on November 26, 2003
I am a medical doctor and I must say this book has soundly convinced me to throw my textbooks on conventional nutritional wisdom and the national dietary guidelines out of the window!
Dr Fuhrman has compiled a comprehensive and near-to-exhaustive review of existing and past research on nutritional science and presented an unbiased, evidence-based critique of the Modern American Diet (MAD), popular weight-loss programs and even the recommendations from professional bodies such as the AHA.
His dietary axiom of Health= Nutrition/Calories are sound and safe. We certainly hope to read published articles of the fantastic results that his patients have achieved with his nutrition excellence program soon.
However, the information can be rather heavy-going and the technical medical lexicon may faze the uninitiated. If you're into nutrition science and don't mind the jargon, this book is a real treasure to keep.
Although I didn't need to lose any weight, I decided to try out some of his recommendations. I put about 1 pound of vegetables into my daily diet and about 5 servings of fruits. Salad was the main course and fish was minimal. I still had polished rice but no dairy, preserved foods, meat, etc. The diet is terrifically tasty and visually stimulating and not as ascetic as one would think. Even the salad tasted great without any dressing at all. After just 5 days of following his guidelines, I could really feel my tastebuds come alive again. I lost about 1-2 kg of weight and could feel my body toning up with my existing daily exercises. Side-effects? Some flatulence and more frequent bowel movements but these resolved quickly in a week. None of the weakness or headaches that Dr Fuhrman reported in some patients.
One idea that truly impressed me was the fact that Dr Fuhrman does not presuppose that masses of the population will adhere to his recommendation. This program requires the individual to have self-awareness about his current disease-causing diet, the commitment and resolve to radically change his dietary habits, motivation and support from a coach or family and accessibility to the healthy food choices. Everyone CAN definitely benefit greatly from ETL but not everyone WILL.
Eat to Live!
on February 5, 2007
As a Registered Holistic Nutritional Consultant, I work with people everyday with a variety of health issues and nutritional needs. Although "Eat To Live" looks like it might just be another diet book - it's far from it.
Dr. Joel Fuhrman is a Medical Doctor who works from his practice in New Jersey, USA. He's the kind of doctor other doctors send their patients to. He's not a pill pusher - far from it. His goal is to get his patients off drugs and living a healthier lifestyle by addressing their nutritional needs and getting exercise. His message is that if we eat foods that are nutrient dense, yet low in calories, we will not only lose weight, but because our nutrient needs are met, we will have loads of ammunition against obesity related diseases. Nutrient deficiency and obesity are the biggest contributors to disease in the world today.
I bought the book and got so excited that I couldn't read it fast enough to absorb everything, so I bought the DVD too. The DVD is a one of Fuhrman's lectures that he delivers to a room of doctors... very informative.
I teach at The Canadian School of Natural Nutrition here in Halifax - and have found a lot of the information in this book helpful in delivering my nutritional information. I use his messages when I do workshops and lectures.
It's so refreshing to see a medical doctor who has studied nutrition and understands the importance of preventative rather than allopathic medicine. Who says there's no money in prevention.
This is a great book - that I would recommend most definately.
Penny Ormsbee, RHN, RNCP
Halifax, Nova Scotia
on July 1, 2003
One reviewer stated that Dr Fuhrman's Eat to Live Plan allows no animal products; Eat to Live has no such rigid requirement. Eat to Live describes 7 days of menu plans for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Dr. Fuhrman makes clear that a diet rich in vegetables does not have to exclude animal foods completely (although they should be limited). As a physician, I have observed Dr. Fuhrman in action with his patients. He regularly modifies recipes and menu plans to accommodate various tastes and food preferences. It is not an all or nothing plan. Eat To Live gives you the knowledge to make healthy food choices based on the concept of Nutrient Density (which he explains in the book).
After a lifetime of eating 'junk' it may take practice and creativity for some, to make the healthiest way to eat, taste favorable. Taste and food preferences are learned. While it may take a few months, an investment in retraining your palate to enjoy the healthiest foods on the planet will produce dividends of lifelong good health. It is unfortunate that the reviewer from Philadelphia is ready to cash in all of the benefits of a healthy diet after only one day. The fact is, most actually enjoy the taste of whole and natural foods better especially once they have rid themselves of the toxins and chronic ailments associated with the Standard American Diet. This does not happen overnight!
