Many people suffer from malnutrition, but not what we traditionally think of as malnutrition. It’s possible to eat all day long and remain malnourished, if the calories we eat are nutritionally worthless.
In other words, anyone who skips fruits and vegetables may be eating too many calories while being short-changed on nutrition. Dr. Joel Furhman calls this crisis “excess-calorie malnutrition” or “fast food malnutrition.”
Eating fast food kills more people prematurely than smoking cigarettes,” he writes in Fast Food Genocide: How Processed Food Is Killing Us and What We Can Do About It.
In his quest to improve our health and steer us away from dangerous processed foods, Fuhrman calls out a few universal favorites. French fries and doughnuts are so dangerous that he considers them “suicide on a plate.”
Punctuated by pithy, easy-to-remember slogans like that, Fast Food Genocide is a guide to:
slowing the aging process
achieving and maintaining a goal weight
Fuhrman’s method is no mystery; it’s common sense. The secret is to eat a calorie-appropriate, nutrient-dense diet. The lack of nutrients in processed food, he insists, is what makes us fat:
“The lower the nutrients in the food that you eat, the more calories you crave.”
Fuhrman is far from alone in his fast-food condemnation. Quoting Dr. Kim Williams, former president of the American College of Cardiology, he calls heart disease “a 99-percent food-borne illness. “
And he laments all who are victims of America’s No. 1 killer:
“We know this is all needless suffering and needless premature death, because these people could have learned to eat differently.”
The three biggest health threats in nearly all restaurant fast foods and grocery-stores processed foods?
Salt, oil and sugar. A typical single fast- food restaurant meal, for example, averages about 3,000 milligrams of salt.
That’s 250 percent more than the 1,200 milligrams (less than half a teaspoon) Dr. Furhman considers safe for an entire day!
Limiting daily salt intake to 1,200 milligrams, he says, “is estimated to prevent 54,000 to 99,000 heart attacks each year in the United States.”
But what about fried onion rings, zucchini, okra and other fast-food veggies? Bad news, Fuhrman warns:
“When you fry a vegetable in oil, it doesn’t count as a vegetable anymore; it’s junk food. Oils are NOT healthy. They are rich in calories but are virtually devoid of nutrients and fiber.”
As for sugar, forget about it: “Any sugar added in our food is dangerous.”
A family physician, President of the Nutritional Research Foundation and author of seven New York Times best sellers, Dr. Fuhrman knows what he’s talking about.