Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Cancer Alert: Your Best Defense - Go Cruciferous

by Dr. Joel Fuhrman

We may not have eaten so healthfully our entire lives. We may have a family history of breast, prostate or colon cancer. What should we do? Just wait until cancer is found?

Getting medical screenings is certainly a personal decision, but if you want to know what you can really do to protect yourself - eat lots of colorful vegetables, specifically including lots of green cruciferous vegetables.

Eating a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables is your best defense for fighting and preventing cancer.

If we really want to win the war against cancer, we must improve the nutritional quality of our diet.

We have all heard about the antioxidant effects our bodies derive from the phytochemicals in plant foods. However, the unique phytochemicals found in cruciferous vegetables offer superior benefits.

Cruciferous vegetables contain phytochemicals that have unique abilities to modify human hormones, detoxify compounds, and prevent toxic compounds from binding to human DNA, preventing toxins from causing DNA damage that could lead to cancer.

Studies have even shown that genetic defects that may lead to cancer are suppressed by the consumption of green cruciferous vegetables.

Certainly, many studies have shown that eating fresh fruits, beans, vegetables, seeds, and nuts reduces the occurrence of cancer.

I plotted cancer incidence in 25 countries against unrefined plant food intake and found that as vegetables, beans, and fruit consumption goes up 20% in a population, cancer rates typically drop 20%. But cruciferous vegetables are different; they have been shown to be twice as effective. As cruciferous vegetable intake goes up 20%, in a population, cancer rates drop 40%.

bok choy
broccoli rabe
brussels sprouts
mustard greens
red cabbage
turnip greens

Include them in both raw and cooked forms and eat a variety of them. These benefits cannot be duplicated by taking any one pre-formed compound or supplement.

The evidence is now overwhelming that cruciferous vegetables play a major and unique role in the widely recognized protective effects of natural plant foods against cancer--and are the most important players in this arena.

The biologically active compounds from raw and conservatively cooked green vegetables enhance the natural defenses of the human body against DNA damage and they even fuel the body's ability to block growth and replication of cells that are already damaged.

For those in the know, these foods are the most important nutritional factors to prevent common human cancers.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Sensible Sun Exposure

by Dr. Joel Fuhrman

As the weather gets warmer, the days longer, and spring breaks and plans for summer vacations are upon us - we need to be reminded of the potentially harmful effects of over exposure to the sun.

Certainly, given our thinning ozone, we want to avoid excessive sun exposure to protect ourselves from the free radical damage and wrinkling that can ensue and to minimize the risk of skin cancer.

Certainly sunshine can be a valuable source of vitamin D, but it can't be denied that sunshine exposure ages and wrinkles the skin and increases risk of skin cancer.

So, you need to be sensible about sun exposure.

Sensible means avoiding the midday sun and especially protecting those parts of the face that most easily can get overexposed such as the nose, cheeks and around the eyes, where most wrinkling occurs.

Since the generous amount of sunshine that can assure sufficient vitamin D exposure is potentially damaging and can cause skin cancers, and because most of us work indoors anyway, it is advisable for most people to assure their vitamin D adequacy with supplements, not sunshine.

When we are outside for longer periods of time, it is important to use the right kind of protection. Since what you put on your skin can be absorbed into your bloodstream, it is important to know what is really in your sun care products.

BEWARE: Sunscreens with a high SPF may not be protective & may be hazardous to your health!

Sunscreens versus Sunblocks

There are two types of sun protection: sunscreens and sunblocks.

Sunscreens absorb and deflect the sun's rays through a chemical reaction. They vary in their ability to protect against UV-B and UV-A rays depending on the ingredients used in the formulation.

Sunblocks create a physical barrier against the sun's rays. They physically block or scatter both UV-A and UV-B rays.1

While UV-B rays cause sunburn, UV-A rays penetrate deeper into the skin, lowering our resistance to skin cancers and causing skin to age.

The SPF number or Sun Protection Factor on sunscreens refers only to UV-B protection. A product with an SPF of 20 for example, would let a user remain in the sun 20 times longer without burning.

The FDA has no standards for measuring how well a sunscreen blocks UV-A rays. Many sunscreens do not even protect against UV-A rays. Ironically, a product with a high SPF factor, and no UV-A protection, could make you falsely believe that you can safely stay in the sun longer, overexposing yourself unprotected to UV-A rays.

Chemical sunscreens can dilute with sweat and burn your eyes. In addition, a number of studies have linked allergic reactions to chemical sunscreens, particularly oxybenzone.

Little is known about the potential harm of chronic sunscreen use and the systemically absorbed chemicals deposited after topical application.

The fact that red flags keep showing up regarding oxybenzone is of particular concern since it is a benzophenone commonly used to make sunscreens with especially high SPF factors.

