on May 28, 2014
I've read dozens of nutrition books, and Dr Joel Fuhrman has become far & away my most trusted source. Read ANY of his books! Superimmunity is still my favorite. This one is more focused on weight loss (including psychological aspects) and slightly less specifically about the diseases of affluence that kill most of us, but it is more of the same facts & same message to eat copious quantities of greens & other whole vegetables, ample berries, nuts, seeds, & legumes, little or no animal products (even lowering his limits in this newest book), moderate INTACT whole grains, no sweeteners (caloric nor artificial), little or no processed foods, and zero trans fats. It's not the macronutrients, but the micronutrients!
In this latest book, I particularly liked his criticisms of other diets. He attacks the Atkins/Paleo crowd for too much animal protein and too few nuts, seeds, & beans--just what I felt about Good Calories Bad Calories and The Calorie Myth--although the latter acknowledges Fuhrman and follows his lead in pushing for large amounts of phytonutrient-rich non-starchy vegetables.
In fact, Fuhrman covered every one of my concerns with Jonathan Bailor's popular new (low carb high meat) book The Calorie Myth (which is still well worth reading AFTER Fuhrman). Bailor really pushes soy protein powders but here Fuhrman explains some concerns about protein powders (although not mentioning the hexane used in extraction).
It may take 20+ years for the heightened levels of IGF-1 in Paleo dieters to surface as detectable cancer, but watch out! Fuhrman agrees with the low-carb concepts, but instead of falling into the meat trap, he incorporates low-carbs into a much broader health scenario (with protein from greens & beans). He still prefers algal supplements to fish for EPA & DHA, and he advises wild fish because of contaminants like dioxin in farmed fish.
This time, he goes into a bit more detail about carbohydrates, soy isolates, meat, and especially dairy raising the IGF-1 hormone, resulting in fat, cancer, atherosclerosis, hypertension, aging, and any monster you care to name. Even the Calorie Restriction Society turns out to have significantly higher IGF-1 than vegans.
Fuhrman attacks the anti-wheat crowd (Grain Brain & Wheat Belly) for confusing flour with intact grains. He attacks the USDA for just about everything--too much meat, dairy, & grain, not enough vegetables, nuts, & beans. (Really, it's too much politics and corporate influence.) He attacks aspects of the Mediterranean diet (pasta & olive oil). He even politely indicts the China Study / vegan crowd for too little plant fat (avocado, coconut, olives, nuts, & seeds). He is right on target!
Another topic now covered in a bit more detail is the danger of yo-yo dieting and how regained weight tends to be the more dangerous visceral fat (belly/organs) rather than subcutaneous fat.
He reduces his acceptance of eggs on pg 146 stating, "a 23 percent increased death rate from those eating more than one egg a day", but I'm pretty sure the death rate is 100% (just like taxes), even for vegans. Besides, if you divide us into ovophiles & ovophobes, the egg-eating crowd surely also consumes more pepperoni pizza & ice cream, so such correlations, the backbone of much nutritional advice, should not be swallowed too gullibly.
(Fortunately) There's nothing remarkably different from his other books, yet they're all worth reading. In this one he adds further information, clarification, case histories, and recipes, and it's at least as good as the others. Now he elevates the importance of raw onions & cooked mushrooms. He explains that onions must be chopped before cooking to break cell walls to release the alliinase enzyme for chemical conversions, just like the enzyme myrosinase in cruciferous vegies that converts glucosides to isothiocyanates. (My hypothesis, if you like your roasted garlic whole, [as with cruciferous] is to eat a little raw green onions with any cooked allium so that the alliinase enzyme is reintroduced.)
Some reviewers complain that this book is just a repeat of prior books, and while it is mostly that, why not read this now instead of re-reading the older ones. Fuhrman is worth re-reading.
