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Complete Guide to Health and Nutrition Hardcover – July 1, 1984

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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 586 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday (July 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385292708
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385292702
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,602,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gary Null, Ph.D., is the author of over fifty books, including Get Healthy Now!, Gary Null's Ultimate Anti-Aging Program, and The Encyclopedia of Natural Healing. A sought-after lecturer, educator, and environmentalist, he is also the host of the longest-running nationally syndicated health radio program in America, Natural Living with Gary Null. He lives in New York City. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


Gary Null's Complete Guide to Health and Nutrition is the most complete and authoritative popular work of its kind. Five years in the making, it explains fully and simply the basics of health and nutrition: what's in the food we eat, how it affects us, and how we can make ourselves healthier through good nutrition.

The Complete Guide is unique in the thoroughness and objectivity of its viewpoint. Nutrition arouses strong emotions in many of us, and some researchers let their emotions guide them toward one or another particular philosophy of health: "alternative" medicine, "holistic" therapy, "New Age" beliefs, or the orthodox, traditional methods of health care. And many of these adherents let their presentation of facts be guided by their opinions.

Gary Null lets his opinions be guided by the facts. Avoiding all prejudiced viewpoints, he gathers every important piece of research on every important subject: vitamins, minerals, fats, carbohydrates, protein. Thousands of books and articles have been read, and more than 2,000 experts in diverse fields have either been consulted or interviewed in establishing the real facts of each particular problem.. From this mountain of material Gary Null has distilled a concise, accurate statement of everything that's known about health and nutrition. To get the same wealth of information you would have to consult thirty to fifty separate books in the same field.

But the Complete Guide is not simply a reference book; it is a source book for a healthier life. When all the facts support a particular position on some issue in diet and nutrition, Gary Null does not hesitate to state that position strongly and back it up with sound practical advice. He confronts all the complex health issues facing us today and answers the questions his readers will be asking. How much protein do I need? Is vitamin E really effective in treating heart disease? Which vegetables supply the highest fiber content? Questions like these are answered not only in authoritative explanations but in valuable charts and diagrams as well. And sensitive issues such as sugar and cholesterol are presented not only as matters of health but as economic and political issues.

With Gary Null's Complete Guide to Health and Nutrition, readers can stop guessing--and worrying--about what's in the food they eat.  They can get all the knowledge amassed by scientific research, and learn how to apply that knowledge to their own lives.

Martin Feldman, M.D.
New York City, 1984

And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
--Genesis 1:29
If I were to do a word association test with you and I mentioned the word protein, the first thing to come to your mind would probably be meat.

After the term meat, no doubt you would mention chicken, hamburger, steak, veal--the flesh of an animal.

If I said, "high-protein diet," most likely you would imagine lots of red meat would be included.

If you are like most people, you probably have no idea how many grams of protein you need every day. You may have heard of the concept of complementing proteins but are probably vague about how it's done. And if you are like most people, you have no idea how to evaluate the net protein utilization of a particular food.

If you had to eliminate meat from your diet, would you be able to obtain enough quality protein?

In America today, we are faced with the notion that protein is synonymous with meat, our primary source, and that without a substantial amount of meat in the diet, we would be suffering from gross protein deficiencies. Many people believe they must eat meat every day, often three times a day. They'll consume ham or bacon for breakfast; luncheon meat such as salami, bologna, frankfurters, or hamburgers for lunch; and roast beef, fish, chicken, or steak for dinner. If you are an athlete, you will almost surely at some time in your training take high-protein supplements.

Serious problems arise as a result of the gross ignorance and misinformation prevalent on a subject so essential for good health. Very few people know what protein truly is, why we need it, what its best sources and its worst sources are, what are the toxic forms of protein and the toxic by-products associated with it, what is the most easily digested protein, how we should combine proteins, and how much protein we need as we age.

Family No. I: The Typical American High Protein Diet

If I were to ask you whether a seventeen-year-old and sixty-year-old woman require the same amount of protein, what would you say? As a point of fact, if you went into the average person's home and joined their family for dinner, you might sit down at the table with a mother, father, daughter, son, and possibly a grandparent. In all probability, all of them would receive the same amount of a protein food. This would usually be a meat/flesh item. But clearly the daughter and son, since they are growing, have a greater need for quality protein; the wife, who weighs fifty pounds less than her husband, has less need for protein than her husband; and the grandparent has still less need due to both age and the difficulty of digesting protein. Instead of offering each person the type and quantity of protein he or she needs for optimal health, we give protein in the same amount to every person irrespective of age or special circumstance.

When you are going in for surgery, when you are pregnant or lactating, or when you are under stress, exercising regularly, or growing, you require more protein than under normal conditions.

The average person's lack of knowledge on protein is as great as their ignorance concerning carbohydrates and the distinction between the empty calories from white sugar and the much better utilized calories from, for example, brown rice.

We must now take a careful look at protein to see what role it plays in our life.

To many Americans, good nutrition means protein. They know they need something called protein. As a result, they usually take too much. Most of our protein requirements could be met with about six ounces of complete protein a day. It's been estimated that the average American consumes upward of 100 grams of protein a day. That may be almost double what we actually need.

Let's sit down for dinner with that typical American family mentioned earlier. They associate meat with strength, well-developed musculature, and an active, hearty life. They think of their heroes--the athlete, the cowboy, the rugged outdoorsman--as meat eaters. And they believe the strength of these mythlike figures somehow derives from regular consumption of beefsteak.

