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Authors: Joel Fuhrman; Neal D. Barnard

Tags: #Fasting, #Health & Fitness, #Nutrition, #Diets, #Medical, #Diet Therapy, #Therapeutic Use

Fasting and Eating for Health

BOOK: Fasting and Eating for Health
7.81Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub



"Dr. Joel Fuhrman is a rising star in the medical community. His program for vibrant health and his approach to healing should be integral parts of every physician's standard prescription. A diet of fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes allows the body's own rejuvenative powers to work, often with surprising results. And fasting has shown a remarkable effect in conditions that may have been thought to be virtually untreatable. Dr. Fuhrman's powerful and practical guidelines apply for conditions ranging from the common cold to serious heart problems. This program provides an alternative to the cost and all-too-common side effects of surgery and drugs."


Director of Preventive Medicine

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

"By individually tailoring nutrition plans based on a case-by-case basis, Fuhrman has treated hundreds of patients with rheumatoid arthritis successfully."

—Vegetarian Times

"As a family physician who has used nutrition and healthy lifestyle as the basis of my practice for over ten years, I believe that the information in Dr.

Fuhrman's book is essential for every practicing physician who genuinely wants to get his sick patients well and keep his well patients from getting sick.

Although some physicians give lip service to the value of health promotion, the profession as a whole has little idea of the tremendous degree to which lifestyle affects health and disease. The result is that people are unnecessarily sick, and expensive, high-tech treatments are not making them well. Dr. Fuhrman presents a better solution in this book.
This is where the future of medicine
should be heading


"Dr. Fuhrman's approach is a refreshing change from the high-tech, symptom-oriented, medical and surgical treatments that dominate medical care today.

This is neither alternative medicine nor conservative medicine, but rather progressive medicine. By aiming his treatment at the underlying causes of many chronic diseases rampant in our society, Dr. Fuhrman's approach offers individuals suffering from these diseases the only real chance for a meaningful cure. I have been fortunate to observe many of these outcomes firsthand and can testify to the power of this approach for certain diseases."


"Dr. Fuhrman's book is revolutionary. It shows clearly and unmistakably the way to recover health, and could change the prevailing way of treating disease."


"If you are lucky, you will read Dr. Fuhrman's book before you have subjected 3

yourself to medications and medical procedures. This book is for those who want to take charge over their health and well-being, for those who want to 4

embark on a journey towards a more satisfying life."


"As a family physician who deals with chronically ill people on a daily basis, I know that every health seeker in America will want to read this book. It provides a working knowledge of vital information that is currently known to relatively few people. Share it with those you love."


"Finally, a modern-day, scientific book about fasting and nutritional intervention to reverse disease. It will be nothing less than a complete revolution in health care, watching millions throw away their medication and get well when the information in this book is utilized by our society. Every person in America must learn about this safe, noninvasive approach for getting well. Nothing else can equal the ability of the therapeutic fast to unleash the healing potential within every patient."


"Dr. Fuhrman's book places the ancient healing practices of diet and fasting into the hands of modem practitioners—and their patients. Thought-provoking and sure to be controversial, this guide will be seen as one of the mileposts on our journey towards sane, affordable health care, based upon simpler and more natural methods. It will be valued by anyone seeking more vitality, a greater understanding of their body, or aid in overcoming a personal health challenge."








A Medical Doctor's Program for Conquering Disease

St. Martin's Griffin M New York

Note to the reader

The information provided in this book is intended to describe the potential benefits of a natural diet and therapeutic fasting. However, any decision involving the treatment of an illness should be made only after consulting the physician of your choice. Do not start, stop, or change medications without professional medical advice, and do not change your diet if you are ill or on medication, except while under the care of a physician. Neither this nor any other book should be used as a substitute for professional medical care or treatment.

Fasting—and Eating—for Health
is not meant to be a how-to guide to self-conducted fasting. Readers should take important note that all fasts should be conducted under the supervision of a qualified doctor trained in the use of therapeutic fasting.

The names of patients discussed in this book have been changed, along with certain identifying characteristics.

FASTING—AND EATING—FOR HEALTH. Copyright © 1995 by Joel Fuhrman, M.D. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. For information, address St.

Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010.

I dedicate this book to Lisa, my wife of thirteen years. Her support and encouragement have enabled me to pursue my personal visions and helped make this book a reality. Without her devotion to our three beautiful daughters, I would not have had the peace of mind to devote myself to the project of writing this book, on top of the sixty hours a week I spend in my medical practice.



This book would not have been possible without earlier work by pioneers of nutritional healing, especially Herbert Shelton.

I greatly appreciated the help in editing this book from my sister, Elen Weiss.

My friend Max Huberman also spent many hours editing and offering sage advice. I am sincerely in debt for his gracious help.

Doris Walfield also made valuable contributions to the manuscript.

I will always be grateful to my father, Seymour Fuhrman, who, more than anyone else, influenced my thinking about health. His conviction and enthusiasm for learning about health science spurred my interest.

