Nutritarian Diet ReviewThe Nutritarian Diet is a healthy lifestyle diet focused on healing, achieving optimal weight loss and slowing the aging process. Also referred to as a nutrient-dense, plant rich diet (NDPR diet), this diet places emphasis on eating high-nutrient, whole plant foods that supply large amounts of micronutrients.

Created in 2003 by physician Joel Fuhrman, and first appearing in his book “Eat to Live,” the Nutritarian Diet is largely based on eating plant-based foods, gluten-free foods, and low-salt and low-fat foods. It restricts the eating of processed foods and promotes the eating of nutrient-dense and minimally processed foods.

Research conducted by Fuhrman, based on survey responders and case studies, suggests that NDPR diets have the potential to improve weight, lipids, blood pressure and, in some cases, even reverse severe cardiovascular disease.

According to Fuhrman, the key to optimizing your health and obtaining an ideal body weight is a matter of a simple equation H= N/C. This stands for “your long term Health is predicted by your Nutrient intake per Calorie eaten.”

How to Follow this Diet

When following this diet, the goal is to eat mostly whole or minimally processed foods while limiting foods that are processed. There is no restriction on the number of calories you can eat, but the Nutritarian Diet does set a percentage range of total calories that each food group should provide you daily. For instance:


30 – 60% of your diet should be Vegetables – You can eat as many vegetables (excluding potatoes) as you want as long as raw vegetables make up at least half of your total vegetable daily intake.


10 – 40% of your diet should include:

At least 3-5 servings of fresh fruit daily

A minimum of half a cup of beans and other legumes daily

At least 1 ounce of nuts, seeds and avocados daily, and no more than this amount for individuals whose goal is optimal weight


Maximum of 20% whole grains and potatoes daily – For weight loss purposes, cooked starches should be limited to 1 cup daily until you have reached your ideal BMI.


Less than 10% of:

Non-factory-farmed animal products (e.g. meat, dairy, eggs, fish and seafood). Followers of the Nutritarian diet are instructed to eat less than 8 ounces of such foods per week.

Minimally processed foods, such as tempeh, tofu, whole-grain breads and cereals.

Processed foods, sweets, factory-farmed meat and dairy should be consumed rarely or not at all.


This diet also discourages snacking between meals and encourages making one of your daily meals a vegetable salad topped with a nut or seed-based dressing. Moreover, in case of nutrient deficiencies, a multivitamin containing B12, iodine, vitamin D and zinc is recommended.

What to Keep in Mind About the Nutritarian Diet

More likely than not you will lose weight by following this diet plan. There is also a good chance that it will lead to lower cholesterol levels, lower sodium and reduce the risk of heart disease.

That being said, although the Nutritarian diet may be easier to follow for vegetarians and vegans, for those who are not vegetarian or vegan this is a highly restrictive diet and may not be easy for the average dieter to commit to for the long-term.

Be sure to consult with your own healthcare provider before starting this plan as it will require you to make dramatic changes to your diet and it suggests that you take a multi-vitamin to avoid deficiencies. Moreover, it may not be an ideal solution for individuals with certain health conditions, such as bowel disease.

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