1. Daniel
  2. Miscellaneous Issues
  3. Tuesday, May 17 2016, 04:25 PM
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Are you familiar with Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman and his diet recommendations? I think he's right about many things, but some of his dietary recommendations and beliefs seem to be very misguided. He says that 30-60% of daily calories should come from greens and other non-starchy vegetables. That would mean that if someone needs 2500 calories a day, that would be 750-1500 caories a day from vegetables like kale, spinach, broccoli, carrots, etc., and that whole grains and potatoes should be a maximum of 20% of calories, or 500 caories at most on a 2500 caorie diet. Just reaching the minimum of 750 caories is ridiculous. I think the most caories that anyone could realistically eat from vegetables is 300-400 caories at most, and I personally can't even eat that much. Vegetables are way too low in calories to base your diet on them. I think the percentages should be switched, 30-60% whole grains and potaoes and 20% or less from vegetables. What he recommends does not sound sustainable at all, especially for people who are very athletic. 30-60% of calories from fruit is a different story, since they are much higher in calories, which makes them a good energy source.

He also says that greens are by far the most nutrient dense and that whole grains are very poor in nutrient density and should only be a minor part of our diet, but I think this is also ridiculous. I compared the nutrition data of 500 grams of kale (more than a pound) which is about 250 calories, the most amount of kale that anyone could comfortably eat in a day, with 300 grams oatmeal, about 1200 calories, an amount which I typically eat or come close to. 500 grams of kale has 0.5 mg of thiamin, 0.5 mg of riboflavin, 5 mg of niacin, 1.5 mg of vitamin b6, 150 mcg of folate, 0.5 mg of pantothenic acid, 675 mg of calcium, 8.5 mg of iron, 170 mg of magnesium, 280 mg of phosphporous, 2235 mg of potassium, 215 mg of sodium, 2 mg of zinc, 1.5 mg of copper, and 4 mg of manganese. The 300 grams oatmeal has 2.4 mg of thiamin, 0.5mg of riboflavin, 3 mg of niacin, 0.4 mg of vitamin b6, 175 mcg of folate, 4.2 mg of pantothenic acid, 170 mg of calcium, 14.8 mg of iron, 552 mg of magnesium, 1632 mg of phosphorous, 1340 mg of potassium, 6 mg of sodium, 12.4 mg of zinc, 2 mg of copper, and 15 mg of manganese. It is obvious that a whole grain like oats is very nutrient dense and is even much higher in some nutrients than kale is. The only thing it lacks is Vitamins A and C, which can easily be obtained by eating a reasonable amount of fruits and vegetables. This clearly shows that his food ranking system and undersatnding of nutrient density is very flawed.

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Sean Carney Accepted Answer


Thank you for your very well documented comments. We are very familiar with Dr. Fuhrman and have a ton of respect and gratitude to him. We also see the logic to your comments and tend to recommend people eat a variety of beans/legumes, starchy vegetables such as root vegetables, green leafy veggies, non-starchy vegetables, fruits, whole grains and a limited amount of nuts and seeds. So, I would suspect you will find this idea more to your liking. We generally do not spend a lot of time looking at nutritional analysis but do encourage some variety. I really appreciate your putting your comment here and hope that others will also comment.


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