Gary Small writes that the only "cure" for Alzheimer's disease is prevention. The purpose of his book is to help the reader understand how to delay th...moreGary Small writes that the only "cure" for Alzheimer's disease is prevention. The purpose of his book is to help the reader understand how to delay the onset of the disease and its symptoms. The book focuses on several factors that may help delay the disease: strengthening memory skills, physical exercise, nutrition, mental workouts, keeping socially engaged, and stress reduction. Each of these components may help reduce the risk of debilitating symptoms of Alzheimer's.
Now, each of these components sounds like common sense. But his recommended nutrition program is typical of most doctors; it echoes the recommendations of the beef and dairy industries, and ignores the research. The program recommends ten servings of beef, bacon, chicken, and fish every week. This is in addition to 18 eggs and 32 ounces of cheese per week. While it is difficult to prove cause and effect, it seems logical that since high blood levels of homocysteine--induced by animal proteins--is associated with doubling the risk of Alzheimer's, one might try to stave off the disease by reducing or avoiding these foods. Why does Gary Small encourage people to eat these foods in a book centered on health? While he has a good handle on anti-inflammatory foods and medicines, why has he ignored the inflammatory properties of animal proteins?
I cannot recommend this book without a total revision of the chapter on nutrition.(less)
While modern medicine is excellent for curing contagious diseases, it fails miserably against the so-called chronic diseases of the affluent. Dr. McDougall's approach is very much anti-medical establishment. A nutrition system that helps people avoid expensive medical treatments, and really cures or reduces chronic "diseases" is not in the health industry's economic interest. But Dr. McDougall has been treating patients for many years, and his nutrition guidelines really work. They worked wonderfully for me, so I highly recommend this book.(less)
I was attracted to this book, because it contains some interesting ideas, like "we don't get fat because we overeat--we overeat because we get fat." T...moreI was attracted to this book, because it contains some interesting ideas, like "we don't get fat because we overeat--we overeat because we get fat." There may be some truth to this concept, and for me, it was the highlight of the book.
After that, though, the book goes downhill. Like a lead weight. Basically, Taubes recommends a diet very similar to the Atkins diet: meat, fat, and some green leafy vegetables. Yes, you can lose weight on this diet, but then you have to stay on it forever. Taubes is honest, when he writes that this is not a diet book, one that you follow for a while just to lose weight. Instead, it must be a long-term, total lifestyle change. And there's the rub. It is very very difficult to stay on such a regime for the long term. People feel sick and constipated on this type of regime. And, Taubes really gives short shrift to the many medical problems that will ensue.
For example, Taubes does not even mention the extra strain put on the liver and kidneys. Since someone following this regime will be eating TEN TIMES more protein than is needed, the excess protein has to be metabolized by the liver and kidneys. Yikes!
As another example, this sort of diet is not a good long-term solution for diabetics. Dr. Atkins admitted as much, in his second book. And there have not been many good studies of the circulatory health of people on this diet; Only one has been done (Fleming RM. The effect of high-protein diets on coronary blood flow. Angiology. 2000 Oct;51(10):817-26.) and the conclusions are that blood flow is impeded, and artery disease increases.
So here we have a journalist who is giving nutritional advice. He has never treated a single patient, and he is ignorant of the long-term effects of the regime he espouses. (less)
Everybody who eats should read this book. Here, you can find all of the good reasons to eat a truly healthy diet; health, nutrition, avoiding illness,...moreEverybody who eats should read this book. Here, you can find all of the good reasons to eat a truly healthy diet; health, nutrition, avoiding illness, longer and more active life, and reducing the horrid cruelty to animals that occurs in factory farms. I was impressed by all the interviews with true experts in the field. I was also impressed by the depth into which each aspect in the areas of health is explored. I also appreciated Freston's appproach to being a vegan--you don't have to go crazy; you can "lean toward" being a vegan and gain the fantastic benefits. My only qualm was toward the end of the book, when various supermarket items are listed--way too much processed food.(less)
What a wonderful book! I strongly recommend this book for anybody who eats, especially for those concerned about health and nutrition. This book is de...moreWhat a wonderful book! I strongly recommend this book for anybody who eats, especially for those concerned about health and nutrition. This book is designed for optimal nutrition, and I agree with the book 100%. Why? Because four years ago, I started following the diet described in this book, and my excess pounds just floated away. It was easy--it was not an exercise in will power, because after a few weeks, I did not miss any unhealthy foods (except for cheese--I still crave cheese occasionally). And since losing a massive amount of excess weight, I have not gained it back!
I have read other excellent books that describe the same diet/lifestyle. But Dr. Barnard's emphasis is a little different. He recommends that a newcomer to this diet just try it out for 21 days, and "get the feel for it." This is an excellent approach, because a newcomer is unlikely to agree to make this a permanent lifestyle change, until after he or she has tried it out. After trying it out for a few weeks, you will notice amazing changes--I sure did! If your blood pressure is high, it will decrease towards normal very quickly. If your cholesterol levels are high, they will start decreasing too. If you are overweight, then you will start losing weight. You will feel more energetic. If you snore, that might improve, and you might start sleeping more restfully. If you are diabetic, your blood sugar level may improve. If you continue with the lifestyle, your doctor will just shake his head in amazement, reduce your medications, and tell you; "Just continue what you are doing!"(less)
I found the first part of the book to be fascinating--the food industry's approach to addicting customers to ever-more-palatable foods. However, I als...moreI found the first part of the book to be fascinating--the food industry's approach to addicting customers to ever-more-palatable foods. However, I also found much of the book to be redundant, as the author keeps repeating himself, over and over.
The last few sections of the book were somewhat less interesting--the approach to end overeating. What I did not notice anywhere in the book, was how many clients or patients actually lost weight--and kept it off--using the recommended approach. Lots of theory; but does it work in practice?(less)
What a wonderful book! Dr. Esselstyn has proven, beyond any doubt, that changing to a healthy lifestyle will stop and even reverse heart disease. This...moreWhat a wonderful book! Dr. Esselstyn has proven, beyond any doubt, that changing to a healthy lifestyle will stop and even reverse heart disease. This is extremely important, because heart disease kills at least half of all people in the country.(less)
The author describes, over several chapters, the history of dieting and obesity studies. These sections are fascinating.
But the majority of the book i...moreThe author describes, over several chapters, the history of dieting and obesity studies. These sections are fascinating.
But the majority of the book is flawed. The author "follows" the subjects of a diet study performed at Penn State. I am not sure why this particular diet study was chosen--but the choice was a preordained failure. The study compared two-year trials of two poor diets--the Atkins diet and a low-calorie diet named "LEARN". Why did she not choose a diet study that holds more promise?
There are diet-lifestyle approaches out there that work--wonderful books have been written on them, by John McDougall, Colin Campbell, Tom Robbins, Caldwell Esselstyn, Dean Ornish, Gabe Mirkin, Joel Fuhrman, and others. These approaches are backed by a growing body of high-quality scientific research. Why did Kolata neglect to mention any of them? Why did she focus on the approaches that are well known not to work?(less)