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Joel Fuhrman's Eat to Live Diet

Specializes in reducing and reversing disease through natural and nutritional methods.

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Dr. Joel Fuhrman is a well-known doctor who provides diet and nutrition advice to help patients lose weight and improve their health with a nutritional approach. Dr. Fuhrman has written several books on nutritional weight loss such as Eat to Live and Eat for Health, and has appeared on ABC, CBS, NBC and many other media outlets promoting the importance of sound nutrition to achieve optimal health.

Dr. Fuhrman specializes in reducing and reversing disease through natural and nutritional methods. For weight loss measures, the recommended plan from Dr. Fuhrman is his Eat to Live book. By following the plan in this book, you can lose weight naturally and permanently. You can also reduce your blood pressure, cholesterol and prevent heart disease without the use of medications.

The premise of Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat for Health program is that the more nutrient dense foods you eat, the quicker your health will improve. He proposes a largely plant-based diet void of refined products, meat and dairy.

Through the web site Dr. Fuhrman offers not only his books, but also online medical and nutritional advice.

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  • Natural and nutritional approach to weight loss
  • Emphasis on long-term results
  • Created by a medical doctor
  • Successful results by others
  • Vegetarian-friendly
  • Programs may be somewhat restrictive and difficult for those used to easing into a diet program
  • Food preparation time can be lengthy
  • Little to no meat is allowed

Dr. Joel Fuhrman promotes a plant-based diet comprised of vegetables, fruits, legumes, raw nuts, seeds and some whole grains. Avoided are sugar, refined flours, salt, and severely limiting all animal products include meat and dairy.

A sample day of meals may include:

  • Breakfast: Two cups cooked oatmeal with one tablespoon ground flax seed, one banana, one oz. raisins, 1/2 cup soy milk or skim milk.
  • Lunch: Green salad with balsamic vinegar and one teaspoon olive oil, one cup of chickpeas or vegetable soup and fresh fruit.
  • Dinner: Stir-fried vegetables with tofu or steamed string beans with onions and mushrooms.

The basic premise of Fuhrman's diets are consuming foods that are nutrient-rich but low in calories. These foods, like vegetables, fruits and legumes, will satiate the appetite because of their water and fiber content.


Because many of Dr. Fuhrman’s plans are designed for those with health issues, moderate exercise is recommended. Typical exercise might include 30-45 minutes of moderate intensity walking, five to six days per week.


Using Dr. Fuhrman’s recommendations, you can easily lose weight, reduce your current diseases and prevent contracting future diseases. Although it seems that most of the plans are very restrictive, they do garner results.

If you are looking for a plan that will finally give you the health and weight loss benefits you are looking for, Dr. Fuhrman can provide that. Be prepared for dramatically reducing your meat intake, but on the flip side you don’t have to count calories. As long as you follow the plan, you can be on your way to your ideal weight and optimal health.

Common Misspellings

eat to life, eating to live, eat for health, eating for health, joel fuhrman diet, joel furhman diet

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(Page 2 of 3, 59 total comments)




posted Sep 19th, 2013 3:03 pm


@Amy: There actually are nutrients in meat besides protein. B vitamins, vitamins A, K, D3, iron, zinc, chromium, copper, potassium, and selenium are all in meat.

Regarding Patty's negative review: It drives me nuts how everybody is automatically assuming that she did something wrong. Not all eating plans work for everybody, folks!

posted Aug 14th, 2013 11:06 pm



I don't really call this a diet, but more like a lifestyle and philosophical approach to eating. It makes so much sense - fruit, veggies, beans, nuts and seeds are chock full of micronutrients AND macronutrients. Why fill up on potatoes and steak, get very few vitamins and lots of cholesterol in when you can fill up on a meal like a huge bean salad where you are getting protein, carbs, and tons of nutrients?! I've lost 5 lbs not even strictly following this, but incorporating elements of it into most of my diet. I will usually have a green smoothie or oatmeal for breakfast, a huge salad and heavy bean dish for lunch and cooked veggies and some other plant based protein for dinner. I am on the thinner side so I snack on a lot of nuts and fruit.. I also enjoy large servings of banana ice cream for dessert. I imagine the negative review from Patty came from not eating enough good plant based protein and carbs .. Because you do need balance but we can balance all the fibrous greens out with calorie dense nuts, seeds, beans, avocados, etc. there is no reason this way of eating should make anyone sick unless you aren't eating ENOUGH of this food or if you are allergic to fiber :) but tell me how in the world is meat GOOD for you? What nutrients does it give you? The only significant contribution it gives is protein which is heavily abundant in plant based foods that are packed with vitamins and don't raise cholesterol, clog arteries and raise lgf1 in your blood. So how does meat balance your diet? I still eat meat as a treat maybe a couple times a week but not as any source of nutritional supplement. It is also filled with steroids, growth hormones, and fed corn which is usually a gmo that has been shown to create holes in the intestines of lab rats. Anyways overall this diet is the best one you can be on and shouldn't really be a diet but the normal way of eating!

