When I was in medical school, I took a class on nutrition that required we read the book Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Furhman. Dr. Furhman is a family physician who specializes in treating obesity and chronic disease with diet alone. At that time, I was intrigued by the common sense logic of Dr. Furhman’s approach,. And, quite frankly, could not understand why more doctors did not refer to his book when developing treatment plans for their patients. Currently, Joel Furhman’s entire program with DVD’s is now available via Amazon, at a very affordable price. And I believe it is quite possibly one of the best investments a person cand make in terms of improving their health.
Furhman explains what he calls the 90/10 rule. In this diet, he encourages people to obtain ninety percent of their daily calories from unprocessed fruits and vegetables. Animal products should only account for about ten percent of the calories we consume in a day. This type of diet encourages people to eat foods that are high in nutritional content with fewer calories.
The Base of Your Diet Should Be Nutrient Dense Plants.
In Dr. Furhman’s estimate, the most nutritious foods are green leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and beans. Furhman believes that animal products come in dead last, in terms of nutritional value. The main idea behind Furhman’s argument is; thata person’s diet should be plant centered instead of meat centered.
While many people prefer to make a meat dish the main course, from a nutritional standpoint, it is probably better to make the salad the main course — with meat acting as a kind of condiment. What this means is; that people who eat this way consume foods that are higher in nutritional value with very few calories.
Eating a low calorie nutrient dense diet is in contrast with the way most people live and eat today. the average American diet is high calories, with little nutritional value whatsoever. Because the type of eating recommended by Dr. Furhman is naturally high in fiber and rich in nutrients, people feel full while consuming less calories. This type of diet allows people to quickly lose weight, and experience much better health overall.
Dietary Observations of First Americans
The Joel Furhman diet closely resembles what we believe that early humans ate prior to industrialization. An example would be the Native American populations of the Pacific Northwest coast, like the Sahaptin people of the Columbia River. Most anthropologists today believe that gatherers and hunters subsisted mostly on a vegetarian diet — with meat only eaten in small quantities. Consequently, we find that people who eat this way tend to live much longer and experience fewer chronic diseases.
When in doubt about what to eat, Dr. Furhman suggests you consume about two pounds of vegetables and fruit each day (about half should be raw and half cooked) to obtain optimal health. This way of eating is also very high in fiber, which has been found to lower cholesterol and help in elimination.
If you are looking for an excellent program, offering solid information about health and diet, I cannot think of a better one to recommend than “Eat to Live.” This is one of the most impressive books about health and nutrition I have ever read. And offers comprehensive information for both health care professionals and the layman alike.
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