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Sunday, April 30, 2006

If This Is How I 'Eat To Live,' Then Kill Me Now


Eat To Live
is yet another anti-meat propaganda book

Weight loss is such a touchy subject in this country which is why we Americans think we need to try diet after diet thinking somehow we are missing something about health and nutrition. As obesity continues to grow into a bigger and bigger problem (quite literally, in fact!), we are being simultaneously inundated with books featuring diet programs designed to help shed the pounds.

Eat To Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman is another one of the thousands of weight loss plans out there on bookshelves today. But will it work for you?

As someone who has lost nearly 200 pounds, I understand the desperate feeling that people have when it comes to the idea of losing weight forever. You feel so hopeless and helpless thinking you will be stuck being fat for the rest of your life. It's a sickening feeling that can haunt you as you cry out for help in every direction to see if anyone will throw you a float to keep you from drowning in the sea of obesity. Is anyone listening?!?!

While I fully support the idea that people find a nutritional approach that works for them, apply it exactly as it is outlined by the author of that program, and then implement it for the rest of their lives, I cannot help but urge people to beware of the Eat To Live diet plan because it certainly doesn't seem to have your health in mind. After reading through this diet book, the only conclusion I can draw is that Dr. Fuhrman is yet another stealth vegetarian who is attempting to spread his anti-meat agenda to the whole world by disguising it as a healthy "nutrient-dense" way of eating. Don't you just wish people would be honest about what they are doing instead of resorting to such pretenses?

Don't get me wrong, you CAN probably lose weight by applying the principles of this book just like you will very likely lose weight on virtually any diet plan out there. But where the Eat To Live diet breaks down is the fact that it is just another one of those low-fat, low-calorie, portion-controlled diet that hasn't worked for so many of us already despite being highly recommended by our government and health officials for the past three decades! Why are they STILL promoting low-fat despite the fact that obesity is getting worse? That sounds like the classic definition of insanity if you ask me!

Dr. Fuhrman describes his Eat To Live principles as "revolutionary" because they will bring about "fast and sustained weight loss" to the tune of "20 lbs or more in 6 weeks." WOW, that's quite a claim. And I have no doubt that the weight loss can and will happen if people follow this low-fat, mostly vegetarian plan. But then what? How do you keep that weight off forever? Do you keep on eating rabbit food for the rest of your life? Is that what you want and expect from a healthy eating plan?

Well, not me! When I weighed over 400 pounds, I never really thought much about food except to stuff it in my mouth as fast as I could so the next bite of high-sugar, carb-loaded food would be able to get in there. It's pathetic to think about how I used to eat, but too many people have chosen to eat to pleasure themselves with food which leads to obesity, disease and even death. Thankfully I have now found a healthy eating approach that helped me lose weight, improve my health and avoid certain death. I most certainly eat to live a long and healthy life because I'm livin' la vida low-carb.

However, I'll give you just one guess to figure out which nutritional approach Dr. Fuhrman chooses to put in his crosshairs in his Eat To Live book.

Low-fat? No.

Low-calorie? Nope.

Portion control? Uh uh.

The one diet plan that he describes as the "dangerous weight loss scheme" is none other than low-carb.

The Atkins diet, Zone diet, and Protein Power diet are all specifically named by Dr. Fuhrman in a chapter called "Are You Dying To Lose Weight?" In that chapter, he criticizes these programs as anti-establishment and giving people false hope about finding a way to lose weight because they include too many delicious foods containing higher amounts of fat than he would recommend. Awww, is somebody jealous that he can't eat this way, too? Poor baby!

Regarding the Atkins diet, Dr. Fuhrman claims it is leading to higher rates of cancer and other diseases despite the weight loss because followers avoid eating fruits and vegetables. Does this man even know what he's talking about? Apparently not since you get to eat LOTS of fruits and vegetables as well as other nutrient-dense foods on Atkins. What a dope!

Next he targets Dr. Barry Sears' The Zone diet calling it "the danger zone" because Dr. Fuhrman thinks Dr. Sears puts too much emphasis on how carbohydrates are leading to obesity rather than fat. In a word, Dr. Fuhrman -- WRONG! Americans ARE eating too many carbs in the form of sugar, white flour, processed foods, and starchy foods. This overconsumption of unhealthy foods is making obesity much worse than it needs to be and I think Dr. Sears has nailed this problem. Anyone who denies this obvious contributor to the obesity problem is apparently too blinded by their own agenda. Is that you, Dr. Fuhrman?

To his credit, Dr. Fuhrman also criticizes Weight Watchers, Lean Cuisine, and Jenny Craig for not being low enough in fat to make a real difference in weight loss although they offer smaller portions than what the Standard American Diet (SAD) entails. He said Americans have become way too accustomed to having the foods they want to eat and then still expect to lose weight. He describes this expectation as unreasonable and concluded that people should start eating more vegetables, beans and fresh fruits immediately while eliminating virtually everything else from their diet.

"Any other program is an insult to your intelligence," Dr. Fuhrman boasts.

Oh really! I think it is insulting to MY intelligence to have you lecture me about what is the right diet plan for me to follow, Dr. Fuhrman. I tried eating like you prescribed in Eat To Live and it just about drove me crazy in 1999. Sure, I lost weight and lots of it, too (170 pounds in fact!), but most people can only keep up that way of eating for just so long before they get so incredibly frustrated with it that they finally throw their hands up in the air and give up. I was too hungry, irritable, and experience such wild mood swings to notice I was skinnier. Hmmm, low-fat weight loss or sanity? I'll choose sanity!

