Which Diet is Best? Atkins versus Fuhrman versus Gundry versus Fasting

The controversy over diets will continue likely for a long time to come. There are many “camps” and there are respected doctors in each camp. 

There is a spectrum of diets:

On the one had there is the High Fat Diet. On the other is the Plant Based Diet.  There are low-lecthin diets per Dr. Gundry.

And at the extremes are intermittent fasting and long-term fasting (for weeks on just water).

Isn’t moderation good enough? Likely it depends on your genetics.

The best diet for you likely depends on your genetic history and current health & condition.
Check with your MD (who likely knows little about which diet to prescribe–but who can tell you if it is safe to try different options and who can follow your blood counts like, HgA1C, IGF-1, CRP, CBC, Glucose.


Summary: Eat Plants, Avoid Animal Products
There are extremes to this idea



Example Physicians:
Dr. Fuhrman coined the term “Nutritarian” to describe his eating style, which is built around a diet of nutrient-dense, plant-rich foods.

Has very nice website below. A great deal of info. Makes money from selling books, food products. I like his posting on Migraines below as well.


Diabetes is a Rapidly Growing Threat to Human Health

Diabetes has been cited as the most challenging health problem in the 21st century. Over 25 million people in the United States have diabetes.1 Excess weight promotes insulin resistance and is the chief risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Currently 68.8% of adults are overweight or obese.23 The number of people with this disease has been increasing steadily, largely due to the increasing numbers of overweight people. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the prevalence of type 2 diabetes has more than tripled in the past 30 years, and if current trends continue unabated, one-fifth to one-third of all Americans will have diabetes by the year 2050.4,5

Diabetes Severely Damages One’s Health and Shortens Life Expectancy

Diabetes is a serious disease, and both type 1 and type 2 accelerate the aging of our bodies. Having type 1 or 2 diabetes greatly speeds up the development of atherosclerosis, or cardiovascular disease; in fact, diabetes doubles the risk of heart attack and stroke.

More than 80 percent of adults with Type 2 diabetes die of heart attacks and stroke, and these deaths occur at a younger age compared to people without diabetes. Diabetes also ages the body more rapidly, causing harm to the kidney, nervous system and other body systems. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure and blindness in older adults. Over sixty thousand amputations each year are performed due to complications of diabetes. Diabetes also increases cancer risk, especially colorectal cancer.6,7,8

Type 2 Diabetes is a Preventable, Reversible Lifestyle Disease

The heavier you are, the greater the risk you will develop type 2 diabetes. Whereas type 1 diabetes is a disease of insulin deficiency, type 2 diabetes typically develops because the body is insulin resistant and requires more insulin than normal. Our body’s cells are fueled by glucose, and insulin acts as a key that allows glucose from the blood to enter our cells. If the pancreas does not produce insulin (as in type 1 diabetes), or the body’s cells no longer respond to insulin (as in type 2 diabetes), glucose remains in the blood instead of being used by the cells, resulting in abnormally high blood glucose, which is harmful to the body.

Premature death and the devastating complications of this disease simply do not have to happen. Those with diabetes are told to watch their diet, exercise and use drugs to better control the glucose levels in their bloodstream. My message is that the nutritional advice received from the American Diabetes Association (ADA), and typical dieticians and physicians is inadequate and permits countless of unnecessary premature deaths and much needless suffering. I declare, “Don’t live with your diabetes, don’t simply control your diabetes — get rid of it.”

The standard American diet (SAD) of processed foods, refined grains, oils, sugars, and animal products is at the root of the obesity and type 2 diabetes epidemics, and keeping glucose under control with drugs in individuals who continue to consume this diet will not prevent diabetes complications. It requires nothing less than nutritional excellence with daily exercise.

The SAD and the standard dietary recommendations given to diabetics promote fat storage. Excess fat on the body interferes with insulin’s actions; the body’s cells become less responsive to insulin and it is more difficult for insulin to transport glucose into the cells. The pancreas is then forced to produce more insulin to compensate.

The pancreas is pumping out much more insulin than a thinner person might need, but it’s not enough to compensate for extra body fat. The pancreas’ ability to secrete insulin is diminished further over time as individual remains overweight and the diabetes continues. Total destruction of insulin secreting ability almost never occurs in Type 2 (adult onset diabetes) as it does in Type 1 (childhood onset diabetes). However, the sooner a Type 2 diabetic loses the extra weight causing the stress on the pancreas, the more functional reserve of insulin secreting cells remain. When you give an adult diabetic, who has been suffering from the damaging effects of excess insulin for years, more insulin to drive the sugar down, you create more problems. Insulin increases appetite and can cause significant weight gain, making the patient more diabetic. Usually, they require more and more medication and their condition worsens. Findings from numerous studies also show that high insulin levels promote atherosclerosis, even in non-diabetics.9 In diabetics, the degree of atherosclerotic blood vessel disease is greatest in those with the highest levels of insulin. The level of insulin in your blood is an indicator of your risk of heart attack – regardless of whether that insulin is produced by your pancreas or injected.10 High insulin levels are also associated with increased cancer risk.11 Insulin is not the answer for type 2 diabetes.