The father, our host tonight, is proud that, as his income has increased, steak has appeared more and more frequently at his dinner table, replacing chicken, ground meat, veal, pork, and other cuts of meat that used to be less expensive. As part of the upper middle class, he feels proud that he can provide his family with the fruits of his labor. He urges his young son to "eat hearty"--and eating hearty means, to him, eating plenty of good, red meat. It doesn't occur to him that the diet he is urging on his offspring might be--at best--too much of a good thing.

The Advantages of Meat

Now in one sense, father does know best. Meat does have an advantage as a source of protein--not just father's favored steak, but all meats cut directly from the animal: veal, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, etc. (This advantage does not necessarily hold for sausage, luncheon meats, hot dogs, chicken rolls, or other processed meats.) Meats are among the foods that supply complete protein: they contain all eight of the essential amino acids, the building blocks of protein. And they also supply other nutrients, such as iron and B vitamins, in which many vegetables are deficient. They contain fats we can use for energy, heat insulation, and a variety of metabolic functions. Many of our organs, including our nerves, can make good use of this fat (although unsaturated fats from vegetable or fish sources would be preferable).

However, father is probably not aware that, along with those amino acids, B vitamins, and saturated fats, his family is also taking into the body some unwanted visitors.

Chemicals in Your Meat

For instance, along with the roast beef that they are eating tonight, they might be obtaining some type of growth-stimulating hormones, even the banned DES--diethylstilbestrol--the artificial sex hormones that were given to women all over America in the 1950s and 1960s in order to prevent miscarriage. It was later found to be ineffective and to have carcinogenic consequences for the daughters and sons born to women who took it. DES was also fed to beef cattle because it slows down the animals' metabolism, making them fatter quicker. Though it is now banned for such use, illegal residues still appear.

That juicy roast beef would also supply them with unwanted antibiotics. These are administered to the cattle primarily because a large percentage of feedlot animals are fed as much as thirty pounds of grain a day, but they can only transform the food into three or four pounds of muscle and fat. That enormous overfeeding causes painful liver abscesses which in turn affect profits. So the cattle are simply given antibiotics such as oxytetracycline.

When animals are kept crowded together in close confinement, standing knee deep in excrement, fed twenty-four hours a day under bright lights on conveyor belts, they are prone to epidemic diseases such as respiratory ailments, foot rot, and diarrhea. For further protection, they are given additional medication such as streptomycin, another antibiotic.

Nor is that the only tampering. The cattle are also... --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
This is one effect of those ketones.
Mark Wieczorek
Have this book at home on your reference shelf.
Jolie Mcshane
It was easy to read and very informative.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Mark Wieczorek on November 26, 2001
Format: Paperback
Gary Null's book is perhaps the best out there, certainly it's the best I've ever seen, on nutrition. The broad sections are Protein (50 pages), Carbohydrates (121 pages), Lipids: How Fats and Oils Affect Your Health (65 pages), Vitamins (Vitamin A, Vitamin B (140 pages) Minerals (136 pages). Mine is the 1984 edition, I believe Gary's updated the book since then.
Here's a random section from the book:
All of the proteins we ate are made up of twenty-three amino acids. These, in turn, are chainlike molecules containing the elements carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen. There are eight essential amino acids that our bodies require every day, in the right proportions, in order to keep every cell in our bodies functioning properly. These eight (and their proportional relationships) are: (section removed for brevity)
Egg Whites contain all these amino acids in just about these ratios. The complete protein foods -- meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, and soybeans in the form of tofu or bean curd -- contain all eight. Incomplete proteins have some of them, in less perfect proportions. But if you combine two or more complementary protein foods, you are competing the protein...."
He goes on to describe the function of protein, how much protein is necessary, how to know if you're getting enough, etc. This thick (511 pages, plus endnotes and index) book covers a broad range in a good depth. Just flipping through it you'll learn a lot. I find that I get sucked in and read whole chapters where I had only been looking up one fact. In other words, it's fascinating, and very readable.
I admit (and personally like) that this book is baised somewhat towards a wholistic, vegetarian lifestyle.
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70 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Avanessian on January 19, 1998
Format: Paperback
I felt that this book was useful in getting to know exactly what vitamins and minerals do in our body. In addition, Mr. Null makes the reading easy and not too much like a science book.
I think the book is good reading since the author discusses a lot of pitfalls we all tend to get into with our eating habits, i.e. our intake of saccharin as a diet food. Anyone who's interested in their health and their loved one's health should be sure to read this book and take note of what the author's trying to tell be more aware of what we put into our mouths.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rose on February 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
I bought this book almost 5 years ago. It was easy to read and very informative. Perfect for someone looking for information on food and what it does to the human body. I still refer to it occationally.

After reading this book we totally changed the foods we eat. When you know it's easy to choose. We have lost weight, feel better and wouldn't go back the our old style of eating for anything.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jolie Mcshane on May 26, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Have this book at home on your reference shelf. Gary Null covers every condition with thoughtful references to vitamin deficiencies. A must for those who want more than just a pill to cover up the symptoms.
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful By peace247 on April 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
The book opens with horror stories about cows and how they are given[chemicals] to fatten them up and keep them healthly. Then it moves on the chickens and the horrible conditions they are raised in. The third story is about a vegetarian and how much better his diet is. I already knew that cows and chickens were not the best and were given [chemicals] I don't want in my body, I didn't need the graphic descriptions. Much of the information was wonderful, the explanation about protein and simple vs. complete protein was very interesting. I am an avid reader, but I found this hard to follow, and didn't retain the information. Having to trudge through the chapters made each new page harder to face. I couldn't force myself to continue to read. A book isn't a good resource when you can't recall this inforation or dread having to slog through half of the book to find the one paragraph you need.
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