That's why the low-carb lifestyle has been so effective for people like me who can't stand being hungry when we are losing weight like we did on those thousands of low-fat diets we have been on. Eating lots of healthy greens, fresh foods, antioxidant-rich berries, protein-packed nuts, and even delicious cuts of meat not only helps us with weight loss, but also keeps the weight off forever (2 years and counting for me!) while experiencing miraculous improvements in our health. Low-carb was a godsend to me and nobody will ever convince me otherwise.

Can Dr. Furhman's diet plan work for you? Perhaps. But if this was the way I would have to Eat To Live for the rest of my life, then I say kill me now to put me out of my misery! The good news is there are better ways than this.

5-1-06 UPDATE: Dr. Joel Fuhrman responded to my review of his book today.

Jimmy-

Thanks for reading my book, and I'm glad that you were able to lose so much weight eating similar to the way I recommend in my Eat To Live book.

It seems that we do not disagree about everything. We both agree about the benefits of healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, legumes, and seeds etc (by the way I have nothing against health fats in avocado and raw nuts and seeds). We both agree that there are health benefits to minimizing processed foods, sugar, and white flour.

We even agree that including some meat isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's just a question of how much.

A lot of "experts" have found that there is great profit in advocating a high meat diet-style in recent years, and there has been a lot of pressure to develop research to support the idea that it is safe for your long-term health. But the evidence is overwhelming (and countless respected researchers agree on this point) is clear that getting the vast majority of your calories from meat has lots of negative long-term effects.

Some people may simply want to eat a lot of meat--and that's fine! It's a personal choice, and I hope you will choose to eat in a way that makes you happy. We are all different, and we all make different choices about how we want to live. I think that's a good thing. But as we make those choices--especially important choices that affect our long-term health--we should do so with the best information possible. For example, I know some people choose to smoke. Severe as the health risks of that decision might be, as long as they have good information and know about the risks they're taking; of course that's their personal choice. But to smoke, or to eat lots of meat and cheese, with the idea that it's good for your health? That's just not working with the best available information, and it would be a real shame for a person to lose years of life to decision making based on fraudulent health claims and from people promoting bad information like that.

I have no specific political or social agenda, but I am a physician who wants each person to make responsible decisions based on the best evidence. I do not offer nutritional advice to please the animal rights advocates. In fact, they refuse to mention my work in their publications because I allow the consumption of animal products in my books and at drfuhrman.com and include them in some of my recipes. But, I do have a mission to spread a message that nutritional excellence can defeat heart disease and win the war against cancer. So I object to the false health claims regarding high protein diets, not to your freedom to eat any way you choose. And, for many people (I realize not you) who decide to "heart-attack-proof" their body and want to lose weight in the healthiest way possible and learn how to make a diet low in animal products taste great and eat as much food as they desire, while living into their nineties without the fear of heart disease, stroke or an premature death from cancer, I urge them to come to diseaseproof.com (or read Eat To Live) and read more about the science and logic of this diet-style.

-Joel Fuhrman, MD


Well, at least he was cordial in his reply to me even if I'm not buying his explanation. Thoughts anyone?

6-29-2006 UPDATE: Well, here's at least one other blogger who agrees with my book review.

41 Comments:

Blogger Joel Fuhrman MD said...

Jimmy-

Thanks for reading my book, and I'm glad that you were able to lose so much weight eating similar to the way I recommend in my Eat To Live book.

It seems that we do not disagree about everything. We both agree about the benefits of healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, legumes, and seeds etc (by the way I have nothing against health fats in avocado and raw nuts and seeds). We both agree that there are health benefits to minimizing processed foods, sugar, and white flour.

We even agree that including some meat isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's just a question of how much.

A lot of "experts" have found that there is great profit in advocating a high meat diet-style in recent years, and there has been a lot of pressure to develop research to support the idea that it is safe for your long-term health. But the evidence is overwhelming (and countless respected researchers agree on this point) is clear that getting the vast majority of your calories from meat has lots of negative long-term effects.

Some people may simply want to eat a lot of meat--and that's fine! It's a personal choice, and I hope you will choose to eat in a way that makes you happy. We are all different, and we all make different choices about how we want to live. I think that's a good thing. But as we make those choices--especially important choices that affect our long-term health--we should do so with the best information possible. For example, I know some people choose to smoke. Severe as the health risks of that decision might be, as long as they have good information and know about the risks they're taking; of course that's their personal choice. But to smoke, or to eat lots of meat and cheese, with the idea that it's good for your health? That's just not working with the best available information, and it would be a real shame for a person to lose years of life to decision making based on fraudulent health claims and from people promoting bad information like that.

I have no specific political or social agenda, but I am a physician who wants each person to make responsible decisions based on the best evidence. I do not offer nutritional advice to please the animal rights advocates. In fact, they refuse to mention my work in their publications because I allow the consumption of animal products in my books and at drfuhrman.com and include them in some of my recipes. But, I do have a mission to spread a message that nutritional excellence can defeat heart disease and win the war against cancer. So I object to the false health claims regarding high protein diets, not to your freedom to eat any way you choose. And, for many people (I realize not you) who decide to "heart-attack-proof" their body and want to lose weight in the healthiest way possible and learn how to make a diet low in animal products taste great and eat as much food as they desire, while living into their nineties without the fear of heart disease, stroke or an premature death from cancer, I urge them to come to diseaseproof.com (or read Eat To Live) and read more about the science and logic of this diet-style.

