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Customer Review

16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fasting and Eating, 8 Jun. 2012
This review is from: Fasting--and Eating--for Health: A Medical Doctor's Program for Conquering Disease (Paperback)
I remember the time when I met an old friend I had not seen for more than twenty years. I was shocked to see how slim he was today compared to the time I had first known him. Because when he was a young adult he was already obese, I asked him if he had been recently on a diet or something. He said he hadn't done anything special: "I just eat less, that's all."

I recount this story because when I read "Fasting and Eating for Life" I was struck by the following sentence: "For the majority of people, being overweight is not caused by how much they eat, but by what they eat." Personally I believe both are true. One does not have to exclude the other. How much you eat is just as important as what you eat.

Another sentence that struck me is: "If you wish to commit suicide with food, killing yourself as quickly as possible with a heart attack, cancer, or stroke, focus your diet on fat-based foods such as meats, most dairy products, vegetable oils, and salad dressings rather than on fruits and vegetables - the complex carbohydrates." This completely ignores the typical European diets, and in many other parts of the world, which are relatively rich in good fats like olive oil for example, but where there are also very few obese people and a generally healthier population with less heart diseases and cancer mortalities. That statement is also contradicted by more recent studies on fat that have pushed the medical community to reevaluate its recommendations in terms of fat consumption. These studies have revealed that among the various fat sources that are available the majority of them are not as harmful as previously thought. What is important to understand is that it is mainly the trans-fats that are damaging.

The main reason I bought this book in the first place was to learn more about fasting for body cleansing. I had previously read the work of H.M. Shelton on fasting and was looking for a more up to date work on the subject. But in that respect I was disappointed. Like many other reviewers have already mentioned this book contains few informations about the fasting process itself. It mainly focusses on diseases which can be cured by fasting. Unfortunately it does not say much about how to conduct a fast, or what to expect when fasting. And the information given can be questionable at times. Take the following sentence for example: "I advise against sunbathing as the fast is already dehydrating". Further on the author says "Since fasting is mildly dehydrating I do not encourage sunbathing or hot baths during the fast." It is a good advice in regards to hot baths, which can indeed cause dehydration. But sun bathing remains a good opportunity to take some vitamins in and is a natural source of energy. If done with moderation, with small exposures each day, it can help the patient to better support the fasting and make it a more pleasurable experience. Especially in northern regions where there might already be a lack of sunlight available. But down south where the sun can some times be very intense caution should be exercise.

This book is not particularly well written and is not well organized. If there is an updated edition some day, which is a bit overdue in my opinion, I hope the editor will do a better job. The merit of this book is that it offers a valuable source of informations that can be used by people who are afflicted by a serious disease and who could improve their medical condition by fasting. That is what this book is all about.
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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Aug 2012 07:16:38 BDT
D. Hughes says:
Hm, makes me wonder why you gave it 4 stars. I fast twice a week, it's easy and very beneficial. How do I do it, well on a fast day I eat nothing at all and drink only water. That's right, water only. So 24 hours with NO FOOD !!!

The next day I eat normally but have cut back my meat and fat. Yes, it is possible to love food without butter, oil, red meats and salted and preserved food. I eat lots of fruit and vegetables, chicken breast and oily fish like salmon and sardines. Shellfish, (mussels) once a week and moderate amounts of nuts, dried fruit. I don't use any dairy products and have replaced milk with soya milk which is nutty and delicious.

How has it affected me? Well without thinking of it as a weight loss diet I consider it a change of life diet. I have lost 3 stone 11 lbs in 10 months and have never once felt hungry or suffered hunger pangs. My doctor took me off my statins, and blood pressure tablets and the last blood-test results were absolutely normal. I look and feel younger so give it a go.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Aug 2012 16:23:15 BDT
You wonder why I gave it four stars, but the answer is in the last paragraph. Maybe you did not read my review to the end. Here is the exert:

"I gave this book four stars, but I actually feel like giving it only three because it was not as useful to me as I had expected. On the other hand I remain convinced that it can help numerous other people that are afflicted with serious diseases who could find here a genuine source of inspiration and possibly even save their lives, or at least make it more enjoyable."

