhrman debunks the dairy and meat lobby's claims that consuming them is essential to robust good health. Quite the contrary - and he has the science to prove it. Very convincing. Perhaps a plant based diet is the way to go for a longer, healthier life with energy from the sun transformed through plant foods. Reading this book has changed how I eat as I continue to make changes and see first hand what a positive difference they are making in my waistline, energy, and Overall wellbeing. Highly recommend.