Book Recommendations, Reviews and Author Interviews from

The End of Heart Disease By Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Publisher: HarperOne

REVIEWER: Dr. Thomas Johnson, NCSP, CPQ, IP

The End of Heart Disease
Available at Amazon
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0062249355
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0062249357

REVIEW by Thomas Johnson

The author of this well researched and written book, Dr. Joel Furman, is a board-certified family physician and nutritional researcher who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional and natural medicine.

The End of Heart Disease provides an exceptional, wide-ranging body of knowledge and case studies covering the interface of nutritional science, medicine and health. This is reflected in 10 chapters including the following topics: 

  • Food Can Either Kill or Heal, The Choice is Yours, Bypassing Angioplasty
  • Nutritional Excellence not Drugs
  • The Nutritional Path to Reversing Disease
  • Eat Food Nation: The Science of Fat Salt is a Four-Letter Word Comparing Cardioprotective Diets
  • The Nutritarian Plan
  • The End of Heart Disease Recipes, Your Questions Answered

This remarkable book should appeal to various health care practitioners and health researchers as well as those of us who are looking for evidence-based recommendations to prevent and possibly reverse certain types of heart-related illnesses. Unlike so much of today’s health care that is symptom- medication- and surgery-based, Dr. Furman stands out as a physician who is oriented to the causes of illnesses like heart failure. He sees a very high percentage of cardiovascular illnesses as being caused by food and beverage choices. Therefore, health care providers have the responsibility of studying nutritional science and utilizing that knowledge to address the causes of illness. He is so knowledgeable in this and feels so confident in his judgment that physicians who limit themselves to prescribing medications to treat symptoms and who don’t share the knowledge provided in this book could be guilty of medical malpractice just as it would be for an MD treating a patient with lung cancer who was smoking tobacco to not address this as part of the assessment and treatment.

In the first paragraph of the introduction, Dr. Furman sets a bold tone by stating: “Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. In fact, cardiovascular diseases claim more lives than all forms of cancer. About half of these needless deaths are caused by sudden cardiac deaths... heart disease kills many people many years prematurely, and most of them do not even make it to the hospital alive” [p. 1].

As a practicing health and family psychologist, I have been involved therapeutically with family members who have had to deal with the disheartening consequences of these tragedies. These experiences as a therapist have motivated me to try and understand what I can do to be more helpful to my patients/clients who grieve the aftermath of losing a loved one to heart disease as well as those looking for ways to prevent heart disease.

My studies have taken me to the research and writings of Dr. Furman and other health care practitioners who have discovered the healing powers of plant-based nutrition. While seemingly well out of the mainstream of treating the underlying causes of cardiovascular illnesses, Dr. Furman stands out along with Doctors Dean Ornish, Caldwell Esselstyn, T. Colin Campbell, Thomas Campbell, John MacDougal, Neal Barnard and others who believe in educating their patients and students about the causes of illnesses. All of these doctors are critical of the mainstream practices of doctors who only treatment symptoms with medications and procedures and who avoid dealing with the causes which are often found in what their patients eat and drink.

The doctors referred to above all document that often the causes come from the excessive consumption of so called “meat products” including dairy, eggs, beef, pork, chicken, etc. They all see the solutions in effective lifestyle practices including elimination or reduction of animal protein, saturated fat and cholesterol. In varying degree, stress control, exercise, education, whole food plant-based diets and avoidance of excessive alcohol intake are included in their treatment programs. They also attempt to correct faulty or dated information. As an example, dated information suggested that light to moderate alcohol consumption may be heart healthy. More recent studies indicate that “any exposure to alcohol likely has an overall negative effect on the heart” [p. 357]. This is consistent with the recent Health Canada advisory and based in the most recent scientific studies recommending that zero consumption of alcohol intake is best practice for heart health and health in general (i.e. see Statement from the Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health (CCMOH) on Alcohol Consumption).

As a psychotherapist, in collaboration with their physicians, I can help my patients understand the Harvard Stress Control program—which includes most of the above stated components—namely a whole food plant-based diet as well as exercise, meditation and certain types of counseling such as open-your-heart person centered therapy and/or cognitive restructuring counseling.

Dr. Furman discusses the treatment models of the doctors listed above and offers his assessment of the strengths and possible weaknesses of each variation of these whole food, plant-based programs. All these vegetarian diets have evidence indicating that they can reverse coronary heart disease. In contrast, Furman is not aware of any meat-based program that has demonstrated reversal of heart disease. As part of my therapy process, I can provide education on the various models. Physicians also must be educated, since according to Dr. Furman and other physicians who use these symptomatic treatment models, nutritional education is often very limited or minimized.