posted Jul 14th, 2013 4:23 am



There is a mistaken thought that this is meat free completely. I have been on a Nutritarian diet for some time. The only time you do not eat meat is in the initial time of the 6 week challenge. NO meat dairy or sugar. Although the good Dr. does not believe that meat has enough nutrition to be of value he feels if you must have some meat he says (this is a direct quote) beef can be eaten rarely, and poultry, fish and eggs less than 10% of the diet. This is not a Vegan diet...This diet is not only a weight loss diet it is for regaining good health. I have been healed of a few illnesses since I started this... I recommend it completely.

posted Jun 27th, 2013 10:18 pm

Jennifer Webb


I LOVE THIS DIET. I have been so despondent and hopeless about losing weight because I couldn't seem to stick with diets anymore. I was always hungry and would just break down and eat. I bought a magazine explaining Dr. Fuhrman's diet and with some preparation and a little getting used to, it has been wonderful. I am full, feel good, like what I eat, and don't feel deprived ever. I actually feel REALLY full and not hungry at all. I also have noticed I wake up feeling less tired and have a bit more energy--and I've only been on this for 6 days. But I feel great about this diet because I know I can easily keep doing it. I can't wait to reach my goal because the weight is falling off and it feels easy. I haven't really exercised (just a few minutes a couple of times) and I've lost 6.5 pounds in 6 days and I feel like I'm eating like a horse. lol. I also know it is healthy for me. So basically I LOVE it and can't wait to reach my goal of losing 20 pounds. I know I can do it now and that is a great feeling. I've been on a lot of diets and this is the most immediately gratifying feel good diets I've been on. My husband was skeptical and he's lost 12 pounds in 6 days.

posted Jun 10th, 2013 11:28 pm



This healthy eating plan helped me lose more than 40 pounds in 4 months without ever feeling deprived.

posted Mar 4th, 2013 3:07 pm

Mj Evans


LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the way this plan makes me feel. Is hard at first, yes. Get your mind in the game and you'll succeed. Even if you slip up its still better than eating the typical American diet. This plan is a MUST for cancer patients!!!!!

posted Mar 4th, 2013 1:25 am


@ Patty.. sounds like you didn't bother to read the entire book.. first off you can have starches and you can have a small amount of meat. Sounds like you wernt following the plan. Millions of people including me have gotten great results using his book. Sounds like you may have some major intestional issues..

posted Feb 28th, 2013 6:12 pm



How do you go out for an evening with friends or are restaurants not allowed too? But HOW the sam hill does one even go to a restaurant. It's unreasonable to think that you are simply going to become unsociable. And please don't tell me to order a big salad. Most restaurants serve ice-berg lettuce (save me!) I like what I read so far, but I do not believe that anything that restricts something so severely is good. A glass of milk a day? THAT is going to give me disease? I'm not convinced. Even Dr. Oz uses olive oil, drinks skim milk and eats a steak once in a while.

posted Feb 12th, 2013 8:50 pm

trisha steiner

I have been eating re Fuhrman's "diet" for at least five years. I have not had a cold , flu (dont take shots), aches, pains, etc etc etc.
in years.
I am 75 and in super health, have enormous energy, can work all day, feel great. I am strong, lean lithe.
There are so many kinds of veggies, fruits, cannot possibly be bored.
Much cheaper eating than meats, cheese, pkg stuff.

posted Jan 24th, 2013 7:50 pm



If you've been on the E2L plan and had "explosive diarrhea" for months, then you're doing something wrong. Don't blame Dr. Fuhrman.

I've not been on the E2L plan long, but I can see (from this site) that many others have. I don't have a lengthy list of medications, illness, etc - I am simply overweight and need to eat better before I develop some illness.

Initially, this plan was expensive for me - $150 at Sam's and Kroger, but to maintain the plan, you won't need to buy that much food. I was under the assumption that I would be eating NON STOP - because (after all) how long could veggies/fruits stay in your system? I thought it would be like having Chinese - hungry all the time.

It isn't.

This from someone who would sit in front of the TV and snack on anything and everything I could get my hands on (donuts, chips, salsa, soda). I'm a salt-a-holic too.

My first week, I've had a couple of headaches .. but my other aches and pains (swollen legs, ankles, body aches in general at 49 years old) have lessened. Getting up in the mornings, my feet (heels) used to hurt. That is going away.

I'm not 100% cured of all pain, but I'm a realist - I don't expect to be during Week1 .. but for someone who was a junk food addict, saltaholic and sweet eater - to become someone who no longer CRAVES those toxins .. I'm doing pretty damn good, I think. And I've lost 8 lbs so far.

