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Joel Fuhrman: The Doctor Is Out There

Nutritarianism is part of a growing school of research-based dietary thinking that insists that, in terms of wellness, you really are what you eat. Call it plant-based libertarianism. The U.S. has the world's highest healthcare costs – $2.7 trillion in 2011 – while consistently scoring lowest among developed nations for quality of care. Practitioners of plant-based libertarianism believe that every person needs to take full responsibility for his or her own health. This means adopting a wellness-focused diet, mostly vegan.

Read more: http://www.mensjournal.com/magazine/joel-fuhrman-the-doctor-...

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Doc Fuhrman

“The primary benefit of a vegan diet is that the removal of animal products usually necessitates a higher amount of nutrient-rich plant produce. The cons of a vegan diet could be the inclusion of too much heavily processed food, including seitan and isolated soy protein, flour, sweeteners and oils.” — Joel Fuhrman

“The biggest potential benefits of a Paleo diet are that it is low-glycemic and it prohibits refined foods, concentrated sweeteners and processed grains — foods that are at the
foundation of our obesity and diabetes epidemic. It can be an unhealthy way to eat, though, if you’re using commercially raised meats, or if the ratio of plant produce to animal products is not high enough.”— Joel Fuhrman

Plant-based Impact

MS & Autoimmune Diseases
Dr. John McDougall

Dr. Joel Fuhrman Super Immunity

Davy, you should read this

Davy, you should read this comment on McDougall's book.


everybody in the public eye gets praised & trashed

4.4 out of 5 stars (362 customer reviews)

5 star:
4 star:
3 star:
2 star:
1 star:

Did you actually read that review??

It has nothing to do with praising or trashing. Read the guy's review. You might learn... a lot. It is probably the best, most thorough review ever.

Michael Parish "Michael Parish"
This review is from: The Starch Solution: Eat the Foods You Love, Regain Your Health, and Lose the Weight for Good! (Hardcover)
I read the book in one sitting. That wasn't hard to do since half of the book is vegan recipes. There isn't much here that he hasn't covered in prior books. I did notice that he focused more heavily on extracted vegetable oils. I'm glad he did since I read a research paper presented at the annual convention of the American Oil Chemist Society (can you believe the world has become this specialized?) on 5/6/2012. These are the guys that work with vegetable oils and figure out how to shove this stuff in every processed food in your grocery store. The health hazards of vegetable oil have proven to be even more harmful than animal fat. The discovery that heating vegetable oil repeatedly (there is a slight cooling and heating of the oil each time a basket of food is dropped into the oil) to temperatures used for frying and holding the oil at that temperature produced HNE's in as little as 3 hours. This should be devastating news to anyone with an ounce of sense. That would mean that every morsel of Fried chicken, every French fry, onion ring and any other food item made in a deep fryer at fast food chains and local restaurants is toxic. The recommendation for the home cook was not to heat oil past its smoke point, and NEVER to save and reuse oil. For commercial establishments they decided to turn this information over to the FDA and wait for their response. You can bet we'll all be dead before anything is done about these findings. What surprised me was that there were only a few articles in local newspapers featuring this study. You would have thought this information would have gone viral.

As I read the book the doctor eliminated one food after another on a typical Western diet, I had to ask myself, can I do this; the answer was yes. It was yes until I got near the end and he started to caveat the starch solution. After telling me that it would be difficult to limit those forbidden animal products to some lower safe level and better to exclude them. He announces that the Starch Solution won't work well if you have a chronic disease, are near to having a chronic disease or wanted to lose weight unless you do the same with some vegan foods.......what? Hey, why would I want to give up all the food I grew up with unless I was fat, sick or near sick? Now we learn that many other non-animal food items including any product made from flours including whole grain flours "will substantially slow down our progress to good health and normal weight. " Yet, what do I find in his quick start diet section; meal after meal with items like pancakes, whole wheat bread, whole grain tortillas and pasta. I'm confused! What also confused me is his statement that the Japanese eat less than 2 ounces of soy products a day and that maybe eating soy at the level that American Vegans do might not be healthy (7th Day Adventist vegan women who eat soy more than 2 times per week have higher breast cancer rates than those women eating the standard American diet). But then he loads his recipe section with soy. Either this stuff is good for you or it isn't. And if it isn't why feature so much of this product in so many recipes. If meat isn't healthy even in small quantities as he says, well, shouldn't the same apply to soy? He criticizes the industrial food system for imitating meat products and he turns around and does the same thing. You would have thought that instead of coming up with a "wildly popular" (among his family) soy burger he would have come up with a Vegan bean burger instead.

