Authors: Joel Fuhrman
EAT TO LIVE
The Amazing Nutrient- Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss
JOEL FUHRMAN, M.D.
Little, Brown and Company
New York Boston London
To my mother, Isabel,
for all her love and sacrifice
in memory of my father, Seymour,
for instilling in me an interest in superior nutrition
This book is not intended as a substitute for medical advice from a physician. A physician should be consulted if one is on medication or if there are any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention. This book was current as of October 2010, and as new information becomes available through research, experience, or changes to product contents, some of the data in this book may become invalid. You should seek the most up to date information on your medical care and treatment from your physician or health care professional.
Although the United States is the most powerful nation on earth, the one area in which this country does not excel is health. And the future is not bright. Almost a third of our young children are obese, and many do not exercise. No matter how much information becomes available about the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle and a diet heavily dependent on processed foods, we don’t change our ways. Ideally, Americans should be able to translate financial well-being into habits that lead to longer and better lives, untroubled by expensive and chronic medical illnesses. Yet, in the United States, as well as western Europe, Russia, and many other affluent countries, the majority of adults are overweight and undernourished. While high-quality nutrition is readily available throughout the United States, the American public, rich and poor, is drawn to eating unhealthy food. Indeed, the list of top calorie sources for Americans includes many items I do not consider “real” foods, including milk, cola, margarine, white bread, sugar, and pasteurized processed American cheese.
Though smoking has received a lot of attention for the dangers it poses to public health, and cigarettes have been heavily lobbied against, obesity is a more important predictor of chronic ailments and quality of life than any other public scourge. In a recent survey of 9,500 Americans, 36 percent were overweight
and 23 percent were obese, yet only 19 percent were daily smokers and 6 percent heavy drinkers. Several reasons for this epidemic of obesity in modern life have been offered. There is the pervasive role of advertising in Western society, the loss of family and social cohesiveness, the adoption of a sedentary lifestyle, and the lack of time to prepare fresh foods. In 1978, 18 percent of calories were eaten away from home; the figure is now 36 percent. In 1970, Americans ate 6 billion fast-food meals. By 2000, the figure was 110 billion.
Poor nutrition can also result in less productivity at work and school, hyperactivity among children and adolescents, and mood swings, all of which heighten feelings of stress, isolation, and insecurity. Even basic quality-of-life concerns such as constipation are affected, resulting in Americans spending $600 million annually on laxatives.
With time, the ravages of obesity predispose the typical American adult to depression, diabetes, and hypertension and increase the risks of death in all ages and in almost every ethnic and gender group. The U.S. Surgeon General has reported that 300,000 deaths annually are caused by or related to obesity. The incidence of diabetes alone has risen by a third since 1990, and treatment costs $100 billion a year. The illnesses caused by obesity also lead to more lost workdays than any other single ailment and increase pharmaceutical and hospital expenditures to palliate untreatable degenerative conditions.
Government policy has had limited power to stem the tide of obesity, yet our nation’s leaders have supported formal reports calling for a national effort to raise awareness of the dangers of being overweight. As a part of the Healthy People 2010 initiative, the federal government has proposed several steps to reduce chronic diseases associated with diet and weight through the promotion of better health and nutritional habits. It has set dietary guidelines and has encouraged physical exercise, but these efforts have not managed to change the minds, or strengthen the hearts, of most Americans. It is clear to the public that a minor change in one’s eating habits will hardly transform one’s
life so readily. So the public turns to magic cures, pills, supplements, drinks, and diet plans that simply don’t work or are unsafe. After a few failures, they give up hope.
Unlike for many diseases, the cure for obesity is known. Studies with thousands of participants have demonstrated that the combination of a dramatic change in eating habits and daily exercise results in weight loss, including a 60 percent reduction in the chance of developing chronic ailments, such as diabetes. Disseminating detailed information on these barriers is relatively easy, yet the plethora of diet books and remedies has created a complex and contradictory array of choices for those who are desperate to lose weight. With the publication of Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s book, outlining a perfectly rational, straightforward, and sustainable diet, I believe we are witnessing a medical breakthrough. If you give this diet your complete commitment, there is no question in my mind that it will work for you.
In creating this plan, Dr. Fuhrman, a world expert in nutrition and obesity research, has gone beyond the dietary guidelines set up by the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association. Importantly,
Eat to Live
takes these nationally endorsed standards a quantum step further. Whereas conventional standards are designed for mass consumption and offer modest adjustments to our present eating habits, Dr. Fuhrman’s recommendations are designed for those seeking breakthrough results. I have referred my patients to Dr. Fuhrman and have seen firsthand how his powerful methods excite and motivate people, and have witnessed wonderful results for both weight reduction and health restoration.