Mineral sunblocks that contain titanium dioxide or zinc oxide are preferable to chemical sunscreens because rather than being absorbed into the skin, the minerals lie on top of the skin, reflecting UV rays before they cause damage.

To effectively block UV-A rays you need a physical sunblock such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. As a result, more sun care products are available that use titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, but there is more to the story. Serious concerns have been raised about the safety of these ingredients used in most commercially available sunscreen products.6

Often these sun care products use a form of titanium dioxide or zinc oxide which is micronized by nanotechnology. This technology is used to make the sunscreen more transparent - so it is better absorbed by the skin. These tiny nanoparticles, however, can penetrate biological membranes and easily reach cells.

Nanoparticles are smaller than anything humans have put into commercial products before.

These ultra small particles may even enter the bloodstream. Lab studies indicate that both of these nano-ingredients create free radicals that damage the DNA of cells and possibly cause other harm as well.7 Preliminary investigation into the ability of these nanoparticles to penetrate healthy skin has revealed conflicting results.

Public interest groups are currently asking the FDA to declare all currently available sunscreen products with nanoparticles a potential hazard to public health. Until complete safety-assessments are made, I recommend steering clear of products with these nanoparticles.

Most products, do not reveal the use of nanoparticles on their label. To make matters worse, there also are other ingredients found in sunscreen products that should be avoided such as: PABA, Benzophenone (homosalate and octy-methoxycinnamate), Parabens (butyl-,ethyl-,methyl-, propyl-), Padimate-O and Parsol 1789 (2-ethylhexyl-4-dimethylaminobenzoic acid and avobenzone).

So what is safe?

Sunblocks are the Safest

Overall, the physical sunblocks, with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, are the safest choices for sun protection. They are the least irritating, and they safely provide protection against
both UV-A and UV-B rays. Keep in mind, however, that titanium dioxide and zinc oxide products that contain nanoparticles should be avoided until more is known about the effects of this technology.

We've done our research and found a product-line which uses a form of nonmicronized titanium dioxide that is safe and effective at blocking both UV-A and UV-B rays without those harmful chemicals. Our Lavera sun care line protects against both UV-A and UV-B without the use of harmful chemicals and stays on the skin for an incredibly long time.

Remember, sun protection products must be applied liberally to insure you receive the SPF protection claimed on the label. Most people apply 25-75% less sunscreen than the amount used when the manufacturers test their products.8

Make the sun a healthy and enjoyable experience for you and your loved ones!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Leaders of the Vegan Movement Develop Parkinson's: Case Studies

by Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Editors Note:

I personally stick to a whole foods vegan diet. My blood tests, however,revealed I was low in vitamins D and B12.

Following Dr. Fuhrman's advice I have begun taking Vitamins D, B12 and omega 3.

In our effort to eat "naturally" we must not behave carelessly and ignore scientific evidence when it stares us in the face.

Please read this important article. Herbert Shelton and T.C. Frye were two leaders in the field of Natural Hygiene. Their writings had a significant influence on my dietary habits. They both died of nutritional deficiencies.

I am grateful to Dr. Fuhrman for bringing this vital information to our attention.

Leaders of the Vegan Movement Develop Parkinson's: Case Studies

Herbert Shelton (1895 - 1985) a naturopath and chiropractor and the influential founder of the American Natural Hygiene Society and Nature Cure movement in America and prolific health writer advocated a natural food vegetarian diet of mostly raw fruits, vegetables and nuts.

I read all of his highly motivating books, newsletters and writings in my teens.

He lived in Texas, was physically fit, grew lots of his own food and ate carefully and fasted periodically. Of course he did not get cancer, he did not get heart disease, but he died of Parkinson's disease and was so severely affected by the age of 78 that even walking was difficult.

In 1973 when I met him he was already severely hunched over and had a difficult time walking and caring for himself. Though he lived many years with this significant disability, the quality of his later years was extremely poor.

Prominent Vegetarian and Health Advocate - this leader in the natural health movement and a personal friend to me also suffered from and eventually died from a fall related to his Parkinson's disease.

During his young adult life he embarked on the path of healthy living and vegetarianism. A follower of Shelton's works, he operated a large health food store, one of the first to sell organic fruits and vegetables in America; he became a leader in the health food industry.

Of course he was not at risk of cancer or heart disease with his excellent diet, but he developed Parkinson's which limited the quality of his later years.

When he was developing his Parkinsonian tremors, I ordered blood tests and was shocked to see his blood results showing almost a zero DHA level on his fatty acid test, in spite of adequate ALA consumption from nuts and seeds eaten daily.

I had never seen a DHA level that low before. Since that time I have drawn DHA blood levels on other patients with Parkinson's and also found very low DHA levels.

Was it a coincidence, that these leaders in the natural food, vegetarian movement, who ate a very healthy vegan diet and no junk food would both develop Parkinson's?

