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Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman MD (2003/2011): Food list – what to eat and foods to avoid

Eat to Live - diet and healthy eating book by Joel Fuhrman MDEat to Live Cookbook by Joel Fuhrman MDEat to Live (2003, revised 2011) is a “nutritarian” diet –

  • Vegan/near-vegan, mostly raw
  • High nutrient density
  • No oil
  • Low starchy vegetables and whole grains
  • No / low processed food
  • Low calorie, low protein, very low fat

Below is a description of the food recommendations in the diet. Six week plan  |  Life Plan  |  Advice for people with diabetes  |  Advice for people with autoimmune diseases. There’s a lot more in the book.

Use this page as a cheat sheet alongside the book. Send this page to friends, family, and anyone else you’re eating with so they can understand what you’re eating.

Get a copy of Eat to Live for a detailed discussion of the effects of the standard American diet, studies that led to the author’s recommendations, lifestyle recommendations, some recipes, and more.

Get the Eat to Live Cookbook for 200 recipes that meet the guidelines, with nutritional information and recommended recipes for aggressive weight loss and diabetic diets and for people with metabolic syndrome; also menus, recommended cooking times, how to choose the best fruit, and ANDI scores for produce.

The reasoning behind Eat to Live

This book argues that your key to permanent weight loss is to mostly eat foods that have a high proportion of nutrients (noncaloric food factors such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients) to calories (from carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. This is known as high nutrient density or nutrient-per-calorie density, and the formula is Health = Nutrients/Calories, or H=N/C.

What makes many people overweight is not that they eat so much more but that they get a higher percentage of their calories from fat and refined carbohydrates, or mostly low-nutrient foods. This low-nutrient diet establishes a favorable cellular environment for disease to flourish. To avoid overeating on high-calorie foods, fill up on nutrient-rich ones.

Dairy products and meat don’t contain any fiber, and foods made form refined grains have had their fiber removed. Fruit juice and processed carbohydrates enter the bloodstream quickly and raise triglycerides, increasing your risk of heart attacks; ingesting processed foods can subtract nutrients and actually create nutritional deficiencies. Oils, even olive oil, don’t contain nutrients and phytochemicals from the original source – limited amounts of raw nuts and seeds and avocado are the best source of good fats.

Eat to Live diet plan – food list

The information here is taken from both Eat to Live and the Eat to Live Cookbook. The cookbook was written a couple of years after the latest version of the book, and as usually happens there are some small changes in the recommendations – these are generally pointed out below.

Eat 3 meals a day, without snacks – this pattern is the norm for people who exercise regularly. It is permissible to eat two meals a day instead of three if you are hungry for only two meals. Get into the habit of eating breakfast. The body needs time between meals to finish digesting, because when digestion has ended, the body can more effectively detoxify and promote cellular repair. Wait until you feel hungry to eat. Try to eat less at dinner so you are hungry for three meals per day. Get your body into a regular schedule, eating three meals per day, without overeating at any one meal. If you do not feel hungry for the next meal, delay eating or skip the meal entirely. Next time, eat much less until you get better skilled at eating the appropriate amount so that you feel hungry in time to eat again at the next mealtime.

For a nutritarian lifestyle:

  • Eat mainly nutrient-dense, natural plant foods: vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, and seeds. Have a variety. Aim for foods with high nutrient-per-calorie density – this is measured in Dr. Fuhrman’s Aggregate Nutrient Density Index or ANDI
  • Eat few, if any, animal products (a few servings per week at most)
  • Eat no or almost no foods that are completely empty of nutrients or toxic to the body, such as sugar, sweeteners, white flour, processed foods, and fast foods
  • Super foods that you should include in your diet every day: G-BOMBS – greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries, and seeds

The six week plan for starting Eat to Live and for weight loss

Foods to eat unlimited  |  Foods to limit  |  Foods to avoid

Note that if you have a condition such as active inflammatory bowel disease, the diet may need to be adjusted if you cannot tolerate a large amount of raw vegetables and fruit

This is the diet for the initial 6 weeks.
Salad is the main dish – eat it first at lunch and dinner
Only 10% of calories need to come from protein – may be as little as 2.5% – and it can be supplied by plant foods
Eat a variety, particularly when it comes to greens

Eat to Live six week plan – what to eat in unlimited amounts

Eat as much as you want:

  • Vegetables
    • Eating a large amount of greens and other colorful vegetables is the secret weapon to achieve great health
    • Greens e.g. arugula, asparagus, beet greens, bok choy, broccoli, broccoli rabe, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, red cabbage, chicory, collards, dandelion greens, endive, curly endive, escarole, frisée, kale, mâche/lamb’s lettuce/corn salad, mustard greens, raw green peas, romaine lettuce and other salad greens (baby greens, Bibb lettuce, Boston lettuce, iceberg lettuce (low nutrient density), mesclun, oak leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce), radicchio, rutabaga leaf, snow peas, spinach, string beans, sugar snap peas, Swiss chard, turnip greens, watercress
    • Non-green nutrient-rich vegetables: artichokes, bean sprouts, beets, red and yellow bell peppers, raw carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, daikon radish, eggplant, fennel, garlic, jicama, kohlrabi, leeks, okra, onions, peppers (all types including bell peppers and hot peppers), radicchio, radishes, scallions/green onions/spring onions, shallots, tomatoes, zucchini
    • Mushrooms – all types, eat plentifully
    • For cruciferous vegetables – chop, chew, blend, or juice them for maximum production of ITCs; they can be cooked after chopping. Try not to overcook them. Cruciferous vegetables include arugula, bok choy, broccoli, broccoli rabe, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, parsnips, radishes, red cabbage, rutabaga leaf, Swiss chard, turnip greens, watercress
    • Raw vegetables – all types – goal: at least 1 lb. daily. These have a negative caloric effect, so the more you eat, the more you lose
    • Cooked green and non-green nutrient-rich vegetables – goal: at least 1 lb. daily. Preferably conservatively cooked – e.g. steamed
    • Frozen vegetables are a convenient option – feel free to substitute them
    • Vegetable juices are included in a number of the recipes in the cookbook
    • Avoid the skins of foods that are reported to have the most pesticide residues – Dirty Dozen. It is better to eat fruits or vegetables grown and harvested using pesticides than not to eat them at all, but it is also wise to minimize your pesticide exposure
    • Avoid canned tomatoes and tomato products unless they’re BPA-free, as tomatoes are acidic and a significant amount of BPA could leach into the food. Other canned vegetables are less of an issue.
  • Mushroom
    • Eat lots of mushrooms all of the time
  • Legumes
    • Beans – adzuki beans, black beans, cannellini beans, edamame, great northern beans, kidney beans, lima beans, pinto beans, soybeans, white beans
    • Chickpeas/garbanzo
    • Lentils
    • Peas – black-eyed peas, cowpeas, pigeon peas, split peas
    • Soy and fermented soy products – soybeans, miso, tempeh, tofu
    • Bean sprouts (note also listed as a non-green vegetable)
    • If you choose to use canned beans/legumes instead of cooking your own dried beans/legumes, make sure you select products that are labeled as “low-sodium” or “no-salt-added.’ Since beans are not an acidic food, there is less concern with BPA (Bisphenol A) from the can lining leaching into the food
    • Goal: at least 1 cup daily. Eat some beans every lunch
  • Fresh fruits
    • Must be fresh, whole fruit, not juice (although pomegranate juice and cherry juice are used as ingredients in some of the smoothies and other recipes in the cookbook). Frozen vegetables are a convenient option – substitute them when fresh fruit isn’t available
    • At least 4 a day
    • E.g. apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, other berries, blood oranges, blueberries, cantaloupe, cherimoyas, cherries, clementines, fresh figs, goji berries, grapes, jackfruit, kiwifruit/kiwis, kumquats, mangoes, melons, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, pears, persimmons, pineapples, plums, pomegranates, raspberries, starfruit/carambola, strawberries, tangerines, watermelons
    • Lemons and limes – juice (not listed but assumed unlimited)
    • Avoid the skins of foods that are reported to have the most pesticide residues
  • Spices and herbs
    • Not specifically listed as unlimited, but assumed so
    • Herbs – basil, bay leaf, chives, chervil, cilantro, dill, garlic cloves, ginger, horseradish, lemongrass, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme, herbes de Provence
    • Spices – allspice, anise, Cajun seasoning, caraway seeds, cardamom, cayenne pepper, celery seeds, chili powder, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, curry powder, Dr. Fuhrman’s VegiZest or MatoZest, fennel, garam masala, garlic powder, ginger, Mrs. Dash, mustard, nutmeg, onion powder, paprika, pepper, black pepper, pepper flakes, saffron, turmeric
    • All types except salt

Advice in the Cookbook:

  • Include daily:
    • A large salad
    • At least one 1/2-cup serving of beans/legumes in soup, salad, or some other dish – another part of the book says to try to eat a cup of cooked beans each day (compared to at least 1 cup suggested in the Eat to Live book)
    • At least 3 fresh fruits (compared to at least 4 fruits suggested in the Eat to Live book)
    • At least 1 ounce of raw nuts and seeds (if you are trying to lose weight, limit to 1 ounce) (compared to limit of 1 ounce suggested in the Eat to Live book)
    • At least one large (double-size) serving of cooked green vegetables

Eat to Live six week plan – foods to limit

  • Cooked starchy vegetables or whole grains
    • Starchy vegetables: acorn squash, butternut squash, chestnuts, corn, parsnips, pumpkins, rutabagas, sweet potatoes, turnips, water chestnuts, white potatoes, winter squash, yams. Squash has a better nutritional profile and lower glycemic index compared to a potato, so it is a better choice if you are overweight or diabetic
    • Grains: barley, buckwheat/kasha, bulgur, kamut, millet, old-fashioned oats, quinoa, black rice, brown rice, wild rice, spelt. 100% whole grain only. They do not contain enough nutrients per calorie to form the major part of your diet. The intact (unground) whole grains and the more coursely ground grains that are absorbed into the bloodstream more slowly are healthier and curtail appetite more effectively. Soak them for a whole day before cooking them to increase their nutritional value
    • Bread products made with sprouted grains – make sure they’re 100% whole grain, with “whole” grain as the first ingredient; if there’s more than one ingredient, they should all be whole grains
    • Whole grain hot cereals
    • Total: Not more than one serving, or 1 cup, per day – usually for breakfast or dinner
    • Refined starchy grains – such as bread, tortillas, pasta, and white rice) and white potatoes should be even more restricted than the vegetable-based starches, which are more nutrient dense. Many can achieve an ideal body weight by cutting out refined starches only, without having to limit starchy vegetables to only one serving – your diet should be adjusted to your metabolic needs and activity level
  • Raw, unsalted nuts and seeds
    • 1 oz. maximum per day (the cookbook says to have at least 1 ounce a day, unless you’re trying to lose weight)
    • Always eat them raw if you can – if you tire of this, toast them lightly at home
    • Consume them with your meals, not as snacks, because they facilitate absorption of essential phytochemicals from other foods
    • Almonds, black walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts/filberts, hickory nuts, macadamias, pine nuts/pignoli, pecans, pistachios, walnuts
    • Chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds (unhulled), sunflower seeds
    • Flax seeds should be ground before using, as they are just too difficult to chew. Ground flax seeds oxidize and become rancid faster, so buy flax seeds whole and grind them at home then store them in the freezer to prevent them from spoiling
    • Ground nuts and seeds (e.g. almond butter, almond flour, cashew butter, unsalted natural peanut butter, and tahini) are listed in the recipes as well as whole ones
    • High omega-3 seeds and nuts: flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts
    • If you are allergic to nuts, you can substitute raw seeds: sunflower seeds, unhulled sesame seeds, ground flax seeds, and chia seeds. In soup and salad dressing recipes that involve blending cashews or almonds, you can generally substitute raw sunflower seeds or sunflower seed butter. Unhulled sesame seeds or raw tahini are other options, but because they are stronger in flavor, you should start off with a smaller amount and adjust according to taste
  • Avocado
    • 2 oz. maximum per day
  • Dried fruit
    • 2 tablespoons maximum per day. If you need to lose weight, use dried fruits only in small amounts as a sweetener in recipes
    • Preferably unsulfured
    • Dried apricots, currants, dates, figs
  • Ground flaxseeds
    • 1 tablespoon per day
  • Animal products – if you must have them
    • From the diet book – the second-week, less aggressive menus include some animal products (less than twelve ounces per week) and a small amount of oil (no more than one teaspoon per day). A small amount of animal products can be added to any vegetable or bean dish for flavor, if desired, as long you keep it below twelve ounces per week. Use white meat, fish, eggs, or low-fat dairy. Avoid processed , cured, or barbecued meats and full-fat dairy. You can make the nonvegetarian menus stricter and more effective by excluding all oil and limiting the portion size of the whole grains or starchy vegetables (p.238)
    • Lean low-mercury fish (such as bass, flounder, halibut, sole, or tilapia) once or twice a week (portion size not given). The cookbook also includes fattier fish such as salmon
    • An egg omelet once a week (portion size not given)
    • From the cookbook – choose fat-free dairy, eggs, clean wild fish, and organic meat and poultry (e.g. ground turkey). Limit animal products, including cheese, yogurt, and milk, to 10% or less of your daily caloric intake. Limit the serving size to 2 ounces and not more than 3 times a week. Do not make animal products the focus of the meal – think of them as a garnish, condiment, or flavoring agent
  • Beverages
    • Soy milk, hemp milk, or almond milk – unsweetened
    • Unsweetened pomegranate juice or other unsweetened juices are included in several of the recipes, although fruit juice is listed in the book as off-limits
  • Condiments, pantry, and other
    • Savory: Bragg Liquid Aminos or low-sodium soy sauce (these contain salt and should be used only in minimal quantities); no-salt-added or low-sodium vegetable broth; cornstarch; dulse, hot pepper sauce; kelp granules; lower-calorie, unsweetened ketchup, mustard; nutritional yeast; no-salt-added or low-sodium salsa; tomato sauce made with no oil; tomato paste; verjus, flavored vinegars and balsamic vinegar
    • Nondairy cheese (not listed as unlimited; assumed limited)
    • Sweet and baking: unsweetened applesauce (not listed as unlimited; assumed limited); arrowroot powder; unsweetened dark chocolate, cocoa powder; light coconut milk; unsweetened shredded coconut; coarsely ground cornmeal (not instant); vanilla extract/vanilla beans; vital wheat gluten (not listed as unlimited; assumed limited); wheat germ