His grandmother's input might have made the book better, based on her lifespan and this comment: "you would be healthier if you ate a little meat" or something to that effect. She just might be right. It certainly would take care of the necessity for adding B12. This woman just might be smarter than all of us put together. You don't live to 104 and not eat healthy. She admonished him to eat less meat just prior to his stroke and after he turned Vegan she advised him to eat a bit more meat. This woman was ahead of the curve during his entire life and this might be the most important lesson we take away from this book.

I started eating pretty much as he suggested six months ago. Based on blood work my kidney function has improved substantially. Cancer (multiple Myeloma) and the chemo used to hold it at bay caused a 53% loss of kidney function. I spent the last eight years killing my kidneys even further with a high protein diet thinking this was the way to health. It was not! First, I couldn't eat high protein/high fat with minimum carbs long term (l love my carbs especially mixed with fat, a baked potato with sour cream etc.). Second, it damaged my kidneys even further. I never realized how heavy a load protein puts on the kidneys, and my doctors never informed me, or suggested a change in diet, nor questioned my eating habits. My doctors tried solving the problem with numerous medications, each having their own side effects when a simply change in diet would have saved me a lot of pain and grief.

The doctor focuses heavily on the fact that throughout history ALL major populations were based on a starch diet. This is fact and it cannot be disputed. But what is also fact is that none of these populations were Vegan, or even close to it. He points out that as long as a population stayed on their traditional diet (and it follows that means regardless of what that was. Doesn't this start to sound a lot like Weston Price?) they stayed healthy. The further they strayed from that path the fatter and sicker they got. This makes sense since research shows that as little as 20 generations are required for adaptation to any pattern of eating. In my case coming from a Northern European background, fruit as much as I love it presents a problem. The single month that I went on a 100% ultra-low fat (less than 10%) Vegan diet I gained one pound. I was also cycling one hour a day five days a week. I discovered it was the fruit. Once I cut fruit consumption to one piece each day I started to lose weight again. I assume the reason was my ancestry didn't have access to fruit year round and therefore genetically I'm not programed to burn it effectively. In Northern Europe fruit was available in two very small slivers of time, spring for berries and fall for berries and apples. Fruit is one carbohydrate that my body loves to store as fat.

Oh, you also need to be just a little skeptical about some of the health claims of the plant based doctors. They claim they can cure everything from cancer to a broken heart and have testimonials to prove it. Plus they can do it in record time. Ornish tells you he can cure type 2 diabetes in just over a year and it might take up to two for tough cases, Neal Barnard says he can do it in 22 weeks, Gabriel Cousens does it in 8 weeks, Pritikin used to do it in 28 days, and Dr. McDougall can do it in his 10 day live in program. Kind of like "Name That Tune", each doctor can do it in fewer notes.

Another recommendation you need to be careful about is ultra-low protein (10% or less). I see nothing wrong at keeping protein (plant based of course) as high as 20 or 25 percent (the old Atkins at near 40% was nuts and hard on the kidneys). The focus in the book and the on-line site is to keep protein as close to the minimum required as possible. The doctor tells you NOT to eat more than one cup of beans a day in order to keep the protein number as low as possible. I know all the plant based doctors give you the same recommendation. They use the Okinawans, Kitavans and Tarahumara peoples as the pictures of perfect health. And from a heart disease perspective I guess they are, but the average height of the males in these societies is 5-4 and I'm sure you don't want you male children to be this tiny. That's why I believe that feeding this kind of diet to a growing child is dangerous to their development. If you're going to go low fat vegan make sure it's AFTER your final growth spurt....unless as a male you like looking up to your dates.

In the end I do believe he has something of value to say; a something that would make us all healthier if we listen. The push to be 100% Vegan isn't necessary unless you want to do it for environmental or personal reasons. But of course if nothing else Vegans are passionate about their food.


