by diana on December 13, 2011

in All the other good stuff

What foods can actually make you thin?

Catchy title and one that makes you go…….  really? Like I mentioned in one of my other posts on this blog, one of my favorite books is “Eat To Live” by Joel Fuhrman. In this post I am going to go over more info from his book. The title “Foods That Make You Thin” is actually from his new revised book (pg 117).

Below I will directly quote and indirectly quote parts of his book (starting on pg 117).

“Appetite is not controlled by the weight of the food but by fiber, nutrient density, and caloric density. …the stomach can hold about one liter of food, let’s look at how many calories are in a whole stomachful of a particular food.

It’s pretty clear which foods will let you feel full with the least amount of calories – fruits and vegetables. Green vegetables, fresh fruits and legumes…. Nothing else in the field is even close.

Green vegetables are so incredibly low in calories and rich in nutrients and fiber that the more of them you eat,

the more weight you will lose.”

Dr Fuhrman talks about the “one pound-one pound rule” which is that you try to eat at least one pound of raw vegetables a day and one pound of cooked/steamed or frozen green or nongreen nutrient-rich vegetables a day as well.

“The more vegetables you eat, the more weight you will lose. the high volume of greens not only will be your secret to a thin waistline but will simultaneously protect you against life-threatening illnesses.”

Dr Fuhrman has some great charts in his book. Below I will summarize two of them. I won’t type them all out but some items from each.


  • Oils – 3,900 calories/lb – 0 fiber grams/lb
  • Potato chips or french fries – 2.600 calories/lb – 0 fiber grams/lb
  • Meat – 2,000 calories/lb – 0 fiber grams/lb
  • Cheese – 1,600 calories/lb – 0 fiber grams/lb
  • White bread – 1,300 calories/lb – 0 fiber grams/lb
  • White meat – 900 calories/lb – 0 fiber grams/lb
  • Fish – 800 calories/lb – 0 fiber grams/lb
  • Starchy veggies (potatoes & corn) – 350 calories/lb – 4 fiber grams/lb
  • Beans – 350 calories/lb – 5 fiber grams/lb
  • Fruits – 250 calories/lb – 9 fiber grams/lb
  • Green Vegetables – 100 calories/lb – 5 fiber grams/lb

The next chart involves Nutrient-Density Line – which are based on identified phytochemicals, antioxidant activity and total vitamin and mineral content.


Highest nutrient density = 100 points

Lowest nutrient density = 0 points

  • 100 – Dark green leafy vegetables (kale, mustard greens, collard greens, Swiss chard, watercress, spinach, arugula)
  • 95 – Other green vegetables (romaine, bok choy, cabbage, brussels sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, string beans, snow peas, green peas)
  • 50 – Non-green nutrient-rich vegetables (beets, eggplant, mushrooms, onions, radishes, bean sprouts, red and yellow bell peppers, radicchio, cauliflower, tomatoes, artichokes, raw carrots
  • 45 – Fresh fruits
  • 40 – Beans (lentils, kidney, white beans, adzuki, black, pinot, split peas, edamame, chickpeas
  • 30 – Raw nuts and seeds
  • 25 – Colorful starchy vegetables (butternut and other squash, sweet potatoes, corn, turnips)
  • 20 – Whole grains/white potatoes (oats, barley, brown and wild-rice, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, bulgur, whole grain bread, white potatoes)
  • 18 – Fish
  • 15 – Fat-free dairy
  • 15 – Eggs
  • 15 – Wild meat and fowl
  • 8 – Full-fat dairy
  • 6 Red meat

As you can see, the foods that are the most nutrient dense, contain the highest phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals are the foods that contain the least amount of calories.

This is why he states that these foods help make you thin. When you eat more of the nutrient dense foods, you fill up and then eat less of the foods that contain more calories and less fiber and nutrients.

Losing and maintaining weight can be easy – just eat MORE of the right kinds of foods. When you eat more of the right foods, you have less room for the “bad” foods.


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