I am a cardiovascular surgeon infatuated with the challenge and promise of “high-tech” medicine and surgery. Nonetheless, I have become convinced that the most overlooked tool in our medical arsenal is harnessing the body’s own ability to heal through nutritional excellence.
Dr. Fuhrman is doctor as teacher; he makes applying nutritional science to our own lives easy to learn, compelling, practical, and fun. His own common sense and his scientifically supported
solutions to many diet-induced ailments will enable many readers to achieve unexpected degrees of wellness quickly and easily. He reminds us that not all fats or carbohydrates are good or bad and that animal proteins catalyze many detrimental side effects to our health. He pushes us to avoid processed foods and to seek the rich nutrients and phytochemicals available in fresh foods. Finally, he offers a meal plan that is tasty and easy to follow. However, make no mistake, the information you will find in this book will challenge you; the scientific evidence he cites will make it harder for you to ignore the long-term impact of the typical American diet. Indeed, it is a wake-up call for all of us to make significant changes in our lives. Now is the time to put this information into action to bring optimal health to all Americans. Go for it!
Mehmet C. Oz, M.D.
Director, Cardiovascular Institute
Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center
et me tell you about a typical day in my private practice. I’ll see anywhere from two to five new patients like Rosalee. When Rosalee first walked through my door, she weighed 215 pounds and was on two medications (Glucophage and Glucotrol) to control her diabetes, as well as two more (Accupril and Maxide) to control her high blood pressure. She had tried every diet on the market and exercised but still couldn’t manage to lose the weight she wanted to. She came to me desperate to regain a healthy weight but skeptical that my program could do anything more than what she experienced in the past—failure.
I asked her what in her wildest dreams she wanted her ideal weight to be and how long it should take her to attain that goal. She thought that her ideal weight should be 125 pounds and she would like to attain that within a year. I smiled and told her that I could design a diet for her to lose about five pounds the first month or twenty pounds the first month
reduce her medications. Not surprisingly, she picked the latter.
After hearing my explanation of the program I designed for her, Rosalee was psyched. Despite all that she had learned from reading about dieting, she never realized how all the mixed messages had led her down the wrong path. The plan I outlined for Rosalee made sense to her. She said, “If I can eat all that good-tasting
food and still lose that much weight, I will definitely follow your instructions precisely.” When Rosalee returned to my office the following month, she had lost twenty-two pounds and had been off the Glucotrol for four weeks and the Maxide for two weeks. Her blood pressure was normal and her glucose was under better control on less medication. It was now time to reduce her medication even further and move to the next phase of the diet.
Rosalee is typical of the thousands of patients I have helped in my practice, men and women who are no longer overweight and chronically ill. I get such a thrill from helping these patients regain optimal health and weight that I decided to write this book to place all the most important information for weight loss and health recovery in one clear document. I needed to do this. If you implement the information in the pages that follow, you too will see potentially lifesaving results.
I also see many young women who want to lose twenty to fifty pounds quickly in anticipation of an upcoming wedding or trip to the beach. This winter I saw a swimming coach who had to look great in her bathing suit come summer. These younger and healthier individuals are typically referred by their physicians or are informed enough to know that it can be dangerous to crash-diet. My plan is not only a healthful, scientifically designed diet calculated to supply optimal nutrition while losing weight quickly, it also meets the expectations of those desiring superb health and vitality while they find their ideal weight. My diet style can be combined with an exercise program for astonishing results, but it can also be used effectively by those too ill or too overweight to exercise sufficiently.
In spite of the more than $110 million consumers spend every day on diets and “reducing” programs (more than $40 billion per year), Americans are the most obese people in history. To be considered obese, more than one-third of a person’s body must be made up of fat. A whopping 34 percent of all Americans are obese, and the problem is getting worse, not better.
Unfortunately, most weight-loss plans either don’t work or offer only minor, usually temporary, benefits. There are plenty of
“rules and counting” diets, diet drugs, high-protein programs, canned shakes, and other fads that might enable you to lose some weight for a period of time. The problem is that you can’t stay on these programs forever. What’s worse, many are dangerous.
For example, high-protein diets (and other diets rich in animal products and low in fruits and unrefined carbohydrates) are likely to significantly increase a person’s risk of colon cancer. Scientific studies show a clear and strong relationship between cancers of the digestive tract, bladder, and prostate with low fruit consumption. What good is a diet that lowers your weight but also dramatically increases your chances of developing cancer? Because of such serious drawbacks, more and more desperate people are turning to drugs and surgical procedures for weight loss.