I thought to myself--could it be that deficiencies in DHA predispose one to Parkinson's? Do men have worse ability to convert short chain omega-3 into long chain DHA? Is that why Parkinson's affects more men than women?

Is there evidence to suggest that DHA deficiencies lead to later life neurologic problems? Are there primate studies to show DHA deficiencies in monkeys leads to Parkinson's?

The answer to all of these questions is a resounding, yes.

More than 1 million Americans suffer from Parkinson's Disease (PD), a neurodegenerative disease that is clinically characterized by resting tremor, muscular rigidity, gait problems and impaired ability to initiate movements.

Recent scientific findings show diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids, in particular DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), have a protective effect on this type of neurodegenerative disease.

Studies in animals clearly show that supplementation of DHA can alter brain DHA concentrations and thereby modify brain functions leading to reduced risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.1

A recent study examined mice which were exposed to two diets; one group was fed a diet with DHA and other omega-3 fatty acids; while the other group was given ordinary food, lacking DHA. After a period of time they were given a dose of a chemical that causes the same damage to the brain as Parkinson's disease.

The mice on the DHA diet seemed to be immune to the effects of the chemical, whereas the mice that ate ordinary food developed symptoms of the disease.

According to the researchers, among the mice that had been given omega-3 supplementation - in particular DHA - omega-3 fatty acids replaced the omega-6 fatty acids in their brains.

Due to the fact that concentrations of other omega-3s (LNA and EPA) had maintained levels in both groups of mice, the researchers suggested that the protective effect against Parkinson's indeed came from DHA.2

Another conclusion drawn from this finding is that a brain containing a lot of omega-6 fatty acids may create a fertile ground for developing Parkinson's disease. These fatty acids, are abundant in foods rich in either vegetable oil or animal fat, which we already know contribute negatively to our health.

Another study observed the effect of DHA on monkeys treated with MPTP, a drug that induces Parkinson's like symptoms, and the results suggested that DHA can reduce the severity of, or delay the development of these drug-induced symptoms and therefore can offer therapeutic benefits in the treatment of Parkinson's. 3

Overall, this research provides evidence that DHA deficiencies can leave us vulnerable to developing diseases like Parkinson's and Alheizmer's.

If you are a nutritarian, flexitarain, vegan, or vegetarian and you are not taking DHA or confirming your levels are adequate with blood work you are being negligent, and potentially increasing your risk of such a disease in later life. All the good efforts on proper nutrition can be undone with one deficiency such as Vitamin D, B12, or DHA. I see this every week in my practice.

History Repeats Itself

Some authors, doctors and leaders of the vegan movement today are heavily biased towards the idea of not needing these supplements. They simply give inadequate nutritional advice and in spite of all the science they still pooh-pooh taking long-chain omega-3 DHA. They are risking the quality of their own lives and that of their followers.

Likewise, I have seen so many vegan-promoting doctors and authors negate the need for taking B12, as well as dismiss the need to take vitamin D, stating minimal sunshine is enough. They also deny the need for omega-3 supplementation. There is so much scientific literature available today pointing to the contrary, however, this irresponsible information keeps radiating from the podium of lecture halls.

It reminds me of all the statements in the past, that the need for B12 was exaggerated and that the small amount of bacteria on organic produce or in seaweed was sufficient.

TC Fry (1926 - 1996)- another long-term Natural Hygienist, raw foodest, vegetarian-fruitarian, advocated you did not need supplements as food contained all that we need. He died of an atherosclerotic-related embolism at the age of 70.

I saw his hospital record at his death and reviewed his blood work drawn immediately prior to his death. It was quite revealing. He had severe B12, deficiency, so long-standing that his B12 levels were almost undetectable and the lowest I have ever seen.

It is kind of interesting reading internet interpretations of why he died, such as "did not practice what he preached," "cheated on his diet," "too much sex," "ozone treatments for his vascular disease". He died prematurely simply because long-standing B12 deficiency leads to extremely high homocysteine levels, which can cause intra-vascular inflammation and cardiovascular disease.

I have seen this over and over again in vegans not supplementing with B12. I even had a patient with extremely severe hyper-homocysteinemia and vascular disease who flew in to see me from Scandinavia. When I diagnosed the problem and discussed how to solve it, she still refused to take the B12 supplements, stating that Dr. Shelton and Dr. Vetrano said that nature provided us with all that we need in natural plant foods.

She flew home angry that I disagreed. She died soon after.

Don't be fooled into thinking that by merely eating right you are doing all you can do to protect your health. People must be made aware that by neglecting to take the supplements that are essential to assuring nutritional excellence, they are putting themselves in harm's way. Specifically, not taking DHA, B12 and vitamin D can be potentially dangerous and even life threatening.