-Joel Fuhrman, MD

5/01/2006 4:02 PM  
Blogger Ugly Naked Guy said...

Jimmy:

Congratulations on your success in the weight loss department! I was glad to find your blog because I was trying to find some negative press about "Eat to Live" and your's was the first I found. My wife is on the diet (though not super strictly) and has done very well. I just wanted to find out more about it because there are so many diet plans out there and so many experts that I am not ready to believe Mr. Furman just because it sounds logical to a layman like me. If you have any more sources to point to, please let me know. (The one you linked above is pretty weak; the guy has really nothing bad to say about ETL except that it may not be for him.)

-eric

7/02/2006 7:33 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Hey UNG,

I don't have any links to other columns about Dr. Fuhrman's specific book, but I do have a link to a well-written piece by independent researcher Anthony Colpo about the vegan lifestyle (which Dr. Fuhrman strongly supports!) that is heavily promoted by the book that has become the holy grail of veganism, "The China Study."

Click here to read Colpo's review which will cover many of the aspects of Fuhrman's diet that your wife is on. I'm glad to hear your wife has been successful on the "Eat to Live" program, but I hope she can keep it up. Take care and thanks for writing!

7/02/2006 7:48 PM  
Blogger Elijah Lynn said...

That was really professional of Dr. Fuhrman to comment like that.

It is true that neither the meat eaters nor vegans will mention support him because he does not totally condone animal products nor totally promote them. Studies have shown that anything less than 10% of calories from animal products do not increase risk of disease by any significant percentage compared to those who consume 0% animal products.

It is true he does not have a political agenda in that aspect.

Thanks for posting his response, you are cool for for doing that!

10/17/2006 1:40 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I was glad to find your article. I bought Eat to Live at the end of December, and I just reposted it to resell on Amazon. It just didn't work for me. I was in actual pain -- tons of bloating and stomach gas, probably from the fiber. I didn't lose a significant amount of weight and was very hungry. The book made sense when I read it, but it just didn't work for me. Plus the grocery bills were so high.
I linked to your article from my blog (it's brand spanking new as of yesterday, so not much content yet, forgive me.) http://lifehackmom.com/?p=7
Thanks again for taking the time to write this review. I'm switching back to low-carb dieting and just trying not to overdo the calories this time.

1/30/2007 9:07 PM  
Blogger John said...

Jimmy and other posters:

I read Eat to Live nearly 5 years ago and it has changed my life. I lost nearly 50 pounds and have not gained a pound of it back. My cholesterol dropped by a lot as did my blood pressure. I enjoy eating food as much as I ever have. I do not miss the meat and cheese I used to love (in fact it repulses me at this point).

The problem with a lot of diets is that they seem to make some sense and are often written by doctors. But few of them are based on real research. Dr. Fuhrman's diet is based on a ton of research (not by him) and many many peer reviewed studies. These studies have shown that cultures and groups of people who eat high amounts of fruits, veggies and whole grains AND limit or eliminate their consumption of animal protein have much lower levels of disease, longer life spans and lower body mass indexes. This is a fact shown again and again and again. Read the China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell for more on the research studies.

5/31/2007 1:33 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

John, CONGRATULATIONS on finding what works for you and doing it. But a high-carb, low-fat vegetarian lifestyle as Dr. Fuhrman advocates is not for everyone. There's plenty of research showing the health BENEFITS of animal fat as well, so it's all a matter of what fits your personal tastes. THANKS again for writing and best wishes on a happy and healthy life.

5/31/2007 1:43 PM  
Blogger Kylie said...

Jimmy -

First let me congratulate you on finding a meal plan that worked so well for you! As someone who struggles with her weight even to this day, and is trying to find her own method in this madness, I am glad to hear any success story.

I recently purchased the Eat to Live book based on the recommendation of a good friend of mine and her mother. They did the program together, and over that time it drastically improved their health, their energy levels, and their eating habits. So I am going to be giving the program a try as soon as I finish the book.

The one thing you don't seem to take into consideration in your review is that different people need different programs. You touch on it, but don't seem to give this program it's due as a truly viable option, and instead accuse Dr. Fuhrman of an "anti-meat" agenda.

While I have no intention, in the long run, of abandoning my omnivorous instincts in lieu of a totally vegetarian diet, I realize that at this point in my life, I am addicted to eating unhealthy amounts of meat, as well as high-sodium and high-sugar/artificial sweetener products. So what I am hoping that, like my best friend and her mother, this diet helps me adjust my eating habits to be more tolerable of a higher quantity of vegetables in my diet, and helps purge my body of an unhealthy addiction to excessiveness in my eating habits.

I also notice you equate his program to a high-carb, low fat lifestyle, which I believe is a bit misleading. Dr. Fuhrman limits you to one cup of whole oats daily, as well as limiting the amount of starchy vegetables you're supposed to consume. Which I understand that fruits and vegetables do contain natural carbohydrates, Dr.Fuhrman has eliminated the processed carbohydrates that so many Americans consume in excess today, such as pasta, white rice, refined sugar, etc.