This book was not very useful for me because I don't fast to cure any disease in particular. I fast in order to remain healthy. But I do it on my own and I need guidance. In this regard I found that Fuhrman's book was not as useful to me as Shelton's books have always been. And if you carefully read the other reviews here you will see that I am not the only one to say this.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Aug 2012 09:56:26 BDT
D. Hughes says:
Once you understand the science in the book, ( which is simply explained ) you will get a lot more out of the book. Whether you use the book to remain healthy, which is your goal, or to alleviate the symptoms of pre-existing medical conditions, this book will help greatly.

Dr Fuhrman has presented a comprehensive body of work backed up by science and following the tenets he propounds anyone can be assured of a satisfactory outcome. Try reading it again and do try to follow the basic science behind his work, then all will become clear.

Kind regards

Stewart Hughes

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Aug 2012 16:21:30 BDT
It won't make any difference how many times I will read that book, I will still not find there the information I need about how to conduct a fast on my own. I had to read Shelton's books to get that knowledge. I thought Fuhrman's book would give me additional information about this, but it did not and that's why I was disappointed.

The reason why that information is not in the book is because Fuhrman believes that a prolonged fast should be strictly conducted under medical supervision. I agree with that principle but I still fast on my own without medical supervision. I have been my own doctor all my life.

Since Fuhrman's knowledge derives from Shelton I did not gain as much from reading his book as if I had gone a more direct route and not studied Shelton prior to Fuhrman. But what I appreciate is that Fuhrman has modernized the teachings of Shelton. It is more up to date in terms of nutrition and the science of nutrition. Although Fuhrman's book is already obsolete in certain areas.

I am afraid the book I am looking for has not been written yet. This imaginary book would improve our knowledge upon both Shelton and Fuhrman. It would also explain better, and in details, what is going on during a fast and what to expect at each successive phases.

In the meantime I recommend both Shelton and Fuhrman.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Aug 2012 08:03:13 BDT
D. Hughes says:
Well what can I say. Just type the words 'Fasting for health ...' into the Amazon search engine and you might find it throws up many books on fasting and how to fast and more importantly how you go about it. Or you could do as I do, alternate fast days and on an eating day no more than 1800 calories. A fast day is no food and drink only water. It's not hard and the water makes you feel full. If you would be happy with a 2lb a week weight reduction then well and good. Try it, it works and you will feel like a million like a dollars. This is a method of fasting researched by University College London, Medical School. It really is quite easy and anyone can do it.

Hope that helps you.

Kind regards

Stewart Hughes

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Aug 2012 15:05:33 BDT
Last edited by the author on 16 Aug 2012 17:25:51 BDT
Fasting to lose weight is not my goal because I don't need to lose weight. I do it for body cleansing.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Aug 2012 11:13:40 BDT
D. Hughes says:
I think you will find that it is ' LOSE ' weight, LOOSE means :- Not firmly or tightly fixed in place; detached or able to be detached: "a loose tooth" for example. As for body cleansing I don't understand, I mean our kidneys and liver do an amazing job at keeping the body free of toxins. Body cleansing is a phrase used by the pseudo scientific supplements industry to sell you their dubious products.

When looked at closely most of these body cleansing products don't stand up to scientific scrutiny but they do cleanse you wallet of your hard earned money. A sound, well balanced diet is all that is needed. As I can see this exchange of messages going on indefinately I must advise you that this will be my last one to you.

Kind regards

Stewart Hughes

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Aug 2012 18:25:59 BDT
I have since made the grammatical correction. Thank you.

Your are absolutely right to say that our kidneys and liver do an amazing job of getting rid of the toxins in our body. Actually, this process is enhanced during a fast because since no foods are taken in, the kidneys and liver have more time and energy to get rid of unwanted accumulations. During a fast some of the impurities are used by the body as a substitute for the food we would normally take in. That mechanism helps us to lose appetite after only a couple of days of total fasting (water only).

During a fast the body cleans itself without the need to use any cleansing products other than water. Water is essential to nourish the cells and evacuate the residues. Fuhrman recommends to use distilled water and that is what I do.

Of course I am talking about total fast here. That means no food at all, only water. Juice fasting is another story, and the difference between the two is very well explained in Fuhrman's book.

All the Best!

Normand Hamel

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jan 2015 01:52:20 GMT
Amazon buyer says:
Always a pleasure to see a polite disagreement!
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