Some reviewers object to the title because this is "yet another diet", although it is more of an informed lifestyle. Of course you don't count calories or watch the scale, but I also completely ignore the mentions of portion sizes, percentages, and schedules and just eat by the concepts (but do correlate your carbohydrate intake to the caloric demands anticipated after the meal). The title helps make this the perfect gift to several fad-diet yo-yo-weight friends for whom I hope it is The Last Diet. (But such a title might sound too fatal.)
The appendix is a suitably cautious review of supplements, advising the possibility of a few like vitamins B12 & D but mostly warning of specific dangers, well in accord with advice in Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition and in The Vitamin D Solution. Iodine, zinc, and DHA are covered.
Dr Fuhrman is a genuine healer, weaning people off of medications and into healthy lifestyles. He points out how detrimental our medical paradigm is, not only to our health but also to the nation's economy--with diabesity and its direct costs already unprecedented in human history and slated to rise to astronomical proportions if we don't quickly and radically change our paradigm from medical intervention to healthy eating. It's amazing that most doctors don't even know and won't hear of his simple plant-based healings.
Searching for any criticism of his principles, all I can muster is that he could say more about spices (see Healing Spices by Aggarwal), doesn't mention circadian rhythms in relation to insulin & weight (see Lights Out, with reservations), and prefers "unnatural" (newly invented) algal extracts over my delicious salmon & herring as sources of EPA & DHA (in accord with The China Study crowd & lowering IGF-1). I can't recall if he has ever discussed oxylate concerns (e.g. in spinach & almonds) or the goitrogenic (iodine depleting) properties of cruciferous vegetables. He distinguishes starchy from non-starchy (you can eat them raw) vegetables in The End of Diabetes, but I don't recall reading it here, except in regards to potatoes. I'd also like him to discuss low-fructose versus high-fructose fruits, as incompletely mentioned in The Calorie Myth. Nor has he yet addressed my concerns about the benefits and detriments of coconut and its oil.
These very minor "criticisms" are really "grasping at straws" because Fuhrman is more unassailable than any other nutritional advisor. Fuhrman is THE ONE to follow.
I'm neither overweight, diabetic, nor ill, yet this book was a valuable read, as was his The End of Diabetes (most especially the chapter on legumes) and his Superimmunity.
After Fuhrman, I also suggest reading Anticancer by Servan-Schreiber, Foods To Fight Cancer by Beliveau, Healthy At 100 by John Robbins, The Calorie Myth (but don't eat his way), and the delightful new Death By Food Pyramid by Minger.
Whether you choose this latest book or an earlier one, Fuhrman is your ticket to health wisdom. Then the real challenge is to implement it in your daily life, and he addresses that motivation in this book mostly through testimonials. To your health!
8/14/14: I have added more, as a comment.
on March 25, 2014
I have read Dr. Fuhrman's, Eat To Live, Eat For Health and Super Immunity. This book BY FAR is his best one yet. I am almost done with it. Chapter two is titled diet myths exposed. I loved his take on SAD (standard American diet), Paleo Diet, Mediterranean Diet, Wheat Belly Diet and some low-fat fallacies. That chapter alone is worth the price of the book. But the best chapter by far is where he explains "The Plan" in chapter six. He details this eating plan so anyone can get it. I call Dr. Fuhrman the "salad man."
What makes this book good also is the testimonies of those who regained their health by eating this way. And the recipes in the back are an extra bonus. So if you are looking at any of his books---start with this one first. By far his best.
on August 11, 2014
Deciding between Eat To Live or The End of Dieting:
In this book, compared with his others, it's a lot easier to read, but it's a bit more "trust the doctor" versus laying out a massive scientific pile of evidence. So if you are a born skeptic, get Eat to Live. If you accept that veggies are good for you, then skip that and just get to "follow the good doctor's advice" of this book.
I also felt Eat To Live is a harsher diet... it's very, very strict, and if followed to the letter, will result in faster weight loss and health benefits. It's just really, really hard. In The End of Dieting, he loosens up a bit, and it may take you 3-4 times longer to get the results, but will be easier going there.