Like all weight loss programs, Dr. Fuhrman's must be taking with (pardon the pun here) a grain of salt. However, I think you were a bit harsh in your critique of his work, and most importantly, his motivations.

Perhaps you can try to approach future reviews in a more unbiased light, instead of assuming everyone has a political agenda behind their advice.

Sincerely,
Shana from Kansas City

4/23/2008 3:36 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

THANK YOU for your comments Kylie! I can appreciate where you're coming from and I totally agree with you about being open to different methods for different people. Anyone who regularly reads my blog knows one of my basic philosophies for people looking to implement a lifestyle change for weight loss and health is to find a proven plan that works for them, follow that plan exactly as prescribed by the author and then KEEP doing that plan for the rest of their life. If that's the EAT TO LIVE diet, then so be it. The point is to not pigeonhole yourself into thinking there's only one way. That's why we have rampant obesity and disease in the world today because people like Dr. Fuhrman and Dr. Dean Ornish, for example, are of the mindset that everyone needs to eat more carbs and less fat for health. That's just not true for people like me and many others who frequent my blog. We NEED to eat low-carb to control our weight and health. The proof is in the success I've seen in my own life and the lives of countless others. THANK YOU for your comments and we are not in disagreement at all.

4/23/2008 5:05 PM  
Blogger Joe Ardent said...

Hi, Jimmy,

I'm not sure that it's accurate to characterize the Eat to Live diet as "high carb". Just because it is low in animal protein does not make it high carb. By percentage of calories, it's between 20 and 30% protein. The carbs that remain are all very low GI, and very fiber-rich, as they are unrefined and typically not from grains.

5/27/2008 8:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jimmy, Congrats on your weight loss, but I fear that you've lost out on nutrition, as well. I'm well-read and well-versed on this topic, and have found precious little to negate the data Dr. Fuhrman has presented. He's not against animal protein, though he advocates eating as little as possible because it causes disease; he's not against carbs - just the empty calorie ones, and for nutrient-dense carbs. I'm so grateful for his book - I've read "The China Study" too, and have found the information contained in both books compelling and life-changing. How can you ignore the data regarding consumption of animal protein, and the damage it causes? I wish you well, Jimmy... but to do that, you'll need to get off Atkins and embrace the highly nutritional way of life Dr. Fuhrman suggests.

6/11/2008 11:00 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

I'm eating healthier than I ever thought possible, anonymous. So I think I'll be sticking with my Atkins low-carb lifestyle. THANKS! :)

6/11/2008 11:28 AM  
Blogger P said...

for Jennifer --

Take a look at fructose intolerance. Like lactose intolerance, it can certainly cause gas and bloating, as well as migraines and even hypoglycemia (a good reason for being hungry all the time). When I increased my fruit intake following a plan similar to Fuhrman, I had gas, bloating, diarrhea, pain, constant hunger not being able to go an hour without eating, irritability, and fainting.

Switching to lower fructose fruits and lower-fructan vegetables cured all of these symptoms. If you limit or eliminate such things as apples, pears, and grapes and keep tomatoes, corn, and carrots to a moderate amount, someone with mild fructose intolerance can still follow Furhman and be comfortable.

6/12/2008 11:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Atkins diet craze ended, ultimately, because dieters found it no easier to stay on a low-carb high-protein diet than to follow Ornish or McDougall.
Didn't Atkins itself declare bankrupcy?

Maintaining regimens that are far out of step with the standard american diet isn't easy for most of us.

Having read extensively on the subject I truly believe that high levels of animal protein in the diet is harmful for more people than it helps. Refined carbs and white sugar to excess may well be worse, but not by much.

I also will note that no one yet has found a magic diet that will add decades to life.

Exercise and total calories may matter more than anything else.

6/28/2008 3:25 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

I could not disagree with you more on every single point you made, anonymous. If you keep reading my blog, then you'll find out why. :)

6/28/2008 9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jimmy,

It's amazing that you lost so much weight. Good for you!

Having read Eat to Live, I guess I have to say that I do find Dr. Furhman's findings and recommendations far more compelling than the information you've presented on your blog. While eating low-carb may indeed work for individuals to lose weight -- I have no doubt about that -- those personal anecdotes just don't have the weight of thousands of scientific studies behind them about which eating style is the most healthful. They certainly don't convince me that high-protein (i.e. meat)/low-carb, especially the Atkins diet, is the healthier way to live, regardless of weight loss.

The best and brightest scientific minds today are starting to realize that we have been very arrogant in assuming we know much at all about nutrition -- we arrogantly decide this vitamin or that is the "magic" in spinach or blueberries, when, truly, it is the synergy of whole, natural foods that is magical. And looking at nutrition from this perspective, it can hardly be argued that a plant-based diet is, for human beings, simply the best one. I've read dozens of volumes on the topic, from many different perspectives, which have led me to this conclusion.

We each find our own path. I just wanted to present mine.

Best of luck on your continued journey!

7/04/2008 3:01 PM  
Blogger P said...

Anonymous 7/04/2008 --

It is truly amazing to read so many different doctors and experts saying the same thing. I have been reading books lately about reversing heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes; about boosting leptin to lose weight; about anti-inflammatory foods to reverse rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, diabetes, and other chronic inflammation diseases; foods to reduce our impact on the planet/environment; foods that are lower in pesticides and other chemicals; and they're all saying the same thing. Primarily a plant-based diet. Increase the leafy greens, deep coloured fruits and veggies, beans, and whole grains. Greatly reduce or eliminate sugar, salt, flour, added fat, processed foods, and animal products.

