Dr. Fuhrman - Smart Nutrition. Superior Health.
1-800-474-WELL (9355)
Home About Lose Weight Reverse Disease Success Stories Events Ask the Doctor Library Shop Member Center Children Vitamin Advisor

Question: My husband bought several of Atkins' books and other high protein diets which discuss carbohydrate "addiction." These books convinced him that he is a "carb addict." He says that after he eats a high carb meal, in a couple of hours he is hungry again; any validity to this idea?

Answer: It is important to keep in mind that a diet rich in animal products will always increase a person’s risk of a premature death. Contrary to the mis-information propagated by the lo-carb crowd who promote a diet where the majority of calories comes from animal products, humans will have higher incidence of chronic illness, (including kidney stones, gallstones, kidney malfunction, and diverticulitis) age rapidly, be much more likely to suffer from a decline in mental faculties and die prematurely when eating increasing amount of animal products.

It is true that unhealthy food is addicting, so there is some validity to the concept that eating refined carbohydrates results in addictive withdrawal symptoms. In other words, you get perverted withdrawal symptom from both overeating and from consuming disease-causing food. Almost all Americans are food addicts. They overeat and eat a diet largely of processed foods which lead to stomach cramping, headaches, weakness and fatigue a few hours after consuming such “fake” food. I call these symptoms “toxic hunger” to distinguish it from real hunger. Toxic hunger drives people to overeat and they are no longer in touch with the biological signals of true hunger (a throat and upper chest sensation) that directs us to the amount of calories needed to maintain lean body mass.

I discuss these toxic withdrawal symptoms in more depth in my book, “Eat To Live” because it is important to recognize that such withdrawal symptoms can be wrongly interpreted and treated with a heavy, high-protein meal which occupies our digestive apparatus for many hours. This can delays withdrawal symptoms for many hours, but is no more a cure than taking cup of coffee, other drugs, cocaine, or more junk food.

Instead of trying to drug away or suppress such withdrawal with toxic food or drugs, these sensations predictable resolve with a high nutrient diet, which is the cornerstone of Eat To Live. The diet I recommend is vegetable-based, (of course, it is not all vegetables) but it is not grain based, not meat based, not potato or rice based, and not fruit based. High nutrient eating will predictably lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, lower triglycerides, reverse diabetes and prevent perverted cravings. If your husband follows my general guidelines for nutritional excellence he will feel well, his addictive symptoms will stop and he will be eating a powerful anti-cancer, heart-protective, longevity promoting diet-style in the process. Unfortunately many best selling books promote diets that prey on people’s nutritional ignorance and many of these high protein devotees die prematurely as a result. Have your husband read my book before he commits suicide with a high-risk diet plan.

This question and answer is a sample of what you will find in Dr. Fuhrman’s Member Center Ask the Doctor Forum. Access to this forum requires membership. All Members can search the entire archive of questions and answers. In addition, Platinum and higher members have access to ask Dr. Fuhrman and his Medical Associates their own questions.

Join the Member Center today to have access to the entire archive of Ask the Doctor questions and to ask your own!

Ask the Doctor: Sample Q&A from the Member Center Forum
Ask the Doctor Forum (member login required)
Learn More About Membership

The End of Dieting
Free yourself from the merry-go-round of dieting

The End of Heart Disease
The Eat to Live Plan to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease

Nutritional Wisdom Banner