If you have a major medical issue and are facing heart surgery, for example, get Eat To Live and take the tough medicine.
If you just have 20-30 pounds to lose or want to just eat healthier to avoid FUTURE health issues, then go easy on yourself and do The End of Dieting.
About the content:
If you read enough diet/nutrition books, you start to ask youself? What is common knowledge and what is new here? In general, folks, NEW IS BAD.
For lasting health with few side effects, find the "common ground" of all diets that have worked in the past.
For Fuhrman, his diet is based on common sense and what we all know in the back of our minds to be true. We need to eat less meat and cheese, and a lot more veggies (and fruit, just under some reasonable control).
What this book does however, is give you the vast science behind it so you can justify the fact that, let's be honest, steamed asparagus is NEVER going to taste as good as a donut or peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
So I absolutely believe that of all the diet books out there, all of them, this one is the healthiest. It's just not easy.
on April 1, 2014
This is the first hardcover book I've bought by Dr.F, when I read Eat to Live & Super Immunity, they were both on my iPhone. End of Dieting is BY FAR the best book ever written by Dr. Furhman. My single complaint is that I wish he wrote it twice as long. In the first 120 pages, it's a scientific tour de force. He absolutely exposes all of the diets, many of which I've been on, and connects their risks & dangers to experiences which are immediately relatable. I found in this pages diagnosis for incidents that have happened to me in the past, such as an extreme arrhythmia I suffered for 2 days with palpitations when I was heavily on an all-protein/ no carb diet while I was body building; I could have died. I can't believe it; the book has both inspired me and shaken me in my shoes because I feel so fortunate to have found this truth. I can't call it a diet anymore because it's not that. I'm proud to say, possibly for the first time here, I'm a 100% Committed Nutritarian! I've sorta shunned that label, using Vegan in public to get the point across in a single word to a waiter, and it worked like a charm while traveling on business. But inside, I'm much more than that. The new research he incorporates, even since Super Immunity, it simply overwhelming. In the chapter on G-Bombs, there are 76 References! 76! With many often having 2, 3 & 4 studies showing conclusive data so conclusive it's int eh title of the paper often; and most often published since 2010! The data that's coming out to support this is only outshone by the results I've seen.
There was always a voice inside my head that said "One Day"... "One Day" you'll be thin and can eat a piece of cheesecake again... "One Day" you can enjoy free range meat... "One Day" you can drink you happy ass drunk again... After reading End of Dieting, there won't be any One Days in my future. I'm now thinking "Last Days"... when you give up smoking, you don't sneak a cigarette 4-6 times a year. You don't smoke; it's that simple. After EOD, I'm giving up SAD food completely. And I feel great about it; blessed even!
If you were worried it may be a recycle of earlier info, it's not. It has a ton of new research that makes the ETL eating plan even more compelling and key to your healthy future on this earth. Do yourself a favor, pick up a copy as best you can, read it thoroughly and enjoy the inspiration to reinvigorate your healthful eating!
on March 28, 2014
This is a great book but I'm left with some frustrating questions.
Dr. Fuhrman knocks the Paleo diet for being high in animal fats yet many Paleo followers eat a mostly plant based diet with healthy fat, nuts, seeds, fruit and smaller amounts of protein (not all of us are chomping on turkey legs all day). He also finds fault with the Paleo diet because they tell you not to eat beans because of the lectins and phytates in them, yet he never defends beans for this specific issue (i've done searches to see if he's ever addressed this), rather he just ignores it. He pushes beans yet many other doctors tell you to avoid them. I would love to know his thinking on this… I know their other benefits because he makes sure to tell you but what about the lectins and phytates?????
Also, this book is a little outdated on the relationship between fat and getting fat… lately it's been proven that dietary fat does not make you fat. There is so much conflicting information with many other well known doctors and scientists saying lately that grass fed butter and saturated fats and eggs are all good for the brain an body in general. I just wish Dr. Fuhrman had addressed this more… at least on his website.
