Book Summary: Disease Proof Your Child, by Dr.Joel Fuhrman (part 1)

Folks:  I read this book in one day.  Mostly because the library told me it was due the next day, but STILL!  It was a good book, and I’m so glad I checked it out.  I’ve been hearing all kinds of great things about Dr. Fuhrman, and when we were in New York I set out to read this.  Unfortunately there was a 50 year wait at all 44 branches of the libraries in Manhattan.  I guess that proves this guy is legit.  So I was lucky enough to get it back here in Utah pretty quickly.  A great read.  He’s also got a book that I am going to read next called “Eat to Live.”  So glad I found this stuff when I still have young kids (and maybe more to come) when I can give them the best shot at staying disease free.

Lots of this book was review, but I’ll share some of my notes on the things I found interesting/new.

Disease Proof Your Child (found here)


  • Problem: children are chronically sick with ear infections, colds, allergies, etc.  These lead to chronic adult problems like Lupus, Ulcerative Colitis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, etc.
  • The modern diet most children eat causes a fertile environment to house cancer in the future.
  • Most parents do not know what to feed their children (YES!  This was me a few years ago!)
  • Kids love healthy food, and healthy food loves them back.  We have to give it to them!

Chapter 1: Understanding Superior Nutrition

  • Low consumption of fruits and vegetables before and during childhood causes many childhood cancers (!!).  pg. 8, “Junk food isn’t cheap.  We pay a steep price for it years after consuming it.”
  • Instead of eating better, many parents turn to supplements.
  • Allergies to nuts comes from early exposure/misuse of antibiotics, brief/lack of breastfeeding, introducing solid foods too early, and roasting nuts.
  • Intelligence is greatly influenced by nutritious eating (he spent a lot of time on this.  Interesting stuff).
  • You can enhance a child’s health in the kitchen by:
  1. Stocking the home with a variety of fresh fruit, raw vegetables, raw nuts, and seeds
  2. Replacing animal foods with plant foods: bean burgers, vegetable/bean soups, fruit centered desserts.
  3. Using only white meat poultry, eggs a few times weekly, and other animal sources infrequently.
  4. Limiting sweets.  Remove white sugar, salt, and white flour.
  5. Reducing dairy, and using nut milks.  Cheese should not be kept in the home.
  6. Serving cooked vegetable main dishes every night.

Chapter 2: Preventing and Treating Childhood Illness Nutritionally

  • In medical school, Fuhrman learned that all drugs have toxicity.  Patients should first be treated with lifestyle and dietary modifications.  It seems very few of his colleagues follow this advice (That has been my experience too).
  • Symptoms of illness are a body’s natural response to deal with causes of disease: A fever promotes interferon production in the brian, which activates white blood cells to fight the virus; Coughing aids in expelling mucus and ridding the body of it;  Don’t be so quick to treat symptoms.  Rather let your body ride it out for a few days.
  • When you or your child has a virus, rest, drink water, avoid cooked food, eat produce when hungry.
  • ADHD can be greatly treated with diet.  One cause is excessive TV watching early in life.  He has seen up to a 90% success in his ADHD patients which he treats with diet modifications.  He goes into great detail about this, including an anti-ADHD plan.
  • Antibiotics are bad!
  • Childhood ear infections are a multibillion dollar industry.  Most are viral, and should not be treated.  In the US, patients are almost always given antibiotics.  This makes the next infection more likely to be bacterial.  It is a cycle.  We are given antibiotics, which decreases the good bacteria in our bodies, which causes another bacterial ear infection.
  • Milk, cheese and wheat are frequent partners in crime (for ear infections).  I’ll insert my own commentary here – This is infuriating to me!  How many of our pediatricians are almost violently adamant that we are giving our children several servings of dairy a day, and then raise an eyebrow and give you a lecture if you try to push back a bit?  It’s making our kids sick!  Ok done. 🙂
  • Dairy is the leading cause of food allergies in children.
  • Childhood diabetes is linked to cow milk consumptions.  Babies given formula are 52% more likely to develop diabetes.
  • The following disorders are strongly linked to milk consumption:  Allergies, Anal Fissures, Type 1 Diabetes, Chronic Constipation, Chron’s Disease, Ear Infections, Heart Attacks, Multiple Sclerosis, Prostate Cancer

Chapter 3: Understanding Causes of Cancer/Illness

  • We need to stop treating symptoms and start treating causes of illness.
  • Saturated fat, refined sugar, white flour all contribute to cancer.
  • Root vegetables and whole grains provide minimal protection.
  • Unrefined plant foods prevent cancer.
  • p. 81 “Childhood exposure has the largest impact on adult health.”
  • It takes 10 lbs.  of milk to make 1 lb. of cheese.  Cows are given bovine growth hormones.  Their milk contains: estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, prolactine, and other natural cow hormones.
  • Pesticides: Are they a serious health hazard?  Yes, especially around the home, lawn, and plants. There are links between farm workers who are exposed to large amounts of pesticides, who have higher levels of brain cancer, Parkinson’s, leukemia, lymphoma, cancer of the stomach, prostate, and testes.
  • What about pesticides on food?  It is unclear how hazardous they are, but eating produce with pesticides is better than avoiding produce all together.
  • Basically the younger you are, the more your cells are susceptible to damage from toxins.  It seems wise to try to feed young children organic whenever possible.

Stay tuned for part 2 coming soon!



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