Eat To Live is far more then just a manifesto on weight loss. Eating the healthiest foods will not only help you to reverse many chronic diseases; it will help you to live YOUNGER longer. A healthy weight is a direct result of a healthy lifestyle. There are a million unhealthy ways to lose weight. Eat To Live makes you healthy which results in you achieving your ideal weight.
Get the book and see for yourself. I believe every person in America must read this information; it puts all controversy about diets and losing weight to rest and may save your life.
on January 20, 2004
I have studied nutrition for about 29 years so far. My formal education includes graduate school courses (such as biochemistry) with medical students. I consider myself to have a deep understanding of nutrition. And of course, I have read a lot of nutrition books too. I rate this book as one of the best I have *ever* read. I highly recommend it.
on May 13, 2004
Doctor Fuhrman tells it like it is. Low fat, whole foods including beans, fruits and vegetables as well as limited amounts of starches. That the base of the maintenance plan and all of the 6 week plan he presents to jump start your weight loss. He tells you plainly that you have to make a committment. Without that, you won't succeed. Give it a try.
on February 4, 2011
Read this book from front to back, incredibly informative and interesting. Have been on a vegetarian/vegan diet for 3 weeks and have lost 10 pounds. 3 more weeks to go with another 10 pounds to loose. I have told 3 people about the book and they have had the same results. The book works!!
on September 17, 2012
I've always been very interested in nutrition and have read many books on the subject. This book really stands out as the best I have ever read. Even though it does focus on weight loss, it is an excellent read even if your goal is healthy eating, rather than primarily weight loss.
After focusing on the foods that Dr. Fuhrman describes as the "gold, silver, and bronze medal winners in the nutrient-density Olympics" and reducing the other foods, I feel fantastic. I wasn't overweight to begin with, but I lost 20 pounds in the process even though weight loss was not necessarily my goal. I think this was just a healthy side effect of eating better foods. That being said, if your goal *is* weight loss, I have no doubt that following Dr. Fuhrman's instructions will give you amazing results in a safe and healthy way.
What really makes this book stand out is that it is based on sound nutritional information, and the results of many, many studies that all point in the same direction. It just makes common sense, too. It is *not* based on gimmicks, it is *not* a fad diet; it is a solid foundation on which to build your eating habits for the rest of your life. The book does include a 6-week "aggressive" plan if you wish to lose weight rapidly, so following that will send you well on your way to shedding extra pounds. However, the less aggressive plan is something that you can follow for the long term, keeping you healthy and preventing you from gaining back the weight.
One minor thing, I did find that the book was somewhat repetitive. However, do not let that stop you from reading it. I don't hold it against Dr. Furhman because I find that *all* books on this subject are repetitive, so either it's me who has a problem with that, or it's just a way to make sure to hammer home the key points.
Get this book, learn about nutrition, lose weight, and best of all, be tremendously healthy!
on January 14, 2004
To lose weight, keep it off, and live a long and healthy life, we must consume fewer calories. The big question always is then, how to do that and still feel satisfied? You'll learn in Dr. Fuhrman's book that the answer is filling your diet with the most nutrient dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, and beans, which tend to be very low in calories vs. their physical bulk. With these foods, your body's nutrient requirements are met very quickly, therefore controlling hunger. Also, you can eat large volumes of food, feel very satisfied, and still not consume too many calories. Along with losing weight, a host of other benefits come along with this way of eating, such as seeing diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and many cancer risks melt away.
As people continue to look for easy answers and get suckered into gimmicky diets like Atkins and South Beach, it's refreshing to read a book which reinforces repeatedly proven dietary advice we've all heard for years. That eating large quantities of fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts promote health and longevity. Dr. Fuhrman takes it much further and masterfully shows you how that principle can be optimized to live a long and healthy life.
