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Joel Fuhrman's Diet

Joel Fuhrman’s Eat To Live Diet Review (UPDATED 2024): Don't Buy Before You Read This!

Specializes in reducing and reversing disease through natural and nutritional methods.

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What is it?

Joel Fuhrman’s Eat To Live Diet is made to help delay the aging process, and help the body naturally lose weight. It’s a 6-week plan that suggests low calorie foods that are high in nutrients.

It emphasizes reducing carbohydrates such as white bread and pasta, as well as oils and sugar. Dairy and meats are avoided entirely while on this diet. There are certain food limitations as well as foods one can eat in as many amounts as one would like. Our experts reviewed all the available diets and found that the 18Shake Diet was the overall best for weight loss. To learn more about why it was rated the 2024 most effective diet click the link provided here.

Do You Know the Best Diets of 2024?

Joel Fuhrman’s Eat To Live Diet Ingredients and Side Effects

No prepackaged foods or diet supplements are offered. The diet does have 4 different diet principles one has to follow that include:

         • Nutrient Density: Health is directly tied to the amounts and different types of nutrients one receives from vitamins and minerals. The diet provides a scale called the ANDI or Aggregated Nutrient Density Index. Soda ranks in at a low score of 1, while vegetables like collar greens and kale have the highest score at 1,000. A list of the ranked foods shows that dense leafy greens rank much higher, and they award more points.

An equation is offered that is H=N/C or Health equals nutrients per calorie. This is the basis for the diet, and it basically means that to achieve a healthy body, most of one’s calories should come from nutritious foods.

         • Comprehensive Nutrient Adequacy: It’s important not just to eat high nutrient foods, but have a diverse amount of foods to get important antioxidants and phytochemicals. They advise the use of certain supplements for things like Vitamin D, Zinc, Iodine, EPA and DHA, and vitamin B12.

         • Favorable Hormone Levels: The belief is that there are hormones that in high amounts can increase the risk for cancers. To reduce the risk of hormone fluctuations, a lot glycemic carbohydrate diet is advised.

It’s recommended to add berries, beans, and vegetables to keep insulin regulated.  A compiled list of the top 10 ranked diet plans is offered in the link provided here.

         • Avoidance of Toxins: Certain foods which are seen as possibly contaminated such as meats are avoided. There are toxic chemicals added to certain foods, and the diet advises to get plant rich meals to avoid carcinogens, infectious agents, and chemicals.

The foods allowed in unlimited amounts include:

  • Raw vegetables.
  • Four fresh fruits a day but no juice that’s canned, some dry fruits are allowed.
  • Minimum of a cup of beans and legumes daily.
  • Cooked or steamed eggplant, peppers, mushrooms, cauliflower, carrots, onions, and tomatoes.

The following are allowed in limited amounts:

  • 1 ounce of raw nuts and seeds.
  • 2 ounces of avocado.
  • 1 cup of cooked starchy or whole grains such as cereal, potatoes, corn, squash, and rice.
  • 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed.
  • One drink of alcohol per day only.

No amounts of these foods can be eaten, and special considerations are required:

  • Oil.
  • Fruit juice.
  • Dairy or animal products.
  • Processed foods.
  • Snacking between meals.

Web MD described this as:

“a very restrictive diet”

It’s strictly a vegan, low-fat, low-salt, and mostly gluten-free 6 week diet. For people who eat meat even sparingly, it can be hard to transition to this type of lifestyle as it limits many common foods.

The registered dietician Kathleen Zelman adds:

“You will absolutely lose weight on this plan, but you may not be able to do it long term”

Since it’s primarily a vegetable based diet, it’s likely to lead to some weight loss since vegetables have much less calories than meats and a heavy use of grains. There are many restrictions and Web MD adds:

“could make it very difficult to stay on”

The diet mentions that 90% of what one eats will be whole plant foods. This is a healthy approach but it can be extremely difficult to limit protein and heathy fats. Most of what one eats will be lacking in calories, and there’s no evidence that this can help suppress appetite and be used as a long term diet. The top 10 list of the highest ranked diet plans are available when you click here.

EDITOR’S TIP: Combine this diet with a proven meal replacement such as 18 Shake for better results.

