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Question: Any tips on staying away from sweets and treats that are constantly around us? Healthy eating is often considered a fringe pain in the pallet. Do you have any ideas for maintaining healthy eating in America's culture?

Answer: Absolutely. This is exactly why I've spent the last couple years developing my website, DrFuhrman.com. Because you're right, we are in a society where a person who eat sanely so they maintain an ideal weight or so they do not have a heart attack is seen as being odd, where the people who are essentially killing themselves with food are in the majority. And it does help to get the emotional support of a community of like-minded people. There are also a lot of simple tricks and things we've learned from experience that help -- little things like making a big pot of vegetable bean soup once a week, taking plenty of extra food with you to work, or making great tasting healthy desserts -- in other words not putting yourself in a position where you're hungry when the only foods around you are unhealthy ones. Obviously it would be much easier if convenience foods and most restaurants catered to truly healthy eating. So it can be a hindrance. I know people who after months of eating a nutrient rich diet say "I love the food, the recipes taste great and have dropped 50 pounds; the problem is that I have no friends any more." I'm somewhat kidding, but the point is that our society supports a toxic diet-style, not nutritional excellence.

At times people often feel threatened or frustrated by someone not eating the foods that they like, and I believe there are a couple reasons for this. First, food has become a form of recreation and is often, understandably, a focus of social gatherings. When you say no to the foods others are eating sometimes people can take that as though you're saying no to them. So of course, it's always wise to pass on any food you don't want in a thoughtful way. At times, though, the annoyance is a result of someone's food addictions. Like the alcoholic that doesn't want to drink alone, they may feel threatened if there is some suggestion that there's something wrong with the food they are eating.

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