(I have not read a lot of Atkins, so I can't speak to the low-carb lifestyle, but I agree with both Jimmy and Dr. Fuhrman that the problem is not just fat. It is sugar and flour and other additives too. Fuhrman recommends lots of leafy greens and not so much grains or starchy vegetables, which I believe fits with Atkin's recommendations as well.)

7/04/2008 4:31 PM  
Anonymous Brenda said...

HI Jimmy,
Congrats on your weight loss. I am still struggling with mine. I have done Atkins and it did work for me for a period of time. I do still think it is good for some people. I think that the people who dismiss it don't really understand it at all. When following Atkins you do eat a lot of vegetables and fruits, it is not just meat.
I am going to try Fuhrman but I am still going to add in some meat protein as well.
Wish me luck!

7/14/2008 10:35 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

A better plan than Fuhrman's is PROTEIN POWER by the Eades or DR. ATKINS' NEW DIET REVOLUTION by Atkins. There's too much low-fat nonsense in the EAT TO LIVE plan, so you might want to avoid it.

7/14/2008 11:45 AM  
Blogger Nelly said...

Jimmy,
I think its great that you have lost so much weight! Going from over 400 lbs to where you are now is awesome and by far healthy.
However, I am an advocate of the vegan lifestyle, a no, not because I'm a PETA freak, but because I believe that it offers the best nutrition possible in the long run. I do own Dr.Furhman's book and I think that his information is presented well and researched properly. I have also read the China Study and think that it is amazingly well done and you can't really argue with the largest epidemiology study that was ever done stating the side effects of meat in diet.
I think that losing weight is a plus no matter what (with the exception of an eating disorder). But even the raw food diet, which I have personally tried and am in love with, has so many successes. Just look at Angela Stokes, she was just as heavy as you and she lost all of that weight in a miraculous time and continues to keep the weight off and looking beautiful!! I hope that whatever you do with your diet in the future works for you, but I think that the many, MANY positive reviews about Eat to Live states that it is well worth a try, not to mention its low carb.
Actually, that brings me to a question, as I have visited your blog before and read your statements on veganism. Since you are low carb, and that is what has helped you lose so much weight, then what is wrong with going low carb on a vegan/vegetarian diet?? It is certainly possible and can be done with a good amount of healthy fats in the diet too. Just wondering...

7/18/2008 10:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reviewer from Philadelphia below misrepresents Eat To Live. As a physician myself, I am concerned that this misinformation may harm other people by preventing them from reading Dr. Fuhrman's important book - I am especially concerned about our American epidemic of obesity and diet-related diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Dr. Fuhrman presents the cure in his well-researched book. The reviewer (did this person read the book?) from Philadelphia states that Dr Fuhrman's recommendations allow no animal products when in fact Eat To Live is a diet-style, not a diet. It has no such rigid requirements. In his menu plans he gives 7 days of menu plans for those on a vegetarian version of the plan and 7 days on a non-vegetarian plan. Dr. Fuhrman also makes it clear that a diet rich in vegetables does not have to be all raw or exclude animal foods completely; it is flexible. As a physician, I have observed him in action with patients and he can modify recipes and menu plans to accommodate various tastes and food preferences. It is not an all or nothing plan. However, without reading Eat To Live, your future diet-style will be based on misinformation, not science. It takes experience, creativity and knowledge to make the healthiest way to eat taste favorable for many people. Some people will reject the idea of eating for health based on incomplete information and what they want to eat based on short term thinking (those french fries sound good), rather than enjoying truly more delicious foods that are actually healthful too. Just remember taste is learned and takes a few months to adjust and you can also learn to make healthy food taste great. I have observed that most people over time actually like the taste of this diet-style better then their prior one and love the fact they can eat as much as they want. You get to eat lots of food, not be hungry and get great results too. Get the book and see for yourself. I believe every person in America must read this information; it puts all controversy about diet to rest and may save your life.

12/31/2008 3:40 PM  
Blogger bokononanon said...

I found this blog while searching for criticism on Eat to Live. Not because I doubt the book, but because I believe in it so wholeheartedly and want to share with loved ones and be prepared to discuss all sides.

So far I have found no intelligent and defensible arguments against the book. If anyone has found one, please pass along.

I've been studying nutrition on my own for 10 years now. I graduated top of my class in Chemical Engineering, I'm a successful CEO of an Internet shopping site and I've worked for one of the top management consulting firms in the world. I don't say that to brag (none of you will ever know me...) but just to hopefully give some credibility to my aptitude with science, data and online research. I've personally experimented with diets ranging from the standard American Diet I was raised on in Texas (lot's of red meat!) to Raw Foods.

I would highly recommend anyone give Eat to Live an honest shot. It will likely take you 1-3 months to adjust to it (maybe longer depending on how out of shape/toxic you are) but after the adjustment it is completely life changing. His data are hard to argue.

1/05/2009 1:57 AM  
Blogger fruityveggie said...

