Bestselling author of book “Eat to Live,” and “Super Immunity,” as well as his newest “The End of Diabetes,” Dr. Joel Fuhrman, believes in using food as medicine. He also believes in throwing away the food scales, frozen diet meals, fat-free foods and more, and shared what he calls five “epic diet disasters,” on a recent episode of The Dr. Oz Show.
1 – Don’t diet. Never go on a diet. “People go on a diet and they start cutting back on calories, and the amount of food they are eating and it just results in a disaster. They wind up heavier then when they started,” he said on the Dr. Oz Show.
2 – Diets Fuels Food Addictions. “Diets give people these gimmicks and tricks, but they don’t supply the full gamut of micronutrients the human body needs, and when you are micronutrient deficient you develop cravings,” said Dr. Fuhrman.
Some diets he discussed include going gluten free only to loose weight. “Gluten is only negative for less than 10 percent of the population, and many of the gluten-free flours have high insulin levels and promote weight gain,” he said.
Another diet many people choose is high protein, but this can cause weight gain in the long run, and can worsen diabetes in those suffering from it, said Fuhrman. “It promotes the hormone IGF 1, or Insulin like growth factor 1, that could promote certain cancers like breast cancer. High protein and low carb is a dangerous long term diet and disruptive to your health,” he noted.
Also, fat-free diets can work against the body because the body can’t lose fat if we are not eating it. “We need fat to absorb the micronutrients that have anti-cancer effects, and it could lead to more cravings and actually slow down fatty acid oxidation,” said Fuhrman.
3 – Counting Calories. Dr. Fuhrman said counting calories – and in essence, reducing calories – is a proven formula for dietary failure. “The American diet is already micronutrient deficient, and by reducing calories further it exacerbates the micronutrient deficiency and makes [people] want to crave food even more and overeat,” he told Dr. Oz.
4 – Six Small Meals a day. Believe it or not, Dr. Fuhrman said eating six small meals a day has been show to cause people to eat more calories in the evening or end of the day, which stops the body from detoxing. In the catabolic phase of the digestive cycle, the body breaks down food and this is when the body repairs itself. “People are inhibiting that by putting food in all the time, so it’s not good for their long-term health either,” said Dr. Fuhrman.
5 – Toxic Hunger. Dr. Fuhrman called toxic hunger the No. 1 epic diet failure. Have you ever had a growling stomach, light-headedness, headaches or irritability, and think it means your hungry? Dr. Fuhrman refers to these symptoms as toxic hunger, which are actually withdrawal symptoms from a diet that is inadequate.
“It’s actually addictive withdrawal. The body dumps waste products into circulation for removal by the liver and kidney … you feel fatigued, irritable and have headaches,” said Fuhrman. “They are signs there is something wrong with the way you are eating, and it drives people to overeat food. It keeps them addicted.”
With an inadequate diet lacking the proper nutrients – or micronutrients – these symptoms cause people to eat more in order to get rid of the symptoms. “When you try to stop eating it, you feel sick because the body is trying to repair the damage caused by that substance, so you have to keep eating that food. Toxic hunger means they have to consume more calories then the body needs,” he said.
The only way to break this cycle is to eat more of the right foods – those high in nutrients, antioxidants and phytochemicals to remove the toxins, free radicals and oxidative stress. “Then you no longer feel shaky and fatigued between meals. You don’t have to stop the detox because you don’t feel bad,” said Dr. Fuhrman. “Then you get connected with what real hunger feels like. You don’t have to diet, measure or weigh, you just eat when you feel like eating, and you will feel like eating the right amount of food.”
The Secret to Losing Weight & Keeping it Off
True hunger is not felt in the stomach with growling – it is actually felt in the neck, throat and chest area, said Dr. Fuhrman. Once we begin to introduce the right foods into the body, we will actually enhance our taste buds, and food that is good for us will begin to taste amazing.
“There are a lot of taste buds in the tongue. In toxic hunger you overwhelm the taste buds, and they start to go dull on you. The first bite of food tastes differently than the last, but with true hunger we turn this around,” he told Dr. Oz. The taste buds become more sensitive, and each bite of food tastes the same once we begin eating right.
We can actually eat as much food as we want, as long as it’s the right foods – foods that don’t raise the insulin and glucose, he said. Here are five that can’t rid the body of toxic hunger, help it to lose weight, and keep it off for good!
1 – Pomegranates. These are full of a nutrient called punicalagin, which lowers the blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. It also helps reverse diabetes, doesn’t raise insulin, and may have anti-cancer effects, said Dr. Fuhrman, who told Dr. Oz he eats the seeds. When they are in season, he buys extra, removes the seeds, and stores them in bags in the freezer. His method for de-seeding? Cut around the fruit like an avocado and twist it open. Bang on the back of it with a wooden spoon, and all of the seeds will fall out.
2 – Cocoa Powder. There is no sugar in cocoa powder and it’s full of antioxidents and flavanols. Dr. Fuhrman recommends buying all natural and unsweetened.
3 – Adzuki Beans. These beans are a dieters best friend because not only are they low in calories, but they are also not broken down entirely, so some of the calories pass through and are not digested. This can speed up fat loss, burn fat faster, and help us to lose weight.
4 – Squash. These contain the right type of carbohydrates that don’t raise insulin response and have anti-diabetic effects to keep sugar down and allow us to feel full, Dr. Fuhrman said on the show. “They have pectins that lower your cholesterol, lower your blood glucose, and help modulate insulin to make you more non-diabetic,” he explained. Other carbs in this category are beans and cauliflower.
5 – Cashews. “We want people to get most of their fat intake from nuts and seeds because when you take oil instead of nuts and seeds for the fat, the oil absorbs within minutes, but for nuts and seeds, it takes hours to break down the fat, and your body burns it for energy, and it increases fatty acid oxidation,” said Dr. Fuhrman. He also offered a four-ingredient recipe for a dressing with cashews to replace oil:
2 Navel Orages
½ cup cashews
¼ cup of unhulled sesame seeds
¼ cup of white wine vinegar
a squeeze of Lemon
Directions: Combine all the ingredients in a blender and process.
For more on Dr. Fuhrman, visit www.drfuhrman.com.