Eat to Live six week plan – foods to avoid

  • Processed fruits
    • Canned fruit
    • Fruit juice
  • Dairy products (fatty)
    • Avoid full-fat dairy
    • Cheese – should be eaten rarely, if at all
    • Ice cream
    • Butter
    • Full fat milk (the cookbook says to avoid whole milk and 2% milk)
  • Animal products (processed)
    • Factory-farmed animal products, especially red meat; processed meats; barbecued meats; luncheon meats; bacon; hot dogs; pickled animal products; darkened animal products; blackened animal products
  • Salt
    • No salt should be added to any food. Keep your overall daily sodium intake under 1,200 mg and preferably under 1,000 mg
    • Avoid packaged foods that contain more milligrams (mg) of sodium than the number of calories
    • Avoid foods containing a lot of salt including pickles
  • Between-meal snacks
  • Processed foods
    • E.g. condiments, snacks, cold cereals (including whole grain), bagels, pasta, bread, baked goods, foods made with finely ground whole wheat flour
    • Commercially packaged nuts and seeds
    • Instant oats (steel-cut oats, old-fashioned oats, and quick oats can be eaten in limited amounts)
    • Foods with ingredient lists that contain long chemical words that you don’t understand
    • Foods that list any type of sweetener, such as sugar, sucrose, dextrose, or corn syrup
  • Sugars and sweeteners
    • Candy
    • Sugar (including honey and agave nectar – although date sugar is included in one recipe)
    • Sweeteners
  • Oils and fats
    • All oils including olive oil and vegetable oils (not listed in either book, but presumably including avocado oil, canola oil, coconut oil, corn oil, grapeseed oil, palm oil, peanut oil, safflower oil, sesame seed oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil). According to the cookbook, you can add a little bit of olive oil to your diet if you are thin and exercise a lot – however, the more oil you add, the more you are lowering the nutrient-per-calorie density of your diet, which will not promote health and longevity
    • Especially saturated fats and trans fatty acids/partially hydrogenated fats including margarines, and the fats consumed in processed foods
    • Use raw seeds and nuts instead
  • Beverages
    • Soda / soft drinks
  • Implied in the book but not listed in the 6-week plan
    • Caffeinated beverages (more than one cup of coffee a day)
    • Alcohol (more than one glass of wine a day)
    • Artificial sweeteners
    • Chocolate

Advice in the Cookbook:

  • Avoid:
    • Red meat and all barbecued, processed, and cured meats
    • Fried foods
    • Full-fat dairy 2% and above
    • Trans fats
    • Soft drinks, sugar, and artificial sweeteners
    • White rice and white-flour products

The Life Plan food list

What to eat  |  Foods to limit  |  Foods to avoid

This is the diet recommended for the rest of your life after the 6-week plan. It is a nutritarian diet for longevity and claims that slimness is an automatic by-product. For optimal health, receive most of your calories from unrefined plant foods.

Eat to Live Life Plan – what to eat

  • Aim for at least 90% unrefined high-nutrient plant foods
    • Vegetables – ½ raw and ½ cooked, mostly green – 30-60% of calories
    • Fruits – 10-40% of calories
    • Beans/legumes – 10-40% of calories
    • Seeds, nuts, and avocadoes – 10-40% of calories
    • Whole grains and potatoes – 20% or less of calories
  • If you choose to reintroduce dairy, use fat-free dairy only – skim milk, nonfat yogurt, etc., or a dairy alternative such as soy yogurt. No fruit-flavored yogurt
  • For calcium: beans, green vegetables, oranges, sesame seeds, tofu
  • Some of us need to plan cheats – once a week or twice a month. Keep these to planned times. A cheat every once in a while is okay if it is moderate and as long as you go right back to the program immediately and then don’t do it again for at least one week

Eat to Live Life Plan – foods to limit

  • Poultry, oil, eggs, fish, and fat-free dairy should give you less than 10% of your calories; your total animal-product consumption should be limited to 12 ounces or less per week, according to the Eat to Live book
  • The cookbook says that you should limit to less than 10% of your diet: naturally raised or wild animal products, poultry, eggs, fish, dairy, oil, and white potato.
  • Use them in very small amounts to flavor a vegetable dish. Check that these are not causing you to put weight back on

Eat to Live Life Plan – foods to avoid

  • Beef, sweets, cheese, and processed foods should be eaten only rarely, according to the Eat to Live book
  • The cookbook says you should also eat rarely or avoid white rice, white flour, and factory-farmed animal products, especially red meat

Adjustments for people with diabetes

Advice for people with diabetes – what to eat

  • The general advice given in the book is sufficient for most diabetics
  • The important goal is how much weight you lose
  • Green vegetables and beans should make up most of your diet

Advice for people with diabetes – foods to limit or avoid

  • Refined starches such as white bread and pasta are particularly harmful; avoid them completely
  • Do not consume any fruit juice or dried fruits. Avoid all sweets, except for fresh fruit in reasonable quantities (2-3 fruits for breakfast and one after lunch and dinner; use fruits with less sugar such as grapefruit, oranges, kiwifruit, strawberries and other berries, melons, and green apples)
  • Avoid all oil. Raw nuts are permitted, but only one ounce or less (presumably per day)
  • Limit animal-food intake to no more than two servings of fish weekly (serving size not advised). No meat, poultry, eggs, milk products

Advice for people with autoimmune diseases

Advice for people with autoimmune diseases – what to eat

  • Follow a strict plant-based diet
  • High nutrient-per-calorie density
  • Have caloric restriction sufficient to obtain a normal weight

Advice for people with autoimmune diseases – foods to limit or avoid

  • No dairy, eggs, fish, poultry, meat
  • No wheat and no gluten
  • A lower-protein diet is helpful (no guidelines for protein quantities)
  • Therapeutic fasting can be extremely effective if you are not on immunosuppressive drugs; guided by a physician (no guidelines for fast types or lengths)
  • Undertake food elimination and challenge to uncover hidden food sensitivities

Health benefits claimed in Eat to Live

This book claims to reduce the risks of: abdominal and esophageal spasm, acne, allergies, angina, appendicitis, arthritis, asthma, atherosclerosis, bad breath, cancer, colonic polyps, constipation, coronary artery disease, dental cavities, type 2 diabetes, diverticulosis, esophagitis, fatigue, fatty liver, fibromyalgia, food addiction, gallstones, gastritis, gastrointestinal disorders, gout, headaches, hemorrhoids, high blood pressure/hypertension, high cholesterol, hypoglycemic symptoms, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, kidney stones, lipid disorders, lumbar spine syndromes, lung diseases including sarciodosis, macular degeneration, mental confusion and irritability, musculoskeletal pain, nausea, obesity, osteoporosis, premature mortality, sexual dysfunction, sleep apnea, stomach fluttering and cramping, stroke, uterine fibroids, weakness

As always, this is not intended to be a replacement for professional medical diagnosis or treatment for a medical condition. Consult your doctor before starting a new diet. This page describes what the authors of the diet recommend – Chewfo is describing the diet only, not endorsing it.

Get a copy of Eat to Live for a detailed discussion of the effects of the standard American diet, studies that led to the author’s recommendations, lifestyle recommendations, some recipes, and more.
Buy now from Amazon
Get the Eat to Live Cookbook for 200 recipes that meet the guidelines, with nutritional information and recommended recipes for aggressive weight loss and diabetic diets and for people with metabolic syndrome; also menus, recommended cooking times, how to choose the best fruit, and ANDI scores for produce.
Buy now from Amazon
You can also see Dr. Fuhrman’s website at www.drfuhrman.com (including a shop for some of the ingredients such as seasonings, salad dressings, and flavored vinegars), follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/drfuhrman, see his Facebook page www.facebook.com/drfuhrman, or watch his YouTube channel www.youtube.com/drfuhrman.

How has this diet helped you? Please add a comment below.

{ 230 comments… add one }

  • Carol S September 8, 2013, 6:44 am

    Is air popped corn allowed and if so how much and how often?

    • Penny Hammond September 8, 2013, 10:43 am

      Corn is a starchy grain and should be limited. The total for all cooked starchy vegetables or whole grains should be limited to 1 cup per day.

  • Carol September 10, 2013, 12:44 pm

    Are canned beans ok to use?

    • Penny Hammond September 10, 2013, 2:23 pm

      Dr. Fuhrman recommends avoiding processed foods such as canned fruits in this book, but doesn’t mention canned beans in the book.
      There’s an article on his website that suggests minimizing canned food in general, particularly for girls reaching puberty, largely because of BPAs – http://www.drfuhrman.com/library/early_puberty.aspx.
      Try to use dried beans if you can (yes, I know, it’s extra work), or choose beans that are canned without BPA. But because there aren’t any strong references to regular canned beans, and you’re encouraged to eat beans, don’t rule them out completely.

      • Penny Hammond October 31, 2013, 9:57 am

        Dr. Fuhrman explained a bit more about his guidelines for canned foods in the recently released Eat to Live Cookbook. He says to avoid acidic canned foods such as tomatoes, because the acid leaches the BPA into your food. However, non-acidic foods such as beans are okay when canned. If you can, it’s better to have beans that aren’t exposed to BPA – either canned without BPA (he mentions Eden brand) or in pouches.

      • kim October 20, 2015, 3:59 am

        It states beans are not acidic so low chance of leeching of BPA but as always canned foods are high in salt and even low sodium is still much more than fresh. Soaking beans overnight lessens cooking time significantly.

        • Eileen March 17, 2017, 10:02 pm

          The absolute easiest method I’ve (finally!) found for cooking beans is in the Crock Pot! Perfect results without needing to constantly check on progress. Also great that beans freeze well!

  • Ariana October 1, 2013, 9:11 am

    I noticed that you listed pumpkin under the cooked starchy vegetables column and that it needs to be limited. I wanted to know if it is ok to eat organic raw pumpkin from a can? Or would that still need to be limited even if it is raw? The can is BPA free and it has 0g sodium on the nutrition facts. Would it make a difference if I ate fresh raw pumpkin in stead of canned?

    • Penny Hammond October 1, 2013, 9:26 am

      I was quoting directly from the book where Dr. Fuhrman gives portion size recommendations for “cooked starchy vegetables or whole grains.” Starchy vegetables are relatively low nutrient density according to the table on p.156, which is why he suggests restricting them, and he doesn’t mention the possibility of eating larger amounts of raw starchy vegetables.
      Starchy vegetables are generally only edible when cooked – when raw, they’re hard and don’t taste good (think raw potatoes). The pumpkin in a can has been cooked during the canning process. It should be limited within the guidelines.

      • Ariana October 1, 2013, 9:58 am

        Ok thanks for the quick reply, I’ll have to re-read that section in his book. I didn’t even realize that the pumpkin is cooked during the canning process.

  • Mir October 1, 2013, 11:55 am

    I’m not clear on the time between meals- I know you are supposed to feel hungry but any idea on time between meals?

    • Penny Hammond October 1, 2013, 12:21 pm

      Dr. Fuhrman suggests that you eat 3 meals a day, on a regular schedule, without overeating at any one meal. For most people who exercise regularly, three meals with no snacking is the norm. (p.155).
      He doesn’t have any guidelines on the time between meals, but you could try having them fairly regularly spaced through the day – say at least 4 hours between meals.

      • Jayna June 3, 2014, 4:42 pm

        I have to disagree just from personal experience. I exercise everyday, maybe taking only one day off a week; I have found that three meals does not cut it. To get enough calories in a day, the three meals would need to be huge! I can’t eat that much at once so I eat about 5 times a day and this has worked for me. Everything else I pretty much agree with; I eat mostly vegan and have maintain 125 pounds with 18% body fat (female, 5’5″).

