When Joel Fuhrman, M.D., published his book "Eat to Live" 10 years ago, it became a number one bestseller and changed the way people think about food and health. Now with a new book out, the "Eat to Live Cookbook," Dr. Fuhrman offers practical new advice for treating food like medicine to drive weight loss and combat disease.
Dr. Fuhrman, a board-certified family physician and clinical nutritionist, tells Newsmax Health scientific research has proven that what's in your refrigerator and kitchen pantry — not your medicine cabinet — is the key to living a long, healthy life.
A central component of his "Eat to Live" philosophy: Be sure to include three nutrient-rich foods in your diet every day — vegetables, beans, and onions — to ward off cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
"Three of the most beneficial, longevity promoting anti-cancer foods are green vegetables, beans, and onions," says Dr. Fuhrman, who advocates what he calls a "nutritarian diet" rich in vegetables and low in meat protein, bread, and pasta.
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He has also come up with an acronym — "GBOMBS," short for greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries, and seeds — to define what he calls the "most powerful anti-cancer foods" in the American diet.
The idea, he explains, is to boost the amount of micronutrients — vitamins, minerals, and health-boosting phytochemicals — we consume in our diets, and reduce our consumption of macronutrients, like fat, carbohydrate, and animal protein.
"It's designing a diet style with a high micronutrient density, which means more nutritional bang for each caloric buck," he says.
"Nutritional science has made exponential advances in recent years. And now we can say to people, with real scientific support, you don’t have to have a heart attack, you don’t have to have a stroke, you don't thave to get demented when you get old. We can win the war on cancer. We've gone down the wrong path in the history of nutrition over the last 50 years, but now we're getting it together."
Dr. Fuhrman — a former world class figure skater who placed second in the United States National Pairs Championships in 1973 and third in the 1976 World Professional Pairs Skating — points out that processed foods account for more than half the calories consumed by the average American. At the same time, animal products comprise 30 percent of most Americans' diets and few people eat enough vegetables.
"Americans are grossly deficient in basic micronutrients and especially those phytochemicals that arm our immune system to fight cancer," he explains.
One simple strategy to combat this trend: Eat at least one large salad every day.
"Put a sign on your refrigerator that says the salad is the main dish," he recommends.
The problem with many conventional diet plans is that they emphasize what NOT to eat, as opposed to stressing the importance of increasing the consumption of certain, nutrient-rich healthy foods, he says.
"Cutting back on calories is not the answer to successful weight loss and successful health … you have to increase the quality of what you eat, not just reduce the quantity," he notes.
"We can reduce these cancer rates — breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer — by 90 percent or more by people adopting what I call a nutritrarian diet."
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