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Show 1122: Can You Keep Fast Food from Killing You?

Fast food deprives the body and the mind of nutrition and sets us up for unhealthy behavioral patterns as well. How can we choose nutritional excellence instead?
Show 1122: Can You Keep Fast Food from Killing You?
Joel Fuhrman, MD, author of Fast Food Genocide
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Can You Keep Fast Food from Killing You?

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Fast food is taking over the American diet, and the effects are deadly. Processed meats, such as pepperoni or bologna, could be considered carcinogenic. Moreover, highly processed foods and fried foods set us up for heart disease and dementia. All the foods in bags and boxes with white flour and synthetic ingredients are a major source of calories but provide very little in the way of crucial micronutrients. What can we do about this problem?

Is Junk Food Addictive?

People who eat highly processed treats with lots of sugar, salt and industrial fats may find it challenging to give them up. Yet the food industry may be aware that these foods affect the reward center of the brain in much the same way as certain drugs. Calories that hit the bloodstream quickly may stimulate the dopamine-fueled reward centers of the brain. How can we avoid junk food addiction and adopt healthier eating habits?

Feeding Our Children:

Kids may like fast food and sweets, but such a diet is terrible for their developing brains. What should we be feeding our children to promote their lifelong health? Can we learn to retrain our taste buds so that we prefer foods that are good for us? Dr. Fuhrman believes that unhealthy eating has a negative impact on emotional health and that nutritional excellence is therapeutically powerful.

What Should We Eat Instead of Fast Food?

Dr. Fuhrman recommends we focus on the quality of what we are eating. He offers the memnomic GBOMBS: greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries and seeds. All of these foods are rich in nutrients and absorbed slowly. Recipes such as fudgy black bean brownies use no white flour or sugar and fit well into a whole-food plant-based diet. The recipe can be found on Dr. Fuhrman’s website, as well as below.

This Week’s Guest:

Joel Fuhrman MD is a board-certified family physician, nutritional researcher, six-time New York Times bestselling author, and President of the Nutritional Research Foundation. Dr. Fuhrman is on a mission to wipe out heart disease, diabetes and cancer with his best-selling books and PBS television shows which detail how you can reverse chronic illnesses nutritionally and naturally. His newest book, (with Robert Phillips) is Fast Food Genocide: How Processed Food is Killing Us and What We Can Do About It.
His website is https://www.drfuhrman.com/ The photo of Dr. Fuhrman is by Sandra Nissen.

Listen to the Podcast:

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99

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Fudgy Black Bean Brownies

Makes 16 Squares


2 cups cooked black beans or canned, no-salt-added or low-sodium black beans, drained
1 1/4 cups dates, pitted
2 tablespoons raw almond butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup natural, non-alkalized cocoa powder
1 tablespoon ground chia seeds


Preheat the oven to 200°F.

Combine the black beans, dates, almond butter, and vanilla in a food processor or high-powered blender. Blend until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and blend again. Pour into a very lightly oiled 8×8-inch baking pan. Bake for 90 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into small squares.

NOTE: These brownies can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to one week. For an added treat, serve with a dollop of Avocado Chocolate Pudding (page 296) on top.


From EAT TO LIVE COOKBOOK: 200 Delicious Nutrient-Rich Recipes for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss, Reversing Disease, and Lifelong Health. Copyright © 2013 by Joel Fuhrman, MD. Reprinted with permission by HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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