      • Askaree Anthony Martin June 5, 2017, 12:38 pm

        Hello so i bought the book but im not EXACTLY done reading it yet and i was wondering can i get max benefits by putting my SPINACH and Kale with my fruits as a smoothie using alkaline water or spring water or does the green veggies have to be cooked

        • Penny Hammond June 20, 2017, 3:00 pm

          Your goal according to this book should be to eat at least 1 lb of raw vegetables and at least 1 lb of cooked green vegetables a day. Smoothies usually taste better with raw greens rather than cooked.

  • Yvonne October 4, 2013, 2:40 pm

    When it states no “fruit juice” in the first six weeks, does that mean juice from fruit that you juice from your at home juicer?
    I am sure the answer must be obvious, but wasn’t quite sure because juice from juicer from real fruit alone does not contain all the additives and sugars in store bought juice. Thank you

    • Penny Hammond October 4, 2013, 2:58 pm

      Fruit juice from a juicer is going to have a higher level of nutrients (and lower level of additives) than processed juice, but it still doesn’t have the same fiber structure – even if it’s from a home juicer. That’s what causes the problem.

      Juicing fruit allows you to quickly consume three times the calories without the fiber to regulate absorption. The nutrient-per-calorie ratio is much higher for the whole fruit (p.285)
      People who eat a whole apple or orange prior to dinner will eat a smaller number of food than people who have juice from an apple or orange before their meal (p.38)

      • SableBear December 2, 2015, 6:10 am

        What about liquifying the whole fruit?

        • Penny Hammond December 13, 2015, 6:11 pm

          There are a number of smoothies in the book, so it’s okay to put fruit in the blender.
          Is that what you mean, or are you talking about including seeds and other parts you wouldn’t normally eat?

  • Bob October 16, 2013, 7:55 am

    If I’m not supposed to use olive oil, in a salad. What do you suggest, I use for a dressing?

    • Penny Hammond October 16, 2013, 8:19 am

      In the meal plans (pp. 317-324 of the Eat to Live book), the author suggests topping salads with beans and balsamic, flavored vinegar, lemon juice and shredded pear, white beans and walnuts, or salsa. There are also recipes for dips, dressings, and sauces (pp. 333-340) – some of these recipes contain oil, and others have cashew butter instead of oil.

      • Penny Hammond October 31, 2013, 10:00 am

        There are also 12 more recipes for salad dressings in the recently released Eat to Live Cookbook. They have nut or seed butters or avocados (or even bananas) as the fat element.

  • fatima October 24, 2013, 1:31 pm

    how much water does one have to consume on this diet?are herbal teas allowed?

    • Penny Hammond October 24, 2013, 2:38 pm

      In the Q&A (p.390), someone asks whether it’s bad that they don’t drink 6-8 glasses of water a day.
      Dr. Fuhrman replies that only those eating an American-style diet, high in salt and low in high-water-content fruits and vegetables, need to drink that much water. On this diet, he says that 3 glasses a day is usually sufficient, unless you’re perspiring from exercising or the heat, in which case you’d need more.

      He doesn’t mention herbal tea in either the diet book or the cookbook. He says you shouldn’t have tea (presumably regular tea) if you have hypoglycemia. In the cookbook he’s very favorable towards green tea.

      • Rob November 13, 2013, 3:47 pm

        Finally! Water-drinking advice that makes sense!! I don’t know where the “experts” came up with the 8 glasses per day solution that is suggested to everyone regardless of age, size, activity, etc. We never see animals drink in this way. Our closest relatives, the apes, certainly don’t get the equivalent of 8 glasses of water per day. lol

        • Art Hannah April 25, 2015, 12:24 am

          This was stated in 1995 in Fit for Life.

          • Art Hannah April 25, 2015, 4:23 am

            I think I typed the wrong year. More like 1985.

  • Calinda October 26, 2013, 3:29 pm

    Why are peanuts considered nuts and not legumes?

    • Penny Hammond October 26, 2013, 3:47 pm

      Good question – maybe Dr. Fuhrman considers they’re more like a nut because they contain a higher percentage of fat than most legumes (and therefore you should limit them as this is a very low-fat diet), or maybe he’s describing them as a nut because that’s how most people think of them.

  • Flor Guayamo October 28, 2013, 9:34 am

    I had two questions:

    One was already answered and that was the use of canned beans, even if we rinse them before cooking them according to our style.

    Next question: What about frozen fruits mixed with fresh fruits…?

    Thank you,

    • Penny Hammond October 29, 2013, 1:13 pm

      Both fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables are included in this book, so mixed frozen and fresh fruits would be fine.

  • Trina December 3, 2013, 2:50 pm

    Is canned tomato paste or sauce ok to use for base of veggie soup?

    • Penny Hammond December 4, 2013, 6:08 pm

      Canned tomato paste or sauce would be okay on the diet, but watch out that the cans are BPA-free – the book points out that tomatoes are very acidic and the BPA could leach into the food.

  • Kim Peoples December 23, 2013, 9:22 am

    I would really like to see a menu plan. I recently subscribed to a public TV network and am receiving Dr. Fuhrman’s Healthy Combo Pack by mail any day now. However, from everything I have been reading, there’s no menu plan. Where can I find that ?

    • Penny Hammond December 23, 2013, 5:58 pm

      There are some sample menu plans in the Eat to Live book, Chapter 9 (pages 317-324).

  • eva January 1, 2014, 12:13 pm

    If nuts are ok, why can’t we have for example walnut oil?

    • Penny Hammond January 1, 2014, 2:30 pm

      The author argues that the whole food (in this case walnuts) is more healthy than the oil, and that you should eat foods in their original unprocessed, unheated, and natural packages: whole foods.

  • Amy January 7, 2014, 1:33 pm

    Hi there! I am wondering–I did not find the answer in the book, not on any websites–what is the skinny on coconut? Coconut water? Fresh vs dried? Is it considered a nut? Do you know?

    • Penny Hammond January 7, 2014, 8:51 pm

      In this book, Dr. Fuhrman suggests you have foods that are unprocessed. Light coconut milk and unsweetened shredded coconut are “limit” foods, and coconut oil is an “avoid” food as it’s considered more processed. Coconut water straight from the coconut is very unprocessed – but check how processed the one you buy in the store is, how many additives etc. I can’t find anything on fresh vs. dried, but unsweetened shredded coconut is dried and i’d assume fresh coconut is also acceptable as a “limit” food.
      As coconut is fairly fatty, it makes sense to have the portion sizes suggested for nuts.

      • Amy January 11, 2014, 11:29 pm

        Thanks 🙂 I think he misses the bet on the coconut oil, but for the initial 6 weeks I am keeping the guidelines. There is some very compelling information re VCO and the type of fat, and health benefits to its use. So once I add a couple of things in moderation, it will be at the top of the list. In the meantime…I love fresh coconut, but at an oz a day, it is hardly worth cracking one open! LOL!

        • jenZ September 29, 2014, 4:00 pm

          Amy no coconut oil is my struggle as well, I am also going to follow for the 6 weeks but my nutritionist is an organic chemist and absolutely swears by coconut oil… it’s the biggest thing they differ on. She says you should have it each day as a supplement. I have had amazing health records due to following her advice and lots of positive changes with coconut oil so I’ll see how I do without it but plan on adding it back in!

  • Nancy January 12, 2014, 1:03 pm

    Are the measurements given for whole grains and beans the dry measures or the prepared food amounts? Thank you.

    • Penny Hammond January 12, 2014, 2:43 pm

      The portion size for whole grains appears to be for when they’re cooked: “cooked high-starch vegetables and whole grains should be limited to one serving daily on the Six-Week Plan” – p.217

      Legumes such as beans are listed as unlimited foods. The goal for all legumes is 1 cup daily. I’d assume that’s cooked rather than dry.

      • Nancy January 13, 2014, 9:00 pm

        Thank you! I’m reading more while observing the diet. There seems to be some slight variationin the recommendations made in the book vs. the cookbook, which is fine. I’m just in the first week of the plan, so I’m keeping the meals simple – staying on the conservative side of the recommendations, exercising, and enjoying the whole foods. Thanks, again.

  • neal greenberg April 9, 2014, 6:29 pm

    Are you saying to limit legumes to 1 cup a day or is it unlimited?
    How do you know if there’s BPA in a can?
    Is there BPA in “boxed” tomatoes?
    Does organic beans mean no BPA?
    How much can you eat of the “restricted” stuff in total? Is it 1 serving from the list, or is it a mixture of several?
    Isn’t flax supposed to be extremely good in large doses?

    • Penny Hammond April 10, 2014, 10:28 am

      Dr. Fuhrman says in the book that you can eat legumes in unlimited amounts, and he says that your goal should be at least 1 cup per day.

      Most cans are lined with BPA epoxies to keep the can material from corroding or reacting with the food. It’s a technology that’s been around for a long time and it’s the standard way to do things.
      The companies that offer BPA-free linings are doing something different from the norm, and they’ll usually label their cans as “BPA-free”.
      Tetra-pak or other boxes, and glass jars, don’t tend to have BPA lining.
      When beans and other foods are labeled as organic, it means that they have been grown organically. The “organic” label doesn’t say anything about the packaging, just the food. So it’s possible to have organic beans in BPA-lined cans.

      The restrictions in the “foods to limit” list are per food – you don’t have to pick only one of the restricted foods per day, just limit your consumption of each of these foods in this list to the amount given.

      There are differing opinions about how good flaxseed is for you.
      I’m always a little skeptical when a guideline says that any single food is good for you in large doses – having large amounts of a given food every single day can lead to intolerances and other difficulties.

  • The Cat's Meow April 10, 2014, 2:28 pm

    Dear Penny,

    Thank you for putting together this terrific “cheat sheet” for the Eat to Live Six-Week Plan and the Life Plan. Thank you for all the work you have done to organize and list the foods in their various categories. These lists are quite comprehensive and excellent as a quick reference in addition to all the information presented in Dr. Fuhrman’s books. Grazie mille!! ~ Kitty ~

  • M Hatem Khalil April 18, 2014, 4:33 am

    what about honey, Olive Oil, dried dates?

    • Penny Hammond April 20, 2014, 9:21 am

      Honey: During the 6-week plan, you’re supposed to avoid honey as Dr. Fuhrman considers it a refined sugar – “To your body, there is not much difference between refined sugar, fruit juice sweeteners, honey, fruit juice concentrate, and any other concentrated sweetener” (p.41)

      Olive oil: This is a no-oil diet. “Refined or extracted oils, including olive oil, are rich in calories and low in nutrients” (p.46) “If you are thin and exercise a lot, one tablespoon of olive oil a day is no big deal, but the best choice for most overweight Americans is no oil at all” (p.49) “Remember that oil, including olive oil, does not contain the nutrients and phytonutrients that were in the original olive” (p.51)

      Dried dates: “Dried fruits should be used only in very small amounts for sweetening” (p.215)

      • Rick Ramirez April 19, 2015, 6:04 pm

        I believe it states 2 tblsp worth of dried fruit. That would be about two dates.

  • Stephanie April 23, 2014, 4:46 am

    Hi, what a great compilation here, thank you for that. I ordered my book yesterday and am eagerly waiting on it. I have type 2 diabetes now. I’m not on medication, I just got the diagnosis. Luckily mine just teetered over the edge into “official” type 2 range and isn’t nearly as bad as other people I know. I wanted to take care of it through diet, not pills.

    Anyway – regarding eating beans, lentils, etc., what are the recommended portions? I have been doing the low-carb thing for so long that I am scared to open a can of beans! I make an awesome chili (from scratch, nothing but good stuff) and crave it so often and I just love beans and peas in general. I indulged in a bowl of split pea soup last night and felt so guilty about having two cups of it because we are so trained to steer away from the carbohydrates when watching blood sugar. So, does he have limits on portions of beans and stuff like that for diabetics?

    I am really glad Dr. Fuhrman said something against olive oil…I love watching Emeril Lagasse cook, but it drives me nuts when he pours in tons of olive oil into a skillet to fry food in, touting “hey, it’s healthy!” Ugh!

    • Penny Hammond April 24, 2014, 2:28 pm

      There are differing opinions about how much carbohydrates and of what type diabetics can safely eat.

      Dr. Fuhrman says in this book “The name of your diet is the ‘greens and beans diet’; green vegetables and beans should make up most of your diet.” (p.195)
      For everybody, he says that your goal should be to eat at least 1 cup daily; he advises to eat some beans every lunch.

  • Janice April 24, 2014, 9:30 am

    This is a great break down of his program. I just purchased the book and was feeling a little overwhelmed about getting started. This is a great jumping off to beginning the process.

  • Rae April 25, 2014, 7:52 am

    What about Avocados?

    • Penny Hammond April 27, 2014, 9:59 am

      Avocados are listed in the book under foods to limit – 2 oz. maximum per day (p.215)

  • Dave May 7, 2014, 8:59 am

    I have seen mixed messages on dried split peas. Are they a starch to be limited or a legume to be considered unlimited, or though dry, a green vegetable?

    • Penny Hammond May 8, 2014, 7:30 pm

      Dried split peas are a (dried) legume – peas are in the same family as beans and considered very similar to them. They should be considered unlimited on this diet.

