Eat for Health Hardcover – Aug 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
When your diet is mostly comprised of low nutritional density foods, you essentially have to make a choice between not enough nutrients or too many calories, inevitably leading to creeping weight gain.
Also, lower quality foods are slightly toxic, leading to withdrawal symptoms (growling stomach, light headache etc), that can be confused with hunger (since you will feel better if you eat more food). Again, creeping weight gain.
The books detail plans to gradually phase in higher nutritonal density eating, plus recipes illustrating these phases.
For the money, excellent value.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
After a year living the "Eat To Live" plan I read "Eat For Health" twice. The differences are huge. The biggest difference is that Dr. Fuhrman takes us Americans through 4 stages of gradual eating changes by doing some food exercises and stepping down animal products and processed foods. The only foods he asks us to eliminate immediately are all cheese, butter and transfats. I can see why he changed his point-of-view to gradually add vegetables, fruits and beans to our diets because otherwise it can be a shock to our typical way of eating and most people will reject it as they did in his book, "Eat To Live."
I find I need the extreme approach right off the starting line and I have learned to love vegetables and fruits. I feel that his gradual steps to eliminate meat and processed foods and grains was backpedaling from his original book, but on the other hand I fully understand why he did it and that was to reach as many people to change their eating habits as possible and so in this content, it makes perfect sense. Before May 2007 I was a vegan who rarely ate fruits and vegetables thinking cereal and popcorn was healthy, now I thrive on those foods and have kept my weight down to near ideal with no effort at all.
I have always loved reading nutrition books and before Joel Fuhrman, M.D. I thought Dr. Dean Ornish and Dr. Oz were the best, but now I see that they both focus far too heavily on whole grains, which Dr. Fuhrman says to eat very little of because they are not dense in nutrition. The rule of this plan is to eat foods highest on the nutrient index and avoid foods with little nutritional value all-together.
Here's a list of the foods he says we can eat from his book in unlimited quantities, and these are the only foods I eat myself. This plan is the only book that made perfect sense to me and I knew in my core that this is the only choice I would make for optimal health and wellness.
HIGH-NUTRIENT FOODS THAT CAN BE EATEN
IN UNLIMITED QUANITIES
LEAFY GREEN VEGATABLES
romaine lettuce, leaf lettuces, kale, collards, Swiss chard, cabbage, spinach, bok choy.
SOLID GREEN VEGATABLES
artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, celery, cucumber, peas,
Green peppers, string beans, zucchini.
NON-GREEN, HIGH NUTRIENT VEGATABLES
beets, eggplant, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, peppers, water chestnuts, cauliflower,
BEANS AND LEGUMES
red kidney beans, pinto beans, soybeans, lentils, black-eyed peas, black beans.
apples, apricots, blackberries, blueberries, grapefruit, grapes, kiwis, mangoes, nectarines,
all melons, oranges, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, strawberries, tangerines.
Fuhrman's idea is a simple one. Instead of worrying about macronutritional intake--the three common most caloric components one finds on a food label--protein, fat and carbohydrates--he suggests ingesting foods imbued with the most nutritional value. He explains that foods that are nutrient dense are naturally low in calories and supply your body with "14 different vitamins, 25 different minerals, and more than 10,000 phytochemicals . . . that have profound effect on human cell functions and the immune system."
Adhering to Fuhrman's formula--H = N/C where H equals `health' and N/C represents nutrient per calorie density, will definitely do the trick. You will find a fully nutritioned body becomes a satiated body--(think along the lines of The Volumetrics Eating Plan: Techniques and Recipes for Feeling Full on Fewer Calories where more nutritious low-calorie food fills the stomach leaving less room for animal proteins and fats that consolidate a greater amount of calories in a lesser quantity.)
In practical terms, eating a large salad consisting of different raw vegetables (lettuce, romaine, arugula, spinach, kale, tomato, carrots, celery, onions, etc.) at the start of each meal will not only provide the nutrition a body craves, but also will fill the stomach leaving very little room for whatever else you think you desire. At first, this may sound boring and diet conventional, however, I can testify that it does work. And you do feel good without feeling the need to eat in between meals.
In fact, eating in between meals is a definite no-no on this plan. Fuhrman feels that the body needs time to digest and small snacks munched on between just disturbs one's natural rhythm causing dysfunction later on.
His ANDI (Aggregate Nutrient Density Index) scale ranks the nutrient levels of many common foods based on how many nutrients are delivered per calorie. Used in lieu of food labels, these scores will help the dieter/wellness desirer to select foods that will insure the highest outcome. For example cooked mustard greens are ranked 1000 points out of a possible 1000. Raw spinach receives a 739. Always thought of as a quintessential wellness staple, olive oil rates only a 2. Meals are planned based on Fuhrman's redesigned new food pyramid where raw and cooked vegetables comprise the meal's foundation and beef, sweets, cheese, whole milk, processed food and hydrogenated oil form the rarely consumed peak. Using another formula to calculate a meal's MANDI (Menu Aggregate Nutrient Density Index) value, Fuhrman urges plan participants to eventually aim for a MANDI score of 100 points per day and he suggests four phases that will gradually increase one's N/C.
