The Eat to Live Diet Plan was created by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. It is a plant-based eating strategy promising to benefit overall health, to cure disease, and to support dramatic weight loss. That said, while Fuhrman has been quite heavy on the promises, he has been rather light on the scientific backing for those claims.
What’s Good About the Eat to Live Diet Plan?
Though the “scientific” claims made about the Eat to Live Diet Plan are at best shaky and inaccurate, this doesn’t mean that the entire strategy is without merit. There are a few things that it has to offer. Primarily, its recommendations for boosting vegetable and fruit intake, while moderating the “other stuff” are the most notable.
The majority of people eating a typical western diet aren’t consuming the number of fruits and veggie servings they should be having in an average day. Therefore, by recommending that priority be given to fruits and vegetables, it means that an individual’s nutrition has the chance to improve overall.
Where the Strategy Goes Wrong
Where many nutritionists and dietitians struggle with the Eat to Live Diet Plan is in its heavy restrictions. It recommends extreme reductions or even eliminations of certain foods and food groups, which is unnecessary, unrealistic and unsustainable for many people.
Fuhrman outlines what he refers to as a Nutritarian diet, which is one that is mainly vegan, but with a high nutrient density. He claims that health and weight require an individual to eat a high nutrient density diet, which is measured by his “scientific health equation” which, it should be noted, is not backed by reputable scientific research. He represents his equation as “Health=Nutrients/Calories”, a structure so vague that it would be impossible to accurately define for study.
Fuhrman goes on to provide a substantial list of conditions and diseases that could potentially be cured simply by following the Eat to Live Diet Plan. He states that “When the ratio of nutrients to calories is high, fat melts away, and health is restored. Losing 20 pounds in two to three weeks is just the beginning. The more nutrient-dense food you consume, the more you will be satisfied with fewer calories, and the less you will crave fat and high-calorie foods. If you have type 2 diabetes, you will likely be insulin-free in no time; if you are on heart medication, your doctor may stop your prescription; if you are planning a June wedding, you will have the dress size of your dreams.”
Not only does that claim sound too good to be true in the first place, it also doesn’t sound like something any reputable medical professional would claim. Though Fuhrman’s enthusiasm over his strategy is commendable, it is highly recommended that anyone considering following this eating strategy first speak with a licensed medical professional.
When it all comes down to it, there are many other options out there with more sustainable, researched and practical nutrition and wellness benefits.