Joel Fuhrman’s Eat To Live Diet Quality of Ingredients

 The quality of food eaten is good since it’s, mostly all natural vegetables. A review by Science-Based Medicine found that the diet is not based in science, and there’s no studies performed to show that the Eat To Live Diet is both safe and necessary.  The review adds how the creator of it is:

“trying to sell you something”

“invents what he calls his “health equation””

The health equation is reviewed and the site finds:

“can’t be qualified in any real way, this is nothing more than a parlor trick”

The overall quality of this brand cannot be accurately measured, and though a mostly plant based diet is healthy; it’s hard to upkeep and not necessary. For many people not getting sufficient protein or healthy fats can be difficult, and it’s likely one will stay hungry. A list of the top 10 highest rated diet plans is available in the link here.

The Price and Quality of Joel Fuhrman’s Eat To Live Diet

There is membership to the official website offered, as well as a book that sells for $17 on Amazon.com. Most of the cost is from buying fresh fruits and vegetables. This can be pricy, as it’s suggested one should be buying only specific kinds of vegetables, with an emphasis on organic food options.

Some customers also added how the suggestions for foods are very limited, and that the book will often try to push certain brands instead of offering a general food product.

There are also recipes, a health tracking app, member groups, and a blog with updates. Though the creator is a Doctor, there’s no evidence that limiting proteins and eating mostly vegetables is a sustainable weight loss diet approach.  Our experts ranked the highest rated diet plans in a top 10 list found here.

Business of Joel Fuhrman’s Eat To Live Diet

The diet was created by a Dr. Joel Fuhrman who specializes in family medicine. Although a Doctor, there is no evidence that proves the Eat To Live Diet is effective for long-term weight loss.

His background in nutrition is limited, he is part of a nutrition board, however, there is no research developed nor do they provide proof.

The basis for the business is that a 90% plant based diet is effective for promoting many health benefits. It’s not ideal for all body types, as it’s lacking in protein need to run important body functions.

EDITOR’S TIP: The top 10 list of the best diets is available here.

Customer Opinions of Joel Fuhrman’s Eat To Live Diet

Here are some reviews from people who tried the diet:

“because of vast amounts of produce required, we had to utilize a second refrigerator”

“whole lot of guessing and cherry-picking”

“very hard to follow and I think unrealistic for the vast majority”

“He’s a medical doctor; not a nutrition researcher”

A total of 562 people gave it a critical review on their Amazon.com page. People have argued it takes a lot of time having to prep one’s own foods, since it doesn’t allow for many packaged foods. These people described this as being an impractical way to live one’s life, as many hours need to be spent prepping and cooking.

Often there were issues with people being unable to fit all the food they need in their refrigerators.

There were also problems with a lack of appetite suppression. Though there are unlimited amounts of vegetables, many were bored and wanting to eat more protein and fats. The highest rated diet plans have been compiled in a top 10 list found here.

Conclusion - Does Joel Fuhrman’s Eat To Live Diet Work?

There are many things to keep in mind about the Eat To Live Diet. This plan has no evidence to back up its use, and many users say they were left hungry and wanting to eat something besides mostly vegetables. Customers also mentioned how the diet tries to get people to buy certain brands, and that it’s incredibly restricted. Web MD also adds how the diet is unlikely to support long term weight loss. A lot of time has to be spent prepping and cooking foods as well.

The highest rated diet plan of 2024 was found to be the 18Shake Diet Plan. It offers a natural, metabolism boosting supplement free of stimulants alongside a high protein, appetite suppressing meal replacement. Testimonials and reviews are available from customers who say the meal replacement is filling, mixes easy, and tastes good. Users of the supplement add how they’ve noticed metabolism boosting effects without any stimulant related side effects.

Both of the supplements are backed by a full 30 day money back guarantee for any reason. Returns are all offered risk free for a total of 30 days.  Learn more about the 18Shake Diet Plan by clicking on the link provided here.