Dr. Fuhrman's DHA Purity is a pure, fresh, all vegan, concentrated liquid. This DHA is derived from algae grown under sanitary laboratory conditions.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Heart Disease and Impotence -Part II

by Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Lifesaving Information to Reverse Your Condition

I have been in practice for 14 years. I have cared for hundreds of men with erectile dysfunction that have reversed their condition with nutritional excellence.

I have cared for hundreds of heart patients with angina and advanced heart disease, who have turned their backs on invasive cardiac procedures, recovered from angina and opened up the closed blood vessels in their diseased hearts.

Out of thousands of men with advanced heart and erectile problems who have followed my nutritional advice, I have never had a patient suffer a heart attack or cardiac related death.

Both these conditions are predictably reversible with nutritional excellence and the judicious use of dietary supplements. This same program will just as effectively lower your weight, blood pressure and cholesterol and protect you against prostate cancer.

In fact, my nutritional program, when analyzed in the scientific studies, was shown to lower cholesterol levels more powerfully than drugs, without the risks and side effects.

Another study showed a forty percent increase of blood flow to the heart within one year of starting this program, as described in my books, Eat For Health or Eat For Health.

Of pertinent note is that, in the same study, the patients following a high protein Atkins’ diet decreased blood flow to the heart by forty percent in one year. These dangerous high protein diets are a certain path to erectile impotence and a premature cardiac death.

Furthermore, a recently completed study by the University of Southern California (soon to be published) showed that, out of one hundred patients presenting to my practice, the average weight loss (sustained for more than two years) was 49 pounds. This approach is simply the ideal way to live and eat if you want to maintain your youthfulness and health into your later years.

It is not for everybody, and I do not expect the masses to embrace a dietary approach this healthful. Nevertheless, many thousands of people have chosen and will choose to enjoy fantastic tasting food that can also be nutrient dense and offer dramatic protection against disease.

It is better to start early and not wait until you have advanced disease. Forty percent of all cardiac deaths occur in people who had no warning, no pain and no symptoms. Their first symptom of heart disease was their deadly first heart attack. Let’s have this not be you.

When it comes to combating heart disease, most information sources promote drugs and surgery as the only viable options. As a result, the demand for high-tech, expensive, but largely ineffective medical care is soaring, causing medical costs and insurance rates to skyrocket. This chase for "cures" is both financially devastating and futile. Morbidity and premature mortality from heart disease continue to rise, with no sign of abating.

Interventional cardiology offers only partial benefits, since these procedures do not remove the causes of the problem.

Attempts to intervene with invasive procedures or surgery after the damage already has been done have not been shown to offer a significant reduction in cardiac deaths. We need to keep in mind that angioplasty and bypass surgery have some significant adverse outcomes, including heart attacks, stroke and death.

These invasive procedures only attempt to treat a small segment of the diseased heart, usually with only a temporary benefit. The patients treated with angioplasty and bypass will continue to experience progressive disability and most often die a premature death as a result of their heart disease.

The average person is not aware that there are safer, more effective options available. Unfortunately, government agencies often are slow to respond to new scientific information and economic and political forces make it difficult for our population to receive clear information informing them that heart disease is nutritionally induced and totally avoidable with dietary excellence.

For example, six of the eleven members, including the chairman of the USDA's Dietary Guidelines Committee in the year 2000, had financial ties to the meat, dairy and egg industries. Not surprisingly, the foods these industries produce figure prominently in government dietary recommendations in spite of their documented links to increased health risks.

Similar problems exist in recommendations by many non-profit health organizations. Sadly, even the American Heart Association advocates a diet that has been shown to actually increase heart disease.

To help spread the message that real heart attack protection is available for all, I wrote a book specifically addressing this point, Cholesterol Protection for Life. It is available now as an e-book and as a paperback. In about 100 pages, it clearly outlines the methods, the plan and the evidence necessary to show how this program works so effectively. This information is the most powerful weapon we have to save millions of lives. Start with yours.

For additional resources for a healthier lifestyle visit Dr. Joel Fuhrman's Fitness Shop

To see Dr. Fuhrman's complete range of products, including books, DVD's, natural foods and more, click here: Store Home Page

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Heart Disease and Impotence -Part I

by Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is typically the first clinical manifestation of cardiovascular disease making it a helpful early marker of men who are likely to die of heart attacks.

There is a strong relationship between erectile dysfunction and high blood pressure, high cholesterol, angina, stroke, heart attack and a premature death.

Erectile dysfunction affects around half of all men over the age of forty, but the patient often does not request treatment. The recent surge in Viagra and other medications to deal with erectile dysfunction is indicative of the rapid deterioration of the circulatory system in most men in this country.

This subject is fascinating because the science links an abnormality in the pro-erectile nitric oxide production system in the penis with oxidative stress that creates heart disease and risk of heart attacks.

Erectile dysfunction is an accurate predictor of ischemic vascular events down the road, meaning heart attacks and strokes in the future. Surely, psychogenic components play a role in erectile dysfunction, but the most common and primary cause in most men is organic vascular insufficiency.

