March 2007 - Issue: 12

WHAT’S COOKING is a monthly bulletin to keep you informed about the healing power of food, great new recipes, individual success stories, and the latest from Dr. Fuhrman guiding you on the path to optimal health.

Dr. Fuhrman’s Tip of the Month

Avoid Excess Copper

Copper occurs naturally in plants and animals. It is an essential element for all known living organisms, including humans in a very small amount. It is needed to absorb and utilize iron. However, very large single or long–term intakes of copper may be harmful to your health.

Copper is found naturally in organ meats, eggs, meat and poultry, green leafy vegetables, oysters, nuts, dried legumes, wholegrain cereals, potatoes, and dried fruits. Cooking in copper pots also increases the copper content of foods. Copper deficiency is uncommon. Since most of us get more than we need naturally, we should be more concerned about ingesting too much copper.

Beware, most multivitamin supplements include copper. However, there is no need to take daily supplementation. In fact, excess amounts over time could prove to be harmful to long–term health! Recently, there has been quite a bit of research linking copper to heart disease, cancer and dementia.1,2,3 Studies have shown that excess copper might be associated with reduced immune function and lower antioxidant levels.4 Other studies indicate that high copper intake and diets high in saturated and trans fats could lead to an accelerated rate of mental decline in older adults.5

Based on this evidence, I removed the copper from my Gentle Care Formula multivitamin–mineral supplement. The absence of copper and of other potentially toxic ingredients such as beta carotene, iron, and vitamin A is one of the features that differentiates my multivitamin product from most on the market.

1. Leone N ; Courbon D ; Ducimetiere P ; Zureik M Zinc, copper, and magnesium and risks for all-cause, cancer, and cardiovascular mortality. Epidemiology. 2006; 17(3):308-14 (ISSN: 1044-3983) Unit 744 National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), Lille Pasteur Institute, Lille, France.

2. Senesse P ; Meance S ; Cottet V ; Faivre J ; Boutron-Ruault MC High dietary iron and copper and risk of colorectal cancer: a case-control study in Burgundy, France. Nutr Cancer. 2004; 49(1):66-71 (ISSN: 0163-5581)

3. Smorgon C ; Mari E ; Atti AR ; Dalla Nora E ; Zamboni PF ; Calzoni F ; Passaro A ; Fellin R; Trace elements and cognitive impairment: an elderly cohort study. Arch Gerontol Geriatr Suppl. 2004; (9):393-402 (ISSN: 0924-7947) Second Department of Internal Medicine, University of Ferrara, Via Savonarola, 9 - 44100 Ferrara, Italy.

4. Turnlund, J. et al. 2004. Long-term high copper intake: effects on indexes of copper status, antioxidant status, and immune function in young men. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 79: 1037-1044.

5. Morris, M.C. et al. 2006. Dietary Copper and High Saturated and trans Fat Intakes Associated with Cognitive Decline. Archives of Neurology. 63: 1085-1088.

— Joel Fuhrman, M.D.
March Menu

St Patrick’s Day Greens

St. Patrick’s Day Green Salad with Basil Apple Dressing

Split Pea Irish Stew

Doubly Delicious Greens

Avocado Currant Pudding


Food for Thought

What is the real beef about protein?

Many people are still tied to the myth that a diet needs to include lots of animal products to ensure adequate amounts of protein and to be nutritionally sound. All foods are made up of macronutrients: fat, protein, and carbohydrate. Macronutrients contain calories; calories supply us with energy. If people are overweight it is from consuming more calories than their body needs. Changing the distribution of fat, protein, and carbohydrates does not matter as much as changing (reducing) the amount of macronutrients (calories) consumed.

Protein deficiency is not a concern in the modern world. It is next to impossible to consume too little protein. The commercially–promoted myth that high animal protein consumption is necessary for good health is something we urgently need to dispel if we want to halt the heart disease and cancer epidemic. The notion that plant proteins are “incomplete” is a myth. Fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, nuts and seeds are all rich sources of protein.

In fact, there is a benefit to obtaining the majority of your protein from plant foods. Increasing vegetable protein and decreasing animal protein, along the lines of my Eat To Live plan, dramatically reduces cholesterol. Plus, plant–based foods provide an abundance of antioxidants and other cancer and heart disease fighting nutrients, which are not found in animal products.

So get the facts, there is plenty of protein in plant foods. Here is a list of some foods showing the protein content as a percent of calories. It might be surprising . . .

FoodPercent Protein
Spinach (frozen)51%
Watercress50%
Broccoli (frozen)45%
Chinese cabbage32%
Mushrooms31%
Lentils29%
Romaine28%
Kidney beans27%
Peas27%
Asparagus26%
Great Northern beans25%
Cauliflower23%
Oats15%
Walnuts14%
Almonds13%
Cantaloupe9%
Grapefruit8%
Brown rice8%

For more about protein, read my May 2003 Healthy Times Newsletter, Issue #7

Recipe of the Month

With the luck ‘o the Irish upon us, we’ll be seeing a lot of green, and with spring right around the corner, there will be much more to come!

Speaking of green brings us to some thoughts about green foods. Did you know that leafy greens, such as kale, mustard greens, collards, watercress, bok choy, and spinach are some of the most healing foods? Don’t leave you health up to luck, with ample consumption of green vegetables and other nutrient–rich foods, you can enhance your overall health. Individuals who eat a high nutrient diet with lots of raw vegetables, cooked green vegetables, and beans have healthfully low cholesterol. You never have to be concerned about overeating raw vegetables, salads, or cooked greens.

We believe that you’ll enjoy the March recipes which use some of the abundance of green foods available in your store’s produce section.

Testimonials

My name is Brian Clark,

On July 5, 2006 I was fitted with a stent. On July 7th, I discovered Dr Furhman’s book Eat to Live. I wished that I had read the book before the stent,for I surely would not have had the procedure done.

At 6 feet tall, I was 210 lbs with high blood pressure and high cholesterol (as high as 260 at one time). I was taking medications for high blood pressure, but I thought that my cholesterol was under control by eating almost no animal protein.

Now, I know the danger of trans and saturated fats. I have stuck to, and enjoy the Eat to Live diet. I have lost 40lbs and now weigh 170 lbs. My doctor has reduced my Lipitor to 20 mg. and hope to be off all medications not too far down the road. My total cholesterol is now 106, LDL 49, HDL 46, Triglycerides 57, Homocystine 10.2.

I have always been a runner and am running 2 to 4 miles a day with a 2 mile walk every day now. I feel so well now, and I am so very grateful to Dr. Furhman.

Thank you Sir.
Your patient through the book,
Brian C.

PS – Also, thank you for the bi–monthly Healthy Times Newsletters.

Read more success stories Click Here.

If you would like to inspire others with your success, please visit our website and submit your story online.

What’s Cooking at Dr. Fuhrman’s?

Something great just got better!

For a limited time, receive 20% off of every purchase of Dr. Fuhrman’s New and Improved VegiZest, soup and seasoning mix (certified organic and kosher).
Now sold in a larger container for a longer lasting supply.

*Offer valid through April 15th. Can not be combined with any other discounts.

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