Conventional Care of Type 2 Diabetes

Well-meaning physicians prescribe drugs in an attempt to lower the dangerously high glucose levels, the high cholesterol and triglyceride levels and the high blood pressure typically seen in diabetics. Unfortunately, treating diabetes with medication gives patients a false sense of security. Patients mistakenly think their somewhat better controlled glucose levels are an indication of restored health, providing them with implicit permission to continue the same disease-causing diet and lifestyle that led to the development of their diabetes. With the combination of the standard dietary advice and the weight-promoting medications, many continue to gain weight. They believe that they are protected from harm by their medications; meanwhile diabetes progressively damages their cardiovascular system, kidneys, nervous system, and more. It can be different. The vast majority of my type 2 diabetic patients, who adopt my nutritional and exercise recommendations for diabetes reverse their disease; they become thin and non-diabetic. They are able to gradually discontinue their insulin and eventually other medications and most no longer need any diabetes medications after the first six months. They simply get well. I work with people who have diabetes who want to live a long and healthy life and enjoy the sense of achievement and the confidence that they can take control over this disease. The membership services offered here on this website, and the information in my book, The End of Diabetes, can get you started on this road to wellness and potentially enable a complete recovery from diabetes.

One of Many Fascinating Success Stories

James was referred to my office from his nephrologist after originally referred to the nephrologist by his endocrinologist (diabetic specialist) at the Joslin Clinic because of kidney damage that resulted from very high glucose readings in spite of maximum medical management.

At his first visit, Jim weighed 268 pounds and was taking a total of 175 units of insulin per day. He had already suffered from severe complications of Type 2 diabetes, including two heart attacks and Charcot (destructive inflammation) joint damage in his right ankle. In spite of this huge dose of insulin and six other medications, Jim’s glucose readings averaged between 350 to 400. “This was the case no matter what I ate,” he said. Jim told me that he was already on a careful ADA diet and was following the precise dietary recommendations of the dietician at the Joslin Clinic. He started my program right away, and I immediately reduced his insulin dose down to 130 units per day. Jim and I spoke on the phone over the next few days, and I continued to decrease his insulin gradually. Within five days, Jim’s glucose was running between 80 and 120, and he had lost ten pounds. At this juncture, I put him on 45 units of Lantus insulin at bedtime and 6 units of Humalog regular insulin before each meal for a total of 63 units per day. At his two week visit, Jim had lost 16 pounds. I stopped his blood pressure medications, and he was taking a total of 58 units per day of insulin. After the first month , I was able to stop all of Jim’s insulin and start him on Glucophage. He lost 25 pounds in the first five weeks, and his blood glucose readings were well controlled without insulin. His blood pressure also came down to normal, and he no longer required any blood pressure medications. Five months later, Jim was off all medications for diabetes, no longer had high cholesterol or high blood pressure and was more than 60 pounds lighter. His kidney insufficiency had normalized as well. This case illustrates not merely how powerful my Nutritarian™ dietary approach is, but how the standard dietary advice given to diabetics from conventional physicians and dieticians is insufficient and even dangerous.

The End of Diabetes

How can a type 2 diabetic lower high glucose levels, lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, lose weight and not need to take drugs such as insulin and sulfonylureas which cause weight gain?

Here is the simple answer—a health-promoting eating style coupled with frequent exercise. The best diet for humans to live longer in superior health is also the best diet for reversing diabetes. It is not a low-carbohydrate diet or a low-fat diet; it is a high-nutrient (Nutritarian) diet, an eating style that focuses on the quality of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats; an eating style with a high micronutrient to calorie ratio.

When one eats a diet predominating in nature’s ideal foods—green vegetables, beans, mushrooms, onions, berries, eggplant, tomatoes, garlic, raw nuts and seeds, it becomes relatively easy to quickly shed excess pounds without hunger or deprivation, and bring glucose numbers back down into the non-diabetic range. My experience has demonstrated that those choosing to follow my nutritional recommendation will have their diabetes controlled astonishingly quickly even before they have lost most of their excess weight.

My new book, The End of Diabetes, outlines in detail my program for reversing (or preventing) type 2 diabetes with a Nutritarian eating style and exercise. If you have diabetes you must read it, then share what you learn with your doctor, and get ready to enjoy excellent health. This eating style is not just for type 2 diabetics – those with type 1 diabetes and gestational diabetes can make dramatic improvements in their health by following this program.

Type 1 Diabetes (Childhood Onset or Juvenile Diabetes)

About ten percent of diabetes cases are type 1. In type 1 Diabetes, which generally occurs earlier in life, the immune system attacks the beta cells in the pancreas, which produce insulin, producing an insulin deficiency. For that reason, in almost all cases, type 1 diabetics will always require insulin to prevent serious hyperglycemia and life-threatening ketoacidosis. Unlike type 2, type 1 diabetes is not caused by excess body fat. However, excess body fat is still dangerous for a type 1 diabetic, since type 1 diabetes also carries the risks associated with type 2 diabetes: heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, and other complications. In almost all cases, consequently, a nutritionally superior diet is essential to the health and longevity of type 1 diabetics.