Educating patients on what he refers to as Nutritarian diet is central to his treatment programs. This treatment program emphasizes nutrient-dense foods that are high in phytochemicals (such as green vegetables, yellow/orange vegetables, beans/legumes, fresh fruits, nonstarchy vegetables, raw nuts and seeds and intact grains, and is designed to give the body the tools it needs to heal itself. Combined with exercise and other lifestyle practices. the nutritarian diet is the best defense against the ravages of disease caused by the SAD (Standard American Diet).

In summary and in conclusion, The End of Heart Disease provides an exceptional wide-ranging body of knowledge and case studies covering the interface of nutritional science, medicine and health. As part of my summary, I will reference what some of the outstanding doctors who have read his book have to say about it. I will also quote patients who have used Dr. Furman’s treatment model.

The End of Heart Disease means exactly what it says. This empowering plan will protect and strengthen your heart and transform your overall health. Dr. Fuhrman draws on a wealth of experience to present everything you need to know and answers your questions along the way.”
~ Neal D. Barnard, MD, FACC, Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine, George Washington University School of Medicine President, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine Washington, DC

“The comprehensive information supplied by this book will empower patients and physicians to make healthier lifestyle choices, The End of Heart Disease may just save your life.”
~ Robert Ostfeld, M.D., MSc., FACC, Director, Preventive Cardiology, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center

The End of Heart Disease lays out the science and steps to prevent and reverse the epidemic of heart disease. This must read book will be required for every one of my patients and family.”
~ Joel Kahn MD, Kahn Center for Cardiac Longevity, Professor of Medicine, Author of The Whole Heart Solution

The following statements are from patients who followed the Fuhrman program:

  • "I just had an angiogram after strictly following the guidance in this book for 1 year, and my coronary arteries are now clear and normal. I also no longer get any angina pain. This information most likely saved my life. A massive thanks to Dr. Fuhrman."
  • "The New Year’s Day purchase of this book and a related recipe book has changed my health and
    body. The doctor's message rang true, and I needed to take big steps to improve my health after a heart scare. The recipes were good, although we doctored them up a bit within the guidelines presented. I'm now 5 months in, have lost 20 pounds but more importantly I feel better and lost my cravings for salt, sugar and carbs. I purchased this on Kindle so I can easily refer to it on my phone."


Thomas Johnson, Biographical Note

Thomas B. Johnson completed his graduate studies at Brown University (US Public Health Fellowship in social psychiatry and medical sociology), Harvard University (master’s degree in counseling psychology), UC Berkeley (doctor’s degree in counseling psychology) and Duke University (doctoral internship in psychological services). He is a licensed psychologist, nationally certified school psychologist and a health psychologist and certified by the National Register of Health Services Psychologists. He has served as an adjunct professor at Bates College, Rutgers and the University of Southern Maine. He was a contributing editor of the NASP Communique for 10 years as their editor for alternative and complimentary approaches to health and learning. He has been providing a full range of psychological services including assessments, consultations, education, psychotherapy, supervision and research. He currently works as a consulting health psychologist and researcher.


Joel Fuhrman, M.D. is a board-certified family physician, six-time New York Times best-selling author and nutritional researcher who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional and natural methods. Dr. Fuhrman is an internationally recognized expert on nutrition and natural healing, and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television shows. Through his own hugely successful PBS specials, which have raised more than $30 million for public broadcasting stations, he brings nutritional science to homes across America and around the world.

Dr. Fuhrman is the President of the Nutritional Research Foundation, and is a member of the Dr. Oz Show Advisory Board. His work and discoveries are published in medical journals and he is involved with multiple nutritional studies with major research institutions across America.

Dr. Fuhrman is the author of six New York Times bestsellers: Eat to Live (Little Brown, 2003); Super Immunity (HarperOne, 2012); The End of Diabetes (HarperOne, 2013); The Eat to Live Cookbook (HarperOne, 2013); The End of Dieting (HarperOne, 2014) and The End of Heart Disease (HarperOne, 2016). To date, he has sold more than three million books.

In addition to his New York Times best sellers, Dr. Fuhrman has written several other popular books on nutritional science which include: Dr. Fuhrman’s Transformation 20 Diabetes (Gift of Health Press); 10 in 20: Dr. Fuhrman’s Lose 10 Pounds in 20 Days Detox Program (Gift of Health Press); Eat for Health (Gift of Health Press), Disease Proof Your Child (St. Martin’s Griffin), Fasting and Eating for Health (St. Martin’s Griffin) and the Dr. Fuhrman’s Nutritarian Handbook and ANDI Food Scoring Guide (Gift of Health Press).

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