Eating healthfully is not rocket science – it’s nutritional science.
That may sound like a corny joke, but like most corny jokes, it contains an element of truth. Diet “gurus” tend to overcomplicate things, creating eating styles that are too rigid or confusing to follow, or making the guidelines too lax by trying to accommodate people’s ingrained preferences. In contrast, all the studies and research on nutritional science point to a universal truth: eating a diet of micronutrient-rich, unprocessed whole plant foods, and restricting animal products, is the healthiest and most longevity-promoting eating style.
While creating the Nutritarian diet, I examined every modifiable factor that enhances human health and lifespan and put it all together. I included a full portfolio of anti-cancer foods to maximize our opportunity to live to be 100 years old. In my three decades as both a nutritional researcher and a family physician specializing in the treatment, prevention, and reversal of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, and cancer through nutritional excellence, I have seen how the intake of high-nutrient plant food results in miraculous health transformations.
The Nutritarian diet is built around eating a variety of cruciferous vegetables, plus colorful vegetables, fruits, legumes, intact whole grains, nuts, and seeds. There are over 100,000 biologically active chemicals found in plants, agents that offer anti-cancer, anti-microbial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immune-supporting, and wound healing effects.
There are four basic steps to getting started eating a Nutritarian diet:
• The SALAD is the main dish
Your main meal of the day should be a large and bountiful salad. Fill your bowl with greens, and add cruciferous vegetables, raw onion, beans, tomatoes, some lightly-sautéed mushrooms, berries, and top it with a dressing made with nuts and seeds.
• Eat your G-BOMBS
This acronym stands for the anti-cancer superfoods that should be included in your daily diet: Greens, Beans, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries, and Seeds.
• Eat at mealtimes only
This means no snacking between meals, even on healthy, low-calorie veggies. At mealtime, eat until you are satisfied and not stuffed – you should be hungry before your next meal.
• NO S.O.S.
Do not eat salt, oil or sweeteners such as sugar, honey, agave and so on. You should also avoid processed food, commercial baked goods, and products made with white flour.
Your aim is to eat a diet that is rich in phytochemicals, including important cancer-fighting antioxidants such as carotenoids and flavonoids. If you are transitioning from eating the Standard American diet (SAD), it will take a little time for your palate to adjust to the taste of natural foods, but soon you will learn to prefer this healthy style of eating.
I am often asked if the Nutritarian diet is a vegan eating style, and the answer is: it’s up to you. A small amount of animal products – wild caught fish, organic poultry, for example – are permitted, but they make up only a small percentage of calories. Animal products are not health-promoting foods; while they contain some useful micronutrients, such as zinc and iodine (in fish), these substances are easily – and more safely – added to your diet through supplementation. Animal products do not supply the important antioxidants and fiber found in plant foods.
And contrary to popular belief, it is not essential to consume animal products to ensure that you get adequate amounts of protein. Although plant protein is often described as “incomplete,” it has been known for many years that all plant foods contain all of the amino acids. Different plant foods may be low in certain essential amino acids, but as long you are eating a variety of plant foods, you will get adequate amounts—but not too much—of all the essential amino acids. Animal protein is more concentrated than plant protein and is absorbed and utilized quickly, especially the amino acids that elevate growth-promoting hormones, associated with aging and an increased risk of several different cancers.
So welcome to the Nutritarian diet – the healthiest and most enjoyable way of eating.