The Nutritarian

Healthy Eating Insight

What is a Nutritarian?

Written By: The Nutritarian - Nov• 16•11

According to Wikipedia:

“A nutritarian is a person who has a preference for foods that are high in micronutrients.

The term “nutritarian” was coined by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. In his book, Eat to Live, he offers this health equation, which also serves as a succinct summary of the nutritarian approach to health:

Health = Nutrients/Calories (or H= N/C for short).

In other words: the more nutrients you consume per calorie, the healthier you will be.

Nutrients in the numerator (top part of the equation) include vitaminsminerals, and phytochemicals. Since these are found in small quantities in food, they are considered to be micronutrients. Caloric sources in the denominator include the macronutrients: fat, carbohydrate, and protein. We need to meet our caloric needs without consuming excessive calories.

A high N/C diet is also called “nutrient-dense” or “nutrient-rich.”

In the Standard American Diet (SAD), less than 5% of the total caloric intake comes from nutrient-rich foods.

Nutritarians eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, onions, mushrooms, beans, and berries, and particularly consume leafy greens, which are the most nutrient-dense foods. A nutritarian strives to consume at least 90% of their diet from these foods.

A nutritarian diet will lower the risk of heart diseasecancerdiabetes, and even such conditions as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

Nutritarians do not necessarily exclude animal products. Many nutritarians do choose to be vegan (excluding all animal products). Many vegetarians, however, are not nutritarian, if they frequently consume products containing processed grains, oils, sugars, or salt.

It takes a bit of education to become a nutritarian. One must learn the relative nutrient density of various foods. For instance, many people are surprised to learn that bok choy has more calcium per calorie than whole milk, and even than “2% fat” milk. The same is true for many other leaf greens.

Nutritarian Milestones

The first nutritarian restaurant opened in Aspen, Colorado in 2011.

The first Nutritarian Food Festival was held in August, 2011, also in Aspen. Winning recipes included Chef Miles Angelo’s Yoga Roll with swiss chard and apple sesame dressing, Chef John Little’s Freekoto Cannelloni, and Chef Randy Placeres’ Yerba Matte with veggies, berries, ginger and nuts.”

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