I've been on a low fat Vegan diet similar to Eat To Live for over 3 years now and have felt better than I did in my 20's (I'm 36). In my 20's I was a lacto-ovo vegetarian and could not get my cholesterol down below 245. I also developed Hashimoto's disease and suffered from fatigue, dry skin and depression. My cholesterol since going Vegan dropped to 130 and I have reversed the symptoms of Hashimoto's. I did not have weight to lose, though I did lose some. I am a long distance runner and I have found that eating this way has greatly improved my performance and recovery times.

I only have good things to say about Eat to Live from my own experience and seeing my friends who have gone on the program and had great success, better than any other long term diet program.

2/05/2009 2:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The author of this site is clearly ignorant. Numerous scientific studies have shown that a diet containing animal products is detrimental to human health. Just because Dr. Furhman advocates a mostly diet that consists of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains with a low fat consumption of healthy fat does not mean he is "pushing" a vegetarian lifestyle on anyone. Just putting his research out there the way all the others are. Common sense will tell you that animal products (with all the chemicals that are added for one reason)can't be the greatest so why don't you do some research of your own before dragging a healthy lifestyle and outlook thru the mud. I get so tired of people touting they know what they are talking about when they really are very mis-informed.

3/06/2009 12:40 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Well, actually I have done my own research and there is plenty out there touting the BENEFITS of eating an animal-based diet. If you choose to avoid animal products, then that's fine. But what Dr. Fuhrman and others like him have said is that people MUST eat an animal-free diet and that is not true at all. I lost 180 pounds and dramatically improved my health on the Atkins diet in 2004--and I'll never be the same again. Are you gonna deny that I'm better off now than I was at 410 pounds?

3/06/2009 12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oy. Jimmy, like some of the other commenters, I found your blog because I was searching the web to see if there was any valid criticism of Dr. Fuhrman's book, "Eat to Live." So far, I haven't found any.

I congratulate you on your successful effort to lose weight and improve your life. What I don't understand is why you keep misrepresenting Dr. Fuhrman's recommendations. You made public his reply to your blog, where he states eating meat isn't necessarily a bad thing, just that people should limit their intake. But yet again, here you are saying in your latest comment that he says people "MUST eat an animal-free diet." You are misrepresenting his conclusions, and are therefore doing a dis-service to your readers. It's fine if you found his recommendations don't work for you, but don't keep twisting the "Eat to Live" plan. It's important research that readers should not be dissuaded from. Thank you. -Jennifer

3/11/2009 9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YOu keep saying that there's plant of research "out there" (somewhere over the rainbow perhaps?) that shows "the BENEFITS of eating an animal-based diet." Could you share any of these? Then your readers could form an opinion based on facts rather than just your opinion. Thanks.

3/18/2009 3:18 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Anonymous, come on over to my CURRENT blog and do an archive search of the thousands of posts I have written and you'll find study after study after study. It's not hard to find at all.

3/18/2009 3:27 PM  
Blogger islandveggie said...

Joel Fuhrman's book is great!
It helped me lose 80lbs (impressive since my "normal" is about 100) and keep it off with ease. Even when I stray from the plan for months I keep the weight off but I do seem to lose some of my immunity to colds.
It has worked wonders for my whole family. It takes a while for some people to adjust to eating whole foods if they are not accustomed to it but it is well worth it.
Even when my oldest was in daycare and everyone else was sick around him he stayed well at least 90% of the time! I can't reccomend this book enough expecially to those with kids wanting to help them build strong healthy bodies.

PS. You say, "Dr. Fuhrman and others like him have said is that people MUST eat an animal-free diet and that is not true at all" but he only reccomends avoiding animal products to those seeking drastic weight loss. Not to individuals on a day to day basis. Animal products along with everything else have their pros and cons.

3/19/2009 4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jimmy,
I too am glad for you and your weight loss and continued health. I started the Atkins diet in 2001 and ended up with a irregular heart beat and going to the ER with chest pains in 2005 and having to have have a quadruple bypass(My Cardioligist informed me that since the Atkins diet re surfaced that 3 out of every 5 of her bypass patients are former followers of the Atkins diet). While following Atkins I had several plateaus which would cause me to have to go back to the induction phase often to the point that if I got above the 15-20 carbs I would begin to put on weight. After I got out of the hospital I went on the Ornish diet to reverse heart disease on to bloat back up to over 300 lbs and a having to go back to the ER for 3stents to be put in the only artery that was not bypassed on July the 10th of '08. When I got out of the hospital this time I googled "reverse heart disease" and some how came across Dr Fuhrman and his web site. I felt like I had finally found some real truth about the way we should eat and decided right then that I would give it a try. It has now been a little over 8 months since I adopted the Eat To Live way of eating and lifestyle (not diet)and so far I've lost 123lbs(I'm down to 177 only 7 lbs from my goal weight), increased my exercise tolerance to where I can to medium ot high intensity 5-7 days a week, reversed high blood pressure (I was taking 300 mgs of Avapro & 200 mgs of Metaprolol daily for over 6 years now I take none), reversed high cholesterol and triglcyerides,the unstable angine has ceased, the PVC's have all but gone, lowered my blood suger to normal levels, and ceased taking Lipitor. Those are just a few of the the many benifits I've recieved since ETL. Dr. Fuhrman has counseled me several times in his "Ask The Doctor" forum and at one time informed me that I may include fish on a limited basis. I understand that you love your meat and don't want to give it up, then don't. But don't group Dr Fuhrman in with the rest of the Dr's who adocate no meat. I agree with Dr Fuhrman (and so does the science) that we would all be better of to never eat meat or amimal protien however, I'm not going to bash those who still want to indulge in that area.

