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Eat For Health Paperback – September 1, 2012
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About the Author
Joel Fuhrman M.D. is a board-certified family physician, nutritional researcher, and best-selling author who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional and natural methods. As one of the country's leading experts on nutrition and natural healing, Dr. Fuhrman has appeared on hundreds of radio and television shows including: The Dr. Oz Show, Today, Good Morning America, Discovery Channel, and the TV Food Network. His public television shows, "3 Steps To Incredible Health!" and "Dr. Fuhrman's Immunity Solution!" bring nutritional science into homes across America. Dr. Fuhrman is actively involved in scientific research in human nutrition. His discoveries on food addiction and human hunger were published in the scientific journal, Nutrition Journal, in November 2010 entitled, The Changing Perception of Hunger on a High Nutrient Density Diet. Dr. Fuhrman is the research director of the Nutritional Research Foundation and the creator of the ANDI food scoring system used by Whole Foods Market where he serves on their scientific advisory board.
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I highly recommend Eat for Health. If anything, it'll give you great, interesting information, and then you can make a decision as to whether this path is for you. It educated me big time, and it changed my thinking to focus on the benefits of eating the good stuff, rather than on the drawbacks of eating the bad stuff. It gives a compelling case as to why it's so important to eat the micro-nutrients in fruits and vegetables (vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals). When thinking about diet, many people think about the things that are bad, that they want to keep out of their diet (calories, processed foods, etc.). This book, instead, makes a compelling case to focus on the good things - they things we should be eating for good health, and why, and it encourage us to focus on those good things and make progress toward eating more of them over time. The focus is on eating more (of the healthy stuff), not less (of the unhealthy stuff), understanding why that's important. I love that approach.
The book also includes truly delicious recipes - they're really a delight to eat, though some take time to prepare, so my secret weapon is spending 1.5-2hr with my wife once a week making smoothies for the whole week (based on some of the recipes in the book). I drink two 24 oz glasses of smoothie every morning. After I started doing that, my body started craving the micro-nutrients in fruits and vegetables at other times of the day. So now I fully enjoy eating fruits and vegetables, and they keep me in good health. I don't worry about avoiding other foods, but it turns out I end up eating mostly fruits and vegetables because that's what my body craves and I've learned to make or find delicious tastes. Thank you Dr. Fuhrman for bringing joy and health into my life.
This book eliminates these issues, for the most part. If you read this book and follow the advice, you can buy everything you need to succeed from a local grocery store or produce market. The book does mention a few low sodium seasonings and vinegars sold by Dr. Fuhrman but in every case it suggests you can also use other alternatives. For example, a recipe may say "1/4 cup of Dr. Fuhrman's Riesling Reserve Vinegar or other fruit flavored vinegar". His products are designed with natural high nutrient products and low or no sodium as his book suggests you should eat. But he doesn't state that you must buy his products to be healthy. His products are simply an alternative he offers . I honestly have yet to purchase any of his products so I can not give any opinion on the quality of his products. Dr. Fuhrman also offers a subscription based website but the book doesn't try to sell this as needed for success. It is simply an option if you need support.
The premise of this book is to eat primarily foods that are highest in nutrients. Our bodies do not crave food. They crave nutrients. Most of our eating habits leave us full of food but still lacking in nutrients our bodies need. Most people live on highly processed foods, fast food restaurants, high sodium foods, and foods with excess added sugar. We eat pound after pound of these foods but still feel hungry because they don't contain nutrients our body requires for health. Taking pills and supplements may help slightly but these pills are not a substitute for natural food nutrients.
This "diet" is heavy on raw and cooked fresh fruits and vegetables. The book lists which fruits and vegetables offer the most nutrients per serving. It encourages eating a pound of raw and a pound of cooked fruits and vegetables every day. By doing so, you fill up on high nutrient, lower calorie foods and have less room for the other foods. While he doesn't state you must become a vegetarian, he does encourage cutting meat intake to less than 10% of your weekly food intake. He also suggests reducing or eliminating most grain-based foods as these offer very few nutrients.
I have been following this new plan for just under three weeks as I write this review. I eat so much food (have you ever seen how much food a pound of raw veggies is?) that I am rarely hungry. I have also, in under three weeks, eliminated my constant "sweet tooth" I have fought with all my life. By reducing the intake of added and processed sugars, your body actually craves them less (or not at all). I have learned to follow up my salad with a piece of fresh fruit it sometimes a few pieces if dried pineapple or other natural "treats". I still go out to eat now and then with friends and sometimes induldge in a juicy cheeseburger or chicken based meal. However, I have no more interest in ordering soda or desserts. After three weeks following this plan, I have little to no interest of putting these unnecessary and potentially harmful chemicals into my body. To date, I have lost 11 pounds just be focussing on eating fresh, natural, unprocessed nutrient foods as suggested in this book. I have also continued my normal workout plan of 5-6 hours per week at the gym, which I have done for many years so this recent weight loss is not attributed at all to a change in exercise.
Most diet plans focus on restricting calories which is just not sustainable. This plan guides you back to eating the basic foods our anscestors ate for survival and why this is healthier than what we get from boxed, bagged, canned, and fast foods. I am confident that I can I continue to focus on eating a majority of my foods from natural high nutrient sources, I will continue to lose and eventually sustain healthy weight without counting calories, spending endless hours at the gym, or giving up occasional indulgences such as eating out with friends.
I have not read any of Dr. Fuhrman's other books or purchased any of his other products nor have I spent much time researching his website or his background. I am strongly sold on the guidance in this book because it follows logical common sense, it doesn't focus on selling anything but the suggestion to eat better foods from your local market, and it offers principles that everyone should be able to incorporate into a life long "diet".
Lastly, I am a 47yo caucasion male from Wisconsin (raised on meat, cheese, and beer) weighing in at 228 pounds to start and dropping to 217 pounds after 19 days following the books nutrition suggestions. I would strongly suggest reading this book whether or not you choose to follow it strictly or just learn better basic nutritional eating.