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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very solid overview for healthy people!,
This review is from: Perfect Health Diet: Four Steps to Renewed Health, Youthful Vitality, and Long Life (Paperback)Don't let the somewhat corny title of this book put you off. This book is a wonderful and very simple introduction to real healthy eating for anyone currently eating a average-quality diet.
Great things about this book:
1. For those that just want the facts super-fast this book gives you a one page summary of the eating plan within the first 6 pages of the book. The book also contains lots of extra information backing up their conclusions as well, for those that want it.
2. This book is about eating healthily and how to improve your health and reduce your risk of getting ill in the future with diet - rather than just about mere weight loss - which is so refreshing. Slow weight normalisation is a side effect of following this diet for sure, but it is not the primary focus.
3. The research for the book began when the authors were each working to improve their own health issues through diet. The authors are genuinely nice people that are passionate about helping others get the same results they have and the subject of a healthy diet and this comes through clearly on every page of this book.
4. The diet the authors recommend is made up of 20% carbs, 65% fat and 15% protein. So it is a low/moderate carb, high fat and moderate protein diet by calories, and 35% animal foods and 65% plant foods by weight. This is very similar to a traditional Pacific Islander diet, the authors explain.
The sections explaining the facts of fats, carbs and protein are of a very high quality and seem to summarise the work of all the best books I have read on nutrition and diet lately. The problems with a high carb diet are clearly spelled out as are the benefits of a high fat diet.
5. The book also recommends avoiding all grains (other than rice), legumes, dry lean meats, vegetable oils and pasteurised dairy products and recommends eating unlimited non-starchy vegetables (750 grams a day or more or 1.5 pounds), 200 - 450 grams or so (0.5 to 1 pound) of fatty meat/seafood/eggs, about 4 teaspoons of healthy fats (ghee, lard and coconut oil and a bit of olive oil), and snacking on nuts, cheese and fruit.
The authors warn that while fibre can be helpful, for some people too much fibre can be a real problem.
6. Where this book differs from many others in the same (reduced-carb and traditional foods) vein is that it explains that, yes, while your body can make the glucose it needs from protein when you eat a low carb diet, this process taxes the body unnecessarily and the conversion may be inefficient. This is especially true for those that are ill, the authors explain.
Despite my making a bit of a hobby of reading a large amount of very good books on healthy eating and diet in recent years, no other book had made these same points. So having this explained so well finally was wonderful and it explained a lot!
(I did really well on a 20 grams of carbohydrate a day diet for 6 - 9 months or so. I felt well and had no more hypoglycemia and lost a lot of weight. But after that 6 months was up my body seemed to really struggle with it, perhaps due to the fact I have severe metabolic, endocrine, and cardiac problems. (I'm housebound and 95% bedbound and very disabled.) When I finally went back up to 50 - 75 grams of carbs a day (years later) I felt so much better, and finally was able to start losing some of the weight that had crept back on on my super-low carb regime. It was also a much more pleasant way to eat; being able to have 5 cups of veggies a day and a bit of fruit! I feel like staying on this super-low carb diet for so long delayed my health from beginning to improve as well, as it made my body work harder than it had to on food assimilation which of course leaves less metabolic energy and bodily resources left over for the work of healing.)
The book explains that eating very low carb and making your body convert proteins to carbs puts strain on the liver and uses up bodily resources, generates ammonia as a toxic by-product, puts a person at risk of glucose deprivation if the are ill or lacking in certain nutrients and makes nutrient deficiencies more likely due to lower fruit and vegetable intake. Very low carbohydrate intake can also cause problems with vitamin C utilisation that may even lead to scurvy, as vitamin C is stimulated by insulin. For these reasons they recommend eating an amount of carbs daily which is very close to how much the body actually needs; 200 - 400 carb calories daily (or roughly 50 - 100 grams of carbs daily).
I agree with the authors that healthy people will likely have few problems converting one macronutrients to another (such as protein to carbs, and carbs to fat) but for those of us that are ill it is best to save your body the work and to eat foods in the appropriate macro-nutrient percentages to start with. That just seems to make so much sense!
Things about the book I am not sure about, to some entent:
1. I'm not convinced that all of us can handle the foods the authors describe as "safe starches" and in those amounts. For me eating rice with meals gives me so much carbohydrate it leaves me feeling spacey, hungry and unsatisfied. I am also unconvinced that eating rice is better for you than eating the same amount of carbs in vegetable form, as the authors even say themselves in the book that rice is low in nutrients compared to other foods, calorie for calorie. There is no real nutrition in it, and so for me no reason to eat it - and lots of reasons not to.
I found it even more surprising that not only did the authors recommend eating rice often, but they even extended this to processed foods like rice crackers and rice noodles. Foods many of us with an interest in healthy eating and nutrient-dense eating just wouldn't want to eat at all.
I recommend trying the authors' "safe starches" idea and seeing if it works for you, but being aware that for some of us these foods may be best avoided or minimised and eating LOTS of non-starchy veggies and 2-3 serves of fruit may work better for you.
2. Like many others I also cannot tolerate any of the dairy products the author recommends and also have egg allergy issues. I feel these issues could have been discussed a bit more in the book, as they are so so common. I also think fermented foods and drinks could have been emphasised more and disagree with the authors' assertions that nuts and seeds need only be soeaked if you eat a lot of them. For those of us with lots of gut and digestion problems, soaking all nuts and seeds can make a wonderful difference that is really noticeable.