Conventional Care of Type 1 Diabetes

With conventional care, the long-term prognosis for a Type 1 diabetic is dismal. Type 1 diabetes usually begins to do its damage during childhood, and carries the same risks as type 2 diabetes for complications and other medical problems. However, a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes is not a guarantee of poor health and a shortened lifespan. It is not Type 1 diabetes itself that causes such negative health consequences. Rather, it is the combination of the diabetes and the typical nutritional “advice” given to these patients – advice that requires them to needlessly large amounts of insulin. As discussed above, excess insulin accelerates atherosclerosis, increases cancer risk and damages the body. With this in mind, it should be clear that while the Standard American Diet (SAD), which has spread to all industrialized nations, is dangerous for everyone, it is particularly deadly for diabetics. In short, if you eat conventionally you die conventionally, but if you eat the SAD with diabetes, you will be committing to poor health and a premature death at a much younger age.

Live a Long and Healthy Life with Type 1 Diabetes

With proper care, a type 1 diabetic can live a long and healthy life, with almost no risk of heart attack, stroke, or complications. Type 1 diabetics need not feel doomed to a life of medical disasters and a possible early death. With a truly health-supporting Nutritarian lifestyle, even the Type 1 diabetic can have the potential for a disease-free life and a better than average life expectancy. I find that when Type 1 diabetics adopt my high-nutrient dietary approach, they reduce their insulin requirements by at least one half. They protect their body against the heart attack promoting effects of the American diet style. They no longer have swings of highs and lows, their weight remains stable, and their glucose levels and lipids stay under excellent control. Even though the Type 1 diabetic will still require exogenous (external) insulin, they will no longer need excessive amounts of it. Remember, it is not the Type 1 diabetes that is so damaging, it is the SAD, the typical dietary advice given to Type 1s and the excessive amounts of insulin required by the SAD that are so harmful. It is simply essential for all Type 1 diabetics to learn and adopt nutritional excellence; they can use much less insulin, achieve a normal, healthy lifespan and dramatically reduce their risk of complications later in life.

A Type 1 Diabetes Success Story

John Sermos was a 22 year old college graduate with Type 1 diabetes since the age of 6. He was five foot, eight inches tall and weighed 190 pounds. He was taking a total of 70 units of insulin daily. He was referred to my office by his family physician as he was having swings in his glucose levels, too high at times and at other times dangerously low. He also wanted to learn more about nutrition to improve his health and reduce his future risks from having diabetes. I was impressed by his intelligence and desire to change his eating habits to better his health. We spent lots of time discussing the typical problems that befall most diabetics, and I explained to him that using 70 units of insulin a day was part of the problem. I explained that if he follows my recommended diet-style he will stabilize his weight at about 145 pounds and he will only require about 30 units of insulin a day. With this lower level of insulin, to mimic the amount of insulin a non-diabetic makes in the pancreas, he can have a life without the typical health issues that befall diabetics. We cut his nighttime insulin dose down by ten units and his mealtime insulin from 10 to 6 as he began the diet. Over the next two weeks we gradually tapered his insulin and found that he only needed 20 units of Lantus insulin at bedtime and 4 units before each meal for a total of 32 units a day. Almost immediately, with my dietary recommendations, his sugars were running in the favorable range, and he no longer experienced dangerous drops in his blood sugar. He had lost 13 pounds over the first month and by month three weighed 167, a loss of 23 pounds. He was excited about what he had learned and was more hopeful about his life while living with his diabetes. I am convinced that with a Nutritarian diet-style, those with Type 1 diabetes can have a long and disease-free life. I feel it is imperative that all Type 1 diabetics learn about this life-saving approach.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes refers to higher than normal blood sugars occurring during pregnancy in women who were not diabetic before becoming pregnant. It is usually detected by discovering higher than normal glucose levels between the twenty-third and twenty-eighth weeks of pregnancy, and occurs in over five percent of pregnancies. In the vast majority of women found to have this condition, there are no symptoms of diabetes, and the diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born.

The body requires more insulin during pregnancy as weight is gained and as the placenta grows and produces hormones that reduce insulin sensitivity. It is normal for the pancreas to produce higher levels of insulin during pregnancy. However, typical American food habits push these insulin demands over the top. Many women have no problem producing the extra insulin needed during pregnancy, but for women with gestational diabetes, their pancreas can’t secrete the higher levels demanded. Women with gestational diabetes have a strong likelihood of developing adult onset diabetes later in life; in fact, one study found that about half of women with gestational diabetes developed type 2 diabetes within eight years.12 It reflects a pancreas that is already overworked that has difficulty handing the increased insulin needs of excess fat on their body and a diet rich in processed carbohydrates.