After being on this new way of eating for almost a year and participating in the on-line website you discover the contrary to what the doctor says you CAN'T eat large quantities of starches and lose weight; in fact you gain weight. You'll find that it's a low calorie diet with many people eating in the 1000 to 1400 calorie range (called MWL, Maximum Weight Loss program in the book and on-line) and if they eat more than that they don't lose weight and some gain. Yes, you don't COUNT calories, but by eating less starch and more green and yellow vegetables and salads you're doing the same thing without the counting, sort of a trick of the mind. According to their on-line Nutritionist (Novick) it all comes down to "food density;" if you stick with large amounts of green and yellow vegetables and salads and keep the starches relatively lower you lose weight and the fiber from the vegetables fills you up. I've found in practice this just isn't true. You need the starch to keep you satiated and under these circumstances the weight might come off at a snail's pace; one pounds every couple of months. I still think from health perspective it's the way to eat, but from a weight loss point of view it's hardly a quick solution. I've found if you add eight ounces of egg protein shake to your meals it leaves you satisfied without the fat that would come with most animal sources which is the real villain in most chronic diseases. This has allowed me to eat only two or three meals a day instead of every three hours and pooping three times a day. On the program you feel like you spend your entire day either eating, preparing food or sitting on the toilet. Most of the people on the program cook a half dozen baked potatoes at one time and keep them in the frig to munch to get past the constant cooking. The idea of cold plain baked potatoes just doesn't appeal to me. Things like soup, rice and beans are cooked in batches. The other down side is the gas problem. Eating that much volume and fiber makes you a one person greenhouse gas disaster. Forget about eating out unless you're satisfied with dry salad (remember that oils are a no, no) and social events will find you going hungry or bringing your own food. From a weight loss perspective the book would be better called the green and yellow vegetable solution with starch added. You're not going to be popular at work letting them go every few minutes. Is it hard to do the McDougal program? Yes, if it was easy you wouldn't need a support board to keep you on track. The question you have to ask yourself is how far are you willing to go for health and is a program this strict really necessary to achieve it?


2nd update

Yes, I'm still eating vegan, but not ultra-low fat. I've added seeds and nuts to the diet plus vitamin D, B12 and Flax for the Omega 3. The seeds and nuts allowed me to knock off the protein shake and gave me the same satiation as the shake AND finally dropped my Triglycerides to 87 from their near 300 level. This higher fat way is starting to get closer to the recommendation of another plant based doctor named Fuhrman. My hair was starting to thin and fall out and after some research I figured out it was the D. Doctor McDougall doesn't believe in added vitamins except for B12, but if you give it some thought the only way of getting vitamin D on this diet is via the sun. For those of us living north we are a little short of sun for vitamin D. Your other option is to eat "junk vegan" with lots of processed food that has vitamin D added. What the doctor fails to realize is that in the standard American diet packaged foods like bread, cereal, juice and even milk and cheese have vitamin D added by the processor or manufacturer as does processed vegan food. If you follow the book's instruction and eat only a whole food plant based diet you're eliminating all these sources of vitamin D. There is another vegan doctor name Greger who posted a YouTube video called "40 year vegan dies of heart attack" or something very close to this. He reviews various vegetarian and vegan studies and points out that they die at the same level of heart attacks, strokes, and a higher death rate from brain disorders. He goes on to point out why, and that why is a lack of vitamin D, B12 levels that are too low and an omega 3 to 6 ratio that is wildly out of whack. He points out that adding these supplements to a vegan diet puts it back into the super healthy range. The reality is that the McDougall program hasn't changed a lick in 30 years and there have been thousands of studies since that time that point out the shortcomings of some vegan diets. At some point Dr. McDougall will be required to modify his program based on today's science instead of what was known 30 years ago. Let's look at reality; all the plant based doctors took what Pritikin first came up with in the 60's and modified it a bit. Pritikin made sure his body was autopsied upon his death and what they discovered were arteries that were almost as clean as when he was born. Yet, Pritikin ate fish several times a week and chicken from time to time, proving you don't have to be full blown vegan to reap the health benefits of a plant based whole food, no oils diet. Sadly, seafood has always made me gag and therefore I've never eaten the stuff.

