Customer Review

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read This Book After Live Right 4 Your Type, 3 Aug 2004
This review is from: Eating Well For Optimum Health: The Essential Guide to Food, Diet and Nutrition (Paperback)
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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