      “Beans contain both insoluble and soluble fiber and are very high in resistant starch. While the benefits of fiber are well-known, resistant starch is proving to be another highly desirable dietary component. Although it is technically a starch, it acts more like fiber during digestion. Typically, starches found in carbohydrate-rich foods are broken down into glucose during digestion, and the body uses that glucose as energy. Much like fiber, resistant starch “resists” digestion and passes through the small intestine without being digested. Because of this , some researchers classify resistant starch as a third type of fiber. Beans are the best food source of resistant starch. Overall, the starch in beans is about evenly divided between slowly digested starch and resistant starch, although the amount of resistant starch can vary depending on the type of bean and the preparation method. This means that a significant amount of the carbohydrate calories listed for the beans is not absorbed.” (p.214)

  • Barbara May 8, 2014, 3:06 pm

    This information is very confusing
    Some places it says no dairy, other place it says low fat. Some places eggs, please explain.

    • Penny Hammond May 8, 2014, 7:56 pm

      The diet book advises a low-fat diet – it tells you to avoid oils and fats and limit foods that contain fats such as nuts and avocados.

      The author suggests you avoid animal products (including dairy and eggs) if you can. If you insist on having animal products, eggs and low-fat dairy are okay – just make sure you limit them, and note that animal products should be limited to less than 12 ounces per week.

  • Momjoes May 12, 2014, 11:27 am

    I read Eat for Health (from the library), but I want to do the Six-Week Plan. Which should I purchase: Eat to Live or the Eat to Live Cookbook? I have already have some recipes for breakfasts and I eat a salad for lunch, but I want more ideas for dinners while on the Six-Week Plan. Thanks!

    • Penny Hammond May 13, 2014, 7:48 pm

      If you already read the book (which contains a few dozen basic recipes), you may find it useful to get the cookbook as it has more recipes.

  • Brenda May 12, 2014, 12:37 pm

    I have read Eat to Live and am interested in following the plan. I read the Comparison Charts for Nutrition/protein between animal protein and vegetable protein plus vitamin, minerals etc. I found it hard to make copies from the book but like to have it handy as a reference. Do you have it on website so I can print it off?

    • Penny Hammond May 13, 2014, 7:52 pm

      We have a description of what to eat and foods to avoid on the website, but for other resources we suggest getting the book, either hard copy or electronic.

  • Lisa C May 22, 2014, 9:09 pm

    So glad I found this website! I’m very interested in eating healthier. But, I am very thin (5’7″ tall, 116 lbs) and don’t want to lose any weight…any advice for me?

    • Penny Hammond May 25, 2014, 2:07 pm

      Some quotes from the book:
      “this book is designed for those who are overweight and desirous of losing weight. Those who are truly excessively thin and need to gain weight may have to modify this eating plan somewhat to meet their individual needs.” (p.299)
      “Raw nuts and seeds are ideal foods for… those who want to gain weight.” (p.222)
      “If you want to gain weight, lift weights to add muscle; then the exercise will increase your appetite accordingly.” (p.299)

  • Joanne Pezzo May 23, 2014, 10:16 pm

    I have been on the 6 week program for 3 weeks now and lost 11 lbs. but today I had a party that offered little of the eat to live diet food. I had no choice but to go off my diet for one day. How does one catch up ? What do you do to compensate for cheating ?

    • Penny Hammond May 25, 2014, 2:37 pm

      The goal of this diet is to eat more nutritious foods. If you are doing that 90% of the time, you’re doing well.
      “The 90 percent rule allows you some leeway for imperfection and special occasions or to have a treat once in a while. You can still retain the benefits and your healthy slim body if you follow that less-than-perfect “special occasion meal” with twenty healthy meals.” (p. 231)

  • Susan May 24, 2014, 2:10 pm

    Would a protein powder with no sugar (FIT) be acceptable if blended only with frozen berries and water for breakfast meal?

    • Penny Hammond May 25, 2014, 2:45 pm

      There are some fruit smoothies as breakfast recipes in this diet. All of them contain ground flaxseeds, presumably as a source of omega 3 and protein. Dr. Fuhrman doesn’t mention protein powder in the book – perhaps he prefers using whole foods such as flax seeds.

  • John Sturges May 29, 2014, 12:55 am

    What about peanut butter? Can we eat it?

    • Penny Hammond May 29, 2014, 6:56 pm

      On this diet you can have unsalted natural peanut butter in limited amounts – the serving size for nuts is 1 oz maximum per day.

  • Etie June 2, 2014, 8:25 am

    Enhancing people’s ideas of good health is doing the highest form of community service. May you be blessed for your investment and efforts in this venture. I have left my teaching profession since I moved abroad. I found the level of nutrition-awareness here wanting and have begun eat-to-live style cooking workshops. The participants find them so full of fun and inspiration and continuously share their ideas of incorporation veggies and fruits into their cuisine. Keep spreading the light of good health!!!

  • Bobbie June 5, 2014, 10:34 pm

    Wow! A great Q&A list… I have the ETL audio book and create my menu based on the guidelines. I hear and read a lot about olive oil, but what about the whole olive? I like olives, but my partner LOVES them. Should I avoid buying them or are they okay as a whole food?

    • Penny Hammond June 8, 2014, 1:26 pm


      Dr. Fuhrman says that olive oil “does not contain the nutrients and phytonutrients that were in the original olive” (p.51). He doesn’t specifically say that you can or can’t eat whole olives. Olives are somewhat fatty and salty, so they would definitely be a restricted food on this diet – perhaps like nuts, which should be limited to 1 ounce maximum per day, or restricted even further because of the salt content.

  • Mary Lockala June 9, 2014, 5:26 pm

    I am a believer! I have suffered from fatty liver disease which caused my liver enzymes to be in the critically high limit. After one week on Dr. Fuhrmans’ 5 day cleanse, my liver enzymes are now in the Normal range.
    One question please-I have purchased Dr. F bean soup and love it-how much should I eat for dinner? The entire packet or 1/2? Thanks in advance for any help.

    • Penny Hammond June 10, 2014, 5:49 pm

      According to Dr. Furhman’s website, the serving size for the soup is 1/2 carton; there are 2 servings per container. So you should have 1/2 packet.

  • Kavita June 27, 2014, 10:13 pm

    Hi. Thanks for making this so easy to understand. I do have two questions though.

    1). Am I allowed to have 1 cup of whole grains OR 1 cup of starchy vegetables? Or can I have 1/2 cup of each?

    2). Is it 1 oz of nuts AND 2 oz of avocados AND 1 TBS of flaxseeds or do I pick one of those?

    Thanks so much.

    • Penny Hammond June 29, 2014, 10:45 am

      You can have 1 cup of starchy foods – starchy vegetables or whole grains or a mixture.
      So you could have 1 cup of whole grains (1 cup total), or 1 cup of starchy vegetables (1 cup total), or 1/2 cup of whole grains and 1/2 cup of starchy vegetables (1 cup total).

      Nuts and seeds together, you can have 1 oz maximum per day. So 1 oz of nuts or 1 oz of seeds, or 1/2 oz of each. The diet book says you should limit yourself to 1 oz, but the cookbook says that you can have more than that if you’re not trying to lose weight.
      Avocados appear to be counted separately – so you can have 2 oz of avocados as well as 1 oz of nuts or seeds.

  • Ron Turner June 29, 2014, 10:51 am

    Thanks for the great info! What about Almond milk? That seems to be the new craze nowadays, ok to drink?

    • Penny Hammond June 29, 2014, 11:10 am

      You’re welcome!
      You can have unsweetened almond milk, in moderation as it’s slightly processed.

  • Susan July 7, 2014, 6:20 am

    Hi Penny

    This website is great. I cannot buy the book YET as I am in Turkey and have to get back to the UK first – so this is a great page for me to get started even before I am able to buy the book (I do not do online shopping).

    My question is about Hashimoto – which is an auto-immune disease attacking the thyroid – which I have. Dr Fuhrman says this is an excellent diet to fight auto-immune disease, but I also know that high amounts of raw cruciferous vegetables are bad for thyroid function. I know I can steam vegetables which help destroy harmful goitergenic properties, but many of the salads will be based on raw cruciferous veggies.

    Excerpt from wikipedia


    Cruciferous vegetables can potentially be goitrogenic (inducing goiter formation). They contain enzymes that interfere with the formation of thyroid hormone in people with iodine deficiency.[14][15] Cooking for 30 minutes significantly reduces the amount of goitrogens and nitriles. At high intake of crucifers, the goitrogens inhibit the incorporation of iodine into thyroid hormone and also the transfer of iodine into milk by the mammary gland.[16]”

    I would like any feedback on this please. Because after reading and learning from his videos, I truly feel this way of life is both doable and sustainable for me and my family. I want to get started ASAP.

    Many thanks in advance.

    Best wishes

    • Penny Hammond July 7, 2014, 11:28 am

      Hi Susan,
      The book doesn’t address avoiding cruciferous vegetables (especially raw) when you have thyroid issues, but it’s common guidance.
      Try having cooked cruciferous vegetables for their anti-cancer effects, but having non-cruciferous vegetables in salads. Lettuces are an obvious choice, also spinach, beet greens, chard, lamb’s quarters, and amaranth (spinach family), and more unusual leafy greens such as pea shoots and dandelion.
      Hope that helps,

  • Susan July 15, 2014, 5:01 am

    Thank you Penny. I am having lettuce and chard as my salad mains, together with red pepper, onions, green peppers, sumak, balsamic and lemon juice. The spinach and other cruciferous I shall steam. I started Dr Fuhrman’s plan last week at about 60%, this week at 80% and next week at 100%. Getting myself more accustomed to it – it is not difficult and the only reason I’m not 100% now is due to previously organised dinner commitments. Cannot wait to be 100% – already lost a kilo and hoping to have a dramatic decrease in the awful arthritis pain that is flaring up.

    Thanks for your reply again – wishing you a great week.

  • Tonya Byerly July 21, 2014, 9:53 am

    What can be used as a cooking spray? I typically use olive oil, however, it sounds like I need to avoid that.

    • Penny Hammond July 21, 2014, 11:22 am

      Try a little water or broth instead.

  • Jim Polli August 5, 2014, 11:00 am

    How do Peanuts fit into Dr. Fuhrman’s diet?

    • Penny Hammond August 5, 2014, 1:01 pm

      Peanuts are considered a nut, not a legume, in the book.
      Raw, unsalted nuts and seeds – 1 oz. maximum per day.

  • amy August 6, 2014, 1:18 am

    Starting the 6 week program tomorrow. Very scared of failure as I have tried to los weight so many times and quit. Have any of you had great success with this? Also concerned that I don’t understand how much I am supposed to be eating.

    • Penny Hammond August 6, 2014, 10:38 am

      You’re asked to eat 3 meals a day, without snacks, and to make sure you’re hungry at each meal. If you do not feel hungry for the next meal, delay eating or skip the meal entirely; adjust your portion sizes so that you’re hungry for meals.

      For the 6 week program, eat unlimited amounts of any of the “unlimited” foods.
      For the “limited” foods, each day you can have:
      – 1 cup of cooked starchy vegetables or whole grains
      – 1 ounce of raw, unsalted nuts and seeds
      – 2 ounces maximum of avocado
      – 2 ounces maximum of dried fruit (limit if you want to lose weight)
      – 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed
      And of course avoid the “avoid” foods

      Good luck!

  • Hope August 13, 2014, 11:03 am

    I want to try ETL but I have a sweet tooth , but my friend said you can have larabars and still be on it. Is that true ? Thx

    • Penny Hammond August 13, 2014, 2:15 pm

      Nuts and dried fruits are listed as foods to limit – 1 oz per day for raw unsalted nuts and seeds, and 2 tablespoons max per day for dried fruit (less if you want to lose weight). So you might be able to have one per day, depending on the ingredients and whether you want to lose weight – alternatively you could eat nuts and dried fruits.

  • Marcus Weems August 15, 2014, 1:55 am

    PBS has scrambled my brain. By putting Joel Fuhrman EAT TO LIVE almost immediately back to back with David Pearlmutter BRAIN GRAIN / BRAIN CHANGE during pledge week, they have completely confounded my sensibilities on diet, nutrition, and just what the proper and healthy way to eat is. They seem to be almost diametrically opposed in many aspects of their gospels of good eating. I realize that both are probably right and probably wrong in at least some areas of their theses. BUT whose suppositions should be followed in which aspects and whose suppositions should be cast aside in which other aspects? Where would I go to find the answers? I’ve had no luck so far in my search.

    • Penny Hammond August 17, 2014, 8:46 pm

      For every PhD there is an equal and opposite PhD… Diet books and gurus tend to have a point of view and find/interpret research to meet that POV.
      My personal opinion – not all of us are the same, a diet that’s great for some people might not work so well for others – there’s no “perfect human diet”.
      Try a diet to see how it works for you. Not just weight loss, but how it affects any other symptoms you have, and how clear your mind feels while you’re on this diet.

  • Wilma Wright August 15, 2014, 9:07 pm

    This is my third day and actually I already feel better. I do not have the cravings I thought I would, I pray I can do this and be a healthy wife, mother, grand mother and great grand mother and most of all I am doing this for myself, I want to be healthy in these wonderful years ahead. Thank you Dr. Fuhrman.

