Eat healthfully, and abundantly, for weight loss by Joel Fuhrman, MD – Health Concerns: Overweight and Obesity

Achieving sustainable weight loss takes a more nuanced approach to your diet than “calories in, calories out.” The reality is that you need to eat the right foods (fresh produce, legumes, nuts and seeds and intact whole grains),  avoid the weight gain-promoting substances (salt, oil, sweeteners), and address food addiction to achieve excellent health and optimal weight.

Related: How Do Unhealthy Foods Trigger Addiction and Weight Gain?

I designed my Nutritarian diet to include a wide portfolio of protective plant foods, which supply a full spectrum of phytonutrients. This eating style is hormonally favorable, offers the full portfolio of anticancer superfoods, and maximizes the number of micronutrients per calorie.

Let’s take a look at some of the healthful plant foods that make up the Nutritarian diet and how they promote weight loss.

Related: 4-Step Quick Start to the Nutritarian Diet

Leafy greens and non-starchy vegetables

High in nutrients, low in calories, these foods take up room in the stomach, leading to a feeling of satiety. They are also rich in fiber, phytochemicals and micronutrients, and very low in calories.

Put it into action: Eat three or more of these every day: Cruciferous vegetables such as kale, broccoli, cabbage, collards, and watercress: salad greens, such as lettuce, arugula, and spinach; alliums such as onions, garlic, and scallions; bell peppers, eggplant, asparagus, zucchini, etc.

Start your meal with a salad 

When it comes to salad, the bigger, the better. Studies have found that eating a salad at the start of a meal reduces calorie intake from the meal by blunting your appetite and improving satiety value of meals. Women who started their lunch with a salad consumed fewer calories from the rest of the meal. The larger the salad, the fewer calories they consumed at lunch.1,2

Put it into action: To your lettuce, add some tomatoes, sliced red onion, shredded carrots, and some raw cruciferous like arugula, radishes, or cabbage. Your choice of dressing is important. Including fat in your salad makes the salad more filling and helps your body absorb carotenoids from the raw vegetables. But whole food fat sources – nuts, seeds, and avocado – are superior to oils. Keep reading to learn how nuts and seeds promote a healthy weight.

Related: Perfect salads, made perfectly simple
Related: Olive oil is not a health food


Salad and satiety. The effect of timing of salad consumption on meal energy intake.
Salad and satiety: energy density and portion size of a first-course salad affect energy intake at lunch.

Beans are filling and low-glycemic

Looking for the best starchy food? Beans, lentils, and split peas are especially high in indigestible carbohydrates (fiber and resistant starch). They slow the absorption of sugars from a meal, and reduce the elevation in glucose and insulin following the meal. Plus, these indigestible starches provide sustenance for the beneficial bacteria of the gut microbiome.3

Beans promote satiety, helping to reduce total calorie intake, and studies suggest beans in one meal can even blunt the blood glucose response of the next meal.4,5  An analysis of 21 randomized controlled trials on bean or lentil containing diets vs. a diet with the same number of calories but no beans found the bean groups lost more weight than the control groups.6   Whole grains often get more attention, but beans are more healthful than whole grains. A dietary intervention study directly comparing the two in patients with type 2 diabetes found beans were superior to whole grains for improving body weight and cardiovascular risk factors.7

Put it into action:  Variety is the spice of life, so broaden your mealtime horizons by experimenting with different varieties of beans. Choose from adzuki beans, black beans, cannellini, chickpeas, edamame (and dried soy beans) green peas, lentils, kidney beans, Navy beans, pinto beans, and white beans.

Related:  Your gut microbiome influences immune function (and beans keep it healthy)


Starving our microbial self: the deleterious consequences of a diet deficient in microbiota-accessible carbohydrates.
The acute effects of a pulse-containing meal on glycaemic responses and measures of satiety and satiation within and at a later meal.
Dietary pulses, satiety and food intake: a systematic review and meta-analysis of acute feeding trials.
Effects of dietary pulse consumption on body weight: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.
Effect of legumes as part of a low glycemic index diet on glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes mellitus: a randomized controlled trial.