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User Feedback

(Page 1 of 5, 97 total comments)


I never tried the Eat To Live “diet”. From what I read about it, it’s not a diet: it’s a lifestyle. I have followed an sos-free plant based lifestyle since 1980. It’s not only healthier that the Standard American Diet (SAD), it’s animal friendly and it’s sustainable. Do yourself, the animals, and the planet a favor: eat sos-free, Plant Based and rid yourself of chronic diseases. Traditional medical professionals and big pharma don't like it, because you will stop lining their pockets!

posted Jul 22nd, 2018 6:41 am


What? No evidence that nutrients/calories can improve your health. What's going on? Oh my-back to the pizza and doughnuts-there must be some evidence that stuff is working.

posted Jul 16th, 2018 12:45 pm


What? No evidence that nutrients/calories can improve your health. What's going on? Oh my-back to the pizza and doughnuts-there must be some evidence that stuff is working.

posted Jul 16th, 2018 12:43 pm


I think Dr. Joel Fuhrman's diet makes the most sense of any diet I have seen. He has a "healthy", read LARGE amount of motivational and memory tricks to remember what to eat and why, and I find that though some of it I think is exaggerated, it is correct and makes the most sense. I don't like that he is so sales oriented and does the extended commercials on PBS, but I have to admit that it how I heard of him and listened to him for long enough to hear what he said and consider it. I think it is too much to say someone on this diet can be assured to never get heart disease or cancer, and I don't like that talk, but a lot of Dr.s do that today on the internet. Listen to Fuhrman and look at his plan of eating. I find it is not so hard as it might seem and the thing is to move into it slowly by starting to eat more GBOMBS ( greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries and seeds ) to displace the worst things that you eat. Knocking out the bad things lowers your calorie load and increased your nutrient load and i think within 2 weeks you feel a noticeable difference and want to continue. But it too me many years of reading and finding out about all the junk food to get my mind in the state that I was receptive and even determined to change things. The good thing also is despite Fuhrman's strict diet appearance, he does not tell people not to ever eat meat. I find I still eat fish and small amounts of meat, but do not need to. Small amounts of alcohol, and I am trying to completely give up sweets, which I now find a lot easier. I think the ratings here are not very good and are from people who don't really want to solve their health problems, they want a quick temporary fix, and will be destined to fail

posted Jun 25th, 2018 2:46 am


Not all diets are for everyone. Does it involve cooking? yes. Does it restrict you from oils, salt and sweets? yes
I am a nephrology nurse and work closely with patients that never took care of themselves and now are on dialysis for the rest of their life. I rather prep my meals and be healthy. I have hypertension and since I started eating healthier my medication dose has been cut in half. Oh did I mention that hypertension and and diabetes are the leading cause of kidney failure, leading to dialysis.
Dr. Fuhrman is no different from any other Doctor that advocates their diet plan Do you your research and slowly change your eating habits. I rather pay for healthy food products than doctors and pharmaceutical companies. The cost of medicines are ridiculous even with a good health insurance plan. The key to success is moderation and exercise.
You find the diet to restrictive? not not more than having 2 shakes a day with a small meal. now that is restrictive. I have met dozen of people that have tried to sell me their products. Dr. Fuhrman's recipes are quite delicious and yes it takes time to prepare, but I chose to be healthy and not give business to the fast food industry that is slowly killing people. Oh by the way Dr. Fuhrman's cook book has recipes with meat in them, if that's what you choose to eat..
For me it has been easy to follow his guide lines since I am already a vegetarian, once in a while I crave a chocolate candy, a soy latte, do I deny myself? ..no I do not. Bottom line the key is to be healthy, be able to enjoy life and not be tied down to a dialysis machine 3 times a week, and talking about restrictive diet. I rather follow Dr. Fuhrman's guidelines, eat a nutratarian diet the rest of my life then a renal or diabetic one! Take care, educate yourself and choose to be healthy.

posted Jun 24th, 2018 1:49 pm

Susannah L. Sulzman

Your information about Dr. Fuhrman's plan is largely inaccurate. His plan is VERY well researched and he has the evidence to back it up. This plan is hard to start if you're used to meat and junk food, but after a few weeks, you come to prefer this way of eating, and your health improves dramatically. It is the very best nutrition available, and while some may not be able to follow it, anyone can do this if health is one's main priority. I love this plan and love the results.

posted Jun 22nd, 2018 1:32 pm


Fantastic! Love saver!

