Joel Fuhrman's Eat For Health

A Nutritional Approach To The Prevention and Management Of Chronic Disease

Eat For Health is the latest book by Joel Fuhrman, MD, designed to help people both lose weight and improve their health. It introduces the MANDI Points System, which is a daily nutrition program built around a detailed food scoring system. Following the MANDI Points System on a daily basis will help one lose weight, and according to Fuhrman is the "most effective weight loss plan documented in medical literature." But unlike traditional diet programs, this system is focused on disease reversal and is designed to "reduce and eventually eliminate your need for perscription drugs."

The central idea behind the approach is that most people do not consume enough micronutrients each day. And it is the lack of sufficent micronutrients that help fuel food cravings and overeating. Not consuming enough of these micronutrients also strongly contributes to disease. Micronutrients are vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals found in certain foods. The advice Dr. Fuhrman gives is to "radically" reduce the consumption of low-nutrient foods and "radically" increase the intake of high-nutrient foods. The MANDI Points System helps to identify and quantify foods with high "Nutrient Density." The result is long term weight loss, improved health and increased energy. Most diets are focused primarily on weight loss, and it is possible to be thin and not healthy. Eat For Health explores this idea in depth.

The benefits of eating fruits and vegetables are part of any standard set of advice given to people to help them lose weight. What makes Dr. Fuhrman's approach unique is the radically higher amount of nutrient dense foods recommended, the focus on nutrient density itself, as well as the important (and controversial) idea that this approach to nutrition can play a role in disease reversal. In fact, the first chapter contains stories of people who have recovered from cardiovascular disease, Lupus, Asthma, Migranes, High Blood Pressure, Sarcoidosis, Psoriasis, Eczema, Polymymyalgia, Diabetes, Migranes, Fatigue, Depression and Ulcers. You can click on the link to download a pdf where you can read these. The chapter also contains a section for doctors where he reviews some of the scientific evidence behind his work, as well as puts it into medical context.

It is important to note that this not an all or nothing approach to dieting and health. It is a gradual, staged process as well as a robust information set. You can approach the information at your own pace, with your own specific needs in mind. It also does not require one to become a vegan or a vegetarian. Like the Weight Watchers Point system, it is a valuable and proven tool that will probably be of some benefit.

The MANDI Points System

The basic idea is that you want to shoot for 100 points each day. Here are some sample foods scores, but the book goes into much greater detail about how one can put this into practice. Like any really new idea, it takes a bit of time to absorb the approach. The book contains some really practical information and is also geared towards people who will never be vegans or total vegetarians. It is written in a way to help people absorb the information in a way they can understand. A big practical benefit of the approach is that one can eat in a way where they are not hungry all the time.

Here are very high point foods (and remember you want 100 a day):


Cooked Kale, 1.5 cups 25 Points
Cooked Collard Greens, 1.5 cups 33 Points
Cooked Spinach, 1.5 cups, 23 Points
Cooked Swiss Chard, 1.5 cups, 16 Points
Romaine Lettuce, 5 cups raw, 9 Points
Vegetable Juice, 8 oz, 9 Points
Cooked Broccoli, 2 cups, 13.5 Points
Carrot Juice, 1 cup, 14 Points
Corn, 1.5 Cups, 1.5 Points
Cucumber, 1 whole, 1.2 Points
Tomato Sauce 1/2 cup, 5.6 points

Just like vegetables, some fruit is much higher in points than others. The link at the bottom has a complete list.

Strawberries, 1.5 cups, 7 Points
Rasberries, 1.5 cups, 6.0 Points
Blueberries, 1.5 cups, 6.3 Points
Grapefruit, 1.5 cups, 5.3 Points
Orange, 1 fruit, 3.6 Points
Watermelon, 2.5 cups, 3.7 Points
Apple, 1, 2.5 Points
Avocado, 1/2, 2.6 Points
Banana, 1, 1.2 Points

To download the first chapter of Eat For Health (free) you can click here and you can read it in PDF format. It gives an excellent introduction, and really focuses on the WHY of his approach.

Dr Fuhrman's website has Eat For Health for sale which contains the complete food list if you want to follow the diet. It also has a pile of recipes on how to easily eat high point food. You can click on the link to buy any of his books there.

This is a review from PEERtrainer Member sarah_l:

"Seriously the best nutrition book I've ever read --- Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. And what makes it work for us all here is that he promotes a vegan diet and provides the science behind it. Eat for Health is the new 2 book approach that he's written, but in my opinion, it is more for people for are currently meat eaters and are trying to make a change to a plant based diet. What's different in Eat for Health is that he includes something called MANDI scores which help you reach a 100 point goal in the day of nutrient dense foods. Both are great reading. ETL is more of an open mouth, insert firehose approach; EFH is a gradual approach.

In the ETL book there is a 6 week challenge that should have you drop up to 20 pounds with dietary changes alone. I'm telling you, I thought I was eating a good veg diet --- but the quantity of leafy greens that I eat now is well more than double what I had before and the weight is literally dropping off without added exercise (and I have never been able to lose weight like this because I am on full thyroid replacement and have a bear of a time losing more than an ounce!) Ok --- there's my testimonial! Now, get to the library and grab a copy of ETL and or EFH or grab one off Amazon. Best $50 I've spent. Heck, I'd send you mine, but I love it too much to let it out of my sight!"

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