The Eat to Live diet program is the creation of Dr. Joel Fuhrman. Unlike many who promote a high protein low carb diet the Joel Fuhrman Eat To Live diet is about vegetables, vegetables and more vegetables … with some fruit thrown in. Fuhrman recommends only a small amount of starches or meat.
Actually, Joel Fuhrman’s diet sees weight loss as secondary to improving our health. Thus it gets high marks as a healthy weight loss program and is one of the best weight loss diets. He is more concerned about preventing the plethora of ‘modern’ diseases like heart problems, arthritis and joint pain, high cholesterol and blood pressure, diabetes and even cancer. He rightly claims that his kind of eating will minimize or eliminate our odds of getting some of these horrors.
Healthy Fat Loss & Nutrient Density
Joel Fuhrman and Eat To Live are totally focused on the notion of nutrient density. The nutrients he is concerned with are not only vitamins and minerals but also phytochemicals, the substances that are unique to plants. And based on these criteria he has assigned scores to a myriad of food products. The higher their score, the higher their nutrient density.
For example, kale and collards have a score of 1000 – while a cola has a score of only 1. One of my favorite foods, spinach is a 739 while potato chips are 11. Obviously, we’re better off with spinach than chips and a coke.
Still, Fuhrman cautions that we can’t eat all our calories in the higher ranges because we would be deficient in fat. “So we have to pick some foods with lower nutrient density scores (but preferably the ones with the healthier fats) to include in our high nutrient diet."
And when eating according to nutrient density guidelines, he states that if a person who is already thin or gets a lot of exercise eats only from the high nutrient levels, they will become too thin. This is because they would be so full from nutrients and fiber that they wouldn’t get enough calories. Those of us who live to eat, rather than eat to live, can take note of this important comment.
Mealtime On The Eat To live Diet
EVERY meal – yes, breakfast, too – should begin with a GIGANTIC salad.
We should eat tons of other vegetables, too, and they can be cooked.
One cup of starchy foods is allowed every day. This includes bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, etc.
He recommends against dairy and meat – but if you absolutely must eat it, make sure that you follow his 90/10 rule, which is eat according to the diet 90% of the time and eat animal products the other 10%.
Fruits are OK, but should be fresh.
Joel Fuhrman says we should eat one pound of leafy green vegetables and one pound of other vegetables every day. Yes, that’s a lot of veggies but definitely a powerful health measure. I usually eat that much, myself. At least, I think so because I don’t measure but it’s a lot, lot, lot.
One of the things I like best about this eating program is Fuhrman’s comments on protein. We’ve had a number done on our heads because most people think that the ONLY way to get protein is to eat meat. Not so! As he points out, calorie for calorie, broccoli has more protein than beef. Take that all you "but where do you get your protein?" meat eaters!
Some people state that there isn’t enough starchy food in this diet. Fuhrman’s response is that when we’ve regained our health, or lost our excess fat, depending on our goal, we can add some starch back in. The idea is to watch the scale to see how our body is handling the increased starch rations.
If you think this diet is boring, guess again. He has a lot of recipes and here’s one that I’ve used many times and really enjoy.
Yummy Banana-Oat Bars
Mix the following together, place in an 8×8 or 9×9 pan and bake in a
preheated oven for 10 minutes:
2 cups quick oats (not instant)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup raisins or chopped dates
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (optional)
1 tablespoon date sugar (optional)
Cool the bars and cut into squares.
NOTE: I’ve also used other fruit like cherries and peaches. It’s a pretty forgiving recipe. Just be careful not to use too much liquid – so drain off any cherry or peach juice.
“Is The Eat To Live Diet Right For Me?”?
If you’re a die-hard meat eater, and refuse to give it up … in fact, you want even more, then the Joel Fuhrman Eat To Live diet will be a bummer for you.
But if you like fruits and veggies and are/want to be a vegetarian or vegan, this is marvelous. It is a healthy weight loss program par excellence! How can there be anything wrong with tons of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, especially if they’re organic and raw? Yes, the few days of transition might be tough but the results will be so superb that you will WANT to continue when you see how great you feel.
Eat To Live Diet: A+
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