30 Bananas a Day!

I've been re-reading Eat to Live by Fuhrman and I came across this very telling comment where his recommendations seem to contradict his diet. He states that 5% of calories from protein, and likely even less than that, is all that is needed, but then goes on to say that his diet provides 40-70 grams for someone eating between 1200-1800 calories daily. By my calculation that is over 13%. Hmm, I wonder, could all the beans and grains he recommends be the culprit?

Here is the quote:

"Health authorities such as the World Health Organization recommend
only 5 percent of calories from protein. In fact, as little as 2.5
percent of calories from protein may be all that is necessary for normal
people. Regardless of the many opinions on adequate or optimal protein
intake, most plant foods, except fruit, supply at least 10 percent of
calories from protein, with green vegetables averaging about 50 percent.
The high-nutrient diets that are plant food predominant, like I
recommend, supply approximately 40-70 grams of protein daily in the
range of 1,200 to 1,800 calories per day. That is plenty of protein." (page 139)

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Where is the contradiction? He says the WHO recommends these protein figures, not himself. 

Saying that one only needs a minimum amount x of y does not imply that one should consume only x of y. I think that is where you're getting tripped up. As an example, humans may only need a certain amount of sunlight to produce adequate vitamin D to support life, but this does not mean more sunlight is bad. 

Hi Eric,

I very well may be getting tripped up, but this is where I think I'm noticing the contradiction: After the WHO stat he comments that 2.5 may be all that is really necessary. Considering how previously in the book he explains the detriment of having an excess of protein one would assume he would not recommend any in addition to the 5%. He also sites the China Study in the book where 5% is also recommended. Then he gives stats on his diet that add up to over 13%. To me that is a contradiction no?

Regardless, I thought it was interesting how he recommends such a low amount of protein and his diet doesn't even meet that number. Nice for us that 811 does!

I haven't read the book, so I was just going off of what was quoted. Now that you've brought up that he explains the detriment of excess protein, however, I see where you're coming from. 

Thanks.

Furhman has some great things to say but thinking a grown adult will get enough calories from 1200-1800cals a day AND function in the real world is delusional.

You're right about that on both counts.

I hope it doesn't sound like I'm hating on him - I'm not. His books have tonnes of great info and I think his diet is a good transitional diet for the SAD eater. I share his books a lot with friends and family.

I think it is fair to point out that even though he says the typical person will eat that low of calories on his diet, he does recommend you eat as much as you care for of certain foods. I believe he says you can have unlimited veggies, beans, and fruit on his diet. And also he doesn't recommend counting calories either to his credit. He figures that if you are eating whole plant food that you will simply fill up on those foods, get your nutritional requirements and not need to eat that many calories. Beans can be surprisingly filling however there are surprises to the digestion as well unfortunately. Much better to have real fruit over the musical kind!

I started off on Eat to Live.  I'm very grateful that his book introduced me to the China Study and why it was important to be vegan for my health.  Following Fuhrman's advice to eat massive quantities of kale and beans and a couple ounces of raw nuts/ 1 TBS of ground flax really screwed up my digestive system. I also had sweet cravings and would succumb to binges (he puts no emphasis on eating sufficient carb calories).  I was so relieved to find Dr. Graham on VegSource and find a way that isn't so harsh on my intestines.  Fruit is way more fun!

Dr. Fuhrman's math does not add up on several accounts that I recall.

He knows we need a lot of nutrients from plants - also knows some folks need more fat than others ...

His diet is a bit high in protein (IMO).....agreed.

Also... nothing goes as well with exercise as fruit..... the two are meant for each other.

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