Mushrooms will grow on you

One way to cut calories effortlessly is to add mushrooms to your daily diet. In the lab, mushroom phytochemicals inhibit human enzymes that digest carbohydrate, which could reduce calorie absorption.8 Studies also suggest that mushrooms increase satiety; that when people replace meat with mushrooms in their meals, they do not compensate by eating more calories from other foods.9 Here’s an example: A one-year long clinical trial in 73 obese adults instructed half to replace all red meat with mushrooms, and the other half to follow a standard weight loss diet. The mushroom group had  lower calorie intake, lost more weight, and lower BMI, waist circumference, percent, body fat, and blood pressure compared to the standard diet group.10

Put it into action:  Mushrooms add a depth of savory flavor – known as umami – to dishes. Branch out from the usual white button variety and try chanterelle, cremini, maitake, oyster, porcini, portobello, reishi, or shiitake.

Related: Mighty Mushrooms: Boost Immune Function and Brain Health and Guard Against Cancer


Inhibitory potential of Grifola frondosa bioactive fractions on alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase for management of hyperglycemia.
Lack of energy compensation over 4 days when white button mushrooms are substituted for beef.
Positive effect of mushrooms substituted for meat on body weight, body composition, and health parameters.

Berries and pomegranate

Continue reading … Source: Eat healthfully, and abundantly, for weight loss


Achieving sustainable weight loss takes a more nuanced approach to your diet than “calories in, calories out.”


The reality is that you need to eat the right foods (fresh produce, nuts and seeds and intact whole grains), avoid the weight gain-promoting substances (salt, oil, sweeteners), and address food addiction, to achieve excellent health and optimal weight.

>>Read my latest blog post: Eat healthfully, and abundantly, for weight loss

If you are ready to lose weight and maximize your health, join me next week for the Weight Loss Boot Camp August 10th-August 15th. 

The best news yet? You can take part in the weight loss challenge. It is a six-month challenge to lose 5 BMI points by sticking to the Nutritarian diet. Successful participants will win a $500 gift card to (See official rules for details)

See you next week!



Vito & Vera – Plant-Based Culinary Wellness – Chef Alicia Watson

Welcome to Vito and Vera, Little Rock’s first plant-based culinary experiences! Chef Alicia Watson creates strongly local, seasonal, organic, vegan, and gluten-free adventures. We make Esselstyn Diet and plant strong meals to go.

Source: Vito & Vera – Plant-Based Culinary Wellness

NOTE: I am still enjoying Alicia’s amazing whole food, plant-based creations and so glad she’s still delivering fresh them to my cooler in the garage every Monday. Please check out her website and give her a try soon! 

Ep. 30: Rich Roll + Rip Eppelstyn: Catching Up with a Plant-Strong Friend

Over a decade ago, Rich Roll and Rip ventured down parallel paths. We both abandoned our steady and stable jobs to chase a dream and write books, navigating unchartered territory. We accidentally became lifestyle influencers, before the “influencer” label was really established. We had young families at the time and both agree it was hard to take the leap. But when you believe in something and you feel called to pursue it, you have to act…and fortunately, we both did.

I recorded this interview last fall at Rich’s house when I was out in L.A., so you won’t hear any dialogue around the current issues we’re all facing, but you will hear thoughtful conversation on fear, vulnerability, suffering, epiphanies in life, learning to give and receive love, meditation, and the bravery it takes to shed our old skin and start over.

As you’re listening to us reminisce, ask yourself: Are there changes in my own life that I want to make? Is there a cause I believe in so much that I’m willing to give up virtually everything? What are my own fears that might be prohibiting me from going after these goals? How can I get out of my comfort zone?

For more information or show notes, visit:


Your gut microbiome influences immune function (and beans keep it healthy) by Joel Fuhrman, MD

Why beans?

Beans, lentils, and split peas are rich in fiber, resistant starch, and plant protein, and they are a low-glycemic carbohydrate source. The health benefits of these legumes sometimes get overlooked, but adding beans to your diet promotes weight loss, cardiovascular health, and insulin sensitivity.

Related post: Clinical study confirms that beans are the preferred starch source for diabetics

What is the microbiome?

The human microbiome is a complex collection of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microorganisms that inhabit body surfaces, including the skin and digestive tract. The majority of the microbiome lives in the gut, where there are more than 1000 different species of bacteria.

The gut microbiome in action

The trillions of organisms in the gut microbiome are busy: They produce vitamins, such as K2 and B12, help develop immunity, enhance the benefits of some phytochemicals, and protect against pathogens. The bacteria of the microbiome converts dietary fiber and resistant starch from plant foods into short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that protect intestinal cells and regulate metabolism.1-4 The gut microbiome can even be considered an organ of the human body; without it, the body would not function properly.


Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: The Microbiome
What is the microbiome?
Gut microbiota functions: metabolism of nutrients and other food components.
Interaction of dietary compounds, especially polyphenols, with the intestinal microbiota: a review.
Starving our microbial self: the deleterious consequences of a diet deficient in microbiota-accessible carbohydrates.
Diet-microbiota interactions as moderators of human metabolism.

Intestinal immune function is largely shaped by the microbiome

The intestinal mucosal immune system is a large and important part of the whole human immune system, and the microbiome is closely connected with intestinal immunity. The microbiome modulates the activity of immune cells, counteracts inflammation, and maintains the integrity of the intestinal barrier.5-7 This means we count on a healthy gut for a powerful immune response.


Interaction between the gut microbiome and mucosal immune system.
The microbiome and regulation of mucosal immunity.
Human nutrition, the gut microbiome and the immune system.

What makes beans special?

Beans, lentils, split peas, and other legumes are rich in fiber and resistant starch, carbohydrates that cannot be broken down by human digestive enzymes.

The bacteria that reside in the large intestine depend on “microbiota-accessible carbohydrates,” also known as prebiotics, to survive; prebiotics are food for gut bacteria. Without enough prebiotics in our diet, gut bacteria begin to consume an alternative energy source: the first line of our immune defense on the surface of the intestinal lining. This intestinal lining is made up of molecules called mucins.3

All plant foods contain some prebiotics, but beans are special because they are very high in resistant starch, making them especially rich in prebiotics. Not all indigestible plant carbohydrates act as prebiotics, but resistant starch from beans provides large amounts of prebiotics. Prebiotics nourish the microbiome and allow for production of SCFAs.3

So the fiber and resistant starches from beans are waiting in our digestive tract and full of microbiota-accessible carbohydrates. To sum it up, we eat beans because they nourish our microbiome and  promote production of short chain fatty acids. SCFAs help kick our immune system into gear.

What’s a SCFA? (Continue reading …)

Source: Your gut microbiome influences immune function (and beans keep it healthy)

Do Vegetarians Really Have Higher Stroke Risk? Michael Greger M.D. FACLM

Doctor’s Note

I called it 17 years ago. There’s an old video of me on YouTube (you can tell it’s from 2003 by both my cutting-edge use of advanced whiteboard technology, and the fact that I had hair 🙂 where I air my concerns about stroke risk in vegetarians and vegans. The good news is that I think there’s an easy fix.

This is the third in a 12-part video series on stroke risk. Here are links to the rest of the videos:

If you don’t want to wait for these to all be rolled out here on, and want to just skip to the thrilling conclusion (*spoiler alert*), all these videos are all available on a digital download here.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

Beat The Cravings – Brooke Goldner, MD 

Cravings usually INCREASE between the second and third week of #rapidrecovery, expecially if you are depressed or lack good self care.

Here is some coaching I gave my group that could help you too.

My next 6 Week Rapid Recovery Group starts Sept 18 and it’s already half full. If you know you need my help to get your health back, it’s the best program – I’m there every day to help you do it. What activities help YOU fight your food cravings?

For more info:

► Subscribe to My Channel: ►Where to follow and listen to Dr. G:


►FREE healing recipes and support:




►To learn more about rapid recovery or make an appointment with Dr. G go to

►6 Week Rapid Recovery Group:

Dr. Fuhrman Recipe of the Day – Zucchini Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato Sauce

Substitute zucchini spaghetti or zoodles for traditional pasta. Add a simple, fresh tomato sauce and you have an easy, fresh-from-the-garden supper.


3 medium zucchini, cut to resemble spaghetti (see note)
1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
4 medium tomatoes, chopped
4 basil leaves, chopped


After cutting the zucchini, let it drain in a colander.

While zucchini is draining, heat 2 tablespoons water in a saute pan and saute onion until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and cook until softened and tender. Add the tomatoes and basil and cook for another 5 minutes.

Serve zucchini topped with the tomato sauce.

Note: A vegetable spiralizer works well for cutting the zucchini. A mandolin fitted with a julienne attachment or a vegetable peeler may also be used.

Source: Zucchini Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato Sauce