Erectile dysfunction usually occurs 1 to 5 years before a male manifests overt signs of cardiovascular disease. The first sign may be death.

Remember, you do not have to die of a heart attack, and you do not have to have erectile dysfunction. Both are the result of dietary choices, and you can make a choice right now to protect your life.

So I ask, " do you want to die of a heart attack or don’t you?" If you don’t, then are you willing to do what it takes to reduce your risk 100 percent? I don’t know about you, but for me, just dropping my risk 20 to 40 percent with medical care is not enough. I want total protection.

You can choose erectile dysfunction as you age, which will be followed by your share of heart problems, angioplasties, bypass and a premature cardiac death, or you can avoid cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, thoracic surgeons, emergency rooms and operating rooms. I made my choice and thousands of other men have, too.

Today, when Americans concern themselves with external threats to our safety and security are at their highest levels, there is a surprising lack of concern about the very real dangers posed by homegrown threats to our well-being.

Each day, the media presents horrific news of death and destruction caused by war, terrorism and other violence. It virtually ignores a silent and more deadly enemy that is causing untold suffering to families and undermining the health and economic well-being of our country. I am talking about the many deadly diseases, especially heart disease, that we bring upon ourselves through our unhealthful diet.

Heart disease is a much bigger problem than most people think. Consider a recent study on firefighters who died in the line of duty. We think of firefighters as courageous, highly trained men and women who risk their lives to save others. We imagine that they are at greatest risk when rushing into emergency situations and natural disasters where they are surrounded by dangerous conditions.

Recent findings suggest otherwise.

The US Fire Administration with the Federal Emergency Management Agency investigates on-duty firefighters’ deaths. During the decade between 1990 and 2000, forty-four percent of all on-duty deaths were due to cardiovascular disease.

Among firefighters aged fifty-five to sixty, seventy-six percent of all on-duty deaths were due to heart attacks. I believe that firefighters, like all other Americans, could stop dying needlessly if accurate diet and health information were readily available to them from respected sources.

Dangerous foods take away the lives of brave men and women everyday. Are people adequately informed that donuts, bagels, cheese, hot dogs, luncheon meats and other snack foods are weapons of mass destruction that cause an untimely death? Would all these individuals still have committed suicide with food if they knew they had a choice? I think not.

End of Part I

For additional resources for a healthier lifestyle visit Dr. Joel Fuhrman's Fitness Shop

To see Dr. Fuhrman's complete range of products, including books, DVD's, natural foods and more, click here: Store Home Page

Monday, March 30, 2009

Eat For Health - A Review

“EAT FOR HEALTH is the only eating style that will allow you to shed pounds while you reverse existing diseases and protect yourself from future health problems ...”
— Foreword by John Abramson, M.D.

Why do hundreds of medical doctors utilize Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat For Health system in their medical practice?

It is because all diets fail, for vast majority, in the long–run, unless there is an adequate understanding of nutrient density of food and how low–nutrient–eating leads to food cravings, food addictions and fuels overeating behavior.

Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat For Health is a medical breakthrough because without this fascinating information you are essentially destined to be struggling with dieting forever, compelled to consume excess calories, and not be able to comfortable and permanently maintain a lighter, healthier weight.

Dr. Fuhrman is the founder of the high nutrient eating style and a pioneer in the growing field of nutritional medicine. Now with the Eat For Health , (two–book set) Dr. Fuhrman has taken his bestselling Eat To Live book a gigantic step further, he has made his approach nation–friendly, now everyone can easily do it.

Dr. Fuhrman‘s nutritional approach to the prevention and management of chronic disease is the most significant medical advance I have seen in my career as a physician.
— John V. Forrest, M.D. Professor UCSD Medical School

Thousands who have recovered from their medical problems have been calling Dr. Fuhrman‘s Eat For Health program a medical miracle.

We are not just talking about the people who have lost their excess weight after failing for years on one diet after another, but diseases, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, allergies, asthma, autoimmune illnesses (including lupus) and headaches have simply melted away.

Published medical research already documents this as the most effective weight loss method ever recorded in medical history. There was an average two year weight loss of 53 pounds. Most importantly they kept the weight off.

This complete two–book set actually teaches you how to prefer a health–promoting diet–style over a disease–promoting diet.

The hallmark of healthy eating is to consume more foods that contain a high nutrient density and less food with a low nutrient density.

To make it easy, Dr. Fuhrman has scored thousands of foods so that in each of the 4 phases, the nutrient density of the suggested menus increases.

The outcome is that when you eat enough high nutrient foods you can reverse most medical problems without drugs.

If diets never worked for you in the past you will now understand why and you will be motivated to lose your excess weight and get well again. Eat For Health can save your life.

