Focus on Your Health, Not Your Weight

I just read a great book, Eat To Live, by Joel Furman, M.D. He asserts that people know less about nutrition than any other subject. After reading his book two times, I’m a believer. He also makes a great case for how to lose weight. Focus on your health, not your weight, and it will result in long-term weight loss.

I highly recommend reading this book. I have copied key points—things you should know and things you should do to whet your appetite for a good read.

Things To Know

- Dr. Fuhrman recommends a Six Week Challenge to lose significant weight
- Obesity is a more important predictor of chronic ailments and quality of life than any other public scourge and 300,000 people die annually due to obesity
- We should avoid processed foods and seek the rich nutrients and phytochemicals available in fresh foods, which supplies us with nutrients and calories (energy)
- Even though we have many unique human traits, we are genetically closely related to the great apes and other primates. Primates are the only animals on the face of the earth that can taste sweet and see color
- Fruit is an essential part of a person’s diet to maintain a high level of health
- Every time a person eats processed foods, they exclude from their diet not only essential nutrients that we are aware of but hundreds of other undiscovered phytonutrients that are crucial for normal human function
- If a person wants to lose weight, the most important foods to avoid are processed foods: condiments, candy, snacks and baked goods; fat-free has nothing to do with it. One must cut out the refined carbohydrate, including bagels, pasta, and bread
- The produce grown in this country is nutrient-rich and high in trace minerals, especially beans, nuts, seed, fruit and vegetables
- White or “enriched” rice is as bad as white bread & pasta. Nutritionally bankrupt
- Many whole grain cold cereals are so processed that they do not have a significant fiber per serving ration and have lost most of their nutritional value
- Whole grain hot cereals are less processed than cold cereals and come with better nutritional scores
- Fat, such as olive oil, can be stored on your body within minutes
- Healthy Cretans ate mostly fruits, vegetables, beans and some fish
- Olive oil is one of the most fattening, caloric dense foods on the planet
- Raw fruits/vegetables offer the highest blood levels of cancer-protective nutrients
- Cooking your food in oil makes your diet less effective & you won’t lose weight
- Raw nuts, seeds and avocados contain healthy fats
- The American diet is dangerously deficient in fiber
- You can get fiber naturally in your diet from great tasting raw fruits/vegetables
- Meat and dairy products do not contain any fiber
- Romaine lettuce, for example, is rich in both protein and essential fatty acids, giving us the healthy fats our bodies require
- Substances newly discovered in broccoli and cabbage sprouts sweep toxins out of cells. Substances found in nuts and beans prevent damage to our cells’ DNA. Com-pounds in beets, peppers and tomatoes fight cancerous changes in cells. Oranges and apples protect our blood vessels from damage that could lead to heart disease
- Raw, leafy greens such as romaine lettuce, kale, collards, Swiss chard and spinach are the most nutrient-dense of all foods
- Low-fat milk is not a low-fat product. Neither are low-fat cheeses
- Most people are slow to make changes, especially when it involves personal habits and family traditions. Most people do not embrace change. They are more comfortable with familiarity and cling to long-held but incorrect information
- All animal products are low (or completely lacking) in the nutrients that protect us against cancer and heart attacks—fiber, antioxidants, phytochemicals, folate, vitamin E, and plant proteins
- For the best overall health limit or eliminate all types of red and white meat
- Fruits & vegetables are two foods with best correlation to longevity in humans
- We have been indoctrinated since early childhood to believe that animal protein is a nutrient to be held in high esteem
- Our bodies need carbohydrates more than any other substance. Carbohydrate-rich foods when consumed in their natural state are low in calories and high in fiber content compared with fatty foods, processed foods, or animal products
- Appetite is not controlled by weight of the food but by fiber, nutrient density, and caloric density
- Green vegetables are so incredibly low in calories and rich in nutrients and fiber that the more of them you eat, the more weight you will lose
- Most Americans would improve their health if they consumed more omega-3 fat which is found in flaxseeds, walnuts and soybeans
- Fish is one of the most polluted foods we eat
- Plant foods have plenty of protein. Only when a vegetarian diet revolves around white bread & other processed foods that the protein content falls to low levels
- People are completely unaware that most illnesses are self-induced and can be reversed with aggressive nutritional methods
- Depression, fatigue, anxiety, and allergies can be related to an improper diet
- Chicken is almost as dangerous for the heart as red meat
- A person’s LDL cholesterol should be below 100
- Excess calories don’t just make you overweight—they shorten your life

Things To Do

- Eat at least one huge salad a day
- Eat at least four fresh fruits per day
- Eat a huge amount of raw foods every day
- Eat more unrefined plant foods and less from animal sources
- Eat at least one pound of raw vegetables a day
- Eat at least one pound of cooked/steamed or frozen green or nongreen nutrient-rich vegetables a day
- Eat one ounce of raw, unsalted seeds or nuts per day such as walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, etc. Eat a tablespoon of ground flaxseed every day
- Eat a cup of beans without salt every day
- Eat tomatoes, carrots, celery, snow peas, raw peas, cucumbers, peppers, onions      and garlic as often as you can
- Soak brown rice for a day before cooking as it will increase the nutritional value
- If you must use bread, a thin whole wheat pita is a good choice for sandwiches
- Eat fruits and nuts for breakfast or broccoli


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