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Eat to Live
The Revolutionary Formula For Fast And Sustained Weight Loss
by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

Book Review

Reviewed by Barbara Sarter Ph.D., R.N., F.N.P.
Associate Professor and FNP Program Director
University of Southern California
Department of Nursing

If you know someone who need to lose lots of weight quickly and safely this is a must read. Most of today's popular diets are based on flawed or absent nutritional science, or take one small fact in a very complex science and magnify it to create a new approach laden with false promises. At best, they provide only short-term results. However, any health professional that reads Dr. Fuhrman's book will find it to be a most comprehensive, nutritionally superior and scientific plan for weight loss, far ahead of any of its competitors. But this book is not just about losing weight. It is about promoting a maximum state of health for life. In this, the book stands alone. It is a masterpiece of nutritional science; synthesizing decades of scientific research into a rational, feasible, delicious, supremely healthy plan for eating. Dr. Fuhrman offers us an invaluable tool for preventing and reversing the major chronic diseases that kill the majority of Americans.

There are no gimmicks in this diet. It is exquisitely simple, thanks to a fundamental principle that Dr. Fuhrman has distilled from thousands of studies of human nutrition. That formula is Health = Nutrient/Calories. For each calorie we take in, we want to receive maximum nutrient density. Thus, this diet is called a high nutrient density diet. This principle leads to a reformulation of the current Food Pyramid so that fresh vegetables are at the base, most abundant, with fresh fruits and legumes next, then nuts and seeds, and only then complex carbohydrates such as whole grains. Animal protein, including dairy, eggs and meat, are at the very top, along with fats, oils, and simple carbohydrates. This is the basic structure of the high nutrient-density diet. Dr. Fuhrman is well aware of the normal American's food addictions (he is in private practice full-time and provides nutritional counseling to all of his patients) so he includes a 90% rule in the plan. This allows for 10% of total calories to come from food groups at the very top of the pyramid.

One great advantage of this diet plan is that it is very filling. Most people have trouble eating as many vegetables and fruits as are recommended - up to one pound of raw and one pound of cooked vegetables per day! If one approaches these amounts in one's meals, there is little room left for low-nutrient, high-calorie food, and excess starches - a common downfall of most low-fat diets.

Low fat diets have been criticized of late because studies have shown that they increase triglyceride and insulin levels. So an important point is that this diet's main feature is not that it is low fat, rather it is high in nutrients and fiber. Other low-fat diets allow a liberal intake of starches such as pasta and rice, so of course the studies have shown an adverse metabolic response. Not so with Fuhrman's plan; studies show the opposite, it lowers triglycerides and dramatically improves cholesterol ratios.

Dr. Fuhrman also addresses the common misperception that a vegetable-heavy diet is lacking in protein. He makes the point that 100 CALORIES (not grams) of a green vegetable contain dramatically more protein than 100 CALORIES of meat. 100 calories of vegetable is about one pound, whereas 100 calories of meat is about one ounce. So food tables can be very misleading. I calculated the protein content of a sample meal plan and found the percentage of calories from protein to be over 10% - well within the range of current national dietary guidelines. Dr. Fuhrman also makes the point that the SOURCE of the protein in one's diet is also of critical importance. Animal protein raises cholesterol; plant protein lowers it.

Clearly, Dr. Fuhrman believes that knowledge is power. The first four chapters provide the reader with a comprehensive overview of human nutrition. The explanations are scientifically accurate and very clear, with graphics to illustrate. Throughout the book, extensive scientific citations are provided. In chapter five he evaluates other popular diet plans, including the Atkins plan, and exposes their flaws. Chapter six explains the high nutrient density diet. The average weight loss is 15 pounds the first month and 10 pounds monthly thereafter. This chapter also discusses important issues and misunderstandings related to macronutrients - proteins, carbohydrates and fats.

Chapter seven is perhaps the most powerful chapter of the book. It offers compelling evidence of dietary causes for most of the common health problems faced by Americans. Then Dr. Fuhrman explains how diet can prevent and even reverse heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, chronic headaches, and autoimmune disease. He relates true stories of patients (who gave permission to be named) who have been able to stop their antihypertensive, antianginal, and antidiabetic drugs; patients who have experienced gradual elimination of their chest pain; patients who have been able to stop their use of toxic drugs for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. I was able to review the charts of Dr. Fuhrman's patients and verified that he is accurately presenting these results.

Chapter eight offers the six-week weight loss plan based on the high nutrient density diet. The sample meal plans and recipes are wonderful, obviously drawn from his and his family's own experience of observing this diet for many decades. The only addition I would have liked to see is more discussion of how those who are already slender can keep their caloric intake at an appropriate level. For them, more nuts and beans and more whole grains are clearly appropriate, and it would be nice to have their concerns addressed as well. But for the majority of our population, Eat to Live is must reading, a prescription for life-long health and reversal of killer chronic diseases. It is written in an engaging and personal style. I found it hard to put down. Every health professional should read it - and use it.

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Dr. Fuhrman's Eat To Live presents a compelling, scientific, practical approach to weight loss, health and vitality that is a refreshing alternative to the plethora of popular, but largely ineffective diets and weight loss methods. For those who want to make dietary changes that will enable them to enjoy optimum health and appearance, this book is a must.

James Craner, M.D., M.P.H.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Internal Medicine
Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Medicine,
University of Nevada School of Medicine

This is the book about achieving optimal health and weight that the scientific community has been waiting for; the "Gold Standard" via which all other diets can be judged. Dr. Fuhrman takes the latest scientific information from thousand of research studies and puts together the most effective and healthiest dietary approach possible. Everything else is just second-rate. All health professionals must read this book. I apply Dr. Fuhrman advice to my own life because it not only makes scientific sense, it works!

