We’re all familiar with the most popular diet types like vegetarianism, veganism, and those in-between; however, few people have heard the term nutritarian. I first became familiar with the term nutritarian from a friend who had lost over 50 pounds, reduced his cholesterol from over 200 to 158, and eliminated the need for all blood pressure medication. All this happened within months of becoming a nutritarian. I hate to use the word diet because being a nutritarian is not a diet but a permanent way to eat. It’s not something that you do for a few months and then go back to your old eating habits; instead it’s a way of life that will lead to better health and disease prevention for the rest of your life.iliar with t
So what is a nutritarian and how does it differ from other eating plans. Most diets are based upon eating a certain amount of macronutrients in the form of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. We are told that a healthy diet consists of eating an adequate percentage of these each day. However, Dr. Fuhrman, M.D. and author of Eat for Health declares that eating these standard nutrients don’t promote health, in fact, they prohibit it. Why? Because our body isn’t getting the micronutrients and phyto-chemicals it needs to promote optimal health and fight disease. It’s like putting regular gas in a tank that requires premium. “In the Standard American Diet, less than five percent of the total caloric intake comes from nutrient-rich foods,” stated Fuhrman.
Micronutrients contain the highest number of nutrients available in any food source and most come from plant-based foods. In fact, the higher the micronutrient density of a food, the better the food and the more health benefits to your body. So the key to promoting optimal health is to make the majority of your diet full of these high micronutrient foods and Dr. Fuhrman doesn’t leave that to chance. In his program he actually gives you a chart of the most common foods and then list them in order based upon their nutrient value. With 1000 being the highest value of a food, below I’ve listed a few common foods for comparison:
Mustard Green, cooked 1000
Kale, cooked 1000
Collards, cooked 1000
Cabbage, raw 420
Broccoli, cooked 342
Tomato, diced 162
Chicken Breast 27
Whole Wheat Pasta 19
Peanut Butter 18
Olive Oil 2
As you can see from this partial chart, cooked green leafy vegetables provided the highest number of nutrients per serving, followed by colorful vegetables, and then fruit. Meats, poultry, dairy, and grains (even whole grain) fall at the bottom of the chart.
After giving you the research on the why and how this eating style works, Dr. Fuhrman, M.D. then gives you an easy and progressive program to follow. He asserts that most people can’t just change the way they’ve been eating for years, so instead of promoting a full submersion into the diet, he has you introduce these high nutrient foods several times per day before eating your regular meals. You will find, as I did, that as your body absorbs these high density micronutrients you will begin to lose your cravings for less nutritious foods. When our body is getting what it needs our cravings automatically stop because our nutritional needs are being met.
You can learn all you need about this program through the Eat for Health Books, which contains book one and two. Book one gives you the research and the knowledge to help you change how you eat, think, and understand food. It also includes testimonials and frequently asked questions. Book two contains the practical application which includes menus and recipes that are broken down into four phases. I have been using this program with great success and I’m positive that this will be a life-long change in my life.
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