I've read Dr. Fuhrman's other books and this is the same diet he has advised for many years, but with more information. For example, he goes into detail about how eating animal protein raises our risk for cancer and other diseases. He does say for meat eaters like me, 1.5 ounces a day shouldn't really hurt anything. What I still cannot grasp in my mind is, are we really eating that much more meat than our ancestors, and if not there must be other reasons our cancer rates have skyrocketed. It makes sense that it is a combination of factors like lack of exercise, increase in unhealthy, refined vegetable oils (that we have used in this country to replace saturated fats as per the "experts") along with refined carbohydrates (we had to fill up on something since we cut out healthy fats!) along with a decrease in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Then of course, we have all of the environmental toxins etc...
We get so much conflicting information these days I don't know what to believe! I do believe the main point here is eat LOTS and LOTS of vegetables, making it the main dish and not the side dish. That's great, but as far as not eating any animal protein, I am just not buying it. Other doctors who say eating animal protein is fine point to other studies. Which studies are we supposed to believe? Read "Grain Brain", written by perhaps the top neurologist in the country and you will understand and be completely convinced that cutting out healthy fats like olive oil and yes... some saturated fats which are necessary for our bodies to function properly is actually detrimental to our health. Yet, Dr. Fuhrman tells us to cut out olive oil, fish and watch our consumption of avocado because it is "fatty". He recommends against saturated fats and deems them unhealthy. He has you eating huge quantities of fruits (what about insulin surges?) and tons of vegetables. Fine, but look at what the longest lived people on earth are eating. As per the "Jungle Effect" (the absolute best book I have ever read on diet, along with "Grain Brain") it is vegetables (and not huge amounts either), some fruit (not a lot), nuts, seeds, whole grains and yes, some saturated fat! Some pork, some cheese, yogurt, butter... some beef and chicken, lots of fish along with plenty of olive oil. Who can argue with the way that populations who have the highest number of centenarians are eating? All you have to do is look at the results in these populations and what they are eating, not listen to doctors who base their information on "scientific studies". We have forgotten how to eat thanks to all of these scientific studies and doctors trying to tell us what to eat and what not to eat. It's a low-fat, high carb diet that is causing obesity in this country, not fat!
In response to another reviewer, I do appreciate that Dr. Fuhrman addresses the fact that yes, he does sell his own products and some people have criticized him. He has been called out by some for endorsing them in his books etc... Sure the guy wants to make money... who doesn't? But I don't think he does this in a manipulative way at all. I feel the main thing for him is he wants to offer products that are not on the market which adhere to his way of eating and besides, he offers recipes for his products if you want to make them yourself. He doesn't push you into anything. If it's easier for you, they are there and you can purchase them... that's all. I've read other diet books recently that really push you into buying their products and make you feel like you won't lose weight or detox without them and I resent it - but that's not Dr. Fuhrman!
So all in all, I think this is a great diet to "strive" for so long as you do not cut out oils and fats all together as he advises (other than nuts which he says are fine). Also, with no added fat, oil or salt you are left with a very bland diet to say the least which is extremely hard to follow and stick with. I commend Dr. Fuhrman for getting so many people eating the standard American diet to embrace vegetables, but I wish he'd reconsider his outdated views on fats!
on April 26, 2014
As always, Dr. Fuhrman brilliantly lays out the facts. I just can't decide which is the best! I lost 65 lbs following Dr. Fuhrman's Nutritarian guidelines. No more diabetes! Highly recommended for those who are ready to GET HEALTHY, the weight loss is a side effect!
I had a thyroid problem and had gained about 30 pounds. I was disgusted. While sitting and feeling sorry for myself I happened to tune to PS and there was Dr. Fuhrman. I thought yeah right I tried everything and nothing helps. But I did not tune him out, on the contrary I started to hear what he was saying and finally I started to listen.