Jeffrey Gilbert, M.D.
Medical Director: STD Center for Excellence @ Montefiore Medical Center, Bx,
Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine: Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Assistant Clinical Professor of Ob/Gyn: Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Consultant: NYS Department of Health

Simply a great piece of work. Dr. Fuhrman has painstakingly taken the time to wade through the ever burgeoning mountain of evidence which proves that the American diet and many physician supported fad diets are not only unhealthy but are a contributing if not the direct cause of our enormous public cardiovascular and cancer problem. His references are excellent and exhaustive. As individuals and as a nation we cannot ignore this book. Dr Fuhrman, I commend you.

Robert J Warren, M.D.
Fellow American College of Surgery
Fellow American College of Orthopedic Surgery
Meridian Hospital, NJ

Dr. Fuhrman's book is a world of nutritional wisdom. He has illustrated a comprehensive familiarity with the world's scientific literature, weaving in his extensive clinical experience and insight that is must read for every physician in America. Dr. Fuhrman offers new, more effective approach to the treatment of various diseases and safe and effective methods of prevention. I recommend everyone remember his health equation and follow it for life.

Alexander S. Fine, M.D.
Family Physician
Champlost Family Practice, PA

Finally a diet book that looks at the science of eating right in an accurate
fashion. Most diet books have little basis in proven physiology. Dr. Fuhrman's book, Eat to Live deals with why we gain weight, how to lose weight, and how stay thin and healthy for life, and he backs it up with real scientific data. All controversy ends after you read this book. It will be the final word in diet books and the one I recommend to my patients.

Thomas Davenport M.D.
Plastic Surgeon
Massachusetts General Hospital Fellowship/Harvard University
Microsurgery/Aesthetic Surgery Fellowship/Memorial Sloan Kettering
Webster International Fellowship/Interplast

"Eat to Live" is a comprehensive, valuable, scientifically focused contribution empowering nutrition knowledge and a healthier life.

Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D.
Preventive Cardiology Consultant
Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio

Dr. Fuhrman comes from a practice of medicine with an excellent knowledge of nutritional science. He has superbly bridged the gap between the highly technical world of science and he real world of everyday health practice. This book is both readable and reliable.

T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D.
Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry
Cornell University-Division of Nutritional Sciences

"Eat to Live" by Joel Fuhrman, M.D. is a landmark publication, a gimmick-free guide to the food and exercise requirements for a robust life. Introducing the key notion that healthy eating begins with the understanding that Health=Nutrients/Calories, Fuhrman explores all of the virtues of a plant-based diet. The book is meticulously referenced and includes irrefutable evidence that vegetables and fruit, rather than grains, starches, and animal foods define the basis of good nutrition. Fuhrman deftly exposes the high protein and "blood type" diets currently popular, and includes case studies of the gratifying responses of his own patients to his simple food and exercise recommendations.

William Harris, M.D.
Hawaii Permanente Medical Group, Emergency Department
30 years in practice of Emergency Medicine

"Eat To Live" is the best diet book I've have ever seen. Over ten years as a vegetarian and I wish I could have read a book like this when I started down this road. My advice is to buy the book, read it, adopt the plan and enjoy life as it should be, I am.

Howard F. Lyman
Past President International Vegetarian Union
Past President EarthSave International
Author Mad Cowboy

"Eat To Live" is outstanding, clear, accurate and helpful. If you want or need to lose weight, this book will be of enormous practical value to you, showing you exactly what to do to become trim and healthy for the rest of your life. There are a lot of weight-loss books out there that aren't worth the paper they're printed on. This is the rare and priceless exception. It's a jewel. Get it. You'll be very glad you did.

John Robbins,
Author, The Food Revolution, and Diet For A New America

To write a great and informative book on the cutting edge of health
care, one that can really help people, it would lake pioneer doctor. Such is
the nature of 'Eat To Live' whose author, Dr. Fuhrman, is a hundred years ahead of his time. Fortunate is the reader who happens to come across this book . He or she walks under a lucky star!

Roy A. Alterwein, M.D.
Gynecologist/Obstetrician 35 years
Lifestyle And Wellness Physician
Medical Health Publications Author and Video Producer

Dr. Fuhrman's new book gives us the nutritional roadmap to optimal health. His information is painstakingly researched and supported with over 500 references to articles from scientific journals, yet he presents the results with an easy to follow style which everyone can understand. He honestly states the facts and educates us to make the food choices which will help us overcome disease and regain health. The diversity of delicious recipes and unlimited portion sizes offer practical examples of how we can implement this plan in the real world to get reliable and long-lasting results. This book marks the beginning of a genuine, scientifically-based, health

Mark Epstein, President
National Health Association

I have been a cancer surgeon for the past 15 years and legions of patients under my care have asked, "Doctor, what do I eat now that I have been diagnosed with cancer?" The real question they were asking was, "doctor, how do I use food to help regain my health." Intuitively I knew that food was medicine, but wanted supportive information that had undergone rigorous scientific documentation and was "new age" in its perspective and passion. My readings spanned the gamut from the dogmatic anecdotal accounts of self-healed evangelists and raw foodists to the writings of inflexible, pedantic laboratory scientists,. Still I was unfulfilled. Finally I found Dr. Joel Fuhrman's book, "Eat to Live" and immediately knew I was in a sacred avante garde stream of information regarding food and chronic degenerative diseases. Simply an awesome piece of work, which fills the gap between the ivory tower based nutrition research, which is difficult for the average person to interpret and the unsubstantiated claims of new age proponents of nutrition. For me this is a book that dropped out of heaven.

Groesbeck P. Parham, M.D.
Professor of Gynecologic Oncology
Avon Scholar for Cancer Control
University of Alabama Comprehensive Cancer Center

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