By the way, if you join the McDougall site I wouldn't question any of the information put into the book on-line, or the studies done by plant based doctors like Campbell. If you disagree on minor points or dare to simply question what's been written the site manager, f1jim, Jim will allow three or four of the board's cyber bullies to work you over on any posts you make. If you stand up to these bullies he'll immediately step on you while at the same time allowing them to insult and demean you and your opinion. If you don't take the hint and leave the board voluntarily, Jim will ultimately ban you from the site. That's exactly what happened to me. The purpose of a support group should be to provide a SAFE environment where people can open up and talk about what they really feel and any doubts they may have; help that allows them to stay on the diet and new life style. When the board administrator allows cyber bullies to take over and enforce their own version of what's right he damages the entire concept of compassionate support. It's natural to have doubts and questions when you first start something as new and radical as this way of eating. Don't allow these bullies and poor management of their actions by the administrator to turn you off to this way of eating. The message is sound even though those in charge of it aren't. You have to understand that there are a lot of emotionally damaged people on a board like this and their problems are much bigger than simply weight and diet. They have underlying emotional problems and all that insecurity and pent up bile comes out if they even suspect you have a minor question about the path they've chosen or their new leaders. Every movement has its high priests that must be obeyed without question. Veganism at this level is closer to a religion than simply a dietary change and deviations won't be tolerated. Of course the average person should know that diets this strict whether McDougall, Pritikin or Atkins are not going to be followed to the letter. But then the world isn't about perfection and some deviation is expected, you simply can't admit to it on-line. The researcher who did the A to Z diet study from Stanford University noted this in his YouTube video (diets, who's winning). I would highly recommend people look at this video. It has many very interesting findings from their own study as well as mentioning studies Stanford will do in the future. The major discovery for me was that those who are insulin resistant (about 1/3 of all people) don't do well with ultra-low fat diets. That's why I added the nuts and seeds which had the heart health benefits I noted earlier. He pointed out that ALL extreme diets end up looking closer to the government recommended diet from the macronutrient perspective than to their ideal from the books; compliance long term is difficult. Even the Atkins people ended up eating 20% carbs long term instead of the 20 to 60 grams that are recommended. I still believe this is a healthy way of eating once you add the vitamins and fats I mentioned. This still complies with the heart of the book which is a whole food plant based diet.

May 2014 Final Update

It's now be over two years that I've been eating a plant based vegan no oils diet. Do I eat the McDougall program? NO! I'm eating closer to 15/20 percent fat depending on the day. The additional fat comes from seeds, nuts and coconut products. My protein intake is higher than 10% max based on the amount of beans I eat. I'm guessing it's closer to 12/15%. I'm also taking supplements like vitamin D, K2, zinc and fish oils. All of which are against the McDougall program. At some point I as an individual came to realize that thousands of studies have been done since Dr. McDougall came out with his modified Pritikin requirements and called them his own 30 years ago. Those studies have points out the flaws in his 30 year old program and how to get around those shortcomings. It truly is sad that the doctor has so much emotionally invested in wanting to be right that there is no room to admit that science has progressed in those 30 years. What's even sadder is the fact that he and his people make every effort to suppress those finding on his site and they ban anyone who points out those shortcomings or even comes to that conclusion and posts it. Of the seven in our little band of thirty one vegans who joined the McDougall site over two years ago six have been banned. Joe, the sixth member was banned in April for posting that based on a dozen studies it would seem that how much you ate had as much impact as what you ate. Sue, our seventh is still a member because she has only posted a couple of times at most. I made it until October of 2013 after pointing out that the Okinawan diet was neither vegan, nor low oil and certainly not low salt. All six of us are still vegan but no longer welcome on the McDougall site.

