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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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I have found Live Right 4 Your Type to be the best single book I have read about healthy eating, but I could appreciate that book as much as I did because of what I learned from reading Eating Well for Optimum Health. I recommend that you read both books, with this one being the second in order.
If you are tired of trying to make sense out of all of the conflicting claims about foods, diets, and various diseases, this book is your answer. The author bravely takes on any school of thought about food (including unhealthy ones), and provides a balanced perspective on what is wrong with that approach.
Health is not only about eating. It is also about exercise, sleep, relationships with others, genetics, and environment. But for the part of health that relates to food, this book is the overall be-all and end-all for now. I say that not because of any weakness the book has, but simply because scientific information about health is expanding so rapidly.
As Dr. Weil points out, the information he shares in this book is often news to medical students and physicians. Food and health are subjects that are poorly connected in our minds at this time.
The book begins with an excellent section on what food means to us. While most health books focus on the disease related issues, Dr. Weil points out that food not only runs our bodies as fuel, but also is a source of pleasure (did you ever think you would hear that from a physician?), a way to create social interaction, a part of health, and a way to address some diseases toward restoring health.
The second section is on the basics of what our bodies need. This is where scientific studies are neatly put together into a consistent description. I was especially impressed with the section on fats. It is very easy to omit getting the right fatty acids in your diet, and I was pleased to see this issue addressed well here.
The third section then looks at the worst diet you could possibly eat (the fast food diet) and explains why the food is so appealing, yet why those french fries could be the death of you (for more reasons than you probably now know about -- beware of reused cooked fats!).
The fourth section goes on to look at the best diet you can eat. Don't worry! It's nothing extreme. In fact, those who are a bit fanatic about their food regimens may be disappointed. I was pleased to find that my regular Saturday lunch of vegetable soup and a half a tuna sandwich are a good idea. There's also no harping on the need to maintain some extremely low weight.
Weight is the next subject, and he looks both at how you should think about what your weight should be and how to get to that weight and stay there. A lot of the material on the satisfaction duration of the food you eat will be new and of interest to you.
The next section was also very helpful to me. It talks about how to buy food and how to decide what to eat and order in restaurants. Since I travel a lot, I always need help with the latter. I got a number of good ideas.
The final section was on recipes that are healthy and quick to make. Many of them sounded very appealing to me, and I was pleased to see that there were more for desserts than for any other part of the meal!
The appendices are very helpful. One summarizes the optimum foods to eat; another looks at how foods can help you deal with various diseases; and another summarizes nutrition information.
Dr Weil can definitely help you have a good time with your food and enjoy a healthy life, too! That's the kind of balance that we all need in our thinking about eating.
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on 9 July 2000
Of the many health books I have read, this is undoubtedly one of the best. In addition to providing a wealth of nutritional information, Dr. Weil evaluates various diet plans and exposes the dangers inherent in a number of currently popular ones. He offers medically sound and practical guidelines for healthy and enjoyable eating, stressing that for a diet to be followed successfully over a lifetime it must be a source not only of ample nourishment but also of ample pleasure and that healthful food need involve no compromise in taste. An especially useful feature of the book is the tips it contains for shopping and menu planning as well as for making sensible choices when dining out. Readers will also find Dr. Weil's advice very helpful when consulting cookbooks. For example, following the basic principles set forth in his book, I have discovered a gold mine of great eating in Sonia Uvezian's masterpiece, "Recipes and Remembrances from an Eastern Mediterranean Kitchen", which is filled with recipes for a myriad of easy-to-prepare, utterly delicious, and wonderfully healthful dishes that have earned raves from my family and guests.
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on 27 June 2002
About a year ago I took the advice offered in a customer review of the hardcover edition of this book and purchased the paperback edition as well as Sonia Uvezian's "Recipes and Remembrances from an Eastern Mediterranean Kitchen". I have been using both volumes regularly ever since. Dr. Weil's advice is sound, realistic, humane, and practical. I especially appreciate his concerns about the unhealthiness of fast food and his recommendation of the Mediterranean diet. Uvezian's book is a treasure trove of recipes for dishes that are both truly healthful and utterly delicious, and it is fascinating to read. These two books are exceptionally informative and easy to follow. I recommend them highly.
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on 28 June 2005
Dr Weil has not written a conventional diet book. Of course, nobody ever claims to have written diet books, just "ways of eating" - but we all know people often buy things like this to lose weight. In my case, I also wanted to prevent/ delay type 2 diabetes as I have a strong family history of it. He explains why we need the three major foodgroups, in what proportions, what micronutrients do for you, says how to cook with them, includes a brief chapter on weight loss and all of it is backed up by real, generally accepted science (as confirmed by my medical student friend). It is evident that Dr Weil hasn't got his doctorate via mail order (cough) and that it is in a subject where he might be expected to know about diets (ie not a cardiologist - why do so many presume that they know anything about diets when they work with hearts?) It's sensible, doable and unjudgemental. It is also very achievable - thank goodness for an author who understands the pleasure food offers and accommodates it without declaring any foodgroups out of bounds. You just have to use your common sense (not to mention natural instincts) as to how much is too much fat, how healthy a cookie is likely to be, etc. The recipes are Americanised but the point is to provide examples and much can be substituted. I'm really excited by what I've read (did I mention it was very readable too? Read it in an intense 2 day stint) and am trying now to include more veg and soy products.
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on 15 June 2001
I actually bought this book while on holiday in the USA. Dr Weil deals with all the major food groups and offers sensible, easy to follow advice on how to improve one's diet for health. He also be-bunks a few 'diet' myths and gives guidelines on diets for specific health problems, including weight loss although this is NOT a 'diet book'. He is obviously an enthusiastic cook but the recipes (in my edition at least) are not for people who don't know their way around a kitchen. They also rely heavily on 'American' ingredients and measuring cups.
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on 6 February 2015
Good book with lots of new info for me. I think it is well written and clearly owns the difference between Andrew's opinions and research evidence. It is also clear about the areas of nutrition that are not yet fully defined
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on 26 April 2010
I bought this book to assist me on a nutritional course that I recenlty enrolled on. I am very happy with my purchase, as it provides a good balanced view on nutrition.
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on 12 January 2012
Alongside doing more exercise this has improved my overall wellbeing, at least I believe it has.
I found the book informative and well put together with concise and detailed instruction with plenty of detail that you could skip or read further into.

I found that it worked but was also exercising a lot more so combined there was a great effect, not sure how much of it was which but overall impressed.
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on 24 November 2000
After reading the previous customer review, I purchased both this book and Sonia Uvezian's "Recipes and Remembrances from an Eastern Mediterranean Kitchen". They are two of the best investments I have ever made. My family and I have already benefited greatly from Dr. Weil's excellent advice, and although I own dozens of volumes on Mediterranean cuisine I now find myself cooking from Uvezian's book more than from any other. Her recipes yield incredibly delicious results and offer much better nutritional value than most so-called health food cookery provides. Both Weil's and Uvezian's books really stand out, and they are well worth buying even if you already have other titles on these subjects.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 25 February 2015
The extent to which you might find this book useful will largely depend upon how much you already know about nutrition. I take an interest in the subject and was already familiar with most of the information contained in the book. That said, it is well written, thorough, and although published in 2000 still relevant.

The author is particularly good at deconstructing fashionable diets and distilling them down to what is helpful, and less so, with each approach.

As another reviewer pointed out - and in the words of Michael Pollan - the key message about food and health can be summed up with these seven words:

"Eat food, not too much, mostly plants"
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