If it isn't for you, then fine. Don't give something a bad review because you can't follow simple directions.

posted Jan 4th, 2013 5:37 pm



My family and I started Dr. Furhman's Eat-to-Live program 10 weeks ago and not only have lost more than 20 lbs, the swelling in my legs has disappeared, the stiffness in my muscles is gone and my energy level has increased. I am a Nutritionist (BS in Nutrition Education) and like the scientific evidence that supports this lifestyle. I plan to continue my studies in nutrtion with Dr. Fuhrman and have made the choice to become a Nutritarian. As a bonus, my family loves this simple way of eating too!

posted Dec 7th, 2012 11:44 am

Nancy Robel


I like it. As I am on it longer, I love it even more. I no longer crave unhealthy foods. I have more energy. I just make sense.

posted Nov 29th, 2012 9:19 pm

john orr


This is a diet that works, produces results and is not hard to follow. I now look forward to every meal and will stay on this diet for my entire life. My brother, age 62, had angina and after four weeks on the Fuhrman diet is symptom free and his Dr. in Nashville called him the patient of the month when his bp and cholesterol numbers dropped significantly. Every living person who cherishes optimal health should be made aware of this diet and the science behind it.

posted Jul 17th, 2012 8:07 am



I really like this diet...It seems like i have more energy I feel so much better..Been on it 5 days... It is CRAZY!!! I LOVE IT!!!!

posted Jul 12th, 2012 12:20 pm


This is a HARD diet.. I mean, come on!! Fruits and veggies only with a little bit of seeds and nuts, and beans? That doesn't leave much, and it gets very boring after a couple of days. I think South Beach is a LOT more user friendly, and sane. This diet is way too restrictive....

posted Jun 30th, 2012 3:48 am


I started eating mostly veggies 5 or 6 years ago, and lost about 40 lbs -- I've plateaued at 155, which is an appropriate weight for my height. While I'd not heard of Dr. Fuhrman, my ideas were similar to his: eat as many servings of veggies as desired, but limit meats, fats, and concentrated carbohydrates. The site Nutritiondata.com is useful for finding which foods have high nutrition-to-calorie ratios. If the exact dishes Dr. Fuhrman recommends are too expensive, one might experiment with cheaper fruits and vegetables -- my staples include red cabbage and sweet potatoes, both of which are relatively inexpensive. Nuts can sometimes be found on sale, and they freeze well so one can take advantage of bargain prices to stock up.

Good luck to all -- I think Dr. Fuhrman's nutrition principles are sound, but one can follow the spirit of his plan (high nutrition-to-calories ratio) without having to follow it in every detail.

posted Jun 28th, 2012 10:33 am


I was on the raw food diet for 3 months lost over 50 lbs.all organic i was living on a commune where i got all organic produce at cost or grew it. it was expensive but i did not go to a clean raw food. first week soon as so called detox started i would eat a little debbies cake that day and stay clean diet another weed then i would go out to eat once a week and have a vegan burger or a hamburger depending on how i felt. it is true these diets work. but you have to find a balance. and when i left there i could not aford to stay on diet. i kept the 50lbs off for two years and went back when on regular diet i had my gallbladder all most explode form eating the typical american diet and had emergancy surgically removed now i live with the ibs form no gallbladder. mark furman is not the only one who has wrote books on this and he is just copying all the other clean diets. eat-more-wiegh less dr. dean ornish then the Fit for Life by lou diamond. i truly believe in clean eating but at same time we live life and detoxing is exhausting and tiring but worth it. it is possible to do these diets if you sprout a lot and grow your own greens in the kitchen. avocado's and olives and oils and blueberries ect. can get expensive but even in raw food, u can use dehydrated and frozen foods. and if have freezer you can buy in bulk on sale and cut cost. you don't have to use organic but it is better. i buy which one is on sale and looks best. the worst is there are no coupons for eating like this. you might find some for olive oil, or for fresh express salad greens. but thats it. most people who write these books and live on these diets do not understand those who have a 50 dollar a week food allowance for one to two people. this diet is good but as somesays he doesn't look younger i think he looks like he has anoriexia, one of my favorite friends and aurthors on raw food is david wolf the sun food diet. i have known him over ten years he is getting younger looking and healther the older he gets and he was only about 20 when i met him. both my husband and i have wieght problems and our income fluctates but we do need to quite eating all the garbage. our lives and souls depend on it.

posted Jun 8th, 2012 7:39 am



This plan is a HEALTH plan, not simply a diet. I have been on it for 3 weeks now and look and feel great.

posted Jun 2nd, 2012 10:21 pm



I bought into the hype of this diet, spent a small fortune on his books, website membership, and food (it's NOT cheap), but thought it would all be worth it because you can't put a price on health.

Well, let me tell you, I have never felt so sick in my entire life. And no, it wasn't the bullcrap "detox" they talk about. I had explosive - and I mean explosive - diarrhea numerous times a day. Some days I barely made it to the bathroom. I stayed on the diet for months, buying into the "your body is detoxing, and feeling sick means you're getting healthy" bull. Well, it never stopped. I lost so much weight (who wouldn't having diarrhea numerous times a day?) and felt deathly ill - no energy, my stomach was always upset, and I had to live VERY close to a bathroom at all times. On top of which, I never felt fulll. Probably because all those massive amounts of greens were flying right through me.

No thanks Dr. Fuhrman. I give your diet a PASS.

Anything in extreme isn't healthy and this diet is extreme in the amount of greens and other vegetables you have to eat. There's no balance.

I personally feel much better on a healthy BALANCED diet that includes some meat and the Dr Fuhrman forbidden starches.

This diet is making Dr. Fuhrman rich though, and his die-hard followers are like a cult. Just go check out his website and you'll see what I mean.

posted Jun 1st, 2012 1:04 pm


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