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Nutritarian and Vegetarian: What’s the Difference?

Coach Melanie, 09/12/2015

You might think that being a nutritarian and a vegetarian are synonymous -- but are they? No! Let’s first define what it means to be a vegetarian and then explore how it is different from being a nutritarian.

A vegetarian avoids eating meat, but may eat dairy or eggs. Being a vegetarian can be a very healthy option if you eat nutrient-dense foods and avoid consuming refined grains (white flour, rice, white pasta), sugar, processed cereals, and meat substitutes that are often made with isolated soy protein and are high in sodium. But none of the aforementioned foods contain micronutrients like plant foods do.

A plant-based, vegetarian diet has many advantages such as lower cholesterol levels, less obesity, longer life span, lower cancer rates, and lower blood pressure. However, not all vegetarians strive to consume a nutrient-dense diet. If they consume a lot of vegan “junk food,” they could be worse off than someone who eats a small amount of animal products but large quantities of vegetables, fruits, and beans.

Ok, so what is a nutritarian? A nutritarian is someone whose diet is centered around vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, and seeds. This way of eating is different than vegetarianism because it is not defined by the amount or lack of animal products, but by its focus on consuming lots of high-nutrient foods like GBOMBS (greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries, nuts, and seeds). The diet can include animal products, but not more than 10% of total calories consumed.

A nutritarian prefers micronutrient-rich foods and comes to realize how food can help the body heal. The focus is on consuming foods that will enable the body to improve dramatically. Many who have adopted this lifestyle have reversed diabetes, heart disease, fatigue, and other diet-related ailments.

According to Dr. Joel Fuhrman, a micronutrient-heavy diet supplies your body with 14 different vitamins, 25 different minerals, and more than 10,000 phytochemicals (which are essential in immune-system defenses). This diet allows you to eat large quantities of food without worrying about counting calories or restricting your portions--eat until you’re full! And the more nutrient-dense foods you eat, the less you’ll desire junk food and empty calories. Eventually you may even be able to get rid of those food cravings altogether.  

If your body is properly nourished, you will attain your ideal weight without having to deprive yourself or count calories. Just remember this simple formula:  H=N/C (health equals nutrients divided by calories). That is the secret to reversing disease and a longer, healthier, slimmer life. If you need help along the way, I'm here to guide and encourage you. You can do it!



Source: Dr. Fuhrman’s Nutritarian Handbook

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