The same dietary factors that cause Type 2 diabetes cause gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes reveals the tendency for type 2 diabetes to develop. Instead, if women eat the high-nutrient dietary style that I recommend, they will be protected from developing gestational diabetes and type 2 diabetes later in life. Nutritional excellence is important during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes is a sign of nutritional inadequacy; it leads to overweight babies (macrosomia) and increases the likelihood of need for a C-section. Gestational diabetes also presents health risks for the child, including the potential for hypoglycemia immediately after birth, increased risk of respiratory problems in newborns, and increase the risk of obesity and diabetes later in life. It is important that lifestyle changes are initiated to restore normal glucose levels as soon as possible during pregnancy, which is accomplished effectively and easily with Nutritarian eating style. If you have gestational diabetes, the best medicine is no medicine; who knows what subtle, long-term effects diabetes medications may have on an unborn child? Superior nutrition is the safest and most effective choice. I have outlined a plan for women with gestational diabetes to achieve healthy glucose levels almost immediately and have a healthy pregnancy in my book,The End of Diabetes.


The dietary program described in my book The End of Diabetes is a vegetable-based diet designed to maximize nutrient per calorie density. It is the most effective dietary approach for those with diabetes and is much more effective than drugs. For a Type 2 diabetic, this approach results in complete reversal of the diabetic condition for the majority of patients. For a Type 1 diabetic it eliminates the excessive highs and lows and prevents the typical dangerous complications that too frequently befall those with diabetes. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetics can maintain excellent health and quality of life into old age. Women with gestational diabetes can reverse their disease, have a healthy pregnancy and prevent type 2 diabetes later in life.

This simple and effective plan is based on delicious, healthful foods, starts working right away, and starts you on the path to a long, happy, disease-free life. Of course, the road to wellness involves making the commitment to regular exercise as well. In The End of Diabetes I describe exercises you can do even if you are starting with a low level of fitness.

If you have diabetes, begin by reading The End of Diabetes, and consider joining the Member Center here at DrFuhrman.com for support from both peers and my medical staff. It is important that you do not change your diet, if you are on medication, without medication adjustment under the guidance of a competent physician. I wish you enduring health and a long life… it can be yours.


  1. American Diabetes Association: Diabetes statistics [http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/diabetes-statistics/]

  2. International Diabetes Federation: Morbidity and Mortality [http://www.idf.org/diabetesatlas/diabetes-mortality ]

  3. Khaodhiar LS. Cummings S,  Apovian CM. Treating diabetes and prediabetes by focusing on obesity management. Curr Diab Rep, 2009. 9(5): 348-54.

  4. Flegal KM, Carroll MD, Kit BK, Ogden CL. Prevalence of obesity and trends in the distribution of body mass index among US adults, 1999-2010. JAMA. 2012 Feb 1;307(5):491-7.

  5. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Diabetes Data & Trends. 2008 [http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/statistics/prev/national/figpersons.htm]

  6. Boyle JP, Thompson TJ, Gregg EW, et al. Projection of the year 2050 burden of diabetes in the US adult population: dynamic modeling of incidence, mortality, and prediabetes prevalence. Popul Health Metr, 2010. 8(1): 29.

  7. American Diabetes Association: Diabetes statistics [http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/diabetes-statistics/]

  8. Campbell PT, Deka A, Jacobs EJ, et al. Prospective study reveals associations between colorectal cancer and type 2 diabetes mellitus or insulin use in men. Gastroenterology. 2010 Oct;139(4):1138-46.

  9. Flood A, Strayer L, Schairer C, Schatzkin A. Diabetes and risk of incident colorectal cancer in a prospective cohort of women. Cancer Causes Control. 2010 Aug;21(8):1277-84.

  10. He J, Stram DO, Kolonel LN, et al. The association of diabetes with colorectal cancer risk: the Multiethnic Cohort. Br J Cancer. 2010 Jun 29;103(1):120-6.

  11. Boyle JP, Thompson TJ, Gregg EW, et al. Projection of the year 2050 burden of diabetes in the US adult population: dynamic modeling of incidence, mortality, and prediabetes prevalence. Popul Health Metr, 2010. 8(1): 29.

  12. Stolar MW. Atherosclerosis in diabetes: the role of hyperinsulinemia. Metabolism. 1988 Feb;37(2 Suppl 1):1-9.

  13. García RG, Rincón MY, Arenas WD, et al. Hyperinsulinemia is a predictor of new cardiovascular events in Colombian patients with a first myocardial infarction. Int J Cardiol. 2011 Apr 1;148(1):85-90.

  14. Cao W, Ning J, Yang X, Liu Z. Excess exposure to insulin is the primary cause  of insulin resistance and its associated atherosclerosis. Curr Mol Pharmacol. 2011 Nov;4(3):154-66.

  15. Ruige JB, Mertens I, Considine RV, et al. Opposite effects of insulin-like molecules and leptin in coronary heart disease of type 2 diabetes Preliminary data. Int J Cardiol. 2006 Jul 28;111(1):19-25.

  16. Zoler ML. Insulin may boost cardiovascular risk in type 2 diabetes patients. Family Practice News, May 15, 2001.

  17. Cao W, Ning J, Yang X, Liu Z. Excess exposure to insulin is the primary cause  of insulin resistance and its associated atherosclerosis. Curr Mol Pharmacol. 2011 Nov;4(3):154-66.