I thank my three daughters, Talia, Jenna, and Cara, for their cooperation in allowing me to write this book. They have graciously sat by my side or on my lap while I worked at the computer.


Table of Contents

Foreword by Neal D. Barnard, M.D.



1. Fasting for Physical Rejuvenation


2. Improper Nutrition: The Major Cause of Disease 24

3. Understanding Health and Disease


4. Headaches and Hypoglycemia: Two Misunderstood Conditions 76

5. The Road Back to a Healthy Heart the Natural Way 101

6. Recovery from Diabetes Through Optimal Nutrition 127

7. Autoimmune Disease: A Superior Approach


8. Overweight and Other Chronic Medical Conditions Respond to Fasting 173

9. A Chapter for Physicians and for Readers Who Want More Technical Information 194

10. What to Expect on Your First Fast


Chapter Notes



A revolution is occurring in the world of modern medicine. We now have powerful tools against conditions that previously had defied our strongest medical treatments. Where drugs and surgery have failed, these emerging techniques bring results that surprise the doctor and delight the patient.

Joel Fuhrman, M.D., is leading that revolution. He is one of the most remarkable physicians in America, and it is no surprise that many doctors, including me, often refer patients to him and call on his advice. Dr. Fuhrman is not only an expert in modern medical diagnosis and treatment, but also has developed a unique expertise in strengthening the body's innate abilities to restore health, often from very serious conditions, without the need for medications. Dr. Fuhrman is putting these techniques within the reach of everyone.

We all know that our bodies naturally rebound from a cold or "flu." Our white blood cells seek out and destroy the invading viruses, and all we have to do is get out of their way and let them work. But our ability to restore good health goes much further than that. Built into our cells are natural mechanisms that can clean cholesterol, fat, and debris from our arteries; restore health to joints that are attacked by arthritis; and bring us to a level of health that we may never have anticipated. The key to unleashing these wonderful functions lies in the nutrients the body has to work with.

As Dr. Fuhrman shows us, the right nutrients can turn on these abilities, while the wrong nutrients—which are all too common in the standard western diet—can leave these abilities buried forever. The most amazing results, however, come when the body is given a complete rest from the work of digestion and assimilation of food.

Therapeutic fasting goes back thousands of years, of course, and was long regarded by doctors as being more appropriate for philosophers than physicians. Researchers, however, have investigated what occurs when the body takes a short break from nutrients. They have studied the biochemical events that occur in the bloodstream, in the joints, in the fat tissues, and in the brain, and have found astonishing results.

Rheumatic arthritis, for example, has long challenged physicians. Existing drugs are too weak to change the course of the disease, and are usually used to make the patient more comfortable as the joint destruction progresses. But several teams of researchers have shown that within days of beginning a supervised fast, the joints cool down, and as the foods that triggered the arthritis are identified and then avoided, the disease often disappears, never to return.

Scientific journals have now embraced this knowledge, and a growing number of doctors are putting it to use in their daily practice. Individuals should work with these doctors, rather than fast on their own, because while 9

fasting is safe, it is also powerful and should be monitored as health returns.

Dr. Fuhrman is foremost in this new generation of medical leaders. The information he provides in this volume is clear and practical and of vital interest to patients and doctors alike.

I am grateful to Dr. Fuhrman for assembling this remarkable work, and recommend it to you wholeheartedly.


President, Physicians Committee for

Responsible Medicine



Therapeutic fasting accelerates the healing process and allows the body to recover from serious disease in a dramatically short period of time. In my practice I have seen fasting eliminate lupus and arthritis, remove chronic skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, heal the digestive tract in patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, and quickly eliminate cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure and angina. In these cases the recoveries were permanent: fasting enabled longtime disease sufferers to unchain themselves from their multiple toxic drugs and even eliminate the need for surgery, which was recommended to some of them as their only solution.

As a means for recovery from disease, fasting has hit the front pages of major medical publications due to its recognized effectiveness in well-controlled scientific studies. Although fasting has been around as a therapeutic approach for thousands of years, only now is the medical profession studying the broad-reaching reparative properties of the fast. Even with this progress, most of the medical community and the general public are still unaware that the medically supervised fast is the safest and most effective treatment for many dangerous but common illnesses.

The health of our nation is not improving; in fact, we are getting sicker.

Changes are developing in health care, and the public is more aware that a problem exists. Our economy is weighed down by an expensive and largely ineffective medical system that relies on expensive tests, treatments, and last-minute heroics to attempt to combat the harmful effects of a nation poisoning itself with a rich, disease-causing diet.

The U.S. Public Health Services, in a progress report of its "Healthy People 2000" program to reduce the prevalence of chronic disease in the nation, found no improvement in the overall dietary practices of Americans between 1976 to 1980 and 1992. This conclusion is based on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In fact, we now have the most overweight population in the history of mankind.

BOOK: Fasting and Eating for Health
7.81Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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