There have been some interesting developments since I last reviewed the program and website. Dr. Campbell has written an article now stating that saturated fat DOES NOT cause heart disease and there hasn't been even one study that shows it does. Is this the same Dr. Campbell of the China Study? Yep! What's more he has published at least six new studies based on re-analysis of the original China study data that directly conflicts with his original analysis of that data in the book. It seems that meat isn't all that bad and doesn't cause certain cancers but wheat is correlated more with cancer. It would seem Denise Menger has been right all along. Additionally, Dr. McDougall's MS study results have been leaked by one of the researchers a year after completion. It was a total bust. Not only were there no regression of MS lesions, they didn't even slow down. In fact they grew and new ones formed with the McDougall diet at the same rate as the control group. The conclusion? Diet has no effect on MS. Of course they are excusing the results by saying we don't have all the facts; the study was too small or we don't know how it was set up and followed, or it wasn't long enough to tell. The reality is that it was Dr. McDougall and his people who came up with the study, selected the members, its parameters including length and requirements and therefore they had it exactly his way and it still busted flat. Dr. Esselstyn's 200 person study still isn't out after it closed more than two years ago. I'm guessing the reason was that it busted also OR more likely he decided to make some money on it and is coming out with a book where he'll announce great results.

My final conclusion is that veganism isn't necessary and creates its own problems, BUT all can be handled with supplements. Those supplements wouldn't be necessary if you ate fish a few times a week as the Japanese and Okinawans do. Sadly, I can't stand seafood and I'm stuck with supplements. What are the real evils in the modern diet? Extracted oils are the number one killer, processed grain products come next, followed by too much meat. What are the shortcomings of the McDougall Program? Too little fat, short on one amino acid and several vitamins and minerals. The focus on total protein grams is the error. The protein shortcoming of the diet is too little lysine. If you focus on getting an adequate amount of lysine the rest of the amino acids will fall into place but your overall protein grams will increase slightly above the 10% mark. The only source of lysine on the diet is beans and Dr. McDougall limits them. It look like you are getting enough grams of protein when in fact you aren't getting enough lysine to make the rest of the aminos work together to build muscle, tissue and organs.

Plant based but not necessarily plant exclusive is the way to real health."

yes I read it

Its a customer review. A case study of one. I could post testimonials from others that have reversed disease, got to a good weight, became healthy and changed their life. Nothing is going to work 100% for everybody though. Or I could post damning reviews regarding the paleo diet. It sounds like this person is now more in the Fuhrman camp who allows small amounts of fish or lean meat in his nutritarian system, something I'm more prone to do when traveling and supplements are hard to come by. Even the paleo people like Abel James say they eat 75% vegan (I believe him too, while others not so much), and this religion crack could easily be applied to a lot of paleos or any other school of thought.

"I could post testimonials

"I could post testimonials from others that have reversed disease, got to a good weight, became healthy and changed their life. Nothing is going to work 100% for everybody though. Or I could post damning reviews regarding the paleo diet."

LOL. You really aren't a big picture kind of guy.

calling the kettle black


here's a testimonial for you:

The latest disciple of the cult-paleo diet is none other than Miley Cyrus, along with Kim Kardashian. LOL
no, it's not a trendy fad. not at all. LOL

CardioBuzz: Vegan Diet, Healthy Heart?

By Kim A. Williams MD
Physicians want to influence their patients to make lifestyle changes that will improve their health, but sometimes the roles are reversed and we are inspired by patients. It was a patient's success reversing an alarming condition that motivated me to investigate a vegan diet.

jimmy moore

low carb guru, and pro paleo. sorry, but this man is doing something wrong.

Video of vegan dancers

ha ha I always appreciate

a sense of humor.

so much more fun than mindless down voting.

Interview with Dr. Wahls who reversed her MS.

Paleo for the win and the healing.

On this episode of Bulletproof Radio Dr. Terry Wahls talks about the power of food as medicine and how the right nutrition feeds your mitochondria for optimal function.


"Additionally, Dr. McDougall's MS study results have been leaked

"Additionally, Dr. McDougall's MS study results have been leaked by one of the researchers a year after completion. It was a total bust. Not only were there no regression of MS lesions, they didn't even slow down. In fact they grew and new ones formed with the McDougall diet at the same rate as the control group."

"It truly is sad that the doctor has so much emotionally invested in wanting to be right that there is no room to admit that science has progressed in those 30 years."


a customer review LOL

Pete, don't you know not to believe everything you read on the internet?

"don't you know not to

"don't you know not to believe everything you read on the internet?"

You should ask yourself that same question. ;-)

as michael

pointed out, the internet is like a hall of mirrors. i have read and listened to all schools of thought and found what works for me. here's a woman with MS who has been helped by dr. swank & mcdougall. now you can down vote her, and up vote yourself, and maybe engage in some more name calling.