  18. Vigneri P, Frasca F, Sciacca L, et al. Diabetes and cancer. Endocr Relat Cancer 2009;16:1103-1123.

  19. Campbell PT, Deka A, Jacobs EJ, et al. Prospective study reveals associations between colorectal cancer and type 2 diabetes mellitus or insulin use in men. Gastroenterology, 2010. 139(4):1138-46.

  20. Janghorbani M, Dehghani M, Salehi-Marzijarani M. Systematic review and meta-analysis of insulin therapy and risk of cancer. Horm Cancer. 2012 Aug;3(4):137-46.

  21. Löbner K, Knopff A, Baumgarten A, et al. Predictors of postpartum diabetes in women with gestational diabetes mellitus. Diabetes. 2006 Mar;55(3):792-7.

Banish Headaches
Headaches are our country’s number one pain problem and are one of the most common reasons why patients visit physicians. Recent studies have estimated that 16-23% of Americans suffer from severe headaches or migraines.1 If you regularly suffer from headaches that make you feel as if your head was clamped in a vise, you are not alone. Headaches, including the migraine type, are so widespread that many people consider them a normal occurrence of human existence.
There are two types of headaches: (1) tension and (2) migraine. The tension type or muscle-contraction headache is generally less severe than a migraine. They are both experienced after stressful periods have ended, and the body attempts to repair and detoxify. The pain of a migraine usually occurs in the front of the head and is often centered on an eye. It is typically accompanied by visual and gastrointestinal disturbances. Essentially, migraines are severe pulsating, or throbbing headaches, associated with nausea, dizziness and visual auras, such as flashing lights, zigzag lines and blind spots.
Headaches can take a terrible toll on a person’s life. They can affect a child’s education, cause people to lose their jobs, create stress in family relationships and create a feeling of hopelessness about life. Recurrent headaches and migraine headaches can lead to depression,2 and the use of medications to treat the pain can cause serious side effects.
Demystifying the Causes of Headaches
The standard theories that tension headaches are caused by widening of the blood vessels and that migraines are caused by constriction of the blood vessels have been disproven. The evidence now illustrates the similarities between migraine and other types of headaches rather than the differences. The major cause of both tension headaches and migraines is the retention of toxins or tissue irritants within the central nervous system. These chemical irritants may cause an over-sensitivity of nerve tissues to other stimuli. Rather than saying that tension headaches and migraines are caused by differing mechanisms, it would be more accurate to see them on a pain and symptom continuum, differing only in severity of symptoms.
Many factors may trigger or aggravate an attack of migraine. Common precipitating factors include physical activity, menstruation, alcohol consumption (especially red wine), too little or too much sleep, a missed meal or a change in the weather. A high protein diet is one of the most common reasons people suffer from chronic migraines. Protein breakdown and digestion causes the production of multiple toxins, especially nitrogenous wastes that can cross over the blood-brain barrier.
Foods headache sufferers should avoid
  • Coffee, caffeinated teas and chocolate
  • Alcohol and wine
  • Dairy products and cheese
  • Red meat and processed meats
  • Sweets and commercial baked goods
  • Processed foods and food additives
  • Nuts, dried fruit, avocado (temporarily)
Certain food senstivities and food allergies can also trigger migraine in many patients. Salted foods are frequently noted as a trigger, as are chocolate, cheese, ice cream, nuts, eggs, banana, herring, fatty foods, citrus fruits, NutraSweet®(aspartame), monosodium glutamate (MSG), nitrates (often present in processed meats) and concentrated sweets.3-7
The use of medication, even in quantities as low as ten aspirin tablets per week, can be the cause of a chronic daily headache syndrome. Besides the typical toxic drugs that physicians routinely prescribe, exposure to toxins such as lead, arsenic, morphine, carbon monoxide, pesticides and noxious fumes can also be a cause.
Likewise, other unhealthful practices, such as drinking coffeeand soft drinks, eating sweets and other foods devoid of nutrition, contribute to the problem. Even drinking milk and eating cheese can add to our discomfort, as they frequently contain antibiotics and other inflammatory components.
Headaches are a signal that something is wrong. Typically, they result from retained wastes or toxins in the body. The pain usually begins when the body attempts to mobilize and remove the noxious agents. It is when you stop drinking coffee that the headache comes. It is when you stop consuming noxious food that the headache begins. It marks an effort of the body to dilute and remove the injurious agent. Drinking more coffee, eating more noxious food or taking drugs may offer some temporary relief, but eventually suppressing headaches can turn an occasional episode into a deep seated chronic problem. Therapies and remedies are not the answer to headaches. Removing the cause and letting the body accomplish its self-cleansing tasks can result in a migraine-free life, without the need for medication ever again. When these metabolic waste products are eliminated, people can regain their long-sought-after freedom from pain.
Headaches may also be a result of high blood pressure or rare diseases such as brain tumors, meningitis, tuberculosis, head injuries, and diseases of the eyes, nose, teeth and ears. Allergic conditions and chronic sinusitis are also uncommon causes of headaches. Because most physicians have no clue about dietary detoxification, they have trouble discerning the cause. Most headaches respond within a few days of a careful detoxification program. A physician should also properly evaluate the sudden onset of a severe headache that is unlike one ever experienced before.
Conventional Care
The general medical viewpoint is that migraines cannot be cured, but they may merely be suppressed with drugs. Physicians generally don’t hesitate to prescribe medication for a person to take for the rest of his or her life. The common medical practice of giving drugs, which are all toxic, to treat the ill effects of retained toxins, without attempting to determine and remove causative factors, is a misguided approach illustrative of the overall inadequacy of today’s healthcare system.
Besides contributing to the body’s toxic overload and leading to overall deterioration in health, it is well recognized that the medications used to treat migraines are a crucially important factor in perpetuating future headache attacks. Drugs that are used for headaches – such as aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol®), barbiturates, codeine and ergotamine – all cause headaches to recur on a rebound basis as these toxins begin to wash out of the nervous system. Then, in order to temporarily lessen the pain, headache sufferers take more of these tissue poisons, only to excite another attack in the near future, thus maintaining the patient on a drugging merry-go-round.8
Just as we can “cure” the coffee drinker’s headache by giving him or her more coffee to stop the withdrawal or elimination of the toxins, so too, we can “cure” the heroin addict’s withdrawal symptoms by giving him or her more heroin. By prescribing the headache patient Esgic®, Ergostat®, Bellergal®, Cafergot®, Excedrin®, Fiorinal®, Vanquish® or Wigraine®, which contain caffeine, ergotamine or barbiturates, we perpetuate the problem. Many other medications also cause headaches, both the garden variety tension headache as well as migraines. These drugs include those used for angina and high blood pressure, as well as estrogen-containing birth control pills and estrogen hormone replacement therapy, often prescribed after menopause.
Medications may make you temporarily feel better, but they halt the detoxification process, thus allowing the storage of tissue irritants. Inevitably, when the body has the chance, it will attempt to mobilize and remove these irritants, initiating another round of pain. You will be trapped with rebound headaches in a vicious cycle of pain the rest of your life. Often, in order to recover your health you may have to temporarily feel bad so your body can cleanse itself of an offensive substance to enable a more permanent recovery.
The Solution is Usually Dietary
Nutrition is the Prescription
Eat For Health
  • Never Diet Again!
  • Lower blood pressure & cholesterol.
  • Recover from chronic headaches.
  • Meal planning guide with 100s of nutrient rich recipes to get you started.