posted Jun 12th, 2018 7:34 am


Dr. Fuhrman's books have been a great inspiration for me. They have helped me develop and maintain a healthier life style. I am not always perfect but when I fall off I will re-read Eat to Live. The closer I can stay to this way of eating the better I feel!

posted May 11th, 2018 9:03 pm

Maureen Mooney

Just finished 3 months..I am so much healthier and have lost a stone and a half. I'm 70. Great to be reminded of what real food can taste like. So grateful I discovered it.

posted Apr 12th, 2018 8:07 am


Have read several of Dr. Fuhrman's books and found them to sensible and easy to follow. The food is great and all makes so much sense as a permanent way to live. Lost weight easily, don't feel hungry and all my numbers are getting better! thank you dr. f.

posted Apr 7th, 2018 10:38 pm

DJ Harmon

Tough diet, not for the namby pamby. I lost 35 lbs and my weight is right on now. The best part, my cancer went away. No trace! Thank you Dr. Fuhrman!

posted Mar 16th, 2018 7:02 am


A matter of changing your eating habits. After several attempts I have finally adapted a more vegan lifestyle and lost weight, feel better. It is difficult to make this change, not label it as a diet but a lifestyle change. I definitely agree with this style- so much junk in our foods. Staying away from processed foods is a big hurdle, but agree with it - Believe in it.

posted Mar 15th, 2018 10:15 am


Hard to be strict about, but vital information that is easy to understand.

posted Feb 24th, 2018 12:45 pm


Eating natural plant based unprocessed foods that have all the energy the sun provides? If that's not working for you, you probably aren't from this planet.

posted Feb 16th, 2018 6:14 pm

Barbara Conway

I have eaten this way for over 20 years now. My arthritis is gone, I have energy, and I cannot imagine going back to cooking bloody flesh or eating food from a package, including the supplemental shake the editor recommends.

posted Feb 10th, 2018 10:47 pm


It is the answer to a healthy relationship with food
and a healthy plan for a life of physical and emotional
health even if you have been a food addict for 60 years or maybe even more,,,
Just love what this guy has taught me!
Thank you Joel

posted Feb 7th, 2018 8:06 pm

Kevin K

This is a lifestyle choice not a diet in the typical sense of a diet. You don't stop after you get to your desired weight because this lifestyle choice is not just about losing weight ; it's about achieving maximum health including disease prevention. Choosing nutrient dense foods allows you to eat as much as you want and still lose weight. The problem most people have is they don't want cut out certain comfort foods packed with calories and sugars and no nutrients. He doesn't exclude meat but cautions against large portions and using only lean white meats if you have to eat meat. I There other diets out there like the Atkins diet, Mediterranean diet, paleo diet that help you lose weight but have no benefit to long term health or disease prevention.

posted Jan 27th, 2018 8:43 am

Sean Murphy

Well, I actually READ the book in 2011. Lost 65 pounds in 11 months and reduced my LDL cholesterol from 296 to 104 in 6 months without medication. Now, in 2018, I'm 50 years old and I feel better than I felt at 30!
I've kept all the fat off. Put on 10 lbs of muscle over 7 years with easy, low weight high rep 20 minute workouts 4 times a week(with a few gaps) just looking to tone up. Pushups and walking also works. Didn't use the weights until the fat was off and my circulatory system was healthy enough. By the way, if you READ the book and do your best to follow the lifestyle you'll find that there's no PROTEIN deficiency in plant foods. All plant foods have protein. You just need to eat LARGE portions. ESPECIALLY leafy greens. And, the more you eat the more protective nutrients you'll get. Nuts, beans, seeds, and certain whole grains are loaded with Protein. Yeah, a tiny cheeseburger slider will give you plenty of protein, but it will leave you sick and hungry also. But, if you want a burger, you can have it occasionally. This is NOT a strictly VEGAN lifestyle as someone here mentioned... Unless you want it to be Vegan. I eat pizza here and there(not recommended for the first few months). And I live in Coastal Massachusetts, so fresh Seafood lands on my plate sometimes.
Reading "EAT TO LIVE" saved my life. I feel and look 15 years younger. Stick to it 80-90% and you'll be super healthy. The fact is, it is very difficult at first, but the rewards are worth the initial discomfort of the toxins being ousted from your body. And it gets much easier after a few weeks. Read the book with an open mind. It's not a diet. "Diets" are temporary
Reviews should be written based on experience not speculation.

