Recently I read a book by Dr. Joel Fuhrman entitled, Eat to Live. A lot of it wasn’t new information to me because I’ve read many books, articles, and studies on whole food, plant-based lifestyles. However, I did find his formula for healthy eating very interesting. He (as well as others like endurance athlete, Brendan Brazier), believe we should choose what to eat based on the nutrient density per calorie and not based on some magic number of calories or one particular nutrient (like protein, carbohydrates, fat). I personally love this if for no other reason than it means “NO CALORIE COUNTING” (or carb/protein/fat counting for that matter). I’ve expressed numerous times how much I loathe the process of counting calories.
This actually makes a lot of sense to me. If the likes of John Gabriel are to be believed, and overweight (and even thin) Americans are actually nutritionally starved, then perhaps it’s not about the amount we’re eating, but what we’re eating that perpetuates the cycle of food addiction. Most “diets” tell us to cut back portions, but to the food addict, this actually ups the drive to eat. Oh sure, maybe they go through a period where they are “ok” with the restriction, but eventually the dam breaks and hunger instincts kick in. Why? Well, Dr. Fuhrman believes the reason is our nutrient-poor diets. He believes that our body craves because of the stimulating effects of today’s fast, packaged, chemical-laden food, coupled with the lack of necessary nutrients in these food-like sources. So, our body is malnourished despite the amount of food we stuff into our mouths. This is how we end up with starving obese people.
It’s sad really. We live in a country of “plenty” and yet most of us are starving nutritionally.