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Deborah M

Eat to Live: Joel Fuhrman MD

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Deborah M

Are there any recommendations regarding the 'Eat to Live' diet by Joel Fuhrman, MD.?   A very brief overview of the diet looks very severe. 

I need some feedback on this diet and health plan from anyone doing it.  He touts complete reversal of Type II with his plan.


I have been following a low carb (less than 60 gms. per day) higher protein, moderate fat diet since I was diagnosed with Type II in

November, 2019.  I started Metformin XR 500 mg am and 1000 mg pm initially and then 6 weeks later I increased to 1000 mg am and

1000 mg pm.  At that time my HgbA1C level was 9.6 / my blood glucose was 323 / triglycerides 2030 / cholesterol 456... Oh, my!

I immediately started dietary changes as described above.


My follow-up labs were amazingly better.

In February, 2020 my HgbA1C level was 5.6 / my blood glucose was 120 / triglycerides down to 424 (better, but not there yet) / cholesterol

was down to 189 (HDL 51).  My am finger stick blood sugars are ranging from 112 - 135.  Is there a real thing called the 'dawn phenomenon'?  What do I

do to correct this? 

Is morning the best time of day to check my blood sugar?

Am I on the right track with my current diet?

I thank you for your indulgence with answering all my questions.  I don't get much information from my M.D. that is helpful and this site has been

a wealth of knowledge.

Thanks, in advance, for your help.



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Wow!  What a dramatic improvement over 4 months!


I would say keep doing what you are doing for now and see if there is further improvement.  It does take some time for these changes.  


Dawn phenomenon is real.  Some experience a fairly dramatic rise when first waking up.  


Are you exercising?  Exercise plays a key role in my management.  You don't have to go out there and kill yourself doing it.  Simply walking is fine.  I lost 75 pounds just working on walking 10,000 steps a day.  Put the tunes out and have some fun.  Try to march in time with the songs you can march to.  If you can't, enjoy the music.


I would never counsel that diabetes can be reversed.  I have been told that I am in remission which I can accept.  I am clearly insulin resistant and if I indulge myself, I will see the feedback from that, exercise or no.


For your carbs, try to eat high quality carbs (non root vegetables and nuts) and stay away from starches and simple carbs.  


Again, I must commend you upon a remarkable turn around and emphasize that you should keep doing what you are doing.  From what I remember I started with an A1C of 8.5 and I was also in the 5's within 6 months.  I kept it up and I am now in the mid to high 4's.  My fasting is generally in the 90's with the occasional reading in the 80's when the stars line up.  Your lipid panels may also continue to improve ovr time.

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Ditto @meyery2kabove. You are doing great and all of your numbers are heading in the right direction.


Yes, dawn phenomena exists. I find the longer I've been on keto, the less of an issue it is, but I still get hit once in a while, such as this morning. *sigh*


I found a small snack at bedtime could help a bit. A little cheese or a small handful of nuts is what worked best for me. 


Remember even doing everything perfectly, it takes time for the numbers to come down, and those morning numbers are the most stubborn. If I remember right, it took me something like 3 or 6 months before I got a morning reading of under 100.it took me a year before I went 30 days with morning numbers under 100.  6 years later and it's still not 100% consistent.

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After sleeping on this a little.Look at the Joel Fuhrman diet and take from it what you might consider to be improvement upon what you are already doing.  That is how locked in my diet.  I finally accepted that simple carbs are not good for me.  There is no way around it.  Eating small quantities of them simply satiated a desire temporarily, throws my numbers of goal, and encourages me to eat more of them.


I don't consider myself Atkins, Paleo, Keto, or any other label.  I simply eat foods that I enjoy and watch the carbs.  Otherwise,to me, it is too much work and worry.  Am I perfect?  Certainly not but I have come a long, long, way and I am much better than I was.

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You reminded me about the site. 


I admit to having trouble with it. 


Most Americans are deficient in micronutrients and consume too many macronutrients (calories). 


The stupid in that statement makes my head hurt. First, macronutrients are not calories.  Are calories contained within them? Yes. But they are not one in the same. 


Cut down your macronutrients and you will also cut down your micronutrients. They don't come separate in the real world. 


Its a stupid statement to get people scared of any diet that talks about macros and I personally would not trust any doctor who told his patient stuff like that. 


As for the content of the diet? Hard to say from the glance I gave. I agree avoiding processed food as much as possible.  Stay away from breads and grains I agree with too. If love to be able to eat more beans but I don't tolerate very much. Stay away from sugars and sweeteners, yeah I also agree with it.   He pushes a lot more fruit than most of us could tolerate either. 


In my opinion the best diet

Avoid processed foods

Stick with whole real foods as much as possible

Break your sweet tooth if you have one (cravings!) 

Eat to your meter. 

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