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Old 05-11-2011, 05:29 PM   #1
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My doc told me to eat like a gorilla (Fuhrman diet)

I went to see a new doctor today--I haven't been to the doc in a couple of years, wanted to talk about weight loss & several other issues.

At the end of a very frustrating visit (it was 2 hours between when they told me to arrive & when he walked into the exam room), he handed me a diet and told me to follow it strictly for 6 weeks. I asked him why he recommended it, and he snapped very harshly, "Because it works!"

I just sighed & stared at the sheet of paper, trying not to Hulk out; then he backtracked a little, and said "It's how gorillas eat. They are very healthy & don't get broken bones. They don't worry about calories or protein."

Ummmm.....neither do lions or sharks?! Or any animals that eat their natural diet?!

This is a very strict vegan diet, and super-high in carbs.
It is meant to be very high in nutrients, too, and perhaps it is a healthy diet for some; however, I wonder if he would prescribe this to EVERYBODY, including diabetics? (I haven't been diagnosed with diabetes, but it's on both sides of my family...and obviously with my weight & interest in low-carb, am concerned about what food does do my blood sugar!)

1) 1lb per day of green leafy vegetables
2) 1lb per day of cruciferous veg. (1/2 raw, 1/2 steamed)
3) 1-3 cups per day of legumes (beans, lentils, etc)
4) All other vegetables with intense color, avoid starchy ones
5) Fresh fruits & berries
6) organic non-salted seeds & nuts; avocado (limit for weight loss)
7) Barley, oatmeal, brown rice (no other grains)

NO meat, fish, poultry, dairy, eggs, or juices.

--I used to eat pretty much like this; I was exhausted and fell asleep EVERYWHERE!


Wouldn't it be more responsible to wait for test results to come back before deciding what diet to put a patient on?

Has anyone heard of or tried this diet?
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Old 05-11-2011, 05:43 PM   #2
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Someone close to me did it - she actually went to Fuhrman - I believe he had her eating plain chicken breast and fish too .. she is not vegetarian. In her case, I think she was also trying to eat as best as she could for a cancer diagnosis.

I do know I could never do that diet unless I was in some country where nothing else (that I eat) was available. I do like high fat .. hahaaa I kinda ate like the fuhrman diet in costa rica for a week this summer since I had mostly fruit available to me and not much else

As for what to do when he has told you to do that program .. I am at a loss! Maybe South Beach .. which has all those food items + meat ( but also has dairy and eggs which I think are out on Fuhrman) ... it is lower fat than atkins, yet it is lowcarb. I will tell you that had South Beach existed when I started, it probably would have made more sense for me to do that program .. and I am pretty sure I could have succeeded on it too.

hth!!



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Old 05-11-2011, 05:44 PM   #3
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I've adopted a vegan diet for 4-5 mo. before going low carb/paleo.. I'm familiar with Dr. Fuhrmann and most of the docs that promote Veganism ( I actually recall watching a youtube video where Dr. Atkins was sitting next to one of the doctors that promote veganism. It was when he [Atkins] remarked amidst a heavily disparate environment, "I am concerned that the American Heart Association's recommendations of Fruit Loops and Pop Tarts having their Seal of Approval, if that's their recommendation, I'm certainly happy that they're not in my camp. I wouldn't want them there." Quite a memorable moment.)

I can honestly tell you I don't recommend it. See Letthemeatmeat.com for some ex-vegan interviews...
One popular vegan food blogger actually went back to being an omnivore ( one among several ) because they had been experiencing health problems ( and even with taking b12/iron supplements, her results turned out to reflect that she was deficient! ) .. it's just... not good.

Also, I posted this link in another thread ( in Organic/Natural Eating ) but I think some may find it useful :

Vegans Are Cannibals: The Truth Behind The “New Vegan High” - GNOLLS.ORG
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Old 05-11-2011, 06:06 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by piratejenny View Post

1) 1lb per day of green leafy vegetables
2) 1lb per day of cruciferous veg. (1/2 raw, 1/2 steamed)
3) 1-3 cups per day of legumes (beans, lentils, etc)
4) All other vegetables with intense color, avoid starchy ones
5) Fresh fruits & berries
6) organic non-salted seeds & nuts; avocado (limit for weight loss)
7) Barley, oatmeal, brown rice (no other grains)
Gorillas have access to grocery stores? They sure don't get these in the wild! Not too sure they get too many fresh fruits and berries either. They also eat meat!
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Old 05-11-2011, 06:09 PM   #5
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Well, gorillas have great enormous bellies to process all that vegetable matter. And perhaps they are indeed 100% vegan, but I'm not so sure they don't get the occasional small critter and insect in their diet as well.

