Here is the full transcript of Dr. Joel Fuhrman on I Love Nutritional Science at TEDxCharlottesville 2013
Right click to download the MP3 audio:
Dr. Joel Fuhrman – Author, Physician, Speaker
Thank you. I love nutritional science. I’ve had a passion about nutrition since I was young.
I remember that my father suffered with medical problems and pains, conditions that medical profession couldn’t help him with. And he searched for answers.
Finally, he changed his diet, lost 50 pounds and got well. And in the process of seeing him suffering and searching, I found excitement and developed interest in the subject. He brought 15 nutritional books into the home. And I read them all.
Then in the early 1970s, I was on the United States World Figure Skating team and I got hurt. And I couldn’t walk for over a year. And I spent some time in natural health – kind of natural health retreat, watching people get well who changed their diet styles. And I got excited about what I saw.
I remember at my sister’s graduation party from college. I met an attractive young woman who told me she applied to go to medical school. And I debated with her. I said, “What do you want to go to medical school for?” Doctors mostly prescribe medications for conditions that are a result of the toxic diet Americans are eating. It’s like hitting yourself with a hammer every day and giving your hand a big smash and you get swollen full of pain. And you go to a doctor and get pain medications for it. And the next day you take a big hammer and smack it again.
It’s the toxic American lifestyle that’s resulting in all these diseases, driving peoples into doctors’ offices. The toxic foods we’re eating are the hammer. You don’t go to a doctor if you have breathing problems from smoking cigarettes and gives you a drug to help you breathe better, and you still continue to smoke. That’s what Americans are doing.
So this young woman said to me, “If you’re so passionate about this subject, why don’t you go to medical school? Why don’t you change things? Why don’t you help people?”
You know, I obviously thought about that and said, “You know, I got to do that”.
I quit my job as an executive in my family’s chain of shoe stores. I went back to the post-graduate pre-medical program at Columbia after college. I went to medical school. And I am here to tell you about the excitement, the rewarding experience and to give you a taste of the things I’ve seen in this and the fun I’ve had. And I want to show you six representative cases of people who changed their life, to show you the power of a Nutritarian diet.
But before I do, let me give you, maybe a two-minute overview of what a Nutritarian diet is. Okay, because a Nutritarian diet is a diet style that’s designed to be rich in nutrients and full of antioxidants and phytochemicals. It’s a diet style with a high nutrient per calorie density. Your healthy life expectancy is determined on the foods you choose to eat. You have to get sufficient nutrient bang for each caloric buck. But you know when you do so, when you flood your body with the nutrients it needs, it doesn’t just make you healthy and live long and prevent disease, it stops food addictions and food cravings and normalizes your appetite and makes you body gravitate towards your ideal weight effortlessly. It’s the secret for most of what ails us.
Nutritarian diet, sure, it’s rich in nutrients with an adequate amount of what we need nutrient wise. But it also is very different from the style Americans are eating right now. Americans are eating a diet that’s really dramatically nutritionally deficient. Americans are eating a diet with 55% of calories in processed and refined foods that don’t contain vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, and 30% of animal products – a diet with less than 5% of calories from fruits and vegetables and natural produce, nutrient rich produce.
Aside from white potato, most of what we eat, we’re only about 5% of vegetation and produce. It couldn’t be better designed to create a nation with full of diseases, like heart attacks and strokes and dementias and cancer, had to be designed by al Qaeda.
Besides the fact of what it’s lacking, a Nutritarian diet is also designed to be low in those hormones that promote cancer and aging. Hormones like excessive amounts of insulin and excess amounts of IGF-1, that’s insulin-like growth factor 1, the primary hormone that promotes cancers, like breast cancer and prostate cancer.
And I say, the more you we green, the more you get lean. Because you eat more greens and beans and less meat, it lowers IGF-1, which stops cancer in its tracks and doesn’t promote the progression of fat on your body and cancer for self liberation.
We have a unique opportunity in human history today with the exponential advances in nutritional science that has given us the power — the power of GBOMBS – G-B-O-M-B-S — these foods, I call our Immune System Special Forces: greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries and seeds. These foods that inhibit fat storage on the body, foods that prevent cancer, foods that prolong our life span. The details of that is not my message for the purpose of this presentation. These people are. Let me show you the power of what a Nutritarian diet can do.
Here’s Robert. I never met Robert. He just read one of my books. Robert was in a wheelchair. Today he can — not in a wheelchair, he can walk all day on his feet. Robert had rheumatoid arthritis and was on four-highly toxic drugs to reduce his pain from rheumatoid arthritis. Today he has no rheumatoid arthritis. He’s off all his toxic medications. He no longer has diabetes. He no longer has heart disease and high blood pressure. He’s off those medications too.
The main story here is not merely that he lost 200 pounds. The story is that Robert no longer has medical conditions. He no longer has rheumatoid arthritis, like millions of Americans do. The point here is you don’t have to be sick and be suffering and be tied to medications for the rest of your life.
Take Heather. Heather is another person who suffered most of her life. She suffered with terrible headaches — horrible headaches and migraines most of her life. She even took pills that cost $100 a pill for each single individual pill. And she still had headaches all day long, and she suffered, of course, with allergies and insomnia and anxiety and also on multiple medications. And Heather had lost 75 pounds but she wrote me and she said, you know — she wrote me a letter, an e-mail. And she said, “You know, I am all better, I know it’s the greatest feeling in the world, never to suffer headaches any more. I don’t have insomnia. I don’t need pills for depression and anxiety more. I’m well. I don’t have menstrual pain”. She said, “The wonderful thing is when you fix the whole body everything gets taken care of simultaneously”. It makes you think of all the people that are suffering and have been told they have to be on medication for the rest of their life with no way out.