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Joel Fuhrman is an American family medicine physician and author. He maintains a medical practice in Flemington, New Jersey, and specializes in treating some major illnesses through nutrition and changes in diet.

Views on nutrition
His books introduce the idea of nutrient density, as expressed by the formula Health=Nutrients/Calories. He reasons


that there is an excessive consumption of calorie rich food in American society, and accordingly a minimizing of foods high in phytonutrients in our modern diet. According to his argument, this has resulted in a paradoxically overfed but undernourished (and therefore diseased) population in the developed world. Fuhrman's conclusions link such a diet to higher incidences of ailments such as diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune diseases (e.g. arthritis), cancers, and high blood pressure.


Fuhrman advises that one should base their eating on mainly fresh vegetables, fruits and legumes, while minimizing animal products, processed grains and high carbohydrate foods. In contrast to other diets, such as Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers, which restrict the amount of food a diet can eat, Fuhrman's guidelines specifically indicate to eat as much as one wishes from the "allowed" groups. The reasoning is that whole plant foods are so high in fiber and bulk that the dieter will achieve satiation (ie. a feeling of "fullness") long before they are able to consume too many calories from these foods.

Fuhrman maintains that feelings of sickness caused by skipping a meal, such as light-headedness, stomach cramping,

Joel Fuhrman
Joel Fuhrman

and headache, are not symptoms of hunger, but symptoms of detoxification. He refers to these symptoms as "toxic hunger" and states that they eventually go away as the dieter adjusts to eating a low calorie, high phytonutrient diet.

It does not appear to be the case that Fuhrman's claims have been subjected to peer review, though his books reference peer-reviewed studies.


  • Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss - ISBN 0-316-73550-7, (Little Brown & Company; 1st edition January 15th, 2003)
  • Disease Proof Your Child: Feeding Kids Right - ISBN 0-312-33805-8, Publisher: St. Martin's Press ( August 1, 2005)
  • Cholesterol Protection for Life - ISBN 0-9744633-1-0, Publisher: Gift of Health Press ( September 15, 2004)
  • Fasting & Eating for Health: A Medical Doctor's Program for Conquering Disease - ISBN 0-312-18719-X, Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (April 15, 1998)


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