I know chimpanzees eat the occasional bit of animal protein when they are able to actually catch and rip apart a little monkey they can get surrounded in a tree. And any other small animals and insects. Mostly vegetable matter, with a bit of meat for them.

I suspect we are actually intended to eat a diet much like the chimps. When an animal's teeth are studied, that pretty much tells the tale of what types of foods that animal evolved to eat. We don't even have the 'fang teeth' development of a chimp, and we do have the big grinding molar teeth of vegetarian animals. Carnivores don't have the flat surface grinding molars like we do, and instead have sharp, narrow meat cutting/tearing molars.

Carnivore teeth are very different from the teeth of grazers, and as omnivores, our teeth are somewhat in between but closer to the grazers.

I know I couldn't be very happy on that 'gorilla' diet. I love, love, love my veggies and fruits, etc. but I still have to have my meats.
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Old 05-11-2011, 06:13 PM   #6
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I will think about this for a few days, and wait for my test results before I make a decision.

I was a vegetarian for 20 years, and vegan for 2 of those. I was thin during that time...but am not convinced that this diet would be healthy for me right now, and the doctor did nothing to convince me. That is, he didn't give me any other options or explain why this diet would be better for me than any other.

Even if I do this "just" for 6 weeks, I am concerned it will undo what I've accomplished so far. Ok, I haven't lost weight; but I've learned to eat MUCH smaller amounts of food. And I don't get shaky and cranky when I'm hungry. According to Dr. Bernstein eating large amounts of high-fiber produce distends the stomach & causes an insulin release.

This doctor did say, "I don't care about fat."
But he was pretty rude & I don't know if I can trust him
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Old 05-11-2011, 06:14 PM   #7
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OMG, I getting gas now just looking at that diet!
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Old 05-11-2011, 06:15 PM   #8
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Well heck I could do "the Balinese Cat Diet" My cats are slender healthy..energetic..the are carnivores....with an occasional fly to complete the meal ( are flies MEAT?)

Is there any end of the silly things people come up with?
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Old 05-11-2011, 06:25 PM   #9
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OK, I will just say it: that doctor is a nitwit.

Why in the world would he recommend a diet another animal evolved to live on? Why not recommend the diet humans evolved to live on?
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Old 05-11-2011, 06:26 PM   #10
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OK, I will just say it: that doctor is a nitwit.

Why in the world would he recommend a diet another animal evolved to live on? Why not recommend the diet humans evolved to live on?
this.
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Old 05-11-2011, 06:27 PM   #11
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OK, I will just say it: that doctor is a nitwit.

Why in the world would he recommend a diet another animal evolved to live on? Why not recommend the diet humans evolved to live on?
I think the thought is that as one of the primates, we have evolved to eat a somewhat similar diet as the other great apes.

ETA: I think this must be along the lines of feeding your dogs and cats on raw meats/bones/etc. as they originally ate as wild canines and felines.

Last edited by SoHappy; 05-11-2011 at 06:28 PM..
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Old 05-11-2011, 06:28 PM   #12
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When doctors give diet advice, it really irritates me. If anyone needs proper diet and nutrition advice I strongly recommend a Registered Dietitian. In all reality most doctors take maybe 1-2 nutrition classes total in their medical education career and usually just stick with with general diet advice (cut your calories, cut your fat, watch your portions, eat more fruits and veggies, etc), which may be good advice for some but it just doesn't work for everyone. Now, I am not saying that doctors don't have any idea about nutrition, but I am saying most are probably severely lacking. This diet to me sounds really strict and not adaptable to a real life person unless you already practice vegan or vegetarian.

If what you are doing is working, then keep doing it. I am actually getting my masters in Human Nutrition and while I do suggest everyone follow the basic diet with "everything in moderation" I know that its not the optimal diet for everyone, its about being adaptable to your clients and yourself, and I don't think your doctor did a very good job...

Just my opinion as well---no intentions to rile up others that have different views
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Old 05-12-2011, 01:32 AM   #13
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My concern isn't the diet itself but the fact that you considered the doctor 'rude' and he didn't discuss the merits of the diet or why it is the correct WOE for you personally, etc.

On that basis alone, I'd ignore his advice and find another doctor. I don't tolerate rudeness from medical 'professionals.'
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Old 05-12-2011, 01:53 AM   #14
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I've been to a few doctors about diet and nutrition. The only good visits were with doctors who specialized in weight loss. Your description of your appointment sounds nothing at all like what I would consider a "good" visit.