End the Merry-Go-Round of Dieting
The End of Dieting
  • Easy-to-follow plan you will want to follow for life
  • Simple, flexible, and adaptable to your food preferences & dietary needs
  • Motivation and solutions to break free from food addiction—so there are no excuses
  • Menus and tips for those who are too busy to cook
  • 76 nutritious, easy-to-prepare recipes with time saving suggestions for store-bought foods
A basic plan to rid one’s life of headaches, as outlined in my books, The End of Dieting or Eat For Health, is to start a lower-protein, high-nutrient, plant-predominant (Nutritarian) diet specifically designed to avoid offending foods, as well as all caffeine-containing products. To start, headache sufferers should withhold all medication, including oral contraceptive pills, utilizing another birth control method. All herbal preparations, food supplements, teas, soft drinks, coffee and caffeinated beverages should be omitted, as well.
Since the use of medication, even in low quantities, can be the cause of headaches, the best thing a physician caring for headache patients can do is to withdraw medication. However, sometimes it is necessary to taper medications gradually or to do so in severe cases. Drugs to relieve pain are rarely necessary if headache sufferers are allowed to detoxify at the first sign of headache symptoms. Patients trying to detoxify and eliminate dependency on medication often find it useful to retire to a dark room and use ice compresses or a tight ice wrap around the head to reduce pain. An alternative can be to stand in a hot shower with hot water beating on the painful area.
Sometimes headaches continue for a few days while the body is still eliminating retained wastes, but usually this diet approach results in the quick elimination of the patient’s problems. Dietary modification alone results in a complete recovery more than ninety percent of the time.Once a definite recovery has been achieved and the patient is free of headaches for one month, some healthful natural foods that were prohibited in the first phase may be added back to the diet.
Taking care of patients with recurrent headaches or migraines is probably the most rewarding interaction I experience on a daily basis. These patients typically recover very quickly and most usually never return. They have learned the cause of their headache—a poor diet, and they let nutritional excellence protect their valuable health.
Anything that rapidly takes away symptoms or makes you feel better is likely to be a health risk. Taking drugs for headache relief is fraught with long-term dangers and is not a permanent solution. The Nutritarian eating style described in The End of Dieting or Eat For Health is a vegetable-based diet designed to maximize nutrient per calorie density. It is the most effective treatment for those with headaches. Rather than offering temporary relief, it takes some time to work, but it allows people to make an effective and permanent recovery from pain.
I have cared for hundreds of patients who have achieved total recoveries from migraines and recurrent severe headaches as a result of this nutritional program. Of course, no dietary approach to headaches will succeed without attention to other risk factors, especially sedentary lifestyle, smoking and lack of sleep. The road to wellness involves making the commitment to regular exercise. My clear message is that headache sufferers can’t just “eat better.” They have to go all the way and commit to nutritional excellence. The added benefit of losing weight, protecting you against heart disease and cancer and living longer, is a large bonus of adopting this vegetable-based diet style.
If you suffer with headaches do not despair. It will not be difficult to resolve your pain. Read Eat to Live or Eat For Healthfirst and then join my Member Center, where you can get additional support from other members who are experienced in this eating style. I want to make sure you get all the information you need to get started on the road to wellness, so you can’t possibly fail.
If your case is more severe and you are on daily medications to suppress headaches, it would be wise to work with your physician to gradually reduce your prescribed dosage, after having read The End of Dieting or Eat For Health and committing to the dietary program, as described. Other options would be to join my Member Center as a Platinum member to ask your questions in the online Ask the Doctor forum or to call my office and set up a consultation. Together, we can work on a plan to gradually remove your dependency on drugs and solve your problem once and for all.
1. Smitherman TA, Burch R, Sheikh H, Loder E. The prevalence, impact, and treatment of migraine and severe headaches in the United States: a review of statistics from national surveillance studies. Headache 2013, 53:427-436.
2. Breslau N, Lipton RB, Stewart WF, et al. Comorbidity of migraine and depression: investigating potential etiology and prognosis.Neurology 2003, 60:1308-1312.
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One of the key points of research that is made in Forks Over Knives is that rodents who were administered Aflatoxin, which is one of the worst carcinogens known to mankind right now, and ate 20% animal proteins were more likely to develop cancer than animals administered Aflatoxin that had 5% animal protein diets. Remarkably Aflatoxin has its origins in a fungus, which would be considered part of the Forks Over Knives diet.
There were three problems with this statement.
1. The conditions of cancer were suddenly present in all of the animals because of the administration of a known carcinogen.
2. The primary protein that the rodents were fed was casein, which is a dairy protein, not a meat protein.
3. The animals that were given a low protein diet actually lived shorter lives than the animals on the high protein diet.
The animals with the high protein diet certainly had more malignant tumors, but they lived longer lives. This was despite the fact that massive doses of Aflatoxin, designed to be fatal, would be administered. With these claims backing up the science of the diet, it is easy to see why Forks Over Knives doesn’t make the grade and is considered a hoax.


