The Backyard

The Backyard

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Eat To Live Book Review

My latest read is Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. Eat to Live is nothing new. Dr. Joel Fuhrman introduced his “revolutionary” book on HIS vegan diet beliefs based on years of research, studies, and scientific proof in 2003. One of the parts I really liked about this book (besides being able to grow everything I need to eat in my backyard!) is that there are 28 pages of footnotes of medical studies that back Dr. Fuhrman’s research on how a plant based diet is better than animal proteins. The studies he notes are not taken from underground researchers – these are the respected guys like JAMA (Journal of American Medical Association), the New England Journal of Medicine and the American Clinical Nutrition Journal, amongst others. The first couple chapters lay out the research: The American Diet and obesity (he claims 75% obesity in America!), Phytochemicals – Nature’s “Magic” pills, the dark side of animal proteins, and “Are you Dying to Lose Weight?” (“bad” diets (Atkins!). The last part of the book gives a 6-week guaranteed weight loss plan and recipes. He is completely vegan. Several of the blogs I peruse like Fat-Free Vegan and Vegan Lunch-box tout Dr. Fuhrman as one of the best. Yup, I'm gonna try this one now -- I'm back on the vegan bandwagon yet again. I think this is the third time I'm trying. Is the third time really a charm? Allow me to make a disclaimer up front; guaranteed, I'll have some upsets - like Ice Cream! and maybe some PIZZA! To give you an idea of what's in the book, here’s a short blurb from the book. I chose this one because I too for many, many years would say to my hubby, “but I can’t get my calcium if I don’t eat CHEESE and dairy.”

The Best food for bones: Fruits and Vegetables

Green vegetables, beans, tofu, sesame seeds, and even oranges contain lots of usable calcium, without the problems associated with dairy. Keep in mind that you retain the calcium better and just do not needs as much when you don’t consume a diet heavy in animal products and sodium, sugar, and caffeine. Many green vegetables have calcium-absorption rates of over 50 percent, compared with about 32 percent for milk. Additionally, since animal protein induces calcium excretion in the urine, the calcium retention from vegetables in higher. All green vegetables are high in calcium. The American “chicken and pasta” diet style is significantly low in calcium, so adding dairy as a calcium source to this mineral-poor diet makes superficial sense – it is certainly better than no calcium in the diet. However, much more than just calcium is missing. The only reason cow’s milk is considered such an important source of calcium is that the American diet is centered on animal foods, refined grains, and sugar, all of which are devoid of calcium. Any healthy diet containing a reasonable amount of unrefined plant foods will have sufficient calcium without milk. Fruits and vegetables strengthen bones. Researchers have found that those who eat the most fruits and vegetables have denser bones. These researchers concluded that not only are fruits and vegetables rich in potassium, magnesium, calcium and other nutrients essential for bone health, but, because they are alkaline, not acid-producing, they do not induce urinary calcium loss. Green vegetables in particular have a powerful effect on reducing hip fractures, for they are rich not only in calcium but in other nutrients such as vitamin K, which is crucial for bone health.

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