McDougall is simply the worst.

He isn't a fraction of the doctor that Wahls is. McDougall, is a liar and a bully. I feel sorry for anyone who falls for his "gullible peasant diet," or quotes his ignorant statements. Wahls could smoke McDougall intellectually in her sleep. She is a cutting edge researcher. He is a fad diet doctor, struggling desperately to try to remain relevant in a world that has long since eclipsed him.

A fraction?

That's just a silly statement. I've listened to them both. I would like to see a discussion between them. We might all learn something. I think they would respect each other even though disagreeing in a number of areas, but agreeing too. Speaking of smoked, Mcdougall mopped the floor with the delusional Jimmy Moore. Why ignore all the people Mcdougall and Fuhrman have helped get off junk food, high fat foods, sugar and regain their health eating a plant based diet?
The worst? Maybe Moore, maybe Fallon, Cordain? Is he fat again?

And the main part of the post was the link to a plant based diet for treatment of MS, and it's not by Mcdougall. Some people may find it useful.

And here's and example of what I'm talking about with McDougall

I know you've seen this already, but watch it again. McDougall can't really debate Furhman. Furhman makes a case for trying to find the best diet for optimal nutrition in modern times, under modern circumstances. All McDougall does is carry on with his spiel about "all great civilizations lived on starch. The Incas...the Mayans... the Romans... yadda yadda." All he's got is his sales pitch, little more. He gets bent that Furhman doesn't just agree with him.


I've watched it

a number of times. They both make valid points. They're both good men helping people. One wants mostly greens (cooked & raw vegetables), one wants starch (corn, potatoes, rice) along with the veggies. I borrow from both and have watched many talks and read their work as well. They both agree that excess meat and dairy (and processed foods) are bad news.

These so-call great starch eating civilization

were into human sacrifice.

Causation or correlation.

Free includes debt-free!

and modern

governments direct the wholesale murder of women and children. sacrifice?

nutritionally deficient cannibals

It's also interesting that they were very small statured people who were certainly not free from disease. Not sure why he has the desire to have everyone emulate those little, tiny, nutritionally deficient cannibals.


cannibalism. the eating of human flesh by another human being. the eating of the flesh of an animal by another animal of its own kind.

"A fraction" is a generous statement.

They couldn't really have much of a discussion. He is simply a diet doctor who has little knowledge in regards to what she does, would only repeat his spiel over and over, and he would do like he always does and get defensive, offensive, and bullying. He is a small, insecure man hiding behind his degree. He is stuck in the past and trying to hold everyone back with him as others are continuing to learn and evolve. Really? If we heard the same thing McDougall couldn't answer Moore's questions and did what he always does (see above). I don't know much about Moore, or care. He is a guy who lost a bunch of weight and seems to be putting it back on.

Sorry, but McDougall is the absolute worst. A dreadful person.

I don't know, is Cordain fat? Probably depends on the photo you look at. What does it matter. He's not an asshole like McDougall. I'm talking character, not waist size.

Now he's dreadful?

Pete, I think we've been around this mulberry bush enough. I've met John and he's a very nice person who is passionate about getting people healthy. He has accomplished that again and again.

Yes, best you stay away from waist size since so many from the low carb group are obviously on yo yo diets, while Mcdougall, Fuhrman, Bernard etc maintain a lean, healthy look.

McDougall - "Children were not off the menu."

I was talking about who is an arrogant, misguided, misleading, bullying, lying charlatan.

This touches on McDougall's BS. "Children were not off the menu." http://digressionality.blogspot.com/2012/08/anti-paleo-so-ma...

McDougall is a fading diet-doctor trying desperately to hold on to his rapidly narrowing slice of the diet book pie.

Learn it. Know it. Live it. Deal with it.

Your argument

and childish down voting (and up voting yourself), not to mention your misguided hate, are all wet in my opinion.

I challenge you to watch the video with an open mind.

MS & Autoimmune Diseases
Dr. John McDougall

I will agree that his whole 'save the planet' bit is debatable. Rich Roll says the same kind of things, but just because I might disagree with that stance doesn't mean I'm going to discount the expertise and inspiration of either men.