Dr. Fuhrman is the father of the nutritarian movement and coined the term nutritarian. His Eat to Live and Eat for Health books are changing people’s lives. All over the globe people are jumping on the nutritarian bandwagon. But what exactly does that mean? Has anyone yet told you that he or she is a nutritarian? After reading this article you’ll be prepared when someone does just that.
In Dr. Fuhrman’s own words, “a nutritarian is a person who strives for more micronutrients per calorie in their diet-style. A nutritarian understands that food has powerful disease-protecting and therapeutic effects and seeks to consume a broad array of micronutrients via their food choices. It is not sufficient to merely avoid fats, consume foods with a low glycemic index, lower the intake of animal products, or eat a diet of mostly raw foods. A truly healthy diet must be micronutrient rich and the micronutrient richness must be adjusted to meet individual needs. The foods with the highest micronutrient per calorie scores are green vegetables, colorful vegetables, and fresh fruits. For optimal health and to combat disease, it is necessary to consume enough of these foods that deliver the highest concentration of nutrients.1″
Nutritarians aim to eat the most nutrient rich diet possible. Their goal is to have as many nutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other phytochemicals) per calorie eaten in their daily food consumption. The easiest way to do this is to eat a diet consisting mostly of unprocessed plant food, primarily fresh vegetables and fruit, supplemented by moderate amounts of nuts and seeds. Nutritarians may be vegetarians (non meat eaters who may consume dairy or eggs) or vegans (non animal product eaters) but they may also be carnivores (meat consumers). However, nutritarian carnivores and vegetarians would usually get less than ten percent of their calories from animal sources, which is far less than the average American consumes daily. Note that I said ten percent of their calories, not volume. Animal products are often high in fat and fat has 9 calories per gram (whereas protein and carbohydrates have only 4 calories per gram).
Dr. Fuhrman focuses on nutrients per calorie, which is a completely different way of looking at nutrients than we usually do here in America, where weight or servings are usually the consideration. By focusing on nutrients per calorie eaten you realize that every calorie counts. Nutritarians want to make every calorie count in a positive way. When we eat junk food those calories count too, but in a negative way. The idea is to maximize health through nutritional excellence.
While nutritarians endeavor to make every calorie count, they don’t go crazy measuring and weighing and counting everything. They just keep Dr. Fuhrman’s general principles in mind when eating and focus on eating as many fresh vegetables (especially green vegetables) as possible while trying to consume 3-4 fresh fruits per day, along with 1-2 ounces of raw nuts or seeds. Very active nutritarians may need a higher quantity of nuts and seeds.
I mentioned in my article Four Fabulous Healthy Living Blogs that I believe Dr. Fuhrman’s diet is currently one of the healthiest diets on the planet. I have been following his way of eating since June of this year and am very pleased with the results. There are many testimonials about nutritarians experiencing life changing results at http://www.diseaseproof.com/ and http://www.drfuhrman.com/. In reading Dr. Fuhrman’s books I was most impressed with people who had documented drops in cholesterol of more than 50 points and/or reversed diseases like lupus and heart disease. Food truly can be medicine.
If you’re going to have a nutritarian over for dinner I’d recommend having lots of vegetables and a big green salad. Have any salad dressings or sauces on the side instead of on the food. You might even invite your nutritarian friend to help you in planning the menu or by bringing a salad dressing or two. Your friend would probably be thrilled to be able to share more about being a nutritarian.
If you’re interested in joining the nutritarian movement I encourage you to start by reading Eat for Health. After reading it and Eat to Live I think Eat for Health is more accessible and it offers a more gradual introduction to the nutritarian lifestyle. Whichever book you choose, remember to heed Dr. Fuhrman’s advice and read the whole thing before starting the nutritarian program. In between, just start adding more fresh produce to your diet. If you are on any medications remember to check in with your doctor as they may need adjustment (do not stop taking prescription medicine without first consulting your doctor). I hope that learning about nutritarians was interesting for you and wish you the best of health!
Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman
Eat for Health by Dr. Joel Fuhrman