Summary: The doctors recommending this diet include Dr. Atkins among others. They say: Eating fats, even butter, fatty meats and cheese are not necessarily bad and should be added to the diet. They say the “low fat” craze has caused a rise in diabetes, heart disease.


The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet

Teicholz does, however, offer thoughts on meat being more nutrient-dense per unit of resources consumed than fruits and vegetables, and suggests that “the greater good health enjoyed by a nation eating more meat might save on health-care costs, thereby evening out the overall ledger.” She goes on to say that, if we returned to eating tallow and lard once again, it could free up much of the agricultural land currently dedicated to growing soybean, rapeseed, cottonseed, safflower, and corn oils.

“[Teicholz] has a gift for translating complex data into an engaging forensic narrative… [The Big Fat Surprise] is a lacerating indictment of Big Public Health… More than a book about food and health or even hubris; it is a tragedy for our information age. From the very beginning, we had the statistical means to understand why things did not add up; we had a boatload of Cassandras, a chorus of warnings; but they were ignored, castigated, suppressed. We had our big fat villain, and we still do.” (The Wall Street Journal)

“Ms Teicholz’s book is a gripping read for anyone who has ever tried to eat healthily…. This is not an obvious page-turner. But it is…. The vilification of fat, argues Ms Teicholz, does not stand up to closer examination. She pokes holes in famous pieces of research—the Framingham heart study, the Seven Countries study, the Los Angeles Veterans Trial, to name a few—describing methodological problems or overlooked results, until the foundations of this nutritional advice look increasingly shaky.” (The Economist)

Teicholz’s book shows that not only are foods rich in saturated fat not harmful to our hearts, but they actually are good for us.… Read Teicholz’s excellent book and tell me you aren’t convinced she’s right. (Chicago Sun-Times)

“A devastating new book…. [The Big Fat Surprise] shows that the low-fat craze was based on flimsy evidence. Nina Teicholz, an experienced journalist who spent eight years tracking down all the evidence for and against the advice to eat low-fat diets, finds that it was based on flimsy evidence, supported by an intolerant consensus backed by vested interests and amplified by a docile press.” (The Times of London)

The Big Fat Surprise should become mandatory reading in every science class…. Teicholz describes the human story of how bad science became federal policy, especially concerning the question of heart disease.” (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

“Teicholz has a knack for discovering long-lost research…. The Big Fat Surprise—well written and hard to put down—should help Americans wake up—certainly a few, and hopefully a great many—before it is too late.” (Sally Fallon Morell, President Weston A. Price Foundation)