Just to give you an idea what is supposed to go down:

- routine physical stuff, weigh in, body fat analysis, etc etc

- the doc sits down, explains your metabolic stats and potential issues and options

- if a change in diet is proposed, the doc talks to you about the way you eat now, your work schedule, and then an assessment is given of that

- the doc then lays out some diet plans, and goes through the benefits and drawbacks of each, what results can be expected; then he/she asks you which sounds the best to you

If your doctor isn't giving you multiple options, and is forcing a single plan on you without discussing your body and your lifestyle on an individual level, then your doctor isn't doing their job. Just because there's a degree on the wall doesn't mean you're in the presence of genius.
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Old 05-12-2011, 03:03 AM   #15
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I tend to be on the naughty side--but IF I were YOU, I would do the following:
Seeing that LC works for me--and that is changed my bloodwork beautifully, I would continue on with what I'm doing (LC) and not say a word to that wonderful doctor you found. Then, when he sees your weight loss--and sees your bloodwork and starts the "I told you so...." stuff, then I would tell him that I was on a LC diet with proof as results--and walk out the door. Of course, I would also stop by the receptionist and tell her/him that I would not be paying for this visit as the doctor did nothing to help.

Reminds me of the time I was bemoaning my weight during pregnancy--my OB gave me a sheet and said here, follow this. I was a decent diet of.....1500 calories. That's was my breakfast ration.
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:21 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoHappy View Post
I think the thought is that as one of the primates, we have evolved to eat a somewhat similar diet as the other great apes.

ETA: I think this must be along the lines of feeding your dogs and cats on raw meats/bones/etc. as they originally ate as wild canines and felines.
I kinda agree...in a sense..at least from a preventative standpoint...

I am guessing if anyone actually followed the advice from the get go, if obesity wouldn't be an issue in the first place. While I think weight loss is individual, I am pretty sure obesity wouldn't be an issue if people ate properly from childhood on. It is quite possible that weight issues are a symptom of eating too much. And repairing ones body isnt the same as prevention.

I have a hard time believing that anyone became 50pds, 75 pds, 100 pds or 200 pds overweight because they ate too many fruits, veggies, and whole grain toast and calorie intake 1500-2500. Docs might not be experts in losing weight, but I am pretty sure they know how not to get fat (for the average person).

I am sure it had something to do with the twinkies, cheetos, PLUS meat, veggies and fruits. High fat-high carb-high calorie. I have YET to see a diet that recommends that...
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:45 AM   #17
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Jenny, your doc may be reacting to the fact that, as you say "I haven't lost weight"on your current plan. Honestly I think a lot of doctors have a knee-jerk reaction to us obese patients with respect to what/how much we eat (I remember it so so well) - in his mind, if you haven't been losing weight on a weightloss program than it is not working. But you would think he would be good enough to have that conversation with you ..

I bet he would be behind a program that leaves your bloodwork, the better insulin response, satisfaction with smaller portions you describe AND weightloss much improved .. and maybe if you think along those lines and can show a weightloss in those six weeks, he will be more reasonable. Maybe it is time to go to ther next level with the food plan you have chosen since you have all those wonderful effects and just need to get the weight shifting ..

just a thought!!!!



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Old 05-12-2011, 06:29 AM   #18
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TaDa!
Thanks,
But he didn't even let me outline my WOE, or ask me how long I'd been doing it. I started to tell him, and he interrupted to ask my medical history. We didn't discuss diet again for the rest of the appointment; at the end he handed me the diet & a prescription for Lovaza, but he didn't ask if I had any questions, or explain how I might feel if I made such a sudden, drastic diet change...from experience in the health food world, most people would have detox/digestive issues with this, especially with no transition period.
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Old 05-12-2011, 07:01 AM   #19
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We have the teeth of an omnivore, we have the digestive system of an omnivore, therefore we are meant to be omnivores.

Gorillas eat gorilla food, tigers eat tiger food, and we should eat human food.

Our closest relatives, Chimps are omnivores.

I don't think any one diet is good for everyone. I know that if I eat more than 30 carbs in a day, I put on weight. The rest of my family weighs close to or over 300 pounds, by going low carb I'm down to around 180.

Before agriculture, the high carb food like seeds, tubers, and fruit ripened/matured right before the starvation season (winter in the temperate zones, dry season in the tropics). This allowed the omnivores (like bears, chimps and humans) to put on a lot of fat reserves for the starvation season -- hopefully to survive until spring when the young animals (easy to catch, tasty to eat) could provide us with protein.

Veggies are hard to digest. That's why cows have multiple stomachs, horses have incredibly long intestines, and rabbits eat their own feces to run them through their digestive tract a second time.

Plus if you look at the animal kingdom it's easy to notice. The vegetarian animals are the stupidest and the carnivores are the smartest. The conclusion I make from that is among other factors, animal protein is good for the brain.