  • Jeannette August 20, 2014, 8:03 am

    Is there any over the counter salad dressings that are approved? Can you use any type of sweetener with the tea?

    • Penny Hammond August 20, 2014, 10:15 am

      Dr. Fuhrman has his own line of salad dressings, and I can’t find any mention of off-the-shelf salad dressings.

      He says to avoid sweeteners altogether, with the exception of using dried fruit in small amounts to sweeten recipes.

  • Colleen September 2, 2014, 4:44 pm

    Are allowed to eat all natural nut butters? If so how much per day?

    • Penny Hammond September 3, 2014, 2:16 pm

      Ground nuts and seeds / nut butters are included in recipes, so it’s assumed they’re allowed!
      When you grind a nut to get a nut butter, it reduces in volume (the air gaps all go), but the weight stays the same.
      You can have 1 oz. maximum per day according to the Eat to Live book (the cookbook says to have at least 1 ounce a day, unless you’re trying to lose weight).
      Note that if possible they should be raw.

  • cyndi September 2, 2014, 9:26 pm

    Thanks this is great. Just started. I read somewhere cook the mushrooms does throwing them in the pan for a few minutes do the job? Can onions be both raw and cooked? How do you ground (grind) flaxseed? What is the five day cleanse? I should have the book in a few day but we have already started getting foods together. I am not use to going to the grocery store this much, I will have to come up with ideas to get through the winter

    • Penny Hammond September 3, 2014, 2:25 pm

      If mushrooms are clean, you might be able to eat them raw – I can’t find anywhere in the book that they have to be cooked, although they are listed as a cooked vegetable you can eat in unlimited amounts. You can cook them in a pan with a tablespoon of water or broth (if they’re large you might want to slice them first), until they’re soft and they’ve stopped giving off liquid.
      You can have onions raw or cooked.
      I usually buy flaxseed already ground (flaxseed meal) and keep it in the freezer/fridge so it doesn’t go rancid – you could try grinding it in a food processor but I don’t know how well that would work.
      The 5 day cleanse isn’t included in the Eat to Live book – but I did find an article on Dr Fuhrman’s Five-Day Super-Diet Challenge

      • Linda July 8, 2015, 2:44 pm

        I have ground flax seeds in a coffee bean grinder very successfully. It’s the perfect size.

  • Josie Grace September 4, 2014, 2:58 pm

    Hi. I am terrible at math!!!

    Does anyone know how to convert the “10% of this or that or 40% of vegetables etc.

    I want to know how many cups or ‘serving sizes’ of the things that are on his list.

    I eat very simply and do not follow recipes in a book. I feel I can find info on the net without buying the book because I already am quite aware of nutrition but really like an even healthier approach such as Dr. Furhman’s approach to help lose weight and help my immune system as I have Fibro/CFS/Depression.

    I appreciate your help!

    Thank you.

    • Penny Hammond September 4, 2014, 8:03 pm

      For the “unlimited” foods, the author doesn’t give any serving sizes. He only gives serving sizes for “limited” foods, which are listed above.
      The percentages he gives are for calories, rather than portion sizes, which aren’t very helpful unless you know all about calorie counting and can spend the time to do that.
      You could use the recipes in the book not to follow exactly, but to give you ideas of proportions.
      Hope that helps!

  • Helen Jennings September 7, 2014, 9:35 pm

    It says not to use any kind of oil- my question is what is a good way to stir fry my vegetables and tofu without oil? Thanks!!

    • Penny Hammond September 8, 2014, 9:26 am

      Dr. Furhman suggests using a little water or broth. I know, it isn’t stir frying, but it allows fast cooking without fat.

    • Maddy February 7, 2017, 5:20 pm

      I find that baking diced tofu with a chili, ginger and vinegar sauce is much more successful than trying to fry it in water- the tofu just ends up sticking and making a mess. Either that or tempeh. 🙂

  • JPolli September 9, 2014, 7:07 am

    I have been utilizing Dr. Furhman’s Nutritatian Diet. I have lost 20 lbs. and feel great. However, I have noticed a change in my stool (fecal matter formation). With the Nutritarian diet I do go more often but, my stool formation is no longer as large and formed as it used to be. Is this normal? Might Dr. Furhman comment on stool formation with the use of his diet principles? Thank you.

    • Penny Hammond September 13, 2014, 5:45 am

      Dr. Fuhrman says “Increased gas and loose stools are also occasionally observed when switching to a diet containing so much fiber and different fibers that the digestive tract has never encountered before. Over many years, the body has adjusted its secretions and peristaltic waves (digestive-related bowel contractions) to a low-fiber diet. These symptoms also improve with time. Chewing extra well, sometimes even blending salads, helps in this period of transition. Some people must avoid beans initially, and then use them only in small amounts, adding more to the diet gradually over a period of weeks to train the digestive tract to handle and digest these new fibers (p. 309).

      As your stools are a by-product of what you eat, it’s possible that a dramatic change to your diet could mean that they won’t be the same way they were before. However, in the long run you may find that they firm up a bit as your body gets used to more fiber. If you have loose stools for more than a month after starting this diet, it may be worth checking in with your doctor.

  • carlo ruffolo September 11, 2014, 4:50 am


    • Penny Hammond September 13, 2014, 5:36 am

      If you eat fruit for breakfast, that fits within Dr Fuhrman’s guidelines)

      He suggests a few ideas for breakfast:
      – Fruit – 2-3 pieces of fresh fruit. You can add an unsweetened fat-free yogurt or soymilk yogurt to your fruit breakfast, but do not eat fruit-flavored yogurt, as it contains sugar
      – Oatmeal or other whole grain and water with no sweetener. Note that on this diet you should have not more than one serving, or 1 cup, of starchy food per day
      – Other ideas include fruit sprinkled with ground flaxseeds and hemp seeds or nuts or dried coconut, dried fruit soaked in soy milk/hemp milk/almond milk, fruit and berry smoothie, vegetable omelet.

    • Ashley October 20, 2014, 8:13 pm

      My favorite breakfast for ETL is a smoothie made with 1 banana, 3/4 cup blueberries, a few strawberries/raspberries, 1 Tbsp flax seeds, 6 walnuts or almonds, one or more cups of spinach or other greens, 1 cup water. Delicious and healthy!

      • Kathleen March 25, 2015, 7:12 pm

        I also do a smoothie for breakfast, and I usually use frozen fruit (that I froze myself).

  • glenda Phillips September 26, 2014, 7:03 pm

    I couldn’t find unsweetened almond milk listed anywhere in the daily recommendation. I notice that you say it is limited daily but I am wondering how much and does it count as dairy or fat?

    • Penny Hammond September 28, 2014, 3:04 pm

      Dr. Fuhrman asks you to limit unsweetened almond milk and other plant-based milk substitutes. This is probably because they’re a little processed – he only recommends unprocessed foods in unlimited amounts.
      He doesn’t give quantities of how much you’re allowed – presumably you could for example add some to another beverage but shouldn’t drink it on its own by the glassful. It’s not a dairy food, and it’s pretty low fat, so I don’t think you should try counting it as either.

  • Annie M. September 28, 2014, 9:18 pm

    I’ve been easing myself into the nutritarian lifestyle (have not read the book yet) I love the idea of this diet, however, I have an issue with eating raw leafy vegetables. I dont mind having a salad once in a while but I would much rather have them blended up in a green smoothie.

    • Penny Hammond September 29, 2014, 4:47 pm

      Dr Fuhrman seems to be okay with vegetable juices, as he mentions them in several places in the book. But it’s not clear whether he’d be okay with you having all your raw leafy vegetables as green smoothies.
      You could try salads that aren’t just green leaves – home-made coleslaw, a tabbouleh that’s light on grains and heavy on chopped greens, etc.

  • Ahunte October 2, 2014, 1:28 am

    Not eating enough day 3 and I’ve had salad black beans rice not much of a cook veggie come out Blane. How can ensure I consuming enough food daily

    • Penny Hammond October 5, 2014, 2:32 pm

      When you have a little time, try some new recipes so you get used to making them and can have them as standards. The guidelines in this diet are that you should mostly eat raw foods, so you won’t be cooking as much as combining!
      Make sure your food has enough flavor so you want to eat it – try herbs, spices, lemon juice, etc.
      Try preparing (or buying) some foods in bulk, for example non-leafy salads that won’t get soggy over time, or soups that you can refrigerate or freeze and quickly reheat and eat.
      Hope that helps.

  • Teri Marzano October 26, 2014, 12:53 pm

    How much is a “box of blueberries” and a “box of strawberries”? These are listed in the five-day cleanse. It seems unreasonable to eat a pint of each, as this is how these are sold in California. I have frozen, organic blueberries, but no idea how many ounces, or what measurement to use.

    • Penny Hammond October 30, 2014, 9:49 am

      The 5-day cleanse isn’t included in this book. I can’t find any information on what size a box of berries should be for that diet.

      In this book, fruits are unlimited, and you’re encouraged to eat at least 4 a day.

  • Native Nancy November 2, 2014, 12:01 am

    Is Stevia okay?

    • Penny Hammond November 3, 2014, 1:47 pm

      Stevia doesn’t generally contain nutrients, it’s not a nutrient-dense food. The book advises you not to eat low-nutrient foods, and implies that artificial sweeteners shouldn’t be eaten. If you’re using real stevia leaf, that might be okay.

  • Stan November 18, 2014, 3:17 am

    a small coffee grinder eletric, cheap, is great for grinding flax seeds

  • Helen November 30, 2014, 8:57 am

    Dear Penny, I am starting out nutritarian I am not in need of losing weight so must I count cups and ounces? Also I’m somewhat frightened of legumes due to their bloating ss and gas factors. What’s your advice?

    • Penny Hammond November 30, 2014, 5:23 pm

      Dear Helen,
      If you don’t need to lose weight, you could jump straight to the Life Plan. That tells you which foods to eat and avoid, and what proportions of different foods to eat.
      If you’re unused to eating legumes, introduce them slowly so your body gets used to them. Chew them well. Many people find they can digest them better if they’re well-soaked and you remove the soaking liquid. Look for beans made in traditional ways, e.g. fermented soy products, and beans with herbs such as fennel, ginger, epazote, or other gas-reducing ingredients such as ginger or kombu. You can also try a product like Beano to help you if none of these strategies work.

  • Andy December 4, 2014, 2:26 pm

    Dear Penny,
    I have been on the six week plan for three months–twice as long as the doctor describes. I have lost fifty lbs in that time, and need to loose another fifty. Is there a problem with continuing the six week plan as long as necessary to continue loosing weight? I am concerned about the lack of b vitamins unless I incorporate some meat or dairy. I hate the idea of vitamin supplements, but the six week plan has worked well. I don’t miss fat much, or sugar, but salt . . . I would kill for the savor of salt, and NOTHING, not lemon, vinegar, nutritional yeast, or any of the salt substitutes I have tried have provided that missing flavor. It is like watching your favorite movie in black and white instead of full color surround sound. I have a VERY full and well used spice cupboard, but miss salt soooo much!

    • Penny Hammond December 5, 2014, 7:20 pm

      Dear Andy,
      Congratulations on your weight loss so far!
      You’re right, you’ve been on the 6 week plan for far longer than Dr. Fuhrman suggests. It’s probably time to move to the lifetime diet – your weight loss might slow down a little, but it’ll probably continue. Keep an eye out for foods you eat compulsively, and make sure you put a limit on those foods.
      On this diet you don’t have to avoid meat and dairy completely if you don’t want to – for the 6 week plan and the lifetime diet, you can have up to 12 ounces a week. Dr. Furhman’s recommendations in the cookbook are that you stick to naturally raised or wild animal products, poultry, eggs, fish, and dairy. The original diet book says you should have low-fat dairy.
      There are some natural salts in animal products which may help your salt cravings.
      Dr. Fuhrman doesn’t say anything about olives, which are cured in a little salt – perhaps you could have a small amount of them? Not sure whether that would fit into the guideline to avoid foods containing a lot of salt including pickles.

  • Savy mom December 7, 2014, 12:22 pm

    Dr. Fuhrman mentions that you can add meat to his soup recipes for flavoring, but I can’t find any recipes that contain meat or say how much. For example, I want to make the crock pot chili, but it is too low in calories for my two children, who are both severely underweight, for different reasons. I was going to keep it vegetarian for myself and add meat to theirs. How much would be enough to add a hefty dose of calories without disrupting the other nutritional benefits of the soup? Is there a rule of thumb for adding meat to soups in general? He is 23 years old and underweight due to a lifetime of GFCF diet (he has Autism) and bouts of continuous “stimming” which involves constant movement, as well as malabsorption, etc. She is 8 years old and is underweight due to low birthweight and failure to thrive as an infant. She has spastic Cerebral Palsy, which some speculate burns extra calories because the muscles are constantly clenched, and oral motor apraxia, which makes chewing difficult, so it is difficult for her to consume high calorie foods (like meat and starches). They have no genetics in common. Also, I think my husband (who needs to lose weight and improve his health) would refuse the purely vegetarian version. And he probably needs a bit more calories than I do.

