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At Last, a Reliable Book on Healthy Eating
on July 11, 2005
This book is a breath of fresh air among a noxious swarm of books that claim to know how we must eat in order to be healthy. They recommend a bewildering variety of diets, megadoses of vitamins and minerals, herbs, extracts, and heaven knows what else, all guaranteed to make us healthy. Some even peddle the nonsense that they can stop, or even reverse, aging.
In contrast, Walter Willett's book is based on solid science, obtained by careful research involving, in some cases, more that 100,000 persons. There is no intuition here. The recommendations are based on facts. And mighty interesting facts they are. We see that the famous, heavy-on-carbohydrate USDA food pyramid has little evidence to support its role in health. Instead, it appears to support the income of the food industry. He presents his own pyramid, based on daily exercise and weight control. Sitting on this base are whole grain foods, vegetable oils, fruits, vagetables, nuts, legumes, fish, poultry, and eggs. At the top of his pyramid are small amounts of dairy products, and even smaller portions of red meat and carbohydrate. He presents evidence to support his pyramid, and the result is impressive. He leads us through things that we should know about fats, carbohydrates, proteins, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. We even get recipes. For me, a biochemist, the book's strong point is its lack of the unsustantiated claims that I see in so many of the popular books on nutrition. Walter Willett is one the persons best qualified to write an outstanding book on this subject, and the result is excellent.