I have just had the somewhat dubious privilege of reading yet another diet book — this one called “Eat to Live” by Joel Fuhrman, MD. The reviews on Amazon are glowing. Most of them say it is a life-changing book.
They’re right. This book will change your life — for the worse. It is absolutely impossible to follow Fuhrman’s edicts for a lifetime. Six weeks after you start, you will be thinner (bound to happen), and then, as you go back to a normal lifestyle, you’ll balloon again. Welcome back, yo-yo ma. There is just no way you can follow this forever — and this is the same criticism the good doctor levels against Barry Sears of “The Zone” fame
For anyone passionate about food and cooking, this book is pure poison. Following it will make you feel wretched, and will turn you into a thoroughly unpleasant human being — depressed, angry, distressed, stressed, curmudgeonly, cranky, irritable and a complete social retard. Imagine living like this: no wine, no drink, no soda, no chocolate, no dessert, no ice-cream, no cheese, no meat, no butter, no dried fruits, no bread, no pasta, no pizza, no popcorn, no rice, no wheat. Why live at all if you have to live like this?
Fuhrman is obsessed by aging and death but I really don’t see the point of living to be 200 if every day of those two centuries is to be spent in such misery. Better to live fully and die happy and contented than to force such deprivation on yourself. The book makes no allowance for human frailities, needs, wants, desires or the simple fact that it is now impossible to undo (let alone in six weeks) over fifty years of “bad” eating habits.
Also, I’ve learned never to trust an author who propounds his cause principally by attacking his rival theorists. Fuhrman goes for the jugular when it comes to Atkins, Sears et al. He debunks them all and, in exchange, offers his own theories, one of them being that olive oil is bad for you and raises your bad cholesterol because it is, after all, oil. To support this argument he cites an example of Crete saying that the people there are now fatter than before because they’re eating more meat, etc etc and less vegetables and fruits. There’s nothing to support this. Not a study cited to show any change in the dietary habits of the hapless denizens of Crete, nothing to show that what he says is even generally true. We’re just to take Fuhrman’s word for it. Thank you, no. You only have to look around at Italy, France, Germany and other European countries to understand why. It’s not the olive oil, stupid; it’s the refined food and the lack of exercise.