    • Penny Hammond December 10, 2014, 8:48 am

      Dr. Fuhrman says that if you have animal products, limit them to a 2 ounce serving, not more than 3 times a week.

      It’s possible that this diet might not work for your family. You might be interested in looking at diets with fermented foods to aid digestion – look at Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride and Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig.

  • Savy mom December 29, 2014, 2:53 pm

    Thank you for this reply, but you didn’t really answer the question. Or maybe I didn’t state it clearly enough:
    Will adding meat- more than two ounces – (or anything else to the soup that most of us need to avoid, but underweight people DO NOT need to avoid) NEGATE the health benefits of the soup? Or will it be just as healthful, but higher in calories? For instance, we made a huge batch (according to the recipe provided by Dr. Fuhrman) of the Anti-cancer soup. But, it is really “blah”, and no one will eat it. I am trying to get them to eat a cup a day of it, just as a health tonic. Is this enough? And, if I add things to it to make it more palatable (remember, they are UNDERWEIGHT!), does the soup retain it’s health benefits? Here are some of my sample additions to a “family sized” portion (about five or six cups) of the soup: 2 cups homemade turkey broth (no salt added and fat removed), 2 cups pureed pumpkin (from scratch – nothing but water added), about 1/4 cup butter, 1 cup orange juice, and a little pumpkin pie spice, and a little Xylitol. This soup was quite tasty, I served it as an appetizer for Christmas dinner and everybody ate it. It is quite similar (but much more vegetable dense) to a pumpkin soup recipe I often make for the holidays. Would Dr. Furhman consider this a healthful soup (for those who are NOT trying to loose weight?). For the one cup a day of the Anti-cancer soup, a pat of butter (1 teaspoon) makes it much more palatable. Is that OK? Is it better than not eating the soup at all? If not butter, a little sodium free, fat free chicken broth?
    I will check out the fermented foods information you recommended, but you need to understand that “indigestion” is not the problem, it is malabsorption due to villus atrophy of the small intestines, due to grain and dairy allergies from “leaky gut” syndrome, in the one case, and difficulty consuming enough high calorie foods in the other (because she can’t bite or chew them long enough to get sufficient quantities down.)

    • Penny Hammond December 31, 2014, 1:34 pm

      There are two questions – will adding more meat or other ingredients to the soup negate the health benefits of the diet according to Dr. Fuhrman, and will they negate the health benefits of the diet in reality?
      According to Dr. Fuhrman’s book, having more than a small amount of meat is detrimental to your health, as is having added fat.
      In reality – I don’t think that anybody knows. There’s probably not one single “healthy” diet that will work for everybody.
      For underweight people, having something tasty that they want to eat is more likely to help them than something which is deemed by a group of experts to be healthy.

      I suggested the fermented food resources to help digestion (the entire digestive system), not necessarily just to stop indigestion. I don’t know what the answer is for your family; just trying to help with ideas.

  • Savy mom January 1, 2015, 5:43 pm

    OK, that helps a lot. Because what people fail to understand about my children is that they don’t eat nearly as much meat and fat as “the average American diet”, the one because she can’t get it down, and the other because he can’t eat all the sauces and other ingredients that pile on the calories. They both can’t eat almost anything that comes in a box, or comes from a restaurant. They eat healthy fats, avocado, sesame, olive, cocoanut, pumpkinseed, macadamia, etc., some of them in the form of salad oils or cooking oils, it is true, but almost never the unhealthy fats that permeate the American diet. Dr. Furhman’s diet appealed to me initially because we already avoid most of the things he doesn’t want you to have, due to not having them in the house for the kids anyway. If my husband and I could tweak our eating habits to become slimmer and healthier, while at the same time not depriving the kids of the calories they need, it would certainly make my life easier. I think we might be able to pull this off just by having different salad dressings than the kids, and putting more meat into their portions. We like the fermented foods too (we’re Krauts!), but I don’t want to undertake a completely new system. Thanks for your help.

  • Lisa January 24, 2015, 3:13 am

    I’ve been eating canned beans. Is that not allowed? I’m halfway through the six week plan and have lost 11lbs.
    Canned beans are easy and convenient.

    • Penny Hammond January 24, 2015, 2:53 pm

      Dr. Fuhrman says that for canned tomatoes, you should get BPA-free cans because tomatoes are high acid which could cause the BPA to leach into the food.
      He says that other canned vegetables are less of an issue, so canned beans should be fine.

      • Lisa January 25, 2015, 4:46 pm

        Thanks for that.

  • rebecca January 27, 2015, 1:18 pm

    I have not been able to find if you can eat organic tofu?

    • Penny Hammond January 27, 2015, 3:59 pm

      Yes, the book says you can (I’ve listed it in legumes – soy). This goes towards your 1 cup daily goal for legumes.

  • Yael Kotlowitz March 1, 2015, 12:47 pm

    I have lupus and this book was suggested to me by a dietician. I see the recommendation is basically to become a vegan in order to improve one’s auto immune condition. Am I correct ? If so, I would be pleased to be advised.

    Many thanks


    • Penny Hammond March 4, 2015, 5:07 pm

      Hi Yael,

      As with every other medical condition, there are lots of different points of view on which diet works best. A whole foods plant-based/vegan diet is one option – other similar books include Super Immunity (also by Joel Fuhrman) and The China Study.

      There are a number of paleo-type diets that claim to address autoimmune conditions – Practical Paleo has specific guidelines for autoimmune conditions, Your Personal Paleo Code is a paleo-based elimination/reintroduction diet, and It Starts With Food / The Whole30 uses a similar set of recommendations.

      In general, elimination/reintroduction diets can be helpful to calm things down and then work out what gives you symptoms – Clean by Dr Alejandro Junger is an example.

  • Ann Kresge March 23, 2015, 2:26 pm

    Hi, starting my 3rd week on this diet. Some weight loss. Salt is hardest for me to give up. Are olives(not oil) and capers allowed?

    • Penny Hammond March 23, 2015, 3:02 pm

      There aren’t clear guidelines on olives in capers in the book. Because they’re whole foods but they’re salty (and olives also have a high fat content) they would probably be foods to have in limited amounts.

      • Christine Carpenter June 1, 2015, 10:10 am

        Capers and olives are either pickled or cured in brine (salt).

  • Kathleen March 25, 2015, 7:20 pm

    I understand not eating the highly processed table salt, but what about Himalayan Pink Salt, full of good minerals that seem to be missing from our food due to poor soil conditions and use of GMO and pesticides. Thanks for this forum, I have found it to be very helpful.

    • Penny Hammond March 26, 2015, 3:42 pm

      There is a trend towards using natural salts with balanced minerals as a healthier alternative to highly processed table salt, but this diet is very anti-salt (like the anti-fat approach in the book, it’s more in line with dietary recommendations that were popular a decade ago).

      • Alan Firth March 27, 2015, 9:55 am

        Dr. Dean Ornish’s work is over 35 years old but his findings are still as relevant today as they were then — no animal products and no oil for best health and longevity.

  • Annie B April 16, 2015, 6:00 pm

    I understand the basics of this plan, and I know there’s a sample meal plan in the book, but what I really want is a meal plan outline not a meal plan with specific recipes. For example, what foods do you eat at each meal in order to hit all the categories? Breakfast: #fruit or # vegetables or #grains from the total number you should have each day. Lunch: beans? salad, if so how large? starch veggie? Dinner: what’s left? I can find my own recipes if I know what nutrients I need to get in and for which meal. I hope that makes sense.

    • Penny Hammond April 17, 2015, 7:35 am

      There aren’t any meal-by-meal guidelines like that in the books.
      The guidelines are on what you should eat each day – they provide flexibility so you can choose what you want to have in each meal.

      The book says:
      – Salad is the main dish – eat it first at lunch and dinner
      – Only 10% of calories need to come from protein – may be as little as 2.5% – and it can be supplied by plant foods
      – Eat a variety, particularly when it comes to greens
      – Raw vegetables – all types – goal: at least 1 lb. daily
      – Cooked green and non-green nutrient-rich vegetables – goal: at least 1 lb. daily. Preferably conservatively cooked – e.g. steamed
      – Eat lots of mushrooms all of the time
      – Beans/legumes – goal: at least 1 cup daily. Eat some beans every lunch
      – Fresh fruit – at least 4 a day
      – Cooked starchy vegetables or whole grains – not more than one serving, or 1 cup, per day – usually for breakfast or dinner
      – Raw, unsalted nuts and seeds – 1 oz. maximum per day (the cookbook says to have at least 1 ounce a day, unless you’re trying to lose weight)
      – Ground flaxseeds – 1 tablespoon per day
      – Avocado – 2 oz. maximum per day
      – Dried fruit – 2 tablespoons maximum per day

      The cookbook says to include daily:
      – A large salad
      – At least one 1/2-cup serving of beans/legumes in soup, salad, or some other dish – another part of the book says to try to eat a cup of cooked beans each day (compared to at least 1 cup suggested in the Eat to Live book)
      – At least 3 fresh fruits (compared to at least 4 fruits suggested in the Eat to Live book)
      – At least 1 ounce of raw nuts and seeds (if you are trying to lose weight, limit to 1 ounce) (compared to limit of 1 ounce suggested in the Eat to Live book)
      – At least one large (double-size) serving of cooked green vegetables

  • Rick Ramirez April 19, 2015, 5:44 pm

    This diet seems comparable to The Starch Solution, though with this diet, vegetables make up the majority on our plate than starch. My goal is to fit into a size 36 pant. Would you recommend cutting back on my starch to the guidelines from Eat to Live? Thank you.

  • Dar Kwarta April 22, 2015, 10:15 am

    If fresh fruits and veggies are unlimited, why can’t I snack on them?

    • Penny Hammond April 22, 2015, 5:21 pm

      Dr. Fuhrman says that you should not snack unless you are sure it is true hunger.

      “More frequent eating has been shown to lead to more calories consumed by the end of the week. In addition, in scientific studies reduced meal frequency increased the life span of both rodents and monkeys, even when the calories consumed each week were the same in the group fed more frequently and the group fed less frequently. The body needs time between meals to finish digesting, because when digestion has ended, the body can more effectively detoxify and promote cellular repair. To maximize health, it is not favorable to be constantly eating and digesting food.” (p. 155)

  • Bill May 7, 2015, 12:15 pm

    I’ve been on the Eat to Live diet for a week. I’m 5’9, 165#, male. Looking to lose 10-12 pounds. I workout in the gym 4-5 times/wk. I’ve GAINED 2 pounds ! I was eating a PRIMAL/Paleo diet but my weight loss had stalled. I thought ETL would kick start the weight loss.
    Thoughts ?

    • Penny Hammond May 8, 2015, 5:13 pm

      It’s tough, there isn’t one diet that works for everybody. Sometimes swapping diets will help you get off a plateau, sometimes it’ll make you gain weight. You could try going back to your previous diet to see if that works, or try another diet instead. Or it could be something in the details, like you’re not drinking enough water.

  • Bonnie Cook May 24, 2015, 7:33 pm

    I need to lower my cholesterol within 6 weeks. Read Food for Life book and decided to follow this plan. After reading that plus the cookbook, I am a little confused. Since it’s really important to get my cholesterol down, I think the 6 week plan in the book is more restrictive than the cookbook and plan to follow the book rather than the cookbook, Am I misunderstanding the cookbook instructions? Wanted to use the fruit and spinach smoothie for breakfast as posted on this website earlier. Just don’t want to make any mistakes with eating something that might slow down getting my cholesterol count corrected. Thank you for your help.

    • Penny Hammond June 1, 2015, 10:48 am

      The Eat to Live Cookbook says that the recipes meet the guidelines of the diet – the trick will be to have the correct serving sizes and to make sure you’re using the proportions recommended in the diet book. When you plan your meals, make sure that you’re eating plenty of the foods to eat in unlimited amounts, and limiting the foods to limit to within those guidelines.

      • Jim Polli June 18, 2015, 8:37 am

        Thank you Penny, the information you supplied was very helpful. Hopefully, Dr. Fuhrman will address the issue of possibly acquiring kidney stones and the Eat to Live Diet in future literature and or TV appearances.

  • JPolli June 13, 2015, 2:12 pm

    I have been following the Dr. Fuhrman diet for the past year. I consumed a lot of beans, nuts, spinach and blueberries. Cheating on the diet 1-2x per month. I have lost 20 lbs. I have also acquired two kidney stones (4mm & 5mm). My question is this: Can a diet high in vegatables, beans, nuts and greens contribute to kidney stones? I read these foods are high in oxalates and oxalates can contribute to kidney stones. If you can PLEASE refer this question to Dr. Fuhrman as this topic can affect the health of many people on the Fuhrman diet. Thank you.

  • Lauren September 11, 2015, 5:11 pm

    Do you know how Dr. Furhman feels about homemade Seitan?


    • Penny Hammond September 11, 2015, 7:25 pm

      Dr. Fuhrman doesn’t suggest a gluten-free diet in this book, so wheat is allowed. So home-made seitan should fit in this diet (unless you have autoimmune disease or celiac disease or gluten intolerance) – just be careful that the other ingredients also are allowed ingredients.

