22 Sep Why Your Diet Should Focus on Nutrient-Dense Foods
The standard American diet is killing us. It’s full of processed, empty-calorie foods that spike up our blood sugar, causing us to pack on the pounds. It’s not just making us overweight, it’s killing us.
On a recent episode of The Darin Olien Show, I had an eye-opening conversation with Dr. Joel Fuhrman. Joel coined the phrase, “The Nutritarian Diet” and has written thirteen books on the subject. Seven of those books have hit the New York Times Bestseller list, including his latest Eat for Life.
Dr. Fuhrman has spent his entire career showing people why the way they eat is the sole contributing factor in preventing disease. He believes we’ve always had the answers to health, we just choose to ignore them. He believes that nutrition should be as commonplace in America’s education system as reading and writing.
Processed Foods Are Killing Us
Dr. Fuhrman knows that junk food tastes good, and that it provides instant gratification. That’s why we need to treat junk food as the dangerous drug it is. “Any animal given a choice between processed, highly palatable junk foods will choose those foods over their natural diet, and eat themselves to death,” he explains. “It’s a biological and innate primitive drive to eat highly concentrated calories and highly flavored substances.”
As long as bad food sells, it’s going to be something we have to resist the temptation of daily. So what do we eat instead? Whole, nutrient-dense foods.
“Whole foods have a different biological effect on the body,” Dr. Fuhrman explains. “Our diet has to be hormonally favorable. That means we can’t eat high glycemic carbohydrates to drive up insulin.“
When it comes to knowing which foods to stock up on, Dr. Fuhrman had a fun acronym for us to learn. GBOMBS stands for Greens, Beans, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries and Seeds. When eaten regularly, these superfoods can help prevent cancer and other diet-related diseases.
In Joel’s books, he breaks down the simple ways to incorporate more plant-based nutrition like GBOMBS into your diet. He gave us a few samples of what a day of Nutritarian eating would look like in our conversation.
“A big salad for lunch,” he says, “with a dressing made with nuts and seeds. Maybe some vegetables with a Thai curry sauce for dinner.” He also gives tips on how making a giant pot of soup full of green vegetables can keep you eating healthy all week.
Even if you don’t plan on going fully plant-based, adding these types of whole foods into your diet can make a huge difference.
Junk Food Withdrawal
Dr. Fuhrman thinks a big reason why most people have trouble sticking to a plant-based diet is the yucky feeling that inevitably comes with it at first.
“People are food addicts,” he says.
And when you begin to deprive your body of junk food and replace it with healthy whole foods, withdrawal happens.
Your body is flushing out toxins and absorbing nutrients. Water weight is lost, and hormone levels fluctuate. This can cause headaches, fatigue and even dizziness. Some people mistake this feeling of withdrawal as a problem with their new diet. It’s not. You need to give your body time to adjust.
Change Your Thinking
It’s more than just thinking junk food tastes good. It’s an entire belief system that we’ve basically been born into. We need to change society’s thinking when it comes to diet. “We know all the answers,” Joel says. “There’s a large degree of artificial controversy as a result of people having belief systems and egos, and all types of reasons and underlying motivations to want to deny reality here.“
The bottom line is: the way we’re eating is killing us. “My goal has always been for the population at large to recognize that you don’t have to get high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, dementia and cancers, they’re a choice people make, “ Dr. Fuhrman pleads. “Just like you can make a choice to smoke cigarettes and get lung cancer. You don’t have to get lung cancer. You don’t have to eat yourself or drink yourself into kidney failure. You can choose not to. And everyone should know how not to get sick.”
We know how not to get sick. Now let’s spread the word and follow-through.