Dr. Fuhrman‘s MANDI food and meal scoring system (patent pending) lets you know exactly how healthy your diet is. You can choose your own level of nutritional excellence and you can move forward to a higher level at your own pace when you are ready or you can pump it up to phase four to get maximal weight loss and therapeutic effect to reverse disease.

High Nutrient Food, Not Drugs, Is The Prescription

Book two contains the menus and recipes. It teaches you how to make this diet work easily for you and your family.

With over 150 delicious and easy recipes, it makes high nutrient eating truly gourmet. From strengthening your taste buds to dealing with temptation, restaurant eating, to eating on the road, this program will make sure you can do it, enjoy it, and even fit it into your busy schedule. It is guaranteed to change your life forever.

A scientifically proven system to have you lose your food addictions and actually prefer healthy foods over low–nutrient food.

A gradual, 4 – phase program with custom menus so you can adjust the program to your individual needs and preferences.

* Everyday recipes that taste phenomenal and are easy to make.

* A nutrient scoring system to measure the nutritional quality of your diet.

* Remove toxic hunger and you will succeed at losing weight and keeping it off forever.

* Use high nutrient foods to beat disease, get rid of diabetes, lower your blood pressure and cholesterol without drugs and protect yourself against cancer and get more pleasure out of eating.

Physicians and Scientists Endorse Eat For Health

Dr. Fuhrman offers up a large serving of all–to–uncommon common sense about improving your diet and your health. Follow his advice about healing yourself and you will be well along the path to a healthier and longer life.
— John Abramson MD
Clinical Instructor, Harvard Medical School
Author of Overdosed America

Medicine is in great need of a paradigm shift in its approach to healthcare delivery. ”Eat For Health“ is an extraordinary book and can be an important catalyst for such a paradigm shift. It should be a must read for healthcare professional students, healthcare professionals, healthcare policy makers, and any individual seeking optimal health.
— Baxter Montgomery, MD, FACC
Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine
University of Texas Healthscience Center, Houston, TX

As a physician, I follow Dr. Fuhrman's excellent recommendations myself and I have prescribed them to my patients with some wonderful results. “Eat For Health” is a great book for anyone who wants to see less of the doctor!
— Anna Quisel MD
Family Physician
Wilmington, Delaware

A terrific, "non–diet" diet. Dr. Fuhrman explains precisely what you should eat and he makes it delicious. “Eat For Health“ is effective, practical and sensible.
— Richard N. Podell, M.D., M.P.H.
Medical Director and Clinical Professor
Department of Family Medicine
UMDNJ–Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

I trust Dr. Fuhrman with my patients because his insights make sense and work, a wonderful combination for any physician.
— Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Director, Cardiovascular Institute
Columbia–Presbyterian Medical Center

“Dr. Fuhrman’s book summarizes a practical and effective method to live a long and healthy life — devoid of chronic disease and full of the vitality intended for us all by Mother Nature. Here is a chance to make your most important investment...the rest of your life!”
— Matt Lederman, M.D.
Board Certified Internal Medicine
Director of Transition to Health’s Nutrition and Wellness Program
Los Angeles, California

Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritional prescription is a greatly–needed antidote to the US way of eating which has become a leading cause of disease and premature death. Despite all the sophisticated medical technology available today, the sobering truth is that the greatest tools for preventing and reversing disease are your fork and spoon. This way of eating will greatly benefit those in poor health as well as healthy persons desiring optimal wellness and vitality. Further, unlike most weight–loss approaches based on “will–power” and difficult to sustain, Dr. Fuhrman’s approach corrects the underlying causes of excessive hunger and cravings, resulting in permanent, naturally–occurring weight loss. I have had the privilege of personally seeing the tremendous disease reversal that occurs with this way of eating, and whole–heartedly recommend this book.
— Tonja R. Nansel, PhD
Investigator, Prevention Research Branch
Department of Epidemiology, Statistics, and Prevention Research
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Dr. Fuhrman’s message is scientifically valid, clinically proven, and very much worth considering for anyone who wants to really enjoy personal health. This prescription for health is both profound and broad in its effect.
— T. Colin Campbell, PhD
Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry
Cornell University
Co-author, "The China Study"

Dr. Fuhrman has done a magnificent job of synthesizing the essence of thousands of peer reviewed medical journal articles and devising a dietary program that can work miracles for your health! This man is a pioneer in preventive medicine.
— David W. Bullock, D.O.
Physical Medicine &Rehabilitation Specialist
Lawrence, KS, & Social Security Medical Consultant

I love this book. It’s hard to believe that Dr. Fuhrman could surpass his earlier book, “Eat To Live”, but he did. “Eat For Health” empowers us to make change. It is the only prescription that will ensure that our golden years remain golden and not riddled with disability and disease. Dr, Fuhrman’s advice can enable you to achieve the same weight loss seen with gastric bypass surgery WITHOUT the surgery. A must read to “exercise” your taste buds and rev up your metabolic machinery.
— Deanna Cherrone, M.D.
Board Certified in Internal Medicine
Founder of Natural Health & Healing, LLC
Avon, CT

Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritional approach to the prevention and management of chronic disease is the most significant medical advance I have seen in my career as a physician.
— John V. Forrest, M.D.
Professor of Radiology
UCSD Medical School

In “ Eat For Health ” Dr. Fuhrman has taken the most accurate information about nutrition today and made it understandable for anyone who is interested in being responsible for their own health. Dr. Fuhrman’s food rating system—Aggregate Nutrient Density Index makes it easy to decide what to eat. Take this knowledge that’s presented so clearly and live a healthy life.
— Deborah Pate, D.C., D.A.C.B.R.
Chiropractor and chiropractic radiologist
San Diego, CA

If you took a pill every day that made you slimmer, healthier and reversed most disease processes in your body, you would call it a medical miracle. I have witnessed that Dr.Fuhrman’s “Eat For Health” program can provide that miracle makeover that you have been looking for. Plus, it is a delicious and pleasurable way to eat. “Eat For Health” and create your own miracle — today!
— Michael Klaper, M.D.
Family and Emergency Room Physician
Author and Nutritional Researcher

Follow Dr. Fuhrman’s easy–to–understand formula in this book and start having the healthiest time of your life. Fad dieting has no long–term weight and health benefits, but when you eat high nutrient foods the results stick.
— Gerald Deustch, President
National Health Association

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— Stephen Lichtenstein, M.D.
Attending Surgeon
Wills Eye Institute
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Director of Lifestyle Medicine
Wellspring Medical Center

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— William Menzin M.D., M.P.H.
Faculty, Harvard Medical School

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

What You Need to Know About Vegetarian or Vegan Diets - Part III

by Dr. Joel Fuhrman

What are the drawbacks of an omnivorous diet?

Despite the availability of nutritious foods, much of the modern developed world today eats a much less than optimal diet.

In fact, the incidence of heart disease and cancer is higher in more developed countries and still kills about 80% of all adults, despite the fact that the nutritional causes of these illnesses have been explained by scientific studies.

Unfortunately, our society has developed to the point where half of all caloric intake today comes from refined or processed foods and about 40 percent from animal products. Both processed food and animal products lead to heart disease and cancer, according to scientific literature.

The most commercially successful diet books in our country appeal to America’s love-affair with saturated, fat-rich animal products and still leave the public with a relatively dangerous solution to their growing waistlines.

These books encourage a higher percentage of animal products in people’s diets in spite of the preponderance of evidence showing the links to heart disease and cancer.

There are three main problems with diets that contain significant amounts of animal products:

More than a thousand well-designed studies have led to all major health authorities around the world to conclude that saturated fat is a leading contributor to high cholesterol, heart disease, and many cancers. In spite of that, some still believe the earth is flat, and saturated fat is not harmful.

Fat soluble petrochemicals such as PCB’s and dioxin, as well as other toxic elements such as mercury are transferred to humans predominantly via the fatty portions of fish, dairy, meat, and poultry and in that order.

Fatty fish that are rich sources of omega-3 fats are also typically heavily contaminated with harmful pollutants.

Animal products contain no fiber, and almost no antioxidant vitamins such as vitamins C, K, E and folate.
They also are lacking in all the anti-cancer phytochemicals, bioflavonoids, lignins, and carotenoids that are so essential to protect us against chronic illnesses, immune system disorders, and a premature death.

With animal products occupying a major caloric percentage of the diet, less remains for natural, unrefined plant produce, nutritious foods essential to our health.

The inclusion of sugar, white flour, oil and other low-nutrient calories in an omnivorous diet virtually guarantees phytonutrient deficiency and the occurrence of late life cancer.

So the low levels of certain essential nutrients are inevitable, unless an omnivorous diet is carefully designed to include substantial amounts of fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, raw nuts, and seeds to supply crucial food elements for optimal health.

The amount of produce necessary to afford a considerable degree of protection would automatically necessitate animal products be a significantly smaller percentage of ones dietary intake, rather than a main portion.

After that, the type of animal products chosen is crucial to minimize their potential harmful effects. The animal products that are lowest in saturated fat are egg whites, low fat fish, skinless white meat turkey, and chicken. The highest saturated fat animal products are butter, cheeses, and red meat.

Because animal products do not contain significant omega-3 fat it is important for those omnivorous diet to consume walnuts, flax, hemp, and other plant sources of omega-3.

The valuable omega-3 fats should not be derived exclusively from the regular consumption of fatty fish, which are such a polluted food. Instead, I recommend the lower fat (less polluted) fish such as flounder, sole, and tilapia and using the cleaner, plant sources of omega-3.

In addition, a multivitamin and a DHA supplement would still be a good idea, for the assurance that optimal levels of these nutrients are met.

