The Standard American Diet is 62% refined and processed food, 25.5% dairy and animal food and 12.5% fruits, veggies, beans, nuts, seeds and whole grains. When you account for potatoes, which are usually fried, this 12.5% drops to 5%. The foods that have been proven to promote health and longevity get a mere 5%. Dr. Fuhrman demonstrates why this is a huge problem in his book Eat to Live.
The book focuses on getting the most bang for your buck every time you eat by choosing foods that offer a lot of nutrients per calorie. This concept wouldn’t have been shocking to my grandma who used to ask, “Which is cheaper, the $2.00 pint of blueberries or the $1.00 bag of chips?” The answer was always, “The pint of blueberries has more nutrients than the bag of chips so they are cheaper!” The bag of chips is a waste of money and a waste of calories.
Dr. Fuhrman’s approach is similar to other plant-based experts but offers some very specific recommendations. His Eat to Live Plan includes unlimited raw veggies (goal of 1 lb daily), cooked veggies (goal of 1 lb/day), beans, legumes, bean sprouts and tofu (goal of 1 cup/day) and fresh fruit (goal of 4 daily). If you’re looking for a challenge (and a lesson about fiber) weigh out your food for the day and meet these goals.
He also recommends eating cooked starchy veggies, whole grains, raw nuts and seeds, avocado, dried fruit and ground flaxseeds. These foods are to be limited. The off-limit foods include dairy, animal products, fruit juice and oils.