He created the Nutritarian diet, an eating plan that incorporates the latest advances in nutritional science. At the heart of this diet is the simple health equation, H=N/C.
This equation expresses the concept that your health (H) is predicted by your nutrient intake (N) divided by your calorie intake (C). His ANDI (Aggregate Nutrient Density Index) scoring system, which measures the relative nutrient density of common foods, has helped millions of people to eat an anti-cancer, anti-chronic disease diet.
The aim is to get as high a score as possible. Each food has a given value of between 0 and 1000 per calorie.
(Refer to chart below for individual food values.)
If you eat 300 calories of food with low nutritional value (let’s say 100 calories each of white pasta, cheddar cheese and olive oil), as you will see from the chart below, these would have individual ANDI values per calorie of 11, 11 and 10 respectively. Add these together and you get 32. Multiplying by 100 calories (the amount of each consumed) gives 3200. Divide this by 300 (the total number of calories) and you get a total ANDI score of 10.7.
If, however, you eat 300 calories of food with high nutritional value (let’s say 100 calories each of sweet potato, tomato and kale), these would have individual ANDI values per calorie of 181, 186 and 1000 respectively. Add these together and you get 1367. Multiplying by 100 calories (the amount of each consumed) gives 136700. Divide this by 300 and you get a total ANDI score of 455.7.
Basically, the higher the score, the healthier the food.
What does ANDI measure?
ANDI measures calcium; the carotenoids – beta carotene, alpha carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene; fibre; folate; glucosinolates; iron; magnesium; niacin; selenium; vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B6, B12, C, and E; and zinc, plus the ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) score X 2. Most importantly, the ANDI scores are based on calories, not volume or weight of food, so a lower-calorie food with more nutrients scores higher than a calorie-dense food, which is why foods like iceberg lettuce and kale score high.
Have a look below and see how popular foods stack up in terms of micronutrient density per calorie. The more nutrient-dense food you consume, the more you will be satisfied with fewer calories.
So can diet really reverse diseases? And if so which diseases?
The following are some testimonials from Dr. Fuhrman’s patients. (Full TED Talk video covering the issues in this blog can be viewed below.)
Obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, cholesterolemia.
Migraines, seasonal allergies, depression, anxiety, insomnia, menstrual pains.
Fibromyalgia, diabetes, hypertension.
Heart disease (no longer needed angioplasty), cholesterolemia, hypertension, obesity.
Psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis.
Triple vessel heart disease, (no longer needed stent replacement & angioplasty), hypertension.
Dr. Fuhrman coined the acronym G-BOMBS (Green Beans Onions Mushrooms Berries & Seeds) to represent those foods he considers are the immune system’s “special forces” – inhibiting fat storage, preventing cancer and prolonging our healthy lifespan.
I hope you are able to use this information to enjoy a diet that has food fighting for you rather than against you. After all, we are the food we eat – quite literally…
TED Talk Video
About Dr. Fuhrman
Joel Fuhrman, M.D. is a board-certified family physician, six-time New York Times best-selling author and internationally recognised expert on nutrition and natural healing.
He specialises in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional methods. He coined the term “Nutritarian” to describe his eating style, which is built around a diet of nutrient-dense, plant-rich foods.
For over 25 years, Dr. Fuhrman has shown that it is possible to achieve sustainable weight loss and reverse heart disease, diabetes and many other illnesses using smart nutrition. In his medical practice, and through his books and television specials, he continues to bring this life-saving message to hundreds of thousands of people around the world.
Dr. Fuhrman is the President of the Nutritional Research Foundation. He is also a member of the Dr. Oz Show Medical Advisory Board. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (Pearlman) School of Medicine (1988) and has received the St. Joseph’s Family Practice Resident’s Teaching Award for his contribution to the education of residents.
Dr. Fuhrman’s TED Talk (from which slides were taken)
Dr. Fuhrman’s ANDI scores
Dr. Fuhrman’s website
Chalkboard (more on the ANDI system)