(I wish so much I had learned about the importance of soaking nuts and eating fermented foods sooner!)
3. While this book provides a great summary of many of many of the best books on nutrition, the same cannot be said of the information given on supplements. This information was very patchy, incomplete and just plain wrong in many instances and it does not at all tally with the information given by those that are the genuine experts in this field. The information seems to come from strange sources, and not from genuine experts in the field. The RDAs are quoted a lot and discussed as if they were important and trustworthy and no names of orthomolecular experts or similar are really mentioned.
Such an average quality and incomplete guide may be okay for healthy people but for anyone battling serious health issues I would urge them to read far more deeply on this topic than this book allows and to ignore much of the information given in this book.
Despite what the authors of this book claim, those of us with serious health issues absolutely need intelligent and often intensive and wide-ranging supplementation along with a healthy diet before we can start to regain our health. We need as much of each nutrient as we actually need, and not just how much the RDA has been arbitrarily set at. Supplement plans must be individualised, as much as possible. We also need to take the right balance of nutrients, and not lots of one thing and none of another related thing. This has absolutely been my experience and holds true for vast numbers of other patients.
This sort of diet change is always the first step in improcving health however, and for some lucky people it may be enough. For others it is just the first essential step of many others!
(See: Detoxify or Die, Orthomolecular Medicine for Everyone: Megavitamin Therapeutics for Families and Physicians, Primal Body, Primal Mind: Beyond the Paleo Diet for Total Health and a Longer Life and Dr. Atkins' Vita-Nutrient Solution: Nature's Answer to Drugs and others, for more information on this topic.)
4. The book could have done with having wider margins and more white space on the page, as well as fewer black and white images of foods (many of which looked awful or were hard to make out). Overall the book was very well put together and well edited, however.
Even if you have read the wonderful books by Taubes, Fallon and Enig, Gedgaudes, Cordain, Price, Sisson, Schwartzbein, Shanahan, Eades etc. this book is still worth reading.
I rate this as a 5 star book for healthy people who want to learn to eat better, but not quite a 5 star book when it comes to being a complete guide for those battling serious illnesses. It isn't a complete guide to health for ill people, just a very solid starting point on diet. So that is why I give the book 4 stars overall.
Jodi Bassett, The Hummingbirds' Foundation for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Read,
This review is from: Perfect Health Diet: Regain Health and Lose Weight by Eating the Way You Were Meant to Eat (Hardcover)Great book, easy to read with lots of data to back up!! A great variation of a Paleo diet! A must buy!!
4.0 out of 5 stars Working so Far,
This review is from: Perfect Health Diet: Four Steps to Renewed Health, Youthful Vitality, and Long Life (Paperback)I found out about this book on LifeHacker. I've been battling obesity (and losing) for over 20 years - interestingly enough, about the length of time I've been following generally accepted fat-phobic mainstream health advice. I am also hypothyroid. I had all but given up and will never go on a "diet" again - have been on so many! - but try to adapt a healthier lifestyle. My new driver's licence photo was the impetus: that bloated face I almost did not recognize. I also noticed that when I am on vacation and eating rich foods, I am quickly satisfied and have zero cravings.
So. The idea of a paleo-style regime had some interest. And sugar isn't good for anyone.
I'm glad the authors had a one-page summary of this regime because the in-depth research is somewhat difficult to follow. I'm a smart person, but not a scientist. It's very dense and complex information. I'm glad they provide it, though, because the regime is counter to pretty much all mainstream healthy eating ideas.
Long story short, I began to feel better almost immediately. I have virtually no gas and bloating, no carb cravings, fewer neuropathies and better sleep. I have lost about 7 pounds in 4 weeks. I have not been hungry. It does require a lot of planning and preparation because, as you might imagine, prepared and packaged foods and most restaurant fare are out.
Anyone I try to explain it to, though, looks at me funny. I mean, who would imagine someone could lose weight and be healthy eating a high-fat diet? I just go with "paleo" and leave it at that, even though this goes much further with restrictions on all grains, legumes and vegetable oils in addition to sugar and wheat. That being the case, I would never recommend this to everyone. I would only recommend that you read it and decide for yourself.
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Health Diet,
This review is from: Perfect Health Diet: Four Steps to Renewed Health, Youthful Vitality, and Long Life (Paperback)I found the book extremely informative and well written. Complicated yet the message was clear. The problem with the book for me was, it did not really contain a meal plan or very much direction. I have read many books on the subject and was able to take the information from other sources to piece it all together. Most helpful was that I had read a book by Barry Groves that they quote from numerous times throughout the book. Perhaps they will write a sequel that will put the pieces together with a life style plan.
5.0 out of 5 stars unique and fascinating book,
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Paleo Book,
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous,
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The premier book in nutrition and diet.,
This review is from: Perfect Health Diet: Regain Health and Lose Weight by Eating the Way You Were Meant to Eat (Hardcover)Paul Jaminet is the man and this book is well written and intelligent. Must have book for anyone interested in nutrition.
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Perfect Health Diet: Four Steps to Renewed Health, Youthful Vitality, and Long Life by Shou-Ching Jaminet (Paperback - Oct 12 2010)
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