The difference in these philosophies is really noticeable!
Dr. Joel Fuhrman, in his book “Eat to Live,” speaks of lowering our metabolism to increase our longevity. WHAT!!! How can that be? If you Google “increase metabolism” on the Internet you get hundreds of responses with advice on how to raise our metabolism to lose weight. Dr. Fuhrman pretty much stands alone on Google to lower the metabolism.
Dr. Mark Hyman says to do everything you can and there is a long list to reach ultra-metabolism.
Metabolism is our resting metabolic rate. It is the amount of energy that the body requires to maintain life. According to Dr. Fuhrman, “there are unfavorable consequences to running your body at faster than normal speed, and raising your metabolism is not the key to weight loss.” He says that by increasing our metabolism we increase damage to our DNA, proteins and lipids, thereby decreasing the body’s physiological functions over time and leading to tissue and organ damage which leads to chronic disease and death.
Dr. Fuhrman says that with a faster metabolism our body wears out quicker. This is due to oxidative damage. “In animals, energy expenditure is indeed inversely related to lifespan. Though both these mechanisms of aging are related, as a faster metabolic rate means faster energy turnover and greater production of free radicals, leading to increased oxidative damage.”
“A study on thyroid function published last year further supported the idea that a slower metabolic rate could prolong lifespan. Now, a new study has measured resting metabolic rate directly and come to the same conclusion. Metabolic rate was measured by two different methods at the start of the study. Subjects were followed for 11-15 years, and deaths from natural causes were recorded. For each 100 calorie increase in 24-hour resting metabolic rate, the risk of natural mortality increased by 25-29%. These results strongly support the hypothesis that a slow metabolic rate promotes longevity.”
According to Dr. Fuhrman, our resting metabolic rate is mostly genetic. We can influence it by reducing the number of calories we take in. Calorie restriction has been consistently shown to prolong length of life by up to 60% in animals. Fuhrman says, “My findings have demonstrated that an optimal micronutrient intake reduces the desire for calories and reduces body temperature and white blood cell counts. This means that if we follow a high-nutrient eating style that reduces calorie intake while meeting micronutrient demands we can reduce our resting metabolic rate and potentially increase our longevity potential dramatically.”
It is very interesting that Dr. Fuhrman says it is okay to raise your metabolism by exercising! This is because exercise does not raise our body’s basal metabolism; it raises the total caloric expenditure; therefore exercise increases longevity.
Dr. Fuhrman was once seen on the Dr. Oz show, with this huge bowl with greens and berries and recommended eating it for breakfast. The number of calories in that bowl was few and the nutrients were enormous! The idea of being able to get that many nutrients with so few calories is pretty exciting. If you are unsure about eating a salad for breakfast, you can definitely put that huge bowl into a blender and have a delicious smoothie!
Dr. Fuhrman’s theory is to eat so healthy that it reduces your desire to overeat and it slows your metabolism gradually. Anyone who has given up gluten, processed foods and dairy will attest to this. The less you eat the less it takes to satisfy you. If you watch the movie Forks Over Knives, it has a great illustration that explains this as well.
The information in this blog does not cover everything that Dr. Hyman and Dr. Fuhrman represent. It is just thoughts and explanation of Dr. Fuhrman’s assertion that maybe (well not maybe…definitely) we should not be running after the fastest metabolism maybe we should be slowing it down.
Both of their philosophies make important points and have so much to offer. The one thing they have in coming is that the standard American diet of processed foods (check and see if your food is in boxes or cans) does not work for anyone. In this case, anything we do will make us healthier.
Ultra Metabolism or low metabolism? It is something to think about!
What I do know is that when you change your relationship with food, you can live the life you want and I will guide you through the process of healthy eating for a lifetime.