  • Loobyloo September 22, 2015, 11:40 am

    I read in ETL (p202) the 2 week plan for headaches. In it, Dr. Furhman does not mention portion sizes and says the diet will be modified after the initial 2 week period. Can you please tell me more about portion sizes, what plan to switch to after the 2 weeks and also, what is permitted tomato sauce? ( included in 2 week plan). Thank you for this truly awesome site you have created for us. Loobyloo.

    • Penny Hammond September 22, 2015, 7:08 pm

      Portion size is probably the same as for the rest of the book, although you’re right it’s not clear.
      Include daily: A large salad; at least one 1/2-cup to 1-cup serving of beans/legumes in soup, salad, or some other dish; at least 3-4 fresh fruits; at least 1 ounce of raw nuts and seeds (if you are trying to lose weight, limit to 1 ounce); at least one large (double-size) serving of cooked green vegetables.

      I think after 2 weeks you’re encouraged to (slowly) reintroduce some of the foods you weren’t eating, to see whether you react to them and need to avoid them at all times.

      Tomato sauce that’s been cooked down can sometimes be a migraine trigger – that might be part of the reason that pizza is included in the list of common migraine triggers.
      But something out of a can would probably be okay (make sure it’s BPA-free) – just check to see that it isn’t a personal trigger for you.

  • Loobyloo September 23, 2015, 3:45 am

    Thank you so much for the answer.

  • Melissa October 20, 2015, 1:05 am

    I have hypothyroidism. I take medication for it. Is there anything I should be concerned about on the 6 week plan?

    • Penny Hammond October 25, 2015, 5:33 pm

      Check with your doctor whether they’d recommend you following this diet.

      Soy products such as soybeans, miso, tempeh, tofu, and soy milk are listed as foods to eat – if you react to phytoestrogens in soy and soy-rich foods, you may need to limit or avoid these, and focus on other plant proteins instead.

      There are a number of goitrogenic foods encouraged on this diet – e.g. cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and kale. You should minimize these if you react to goitrogenic foods, and substitute other vegetables instead.

      Grains are limited in this diet – you may want to try further restricting gluten-containing foods, which some believe can irritate the small intestine and may hamper absorption of thyroid hormone replacement medication.

      And because this is a high-fiber diet, that might interfere with absorption of thyroid hormone replacement drugs – ask your doctor if you need a higher dose of thyroid medication.

  • Kim October 20, 2015, 4:09 am

    I’m interested in introducing some of this at least for my father however he takes Coumadin and cannot have foods high in Vit K which are mostly all green vegetables the more leafy, the higher the Vitamin K. Does he make any substitutions for this?

    • Penny Hammond October 25, 2015, 5:39 pm

      Here’s some info from Coumadin that shows you which foods are high in vitamin K – http://www.coumadin.com/pdf/Foods_With_VitaminK.pdf.
      Also, the NIH has guidelines for this drug and vitamin K: http://ods.od.nih.gov/pubs/factsheets/coumadin1.pdf – they say you should keep vitamin K consistent within a certain range, not avoid it completely, and make sure you have a consistent amount. It suggests that you limit foods “moderately high” in vitamin K to 3 servings per day – there’s a table of these, and each serving is about 1 cup of raw vegetables.

      These show that raw vegetables are a lot lower in vitamin K than cooked ones. So your father may be able to follow this diet by having his greens mostly raw instead of cooked. Check with his doctor to see whether this would work for him.

  • Loobyloo November 2, 2015, 3:26 am

    Where the book recommends beans/legumes, can these be green beans and peas? Thank you so much.

    • Penny Hammond November 8, 2015, 1:33 pm

      Doing a quick search in Kindle, “beans” are mentioned more than 100 times (and “legumes” are mentioned 19 times) – they’re all over the book as they’re an important part of the diet.

      See “Beans or Legumes” on page 214 – “Beans or legumes are among the world’s most perfect foods. They stabilize blood sugar, blunt the desire for sweets, and prevent mid-afternoon cravings. Even a small portion can help you feel full, but in the Six-Week Plan I encourage you to eat at least one full cup daily.”

      Peas and green beans are listed under Vegetables – they aren’t mature enough to have reached legume status. You should count them as vegetables rather than legumes.

  • Thanido November 10, 2015, 10:34 am

    I am from South Africa ,I followed your website after watching your presentation broadcasted by Amazing Discoveries.
    I am currently in the electric pad slimming and firming program , I have my fears about this but I do not know exactly the danger /side effects of this .
    Secondly I would like to join the eat to live program .
    I would also like to get advise on person who is an alcohol abuser and have been to Alcohol Anonymous programs twice and still relapse

    • Penny Hammond November 18, 2015, 7:36 pm

      You can join the email list and see more details at http://www.drfuhrman.com.

      The book doesn’t give any advice on using accessories like electric pads – it’s more focused on natural and food-focused ways to improve your health and lose weight.

      I can’t find any advice for alcoholic abuse in the book or on the website – it’s possible that sweet and processed foods might be a trigger, and because this way of eating provides more natural sugars the strong feeling of need for alcohol might be slightly reduced. Can any readers provide some experience on this?

  • Anna November 22, 2015, 2:12 pm

    Thank you so much for all the amazing work you’re doing on this site!

    I was wondering, wether you’re planning on providing an overview of Fuhrman’s “The End of Dieting” as well.

    • Penny Hammond November 22, 2015, 2:25 pm

      You’re welcome, glad to help!
      There are so many books, and it takes a long time to write a thorough overview – I’ll add it to my list of requests. Thanks!

      • Anna November 23, 2015, 1:00 am

        Thank you! 🙂

  • SableBear December 2, 2015, 6:15 am

    Is there any particular advice in there for a lipedemic body?

    • Penny Hammond December 13, 2015, 6:12 pm

      The book doesn’t have any advice about lipedemia – however, it generally says it helps with chronic health conditions and weight loss.

  • Sue January 4, 2016, 5:23 pm

    Teri Marzano – This Five Day Super Diet Challenge website (link above) shows a box to be a pint in the Spinach Salad recipe.

  • Robert Kindelan January 10, 2016, 3:13 pm

    Vegetables, no mention of organically grown, all 40 or can I eat maybe five or six, that’s a rhetorical question by the way. Then we skip through the garden to non-green veggies, another 25, but only five or six; mushrooms until I turn into one; onward to cruciferous veggies, now I’m into at least some of them but recommended is a pound daily of raw vegetables but to the rescue are cooked green and another pound daily. So far I’ve probably consumed 3.5 pounds of veggies; ah, some vegetable juice, what a cup maybe, now I’m near the 4 pound mark; warned against no skins, has this man heard of organically grown? Now we get to the real main theme of this farce, Beans! How would primitive ancestors ever eaten one let alone soybeans, a bean so harmful it has to ferment it or get sick as hell and of course there’s always the atmosphere to consider plus almost all soybeans are GMO/Roundup tainted, in polite company they call it effects of indigestion, and how much, let’s suppose a minimal amount of 1 cup per day, now we’re heading toward the five pound a day diet plan, but wait, we’re not through yet, fresh fruit at least four a day even though fruit only grows briefly, like 3 months a year, but how much? 4 pieces of fruit per day, now we’re at 6/7 pounds per day, but surely that must be all, or is it? Whoops, I forgot herbs and spices and especially his VegiZest and MatoZest, isn’t that clever, a capital Z in each. Quinoa is not a grain by the way and this guy is so far out he seems to forget the horrors of wheat, that is, one of the worst grains we could possibly eat. Where’s the Alaska salmon, the grass fed beef, the raw dairy from pastured cows, the eggs from chickens not cage free but without cages, period. This man is wrong on almost everything. So far I’d have to eat seven or eight pounds of veggies, grains, fruit and I forgot about “soymilk.” That’s surely another pound now approaching the ten pound a day mark. Then there’s the deficiency of vitamins and minerals Vegan and Vegetarian diets cause, for sure, K2, B12, calcium, iron, zinc, the long-chain fatty acids EPA & DHA, and fat-soluble vitamins like A & D and protein. This man is a quack and conning the gullible who are sick, or he means well and is simply ignorant. But his message appeals to those overweight, stupid, and desperate. I’d love to see a debate between he and Gary Taubes or Loren Cordain or debate him myself. The first thing he’s ask is, Are you a doctor? My answer: My medicine is real food and not this vegan nonsense that often causes irreversible illnesses, but am I a doctor? It depends on the definition of Doctor. Your protocol and advice is sure to lead to illnesses, mine will lead to health and vitality and there is one major difference in what we recommend: You recommend a diet that will cause illnesses, I recommend a diet that will make one strong, beautiful and prevent illness. The medical profession depends of pharmaceuticals that will make one more ill than they already were or are. Doctors don’t have a clue about diets except what they read. There’s not one book by a doctor that has it completely right, although Dr. Blaylock and Dr. Perlmutter are close. Does the “close” reference mean I know better than they? Maybe. They are flawed in several areas, though Russel Blaylock is close to being right on all things. I have never liked people who are not honorable, but this buy is an intelligent man, but a bit of the psychopath is in him.

  • Nancy January 22, 2016, 5:16 pm

    You have turnips in non-green veggies AND foods to avoid!

    Please help me to know which group it is.
    Thank you!

    • Penny Hammond January 25, 2016, 2:11 pm

      Turnip greens (the leaves at the top of the plant, not the root/taproot) are listed in greens and cruciferous vegetables as a food to eat as much as you want.

      Turnip root/taproot (the starchy part) is listed as a starchy vegetable to limit.

      I don’t see it listed as a food to avoid – that would be unusual as it’s a whole unprocessed plant food, and those foods are encouraged on this diet.

  • Ann Bernson February 2, 2016, 4:19 pm

    I am 71 yrs old and have gained about 20 lbs over the last few yrs and want to get it off quickly, so I am following the plan without any starches or grains, and with minimum seeds, nuts, and avocado. Do you know:
    1. how many weeks can I stay healthily on this strict menu (I’m taking vitamins)?
    2. it’s hard for me to get in all the food in 3 meals. Is there a weight loss repercussion if I have some fruit/veggie snacks?
    3. is there any risks being on this program due to my age?
    Many thanks!

    • Penny Hammond February 15, 2016, 2:06 pm

      Dr. Fuhrman says “Restricting the portion size of rice, potatoes, and other cooked starchy vegetables to one serving is not necessary for everybody to lose weight on the Life Plan, only for those whose metabolism makes it difficult to lose weight. Many can still achieve an ideal body weight by cutting out refined starches only, such as white bread and pasta, without having to limit starchy vegetables to merely one serving. Your diet should be adjusted to your metabolic needs and activity level. (p. 220)
      So it sounds like completely cutting out starches might be going a little too far.
      Suggest following the guidelines for weight loss, rather than overshooting them, and seeing how that works for you.
      The book says you should follow the plan for 6 weeks, although it could be for longer if you still want to lose weight after that.

      Dr. Fuhrman says “The body needs time between meals to finish digesting, because when digestion has ended, the body can more effectively detoxify and promote cellular repair. To maximize health, it is not favorable to be constantly eating and digesting food. Wait until you feel hungry to eat. Try to eat less at dinner so you are hungry for three meals per day. Get your body into a regular schedule, eating three meals per day, without overeating at any one meal. If you do not feel hungry for the next meal, delay eating or skip the meal entirely. Next time, eat much less until you get better skilled at eating the appropriate amount so that you feel hungry in time to eat again at the next mealtime. It is permissible to eat two meals a day instead of three if you are hungry for only two meals. For most people who exercise regularly, three meals with no snacking is the norm. We actually require less food than most people realize. Once we get rid of the perverted toxic hunger, our central nervous system can accurately measure and give us the right signals for maintaining our ideal weight on the right amount of calories. You will eventually develop the skill of knowing the right amount of food to eat at each meal, because it relieves your hunger, you feel satisfied (but not full), and you are hungry again in time for the next meal.” (p. 155).
      So if you’re not hungry enough to eat all that food, scale down the portions and eat only what you’re hungry to eat – at meals, not in snacks.

      The book doesn’t say anything about risks for older people on the program. However, your age may be another factor to consider in the decision to follow the diet as written instead of creating a more extreme version for yourself… Losing weight quickly isn’t always the safest thing to do; it’s probably better to take it off at a healthy pace.

      Hope that helps!

  • Barbie lee February 15, 2016, 2:49 am

    I’m because if used can you please help me based on the recipes of Dr. Fuhrman eat to live book how can I know how many cups of soup/ salad/ or how many servings of of that dish should I eat per meal time?

    • Penny Hammond February 15, 2016, 3:27 pm

      Have a look at the top of each recipe, under the title – this shows you how many portions the recipe gives you.
      E.g. “Dr Fuhrman’s Famous Anti-Cancer Soup” serves 10 – either divide the recipe by 10 to get a single serving, or make the whole batch, divide it into 10, and freeze the portions you don’t use.
      There aren’t any clear guidelines on number of cups – different soups and salads have different ingredients and different amounts of water, so it’s easiest to go by the portion sizes on the recipes.