Turning his gaze towards the most popular diets of the day, Fuhrman debunks them with firm and indisputable information that will forever put them on the back burner of feasible dieting options. In addition, he speaks about the danger of eating too much fish, supplies evidence that dairy products as staples of the Standard American Diet (SAD) increase the risk of prostate cancer and warns that acrylamides ( found in the crust formed on foods by grilling, barbequing, roasting, frying, baking) contain highly potent carcinogens that are just as cancer producing as trans fats.
One of the most revelatory bits of information I received from this book was contained in Fuhrman's discussion on what he calls `toxic hunger.' As we have become accustomed to eating our Standard American Diet that contain too much salt, saturated fats, sweets, meats and cheese and not enough high nutrient calories, we experience withdrawal pains once the digestive operation is completed. Withdrawal pains mean headaches, queasiness, weakness, stomach cramping, lightheadedness, growling stomach, esophageal spasms and irritability. Amazingly, I realized that what I was associating with actual hunger or an insufficient quantity of food was withdrawal from the addictive components of my last meal. Now instead of what I once considered a `good, healthy' portion of chicken or eggs--we all know what is deemed a `balanced' meal or carbs, fats and proteins a la the Zone idea of over fifteen years ago--I opt for highly nutrient dense foods, most of which are raw. Since then, I have yet to feel what I once considered a drop in blood sugar again. And my jeans fit!
While Book One dedicates itself to the makeover of one's mind with regard to dieting facts, Book Two devotes itself to presenting the four phases, providing menus and recipes.
Fuhrman's soup idea consists of a combination of vegetables and cashews. The results are delicious; the nuts give the soup a meaty consistency that mimics the addition of protein you might miss.
Bottom line? Joel Fuhrman's `Eat for Health' works. It is the most comprehensive system that I have ever read or tried. Not only does it make sense, it easily becomes a natural plan that one wants to follow simply because it makes the dieter feel so good. Fuhrman dedicates one entire book to intelligently reprogramming his reader and introducing his ANDI/MANDI point system, which once glanced at is easy to understand and remember. Phases, menus and recipes are incorporated in Book Two where salads and soups reign supreme. Highly recommended as both doable and effective for weight loss and overall health.
Diana Faillace Von Behren
Dr. Fuhrman opened my eyes when I read his "Eat to Live" book and I will be forever grateful. In following his advice I shed 70 pounds in 6 months and have kept it off for almost two years If you would like to take control of your health destiny, instead of allowing drug companies to choose your fate, read this book.
I looked at my family history. My mother died in her late 50's. One of my older brothers has had a mild stroke, one of my older sisters had a more serious one. My other brother just had a triple-bypass. If I didn't want my story to go that way, I knew that I'd have to make some changes. It was grow up time.
I researched my options and knew that I didn't want to resort to some fad diet that while delivering on weight loss, was probably no healthier than the way I was eating. What I wanted was to learn to eat healthy, knowing that if I did that, the weight would take care of itself.
Then I came across these books and it just felt right. I made the commitment and got started. At the very beginning, I decided that I would try the foods that Dr. Fuhrman recommended and if I liked them, I'd eat them--and if I didn't like them, I'd eat them. ;O)
Do I like all of the foods that he recommends? Honestly, no. I like most everything, but am not a fan of kale. The stuff is really healthy, though, so I'm trying to work it in to my eating plan in bits. The "peppery" flavor can be a bit overwhelming at times, but by playing around a bit with the quantities of the ingredients in the recipes, I'm learning to adjust.
I was prepared for this to be difficult, but to my surprise, it really hasn't been. Within a few days, my energy level was unbelievable. I have no cravings for junk food--which I find amazing. Instead of dropping from exhaustion after work, I find myself all pumped up to do some treadmill time. I'm sleeping great, sliding back into my jeans, my back doesn't hurt at all anymore, and I haven't had a headache since the second day of Eating for Health. At the time of this writing, I'm at Day 33 and though I've spent most of my life as a confirmed junk-food junkie, I don't ever see myself eating that way again. This feels just too good.
These books go beyond his first book in rating different foods on their nutrient density. There are pages of food listings with different scores which makes it easier to decide what foods to eat more of and what foods to eat less of. These books are less stringent than his first and suggest moving toward healthier eating in stages and he lists those stages. It made me realize it's not all or nothing, moving toward healthier eating habits is a good thing.
One word of warning: When he says to check with your doctor when following his plan, that's good advice. I had been taking a mild blood pressure medication for years and 3 weeks after drinking some smoothies that were in the recipe section of his book each day, my blood pressure went down to a very low level. I had to stop taking the medication and haven't had to go back on it. That alone paid for the price of these books!