To the Editor:
A recent article by Jonny Bowden (Why I Am Breaking Up With Whole Foods), contained numerous false statements about me. I would like to set the record straight.
Mr. Bowden claims that I am “a rabid vegan,” and states that I believe eating “food that comes from an animal” will cause you to “drop dead on the spot.” In the first place, I am not a vegan. Second, while my Nutritarian diet emphasizes eating a variety of high-nutrient containing plant foods, individuals following this dietary approach can include a small amount of animal products in their diet.
Next, Mr. Bowden lies about the ANDI (Aggregate Nutrient Density Index), which I developed to help people evaluate the micronutrient content of food. I based the ANDI system on 34 nutritional parameters — which are measured and recorded by the US Government — using equal-calorie portions of each food. Bowden stated, “So in Fuhrman’s highly biased system, anything that contains saturated fat gets points deducted, anything that contains cholesterol gets points deducted, and anything that includes pro-inflammatory ‘vegetable oil’ (i.e .industrial seed oils like corn oil and soybean oil) gets extra credit.” All of those statements are false. No points were deducted for saturated fat or cholesterol, and no points were added from vegetable oils.
The ANDI provides a useful framework for choosing foods according to their nutritional “bang for the buck.” But as I make clear in my books and on my website, these scores are only one factor to consider when you strive to achieve ideal nutrition and nutrient exposure.
Bowden is free to state his opinions on any topic, but at the very least, he should stick to the facts and not fabricate information. His false statements about me and my work are unacceptable, and obviously place his integrity into question. He also states that he is “board-certified” by the American College of Nutrition, when, in fact, this institution offers CME credit for physicians, but does not issue board certification. (Jonny Bowden responds to Dr. Fuhrman.)
As a physician and nutritional research scientist, my focus is on evaluating the latest breakthroughs in nutritional research to teach people how they can achieve maximal health and longevity through nutritional excellence. I have no preconceived philosophy or agenda, and work hard to be free of bias; I allow the facts from thousands of scientific studies to speak for themselves. I recommend people give more credence to studies that evaluate large numbers of people for decades and that use hard endpoints such as death or heart attacks.
Joel Fuhrman, M.D.
Board Certified Family Physician
President, Nutritional Research Foundation