posted Jan 24th, 2018 1:54 pm

Juliana Fenner

The whole food plant based diet does work! You recommend the 18 skate diet. You are doing that because you make a commission every-time some clicks your link and buys that diet. You are trying to sell something. Which is complete terrible for people and is another fad diet. Their are no silver bullets with health. Drinking chocolate shakes is not going to save you from a terrible diet filled with meats, milk and cheeses.
You don't provide the link to this claim: Where is this Science-Based Medicine Review? Are you sure those aren't reviews of your website?
"A review by Science-Based Medicine found that the diet is not based in science, and there’s no studies performed to show that the Eat To Live Diet is both safe and necessary. The review adds how the creator of it is:
“trying to sell you something”
“invents what he calls his “health equation””
The health equation is reviewed and the site finds:
“can’t be qualified in any real way, this is nothing more than a parlor trick”

posted Jan 8th, 2018 11:54 pm


I love this way of eating! It was an adjustment at first like anything but this is so much more than a diet! It is a forever lifestyle with recipes that taste better than any I've ever had. I never feel restricted! I wish I had discovered this way of eating 20 years ago! Thank you Dr Fuhrman for my amazing energy and perfect health!

posted Jan 1st, 2018 3:08 pm


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BACKGROUNDBACKGROUND Start the Diet Now Advertisement

Dr. Joel Fuhrman is a well-known doctor who provides diet and nutrition advice to help patients lose weight and improve their health with a nutritional approach. Dr. Fuhrman has written several books on nutritional weight loss such as Eat to Live and Eat for Health, and has appeared on ABC, CBS, NBC and many other media outlets promoting the importance of sound nutrition to achieve optimal health.

Dr. Fuhrman specializes in reducing and reversing disease through natural and nutritional methods. For weight loss measures, the recommended plan from Dr. Fuhrman is his Eat to Live book. By following the plan in this book, you can lose weight naturally and permanently. You can also reduce your blood pressure, cholesterol and prevent heart disease without the use of medications.

The premise of Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat for Health program is that the more nutrient dense foods you eat, the quicker your health will improve. He proposes a largely plant-based diet void of refined products, meat and dairy.

Through the web site Dr. Fuhrman offers not only his books, but also online medical and nutritional advice.

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  • Natural and nutritional approach to weight loss
  • Emphasis on long-term results
  • Created by a medical doctor
  • Successful results by others
  • Vegetarian-friendly
  • Programs may be somewhat restrictive and difficult for those used to easing into a diet program
  • Food preparation time can be lengthy
  • Little to no meat is allowed

Dr. Joel Fuhrman promotes a plant-based diet comprised of vegetables, fruits, legumes, raw nuts, seeds and some whole grains. Avoided are sugar, refined flours, salt, and severely limiting all animal products include meat and dairy.

A sample day of meals may include:

  • Breakfast: Two cups cooked oatmeal with one tablespoon ground flax seed, one banana, one oz. raisins, 1/2 cup soy milk or skim milk.
  • Lunch: Green salad with balsamic vinegar and one teaspoon olive oil, one cup of chickpeas or vegetable soup and fresh fruit.
  • Dinner: Stir-fried vegetables with tofu or steamed string beans with onions and mushrooms.

The basic premise of Fuhrman's diets are consuming foods that are nutrient-rich but low in calories. These foods, like vegetables, fruits and legumes, will satiate the appetite because of their water and fiber content.


Because many of Dr. Fuhrman’s plans are designed for those with health issues, moderate exercise is recommended. Typical exercise might include 30-45 minutes of moderate intensity walking, five to six days per week.


Using Dr. Fuhrman’s recommendations, you can easily lose weight, reduce your current diseases and prevent contracting future diseases. Although it seems that most of the plans are very restrictive, they do garner results.

If you are looking for a plan that will finally give you the health and weight loss benefits you are looking for, Dr. Fuhrman can provide that. Be prepared for dramatically reducing your meat intake, but on the flip side you don’t have to count calories. As long as you follow the plan, you can be on your way to your ideal weight and optimal health.

Common MisspellingsCommon Misspellings

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