I was totally addicted to sugar, I was so angry that I gained weight from the thyroid and no matter what I tried I could not get it off I started to eat lots of sugar and ice cream.. I figured if I was going to gain anyway why not enjoy it..
While listening to him speak I knew right then and there that this was something, I was so sure this would work I ordered his $150.00 program but I could not wait to start I went to the library and got his Eat to Live book.
I followed it to a T and lost quiet a bit of weight even before I got his program.. I read the book over and over and watched is DV's and read his recipes and was determined too get skinny again.
I lost 23 lbs in 2 months...almost down to my ideal weight. I felt healthy and the thyroid went away my blood pressure lowered and my Lupus almost disappeared. My COPD was no longer bothering me I was back to normal again.
I have been telling everyone and their uncle about this diet. I love reading his books this one is basically an extension of the Eat To Live one but it is good all the same, repetition always helps to remember what it is you are going for. This book just goes a little further and he is more understanding in this one. He shows a softer side and he explains it more.
I did go off it a little over the summer but I just started again and lost 4.5 lbs. I am so happy I found this and I am so grateful to Dr. Fuhrman for coming up with this diet/lifestyle.
I went to my urologist since I have kidney stones and he told me that by losing that weigh and getting down to normal again my chances of more stones is much slimmer, excuse the pun... that alone was worth the trouble it took to change my way of living and eating.
I said trouble but this diet, or should I say way of life is no trouble at all my addiction to sugar is gone I do not have the crazy urges for candy or cookies, my down fall. You would not believe what you get to eat huge portions of salad and fruit and vegetables.
There are ways to get support everywhere there is a nice place called Fatfreevegan.com that has a spot dedicated to the Eat To Live lifestyle and you can comment and ask questions of fellow supporters.
All of his books are fantastic but this one is just the icing on the cake once you get hold of this way of eating and you start to see the weight melt away and you feel great you will want to saturate yourself with all of the info you can get your hands on and there is another way to insure you succeed, you can get support for what you are doing on the website..
This truly is the best way to lose weight get the first book and get this one read them over an over to be sure you got it right stay on the program and get healthy...Even if you don't need to lose weight do this program anyway you will not be sorry the best side effect of any of his books is to lose weight and or get healthy.. Good luck to all of you.. You can do this!!
on March 8, 2015
Dr. Fuhrman is firing on all cylinders with this book. He goes beyond his book "Eat to Live" and addresses the psychosocial difficulties of being fat and sick and why it's so difficult to adopt a diet like this for so many people. It's as if he tied up all the other books he's written (and there are many!) and wrapped it all up with a discussion of the psychology and psychosis of being stuck in unhealthy patterns.
The only differences in the diet I see between EoD and EtL is that he didn't mention specific amounts, like instead of one pound a day of cooked and one pound a day of raw veggies, he just says large salads, double portions, whatever. He also recommends three fruits per day instead of 4.
If you want to lose weight, keep your nuts and seeds to about 1 ounce a day (about 1/4 cup) and any nuts and seeds you use to make salad dressings should count in that daily intake.
He makes a good case for why the starch-based (Esselstyn, Forks Over Knives,McDougall) eating plans are no longer the healthiest ones as nuts and seeds are now implicated in preventing cancers, inflammation, and aiding in cardiac disease and weight loss. With a MICROnutrient rich diet like this you lose your cravings fairly quickly because your body is finally getting what it needs. Don't address a MICRONUTRIENT problem with MACRONUTRIENTS.
on April 9, 2015
I have been following Dr. Fuhrman's program now for just over five months, and I have to say I've found the way I will live, and eat, for the rest of my life! I have lost 55 pounds (so far), and as of writing this, I am still losing at a steady pace of 2-3 pounds a week. My headaches, heartburn, exhaustion and depression are gone. My family hardly knows me!