4/01/2009 8:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jimmy,

I am really glad you posted your thoughts on Eat to Live. However, I would like to say a couple of things about your claims. First of all, if you starved during your 'Eat to live' period--I don't think you followed the program correctly. I am eating more on this program than I've ever allowed myself to eat. Dr. Fuhrman has 3 different programs that a person can follow --actually 4 if you include the 6-week program. You can do his 6 weeks program if you choose (which is the strictest of them all) and is the program that can lead to the 20 pound weight loss. However, he makes it clear that this is not mandatory but only if you want to see fast results. He goes on to explain the 3 different lifestyles you can have, a vegan lifestyle, a vegetarian lifestyle (which includes some dairy products), and a near vegetarian lifestyle (which includes some dairy products, lean meats and fish). Dr. Fuhrman's plans allows more flexibility than I’ve ever experienced in a diet.

Most health plans sets itself up in a way that if you don’t follow one area of the plan, than you will not lose weight and in some cases you might even gain more weight. Dr. Fuhrman’s plan allows a person to pick from 3 types of style…and although I’m not sure if he would agree with me - a knowledgeable person could further adjust his plans to make it more suitable for himself. Meaning, if you understand the main principles of his plans, you can apply it in a way that is more practical for yourself. For example, he says that a person doesn’t necessarily have to give up any foods if they don’t want to. As long as 90% of the food they are in taking is nutrient dense. How can you find anything wrong with that?--as long as most of the food you are putting in your mouth will actually help your body and health --it almost doesn’t matter what you do with that 10% of the time. Forget the numbers--if you’re eating a lot, and I mean a lot of fruits, vegetables and legumes than you have more flexibility to eat other things--the question will be whether or not you’re in the mood or hungry enough to consume other low nutrient foods.

I’m not giving this information justice --however, read the book and make up your mind for yourself. While I respect Jimmy’s comments, there’s more to this plan, and I think more people could benefit from reading the book. I am not a vegetarian --and I’m the first to jump and argue with some one who simply says ‘meat is bad for you,’ but I’m telling you that Dr. Fuhrman’s book is not some vegan rant book. His point is that we should all cut the amount of meat we eat --and coming from a person who use to think that a meal wasn’t a meal with out some sort of meat --he’s right.

Okay I’m done. But I was happy to read all the posts on here -this is the kind of debate on food I’m trying to generate on my blog:

http://thedefinitionofhealthyeating.blogspot.com/

Check it out. The point is to look at different health plans out there, like Eat to Live and other health claims that are being made by “experts.” However, there are so many contradictory information out there --how can any one know what’s right or wrong? We become the experts as we argue and debate from our own personal experiences and knowledge. Together, we’ll help each other find out our individual solution and answers.

7/01/2009 1:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jimmy,

I think you lost a bit of your brain while losing all of that weight. I have seen proof that this works and people meraculously feel better...their feet don't hurt, skin looks great, lots of energy, no chest pains.

You really should learn a lot more of what a high protein diet can do to your body IN THE LONG RUN, as well as one high in animal fats. The proof is there. Open your eyes.

9/25/2009 6:54 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Anonymous, I'm LOVING what this way of eating is doing POSITIVELY for my health long-term because I've never been so healthy in all my life. Livin' la vida low-carb is the best thing that ever happened to me and it will keep me around for many more decades to come! :D

9/25/2009 7:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jimmy, I don't mean to be rude but did you really read the book?
I am a vegan myself but as a fourth year nutritional science student I can also see the importance of moderate consumption of good quality unprocessed animal products in a lot of peoples diets. I find your review incredibly misleading and morally ireesponsible, you have repeatadly made false claims about what guidelines are in the book!
I also find calling an obviously intelligent and successful physician 'a dope' very immature regardless of your stance on the diet, are you yourself a food scientist or physician?

1/02/2010 3:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was a vegan for 12 years before I came across Dr. Fuhrmans work. Obviously I was very excited about it because it supported a lifestyle I had chosen to adopt many years previously for ethical reasons. I adopted the plan although it wasn't vastly different from my previous diet, the main differences being a much bigger emphasis on raw foods and smoothies and lower fat. I'm a nutritional scientist and have eaten what I perceived to be a healthy diet for many years, the last 5 of which I suffered very badly from IBS. My symptoms largely consisted of terrible cramping that lasts for hours, gas and bloating. If only it had ever crossed my mind for a second it was my vegan diet that was the cause of my suffering. A few months ago I adopted a plan along the lines of the paleo diet (fresh grass fed meat, fresh fruit and veg, nuts and seeds, certain oils and eggs, although I can't eat eggs) and my IBS dissapeared immediately. I'm very happy to say I've been 100% pain free for over 2 months now, before I would be lucky to get through the day without at least some level of discomfort if not being in such bad pain as to need to go to bed for a few hours. This has naturally led me to question the elements of my old diet that may have caused and/or exacerbated my poor health. I have since become more educated on issues such as lectins, sapoinins, fructose and the detrimental effects these have on our health and are contained in highest quantities on Dr Fuhrmans plan. I don't understand by Dr Fuhrman doesn't point out these issues and the strong research surrounding them in his books? What about phytates and other anti-nutrients? Surely these need to be considered when determining the nutrient density of a food? Also as much as I would love to believe otherwise meat when properly sourced and sensibly prepared is not only safe (it does NOT give you cancer that is a very common misinterpretation of the research)but is also a valuable source of certain nutrients that are extremely difficult and sometimes impossible to get from other fresh foods.
I would urge anyone following the plan to research these and other issues further (such as the role of lectins etc in autoimmune disorders), this isn't easy for me as a ex-long term and very passionate vegan to admit and I'm still struggling with the emotional aspects of eating the creatures I love so much but I feel compelled to share my experience. I've spent so many years in pain for no reason, I'm just glad I found a solution to my problems and I have am so glad to have my health back.
Kay