“Bottom line: Teicholz’s book is well worth reading. It is an eye-opening dissection of some of the long-held nutrition myths we have accepted as fact.” (Psychology Today)

“Impeccably researched and expertly written, the prose glides while the citations are more than 100 pages in length. Through nearly a decade of research for the book, Teicholz consulted experts in the fields of research and epidemiology, clinicians and physicians, politicians and journalists, authors and food industry leaders. The Big Fat Surprise is a cross between a Who’s Who of the food policy world and Edward Gibbon’s extensive work The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire: it offers a complete record of the nutrition paradigm shift, from the birth of the diet-heart hypothesis, to the fabrication of the Mediterranean Diet, to the study of the Atkins Diet in action. Teicholz leaves no stone unturned…” (Paleo Magazine)

“Solid, well-reported science… Like a bloodhound, Teicholz tracks the process by which a hypothesis morphs into truth without the benefit of supporting data.” (Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review))

“This fascinating book raises important issues as Americans battle obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease….Thought provoking and well worth purchasing.” (Library Journal)

“Nina Teicholz reveals the disturbing underpinnings of the profoundly misguided dietary recommendations that have permeated modern society, culminating in our overall health decline. But The Big Fat Surprise is refreshingly empowering. This wonderfully researched text provides the reader with total validation for welcoming healthful fats back to the table, paving the way for weight loss, health and longevity.” (David Perlmutter, MD, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Grain Brain)

“A page-turner story of science gone wrong: what Gary Taubes did in Good Calories, Bad Calories for debunking the connection between fat consumption and obesity, Nina Teicholz now does in Big Fat Surprise for the purported connection between fat and heart disease. Misstep by misstep, blunder by blunder, Ms. Teicholz recounts the statistical cherry-picking, political finagling, and pseudoscientific bullying that brought us to yet another of the biggest mistakes in health and nutrition, the low-fat and low-saturated fat myth for heart health.” (William Davis, MD, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Wheat Belly)

“At last the whole truth about the luscious foods our bodies really need!” (Christiane Northrup, M.D., ob/gyn physician and author of the New York Times bestseller Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom)

“This meticulously researched book thoroughly dismantles the current dietary dogma that fat–particularly saturated fat–is bad for us. Teicholz brings to life the key personalities in the field and uncovers how nutritional science has gotten it so wrong. There aren’t enough superlatives to describe this journalistic tour de force. I read it twice: once for the information and again just for the writing.” (Michael R. Eades, M.D., author of the New York Times bestseller Protein Power)

The Big Fat Surprise delivers on its title, exposing the shocking news that much of what “everybody knows” about a healthy diet is in fact all wrong. This book documents how misunderstanding, misconduct and bad science caused generations to be misled about nutrition. Anyone interested in either food or health will want to read to this book.” (Nathan Myhrvold, author of Modernist Cuisine)

“As an epidemiologist, I am awestruck. Nina Teicholz has critically reviewed virtually the entire literature, a prodigiously difficult task, and she has interviewed most of the leading protagonists. The result is outstanding: readable and informative, with forthright text written in plain English that can easily be understood by the general reader.” (Samuel Shapiro, retired, formerly at the Boston University School of Medicine)

About the Author

Nina Teicholz has written for Gourmet magazine, The New Yorker, The Economist, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. She also reported for National Public Radio. She lives in New York with her husband and two sons.
Sandra Lora Cremers, MD, FACS

This is my idea which is very simple. The right answer to who is right in the diet wars, likely has to do mostly with your genetic makeup.

  1. One should not eat too many saturated fats in my opinion, especially if you have a family history of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, macular degeneration.
  2. Everyone should eat plenty of green leafy veggies if not on any meds that limit this. Eat salad daily from your own garden (pesticide free). Eat other fresh veggies as often as possible.
  3. Eat a very low carbohydrate diet is good for the majority of people. A no grain (ie. no gluten) diet may be needed if you have diabetes or a risk of diabetes in your diet.
  4. Eat wild fish that is low in mercury like wild salmon
  5. Eat organic foods as much as possible
  6. Drink plenty of water 64oz per day;
  7. Eat 2000-4000mg Omega 3 ideally from wild salmon, walnuts, some chia seeds–naturally;
  8. I recommend going Gluten Free for anyone who does not “feel normal” or has headaches, arthritis, dry eye symptoms.
  9. Avoid artificial sugars except for Stevia
  10. Get plenty of exercise: at least 10000 steps per day
  11. Meat: it’s a tricky issue. Kids should have protein in their diet. I still feel lean meats are best. My kids love steak, though, so it is a battle. I’m not convinced that eating fatty meats many times per week (& especially not 3x/day like my MD/doctor friend who owns a cow farm does) is healthy. We eat lean chicken 2x/week.
  12. Quinoa: we love it in moderation. My kids are slightly sick of it but trying to make innovative quinoa dishes.
  13. Moderation in one’s diet is likely best for most people but get your cholesterol and labs checked every couple of years starting at the age of 45-50: sooner if you have a family history of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, macular degeneration.

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