One more thing. Insulin is a necessary evil. We need it to transport the sugar to our cells, but too much burns out your capillaries. That's why diabetics age much quicker, lose their eyesight and burn out their kidneys. I've even read insulin referred to as the "killer hormone".

By being low glycemic (low carb) we reduce the amount of insulin needed by needing to release it slowly. This reduces the damage done when someone eats a lot of sugar, releases a lot of insulin, processes the sugar, and leaves the excess insulin in our blood vessels to do damage.

My father had type 2 diabetes (insulin resistant). Instead of controlling it with diet, he chose to control it with drugs. The drugs increased the amount of insulin produced by the body. This took care of the sugar, but it burned out his heart and kidney blood vessels. He died at the age of 72.

Personally, while I think that fruit and veggies are definitely good for you, they should be consumed in moderation and after the protein. This lowers the amount of insulin needed because they are diluted by the other food.

Of course, I'm not a doctor, I don't play one on TV, and I am neither qualified nor pretending to give medical advice. This is what works for me. I'm 65 years old with retinas and therefore an immune system of someone 45 years old (so says my eye doctor). I am reasonably trim, have more energy than my peers, and haven't missed a day of work in my life. I do catch a mild cold every 5 years or so, but I suppose that is what is necessary to keep the immune system strong.

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Old 05-12-2011, 08:17 AM   #20
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I eat like a gorilla! I scream, jump up and down and beat my chest if someone touches my pork rinds.
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Old 05-12-2011, 08:38 AM   #21
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I am more concerned with the total disregard your Dr had with working with you. Patients do better, are more compliant if they are included in all treatment plans. The fact that he did not discuss the pros/cons of that eating plan and discuss why he felt it was inappropriate but rather "snapped" at you when you tried to ask a question tells me that you should find a different Dr. I recently had a new Dr react similarly when I questioned him and he snapped at me - it was our last visit.

I would die if I ate that diet, plain and simple. It may be "healthy" for gorillas but I could never process the fiber on the plan. Diets are not, as you know, one size fits all. What works for me and what I need is specific to me.

I hope you can find a true partner in your healthcare. No one should be treated like that by a Dr.
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Old 05-12-2011, 08:44 AM   #22
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TaDa!
Thanks,
But he didn't even let me outline my WOE, or ask me how long I'd been doing it. I started to tell him, and he interrupted to ask my medical history. We didn't discuss diet again for the rest of the appointment; at the end he handed me the diet & a prescription for Lovaza, but he didn't ask if I had any questions, or explain how I might feel if I made such a sudden, drastic diet change...from experience in the health food world, most people would have detox/digestive issues with this, especially with no transition period.
You know what then? It sounds to me like he once looked over that diet - or had a patient who was successful on it or he knows Dr. Fuhrman (I think he is in NJ) and his success with it .. and that he hands it to every patient who is overweight .. in which case, I'd just not do it and instead do something that is healthy, has enough calories/carbs and isn't a starvation diet .. and most importantly, is one you can succeed on. -- and try and get it "approved" by your regular doctor, as we are supposed to do - instead of this guy.

I have had my share of doctors just treat me that way - be impatient with me when I was big, and sometimes downright rude and unhelpful. I am really sorry you are going through this.



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Old 05-12-2011, 10:24 AM   #23
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But he was pretty rude & I don't know if I can trust him

This is reason enough to get a new Doctor..... I would not continue to go to someone that I did not like or trust. I found a list of doctors that promote low carb living, by state, on the livinlavidalocarb.com website. You might want to check it out to see if there are any doctors in your area
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:36 AM   #24
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yes, it's very discouraging. of course there is no good reason to eat like that. I know on that diet I could easily gain a pound a day indefinitely.

of course pretty much NO ONE ever eats the diets doctors tell them to, so he won't be surprised or hurt when you also fail to comply! LOL

good luck *hug*
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:43 AM   #25
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Don't gorillas eat poop and other gorillas?
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:43 AM   #26
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And obnoxious doctors?
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:54 AM   #27
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Don't gorillas eat poop and other gorillas?
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And obnoxious doctors?
I wondered when you'd pop in!

To the OP. Please get a second opinion before trying this plan because I sure would in a microwave minute!
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Old 05-12-2011, 11:19 AM   #28
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Don't gorillas eat poop and other gorillas?
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Originally Posted by cleochatra View Post
And obnoxious doctors?

Lol, love this, also love your new avatar
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Old 05-12-2011, 11:23 AM   #29
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And obnoxious doctors?
Nah. Prolly give the gorilla the runs.
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Old 05-12-2011, 11:56 AM   #30
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OMG, I getting gas now just looking at that diet!


I'm glad I wasn't the first to say it. The first thing I thought was, "farts... lots of farts"
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