I won't lie, the first couple weeks on this program were hard. It was really rough giving up the foods and flavors I was so addicted to, as well as the nearly-constant snacking I loved to do at work. Also, the time it takes to prepare all your own food can be daunting, for someone like me with a busy schedule and used to convenience foods. But wow, was it all worth it! After a couple weeks, my "tastes" began to change, so that I started to LOVE the simple flavors of fruits and vegetables, and began to really look forward to my mealtimes again. With practice, I started to get really good at cooking, and it "ate up" a lot less of my free time. And the urge to snack and overeat is GONE - I am now completely satisfied with just two or three healthy meals, and can go for 10-16 hour stretches without eating, with no discomfort at all. That part really amazed me.
The biggest benefit of all, for me personally, was the loss of my cravings and the nearly constant addiction to junk and fast foods. The first day, I did not know how I was going to live from hour to hour without them, that's how badly I was addicted! But very quickly, on Dr. Fuhrman's program, all that noise and anxiety died down completely, so that I felt a calmness and peace I never thought was possible. WITHOUT FOOD. I just no longer desire the old, unhealthy foods. That's the beauty of going - and staying - cold turkey off addictive substances. And who knew food additives like salt, sugar, oil and flour could be so addictive? Dr. Fuhrman did, and he lays it all out in the chapter on food addiction. That chapter alone changed my life.
A year ago my brother died following a ten-year heroin addiction. Watching his struggle with addiction, and seeing the parallels to my own struggles with food, was a sobering lesson. I am so grateful that Dr. Fuhrman gave me the information and tools to break free and experience a full, joyful life again. This program is simply amazing, if you have the courage to really commit to it. I recommend it to everyone I know.
on April 17, 2014
The End of Dieting is the third book by Joel Fuhrman that I have read. The basic information in each of them is very similar. If you have read one of his earlier books or seen him on television you know that his basic message is to follow a G-BOMBS (Greens, Beans, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries, Seeds) centered approach. Throughout The End of Dieting Fuhrman cites a number of research reports to support his recommendations and he devoted one chapter that focuses on why he feels that several of the current alternate diets are not healthy (or, in some cases, not as healthy as they could be). The writing in The End of Dieting is less shrill than the tone in Eat to Live and I thought The End of Dieting was an easier read. The last 25-30% of the books are recipes most of which I could have done without. The most useful ones, to me, are the salad dressings. If you are looking for good recipes there are several sites online or in countless books at your local public library. The primary area that seems to have been largely skipped over is exercise and its importance to a healthy lifestyle. Fuhrman mentions exercise in passing but a chapter or so would have been helpful for many readers.
Over the past several months I have read many books and articles on diets and nutrition. I found it interesting that several cite the same studies, just different sections, to support whatever approach the author wants to argue for. Many of the studies I have read were written by MDs and all of them are able to point to any number of patients they have had who were successful in losing weight, gaining health, and following their program with no significant issues. The End of Dieting continues this well-worn approach. If you want to hear that eating like a caveman (whatever that happened to have been) is the way to go, there are authors with impressive looking credentials who will swear that is the only way to eat. If you think wheat is poison in a package, it is easy to find someone who will agree. If you want to be a vegetarian/vegan there are bandwagons aplenty to jump on. Fuhrman is in the “vegetables, fruits and beans are good” camp but makes some allowance for small amounts of meat for those who want to indulge. In this regard, he is similar to Michael Pollan, who wrote in the New York Times Magazine (January 28, 2007) “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Pollan’s advice seems pretty sound to me. So does Fuhrman’s although it took him longer to get to the same conclusion.
One of the points that all of the books and articles I have read agree on is that the Standard American Diet (SAD) is not especially healthy. Its emphasis on processed carbs and too high in sugar seems to be directly related to the significant increase in Type II diabetes and the levels of overweight/obese people in America. SAD is a fifty year experiment in nutrition that has largely failed. Which of the other approaches might be better may still be open to debate and discussion, The End of Dieting offers a current opinion of one approach that could work for you.