6/13/2010 12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this review of the Fuhrman book. I have a friend who is otherwise fairly intelligent (got a degree in Physics) but unfortunately cannot trust her own intelligence and does alot of trending, and she is insisting that not only will the Fuhrman diet prevent heart disease and cancer, but cure autoimmune diseases as well, and it's not clear to me that it actually does any of those things.

4/02/2011 6:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's always interesting when people like Fuhrman start promoting a new health plan. Most of them at some point bring up the
Chinese and how they eat so much healthier. Has he looked up the life expectancy of the Chinese lately. The latest report I have found for 2011 says that it has risen 5.1 percent to 73 years of age. (NY Times) The CIA web site has information for countries about their population etc. and they also say 73 years of age. The US is around 78 and England and some European countries are even higher. What is so great about the Chinese. They can eat all the plants and tree bark they want, I'll stick to eating my American food with moderation.

Randy.

8/21/2011 11:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Folks - try reading Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes for a comprehensive review of the not-so-great science that led to the now-being-debunked conclusion that dietary fat leads to heart disease, as well as the lack of study (until very recently) into the role that insulin plays in obesity. An excellent read that debunks the past 30 years of dogma that the solution is as simple as calories in/calories out. If it was as simple as that, the US and other western nations would not be dealing with so much obesity.

12/03/2011 3:55 PM  
Blogger grosonet said...

Anonymous... how about reading the book??? The life expectancy of the Chinese and other coutries is discussed in it, as is calories in/calories out, and he explains the health benefits of the diet and its effect on your immune system. At least your otherwise fairly intellegent physics friend has read the book.

1/30/2012 8:54 AM  
Blogger Richard Welch said...

I read "Eat to Live" about two months ago and started the eating plan 6 weeks ago. I do consider it a lifestyle change and not a diet. I have maybe 15 pounds I want to get rid of. My mom passed about 18 months ago and I seem to have eaten through my grief. All my past tricks to lose weight (I grew up heavy, but dropped to 145 pounds in my early 20's and have been able to stay between there and 155 for 20 years) had not been working. I understand my body is older now. . but I had made it into the mid to high 160's, many of my clothes were getting tight and I had to do something pronto.
For perhaps 6 weeks I have truly followed the Eat to Live plan, nearly word for work. I have never in my life eaten more fruit or vegetables (cooked or uncooked) and I barely if ever eat dairy, meat, anything with flour, never a processed food, etc. Heck, this is tougher than the modified "Atkins" plan I did a decade ago that works wonders and my weight dropped fast (I am not a beef eater, so I did Adkins with chicken and fish).
Have I gone out to eat? Occasionally. I can count the "non Eat to Live" means I have had in 6 weeks on one hand, truly. Only when I can't find a vegetable based meal or salad that looks good on the menu and I still try and make the healthiest choice possible. I have used his recipes and, as I have for decades, workout nearly every day.
The good part? I have boundless energy! I need much less sleep, am alert and clear headed. I never get sleepy mid-afternoon at work. I feel I could run around all day and still not drop. I KNOW this eating plan is much better for me because I FEEL a massive change. I also, oddly, have no cravings for sweets, carbs (like bread, etc.) or processed foods and feel satisfied. GREAT! I am so proud of myself to adapting to this lifestyle and seeing results in how I feel.
The bad part? My weight is NOT moving downward at anywhere near the speed the book promises. I started this at 166 pounds, six weeks in I weight 159. Eating an almost entirely plant based diet has caused me to lose only ONE POUND per week?? I had done tons of reading on foods over the time I have kept my weight off... I can't for the life of me figure out how I can be following this meal plan 90% of the time (I am trying to be fair here), workout and only drop a pound a week. Weight should be falling off me. How is my body able to simply decline a pound a week on vegetables and fruit?? I makes no sense to me and is growing very frustrating. Where is that amazing "20 pounds in 6 weeks" he promises? Heck, where is 10?
Anyone have insight on this? I do not plan to stop this because of how great I feel, but the idea of having to go until fall to hit my goal weight of 150 eating barely anything with fat in it escapes all my diet knowledge. I am open to ideas, others telling me not to worry, etc.

7/07/2012 9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must disagree with Dr. Furhman that dairy eaters have excessive Ca++ in
the urine. Using statistics from other studies is common, but often there are other explanations for
the findings and making a conclusion
can sometimes be premature if not inacurate. Experts tell us that eating a days calories 6x day rather than 3x is much better for most people. But Dr. Furhman says no snacks !
Interesting reading and concepts, but think twice before doing this one.

6/04/2013 12:22 PM  

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