This is 100% pure evidence based science. Read the book and cross reference the information to medical journals and medical search engines. Unlike Atkins and South Beach, there is no disputing the information Dr. Fuhrman presents. Don't gamble with your health! Although the low-carb diets out there are correct about eliminating unhealthy carbohydrates, many other parts of those diets have mounds of evidence against them. Why take the risk? I don't understand why people impulsively follow such gimmicky diets and potentially put their health at risk. Losing weight is one thing; losing weight and being healthy is another.
Dr. Fuhrman doesn't try to sell books by telling you what you want to hear, he tells you what you NEED to hear. I won't kid you, it is not easy to make these changes if you have been following the standard American diet for many years. Poor food choices surround you and you must learn to prepare and eat foods in a way that is unfamiliar to most Americans. You have to be patient and be persistent. I love eating this way now and the rewards are great. Personally, I have lost just over 30lbs following the advice in Eat to Live. I have also reversed my diabetes and no longer require any medication.
on May 13, 2004
I work in a retail pharmacy and see many people who take medication for diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. Medication is not cheap. So I definitly recommend buying this book, because it is easy to read, and the author explains why we should eat certain foods and why we shouldn't eat others. So if you want to avoid diseases that he believes are preventable buy this book, and follow the plan!
on March 9, 2004
I got the book yesterday and read it cover-to-cover in a few hours - it is an easy and fast read. The instructions are straightforward, and he explains the reasons behind his instructions well enough to satisfy. For those that are sticklers for sources, he provides plenty of them as well, though I doubt I will check up on them myself.
Good Points of the Book: Easy to read, simple instructions, clear explanations. A good list of the (new) staples you will need, some diet plans, some recipes (though if you undertake this diet, you will want some decent vegan recipe books with nutrition information!)
Bad points of the book: A lot of repitition, a lot of lecturing, and some strongly worded passages (especially about the other diets, borderline rants in my opinion - justified, but rants nonetheless!)
Now for the Diet ....
What is the skinny (pun intended) of the diet? Well, you probably should buy the book if you are interested, but the gist of it as I see it is the following: High bulk, high nutrition vegetables in copious quantities, small amount of fat, small amount of animal products eventually (he allows for it but clearly thinks it is not required). Think, lots of salads ("Salads are the main part of the meal") with vingegar or just a tiny amount of oil, think vegetarian cuisine. For example: He has a 1 pound - 1 pound rule: Goal of 1 pound of raw vegetables and 1 pound cooked vegetables per day. Whew. Won't be hungry - and may not be able to finish all of that, either...
The 6 week plan he has you go on to start-up his regime is about as strict a vegan diet as I have ever seen. If you get through the 6 weeks, you re-introduce some fats, some animal products (fish mostly, but all of that is occasional - like 3 oz. of fish, 1-2 times a week).
The good news: You aren't measuring portions for most of your diet, certainly not strictly, and you won't be hungry at all. And you will lose weight - possibly quite a lot of it. If his book is to believed, you will also be in excellent health at a new lower weight.
The bad news: The 6 weeks could be difficult if you aren't inclined to 'eat your vegetables.'
In conclusion: This is a new take on diets in general. It blows away the notion that you have to reduce the amount of food you eat to get thin. The problem of people feeling like they are starving as they diet will go away. This is a real Lateral thinking approach to the problem of hunger AND reducing calories.
Notes and personal editorial:
I am skpetical that this diet will be stuck to by most Americans for cultural reasons - since it will be difficult to eat at many restaurants, and most people are not comfirtable enough in the kitchen to make tasty enough dishes to hold interest (I think that the vast majority of dieters will be eating the same iceberg-lettuce-tomato-and-vinegar salad in general 6-8 weeks later as on the first day, even though most healthy meals are easy and not bland!)
Overall, this is a diet I will give a try - I will do the 6 weeks, and if I feel better, lose weight, and attain my health goals through it, will be worth the change in diet and lifestyle for me. For the prospective reader and participant - you will have to decide for yourself - since this is on the cutting edge of the vegetarian diet becoming mainstream. Now for some good vegan cookbooks .....