Is a vegetarian or vegan diet safe for children?

Parents often ask me whether their children should be eating a vegetarian or vegan diet. A diet optimally designed for the human species, would naturally be ideal for the children of that species too. There are no special needs children have that would make them require a different diet.

Even at the time of rapid growth and brain development the optimal supply of energy and essential fats can be met by and appropriately planned vegetarian or vegan diet.

According to the American Dietetic Association and the Institute of Food Technologists vegan diets can provide adequate nutrition for children.

In May 1998, the seventh edition of Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care was published. In it, Dr. Spock recommends a vegan diet for children. Dr. Spock was concerned that the diet we fed our children, rich in animal products and dairy fat set them up for adult disabilities and a premature death.

He wasn’t wrong. But this sparked a long overdue discussion about the scientific and practical issues of optimal diets for children.

Clearly children of all ages need an adequate supply of healthy fats to fuel their growth and energy needs and for brain development.

Some people believe even a B12 supplemented vegan or vegetarian diet would not supply enough essential fats for comfort. This could be a concern if the diet is essentially carbohydrate-based, comprised of foods such as bread, potato, rice and fruit.

Conversely, raw nuts, seeds and avocados are rich in protein, fat, vitamins and minerals. Whole nuts, such as peanuts, should be avoided in young children as the shape makes them possible to get stuck in a toddler’s windpipe, if not chewed. But nuts can be safely utilized in the diet after one year of age utilizing nut butters, dressing, sauces and desserts to meet these concerns of fat adequacy.

Nuts are rich in protein and also a clean source of nourishment as they grow on deep-rooted trees and do not contain chemical residue. Avocados are appropriate food for infants starting at six months and can be mashed with bananas and mixed with other foods to add a nutritious fat source.

The addition of fortified soy milks and tofu, beans, and green vegetables assures complete nutrition for toddlers and children on vegetarian diets.

Of course, informed parents know that if children are to maximize their intellectual and health potential they must be breast fed. Breast feeding should be continued to at least the first and preferably the second birthday to maximize benefits at reducing cancer incidence for both the baby and the mother doing the nursing.

The real question is : Is an omnivorous diet safe for children?

Clearly the omnivorous diet that most children consume today is particularly dangerous to their future health.

The most recent scientific evidence is both overwhelming and shocking—apparently what our parents choose to feed or not feed their children during childhood has a greater effect on the cause of certain cancers than dietary intake over the next 50 years.

Today it is well recognized that our children eat less than 2% of their diet from natural plant foods such as fruits and vegetables.

American children move into adulthood eating 90% of their caloric intake from dairy products, white flour, sugar, and oil.

Then many develop autoimmune illnesses as young adults before heart disease and cancer strikes later. Diseases of nutritional ignorance flourish, but they have not been connected to their cause—childhood diets—until now. The diet rich in cheese, whole milk, white flour and sugar is implicated.

High dairy fat and animal food consumption in childhood assures unnaturally high levels of hormone promoters that raise our children’s blood level of estrogen and testosterone, induce an earlier maturity, and initiate changes that promote adult cancers.

It is well accepted that an earlier puberty significantly increase the adult risk of both prostate and breast cancer. Animal fats (especially dairy and fish) also contain contaminants that place children at increased risk.

One could make an omnivorous diet safer if dairy fat were removed, if one avoided the potential pollutants in fish, if processed food were significantly limited and if an abundance of produce were consumed.

I would rather a young child added eggs to her diet than fish or dairy, because of the potential for transmission of chemicals mercury and PCB’s in the fish and dairy.

Therefore I encourage consumption of a carefully planned vegetarian diet or one that includes a small amount of animal products, perhaps 10% of total calories or less, rather than 40 -60 % that children eat today. An animal-product-rich omnivorous diet cannot be considered nutritious food or called healthful.

If one is to utilize animal products in their family and children’s diet they should only choose low-fat or nonfat varieties of dairy products, if they are included in the diet at all.

I still recommend substituting nuts, seeds, and avocados as the major sources of fat in the diet.

Fruits, vegetables, avocados, nuts, seeds, beans/legumes, and whole grains are the optimal foods for children. Here are some of the long-term advantages of plant-based diets:

Vegetarian diets prevent and reduce high blood pressure Cholesterol levels are much lower in vegetarians
Cancer rates are much lower in vegetarians
Vegetarians are leaner and have less obesity in adulthood
Plant-based vegetarian diets encourage a later menarche, which has been shown to be associated with reduced risk of prostate and breast cancer


Both vegetarian and omnivorous and diets can be made healthful or harmful; nutritious food choices, wise supplementation and nutritional sophistication will make the difference in the type of diet you choose.

Following a strict vegetarian diet is not as important as eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Inclusion of high nutrient produce, including nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables and beans are an essential part of every healthy diet.

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