Eat to Live...A Review
I just read the book "Eat to Live" by Joel Fuhrman, MD. The book outlines principles which according to the author are the only way to permanently lose weight and insure a long life, free of diseases. While the book emphasizes weight loss, it claims to have the solution to many health problems and how to achieve a long, healthy life.
Fuhrman lists a large number of conditions and diseases that are resolved through his program. Among these are allergies, asthma, arthritis, cardiovascular disease and intestinal diseases. While he comes short of saying the regime also cures cancer, he does state that it is the only way to prevent cancer.
Essentially, what he proposes in "Eat to Live" is a totally vegetarian program. This is not new at all. What is new is that he adds oils and fats, and refined products and many other processed foods containing calories empty of nutrients to the list of products that should not be consumed and that he prescribes eating as much as possible of the nutritious foods that are allowed. Vitamins and supplements are no substitute for the real thing.
He postulates that the only foods containing plenty of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals are vegetables. Phytochemicals are nutrients available only in vegetables, and are needed for the proper function of the body. It is precisely because all other foods don't have these nutrients that we have cravings for food. Once the body is satisfied by the consumption of nutritious vegetables, this "toxic hunger" disappears.
He proposes that everyone should try his program for six weeks to allow the body to absorb nutrients and become accustomed to the new regime. The book has plenty of pictures of people that lost hundreds of pounds following his program and have kept the weight off. He claims to have thousands of patients in his program with miraculous health results.
According to the author, the only proven way to insure longevity is by consuming large amounts of raw green vegetables and fruits, excluding all animal products, dairy products, sugars and juices. At most, only 10 percent of the diet should include animal products. Milk and cheese are not good sources of calcium at all and he lists all kinds’ alternative leafy greens that contain far more calcium.
The trick to permanently losing weight and achieving good health is consuming the largest amount of nutrients possible per calorie ingested, and this can only be achieved by eating large amounts of green leafy vegetables.
He claims that meat, fish and eggs are not the only source of protein, and that vegetables contain far more protein and nutrients. "Salad is the main dish" is the motto of his program. Cooked vegetables, fruits and plenty of beans and nuts should also be consumed.
He states that the foods that are recommended by the health establishment and consumed by most people are the cause of the many diseases we have today.
Health comes in the proportion that we consume nutritious foods per calorie (H = N/C). The larger the proportion, the better health will be, and longer life expectancy results.
I tried the diet for a week and was perplexed by how well I felt. After a few days you hit a wall of "toxic hunger" that must be overcome by eating plenty of raw vegetables. After that, you lose all interest in the other non-nutritious foods. It is very gratifying to see how fast and easy becomes losing weight.
While the program may not be for all, all should be aware of the consequences that a bad diet has on the quality and length of life of all. I believe we owe it to ourselves and our families to be informed about the positive effects of good nutrition.
I recommend reading the book for those interested in their health. It contains a wealth of information about nutrition. Joel Fuhrman has published a number of books and the program has been featured in PBS.