  • Gregory Caudill February 28, 2016, 7:58 pm

    Okay, I bough the Eat to Livebook nd I am ready to start. On Page 210 breakfast consists of strawberries, orange, and cantaloupe withflax seed and hemp seed. So how much of eack should I consume?

    • Penny Hammond February 29, 2016, 7:01 pm

      Fruits aren’t limited on this diet, so you can have as much as you feel like.
      Raw, unsalted nuts and seeds are limited to 1 ounce per day if you’re trying to lose weight – if you’re not having them in any other meal, you could have that full amount in this meal. If you don’t want to lose weight, you can have more.

  • Draza April 16, 2016, 6:15 am

    You are allowed to have a few seeds and receive 20 lashes for better circulation.

  • jg April 19, 2016, 5:23 pm

    My husband absolutely will not eat tofu. What can I substitute? Thanks, jg

    • Penny Hammond May 3, 2016, 4:45 pm

      That’s a tough one – it’s higher in protein than most alternatives, contains calcium, and isn’t as processed as many alternatives that have the same benefits.
      What is it about tofu that he doesn’t like? The taste? The texture?

      You could try tempeh and see how he responds to it – the texture’s pretty different, but the taste is a little unique. Try putting it in something strongly flavored and see how that works.

      Any suggestions from anyone else?

  • Christel April 27, 2016, 12:13 pm

    Yes, but only “no salt added” and rinse them well. But better is buy the dried beans and soak them over night.

  • star May 12, 2016, 2:03 pm

    Hi, Im on Day 40 of eat to live and have been experiencing headaches. The first week i had a headache of course from the detox, but this is strange after 4 weeks in to have a headache everyday. Anyone else experience this?

    Thank you.

    • Penny Hammond May 22, 2016, 5:09 pm

      If it’s happening after being on the diet for that long, it could be unrelated. Probably worth checking with your doctor.

  • Blue Moon May 24, 2016, 7:49 pm

    I’m doing this program for both weight loss and health. I’ve read comments that he doesn’t want you to use Stevia because it’s not nutritious. My question is literally “What’s the harm?” I’m not being facetious; I really want to know. In the same vein, I cannot eat beans with no/low salt without hot sauce. I use Texas Pete. Most everything else, I go straight by the program – the vegan version. Are using these items detrimental to my health in some way, regardless of how minor or major, or are they more neutral – they’re not really hurting me, but they’re just not helping me?

    I’d also like to thank you for this site! It is absolutely fantastic, and you have done such a wonderful job. You’ve answered many questions I’ve had. Thank you!

    • Penny Hammond May 30, 2016, 3:29 pm

      Glad to be of help!

      The book says you shouldn’t use artificial sweeteners, or processed foods. Stevia does go through a lot of processing before you get the powdered version.

      I don’t see anything about avoiding hot sauce – chili powder is allowed. Looking at the ingredients of Texas Pete (“Vinegar, Aged Peppers (Peppers, Salt, Vinegar), Water, Xanthan Gum and Benzoate of Soda (To Preserve Freshness and Flavor)”), the only issue I can see related to the recommendations in the book is that it contains salt and probably a tiny amount of the last two ingredients.

      If these are the one thing that keep you going on this diet, and you’re not having a lot of them, use your best judgment about whether you want to use them.

  • lynn June 11, 2016, 7:16 pm

    My mom is 91 and wants to join me on the plan for better health, she is 5 ft tall, 110 lbs, doesn’t need to lose weight, just get healthy, any suggestions so she doesn’t lose weight just get healthy while I need to lose weight

    • Penny Hammond June 27, 2016, 4:48 pm

      See the lifetime plan – this should work for maintaining weight and staying healthy.
      If this would be a big change in diet for your mom, try introducing the new foods first so she gets used to them, then reducing the foods she’s supposed to limit or avoid.

  • wendy June 14, 2016, 6:10 am

    can you have eggs

    • Penny Hammond June 27, 2016, 4:44 pm

      The book encourages you to eat a plant-based diet, but if you have to eat animal products, you can do so in small quantities – 12 ounces total of animal foods per week.
      It suggests an egg omelet once a week – only. And presumably that would be included in the 12 ounces.

  • jwoolman July 8, 2016, 1:43 am

    Have you tried blender drinks with your kids? A high power blender like the Vitamix or Blendtec) will pulverize everything, including seeds and skins, to make a very smooth drink. You can adjust the water or milk (nondairy works fine) to adjust the thickness. I freeze cut up fruits and veg of all types and toss them in the Vitamix with a little vegan protein powder (many simple ones available, like Lifetine Life’s Basics Plant Protein unsweetened vanilla, with rice protein, pea protein, hemp seed, chia seed, vanilla and nothing else). You can also add other nuts and seeds and even avocado and grains such as oats. I wouldn’t worry so much about exactly meeting the Eat to Live guidelines for your kids – top priority should be getting enough calories, protein, and fat into them. You don’t have to feed them Twinkies to do that. Don’t go overboard on the veg until you see how they respond. A little spinach goes a long way… Seedless cucumbers, celery, and red, yellow, orange bell peppers go amazingly well with fruits, though. Parsley is nice in small amounts also. I even make popsicles out of them, but your kids might do better with drinks if you can find the right consistency that they can tolerate.

  • jwoolman July 8, 2016, 2:23 am

    You can get rid of a lot of the salt in canned beans (as much 40% apparently) by thoroughly rinsing on a colander. The can goop is disgusting anyway…. 🙂 You can do the same with canned fruit to get rid of added sugar, although when I do get canned fruit usually I can find stuff canned in fruit juice. It still can be too sweet.

  • Vincent July 10, 2016, 4:19 am

    Hi Penny, great answers to everyone’s questions. I was wondering if Nutritional Yeast Flakes are allowed, I sprinkle them over tofu mostly for flavor and high concentration of B vitamins, are they compliant with this diet? Thanks.

    • Penny Hammond August 21, 2016, 3:41 pm

      Hi Vincent, glad to help!
      Nutritional yeast is included in 3 recipes, so it looks like it’s allowed in this diet.

  • Susan August 26, 2016, 5:40 pm

    Hi, and MANY thanks for all of your information and replies.
    I am wondering about whole olives? I know olive oil is not recommended, but what about the whole olives? I would assume, if they are allowed, that they should be consumed in small quantities. Any data you can share on this?
    Thank you!

    • Penny Hammond September 29, 2016, 7:04 pm

      You’re welcome!

      Whole olives are cured in salt, which isn’t recommended on this diet. As they’re somewhat fatty and salty, I assume they would be a restricted food on this diet – perhaps like nuts, which should be limited to 1 ounce maximum per day, or restricted even further because of the salt content.

  • Bruce Cottam August 30, 2016, 12:05 am

    Besides avakados and flax seed what are other good sources of protein? Is soy protean a good source?

    Bruce Cottam

    • Penny Hammond September 29, 2016, 7:08 pm

      You’re encouraged in this book to eat legumes and limited amounts of whole grains – between the two of them you get a range of proteins.
      One type of legume, soy and fermented soy products – tempeh and tofu – provide complete protein.
      Along with nuts and seeds, those are probably the main source of protein on the diet.

      If you buy something that contains “soy protein” it’s probably highly processed, and processed foods are supposed to be avoided on this diet. If you want to eat soy, have tofu and tempeh to get your protein.

  • Karen Nielsen September 1, 2016, 2:14 pm

    I have tried the nutritarian diet for several weeks and my stomach cannot tolerate all or certain vegetables. I’m constipated all the time and my stomach is upset and bloated. Why am I having this issue? I don’t think I’m digesting all these vegetables. What could be the problem? I very much would like to stay on this program as I have heart disease and an autoimmune disease? Any suggestions? Sincerely, Karen
    Ps I am taking a probiotic and digestive enzymes, in hopes that this will help. So far it’s not.

    • Penny Hammond September 29, 2016, 7:10 pm

      Have you tried Beano?

      If you’re unused to eating legumes, introduce them slowly so your body gets used to them. Chew them well (that goes for all foods, including vegetables that you might be having trouble with). Many people find they can digest them better if they’re well-soaked and you remove the soaking liquid. Look for beans made in traditional ways, e.g. fermented soy products, and beans with herbs such as fennel, ginger, epazote, or other gas-reducing ingredients such as ginger or kombu.

  • Neil September 14, 2016, 9:12 pm

    I really appreciate this resource you’ve put together as well as your continued efforts to answer questions. Well done. And thank you!

    • Penny Hammond September 29, 2016, 7:10 pm

      You’re welcome, glad to be of help!

  • Flora Wiegers October 23, 2016, 11:29 am

    I have the same problem David! Perlmutter claims eating grains causes dimentia and Furnan tells us to eat lots of grains everyday! Which one should we follow????

  • Sharon November 5, 2016, 3:34 am

    This very informative with battle for weight loss and better health. I have already implemented some changes already that I find listed here and it works, also great information on diabetic eating this is greatly appreciated.

    • Penny Hammond November 8, 2016, 8:38 pm

      You’re welcome! I hope you continue to feel healthier.

  • Rhonda Caplan December 4, 2016, 3:26 pm

    Can u have 0% fat plain yogurt..man’s ALmods as well

    • Penny Hammond December 6, 2016, 4:42 pm

      Dr Fuhrman suggests that you limit animal products, including cheese, yogurt, and milk, to 10% or less of your daily caloric intake. Limit the serving size to 2 ounces and not more than 3 times a week. Do not make animal products the focus of the meal – think of them as a garnish, condiment, or flavoring agent. Choose fat-free dairy, eggs, clean wild fish, and organic meat and poultry
      So, you could have a little yogurt, but keep an eye out on how much, and don’t make it the focus of a meal.

      Almonds are also allowed – raw and unsalted. The guidelines vary on amounts – the diet book says 1 oz. maximum per day; the cookbook says to have at least 1 ounce a day, unless you’re trying to lose weight.

  • Nate January 1, 2017, 5:20 pm

    Canned beans are fine. He uses them in his cookbook as an alternative to dry beans

  • Ann Marie January 6, 2017, 9:33 am

    Are dried mushrooms ok to use?

    • Penny Hammond June 20, 2017, 2:53 pm

      Yes, good quality dried mushrooms should be fine.

  • Marilyn Fraser January 24, 2017, 9:08 pm

    Hi. I stumbled into this website and I think it’s fantastic! I’ve been following the Nutritarian lifestyle for two weeks and have last I checked I had lost 9.5 lbs. I have a lot of weight to lose and so far the changes I’ve seen in my energy level are incredible! My question is regarding alcohol. My husband & I do like to drink wine. I haven’t been able to find any information about if I can have a glass of wine or not in any of Dr. Furhman’s books. Any advice?

    • Penny Hammond June 20, 2017, 2:55 pm

      Here’s what the Eat to Live book says on page 308 about alcohol:
      “Moderate drinking has been associated with a lower incidence of coronary heart disease in more than forty prospective studies. This applies only to moderate drinking— defined as one drink or less per day for women and two drinks or less for men. More than this is associated with increased fat around the waist and other potential problems. Alcohol consumption also leads to mild withdrawal sensations the next day that are commonly mistaken for hunger. One glass of wine per day is likely insignificant, but I advise against higher levels of alcohol consumption. Alcohol’s anti-clotting properties grant some protective effect against heart attacks, but this protective effect is valuable only in a person or population consuming a heart disease– promoting diet. It is much wiser to avoid the detrimental effects of alcohol completely and protect yourself from heart disease with nutritional excellence. For example, even moderate alcohol consumption is linked to higher rates of breast cancer and to the occurrence of atrial fibrillation. Avoid alcohol and eat healthfully if possible, but if that one drink a day will make you stay with this plan much more successfully, then have it.”

  • Louetta February 21, 2017, 1:49 pm

    I have just started the six week plan and have been on it for 4 days. I am having some problems with upset stomach. Is this normal? If so, if I continue will it probably go away? Thanks

    • Penny Hammond June 20, 2017, 2:56 pm

      Sorry to hear that. Try chewing your food thoroughly, and limiting the amount that you drink while you’re eating.

  • Detra June 9, 2017, 5:10 pm

    Is the 1 cup of starch limit cooked or raw? (1/2 cup raw of oatmeal us a regular serving)

    • Penny Hammond June 20, 2017, 3:02 pm

      The 1 cup of starch limit is for cooked. 1/2 cup of raw oatmeal will usually give you about a cup of cooked, so that sound right.

  • mm June 10, 2017, 5:04 am

    i avoid fruit and whole grains because i severely sugar-spike from them. every blood test shows no sign of diabetes. following vegan low fodmap eating with dr fuhrman’s recommendations helps with ibs. may i consider peanut butter to be a legume? currently i am underweight and in my mid-60’s. i can digest tempeh well, but it is too expensive as a staple. other beans increase ibs symptoms.

    • Penny Hammond June 20, 2017, 3:07 pm

      Seeing as you’re underweight already, be careful about including restrictions from 2 different diets. Peanuts are generally considered low fodmap, and they’re considered a nut by Dr. Fuhrman. If you can eat something without it disagreeing with you, don’t be afraid go above the levels suggested in this book. Actually the Eat to Live Cookbooks says you should have at least 1 ounce a day, unless you’re trying to lose weight.

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