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VINE VOICEon June 19, 2000
Dr. Haas has put together one of the most complete nutrition books that can be enjoyed by the average reader. From what I have read, he makes no outrageous claims, though he does believe nutrition can offer health benefits (which would distinguish this book from a standard nutrition textbook). While the price may seem a little steep, there are 1140 pages that contain a wealth of information. The first 353 pages list virtually every popular nutrient (vitamins, minerals, fats, etc) and food category (such as beans, citrus fruits, etc). He even gives relevant information on the pseudo-vitamins such as Pangamic Acid (B15), amygdalin (B17), and Vitamin U. He also lists many of the popular diets and their benefits and drawbacks.
He also includes a very helpful section on "the Environmental Aspects of Nutrition." Possible pollutants and common food additives are discussed. He lists "88 Survival Suggestions."
Over 100 pages are dedicated to a Seasonal Cookbook. The foods are healthy, but possibly difficult for the average reader to obtain. It is possible with a little work however. There is a section on "Nutritional Application," which has special diets and suggestions for people with cancer, heart disease, yeast syndrome, and other disorders. He also includes suggestions for executives, adults, children, alcoholics, and adolescents. Overall the Nutritional Application section is very complete.
Finally he includes around 80 pages of health questionnaires that test health knowledge and actually intend to estimate one's health level. I use this whenever I have general or specific health questions. I recommend it highly.
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on November 27, 2000
Dr Haas has written an exhausting, thorough and informative "bible" about everything from what carbs, proteins and fats are and how they work to every vitamin, mineral and supplement you can imagine to special diets for different stages of your life or special needs to recipes...it just covers everything. I especially have to rave about a Western doctor who recognizes the validity of things like food combining and Candidiasis.
This book is over 1,100 pages and it's just jam packed with more information than you will think you need, but then you'll be surprised to find how many sections you'll flip to for info that pertains to you and your family.
I have a huge library of nutrition books and references that are really useful and well-written, but I'd toss them all just to have this one. If you are hesitant about the price or the size of the book, don't be. You will find it to be incredibly useful, easy to understand and beneficial when applied to your own daily life. I know I did.
This is far and away THE best nutrition book out there, I can't see how anyone could top this, unless he releases it with more information one day (and I can't see how there could be more.)
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on July 7, 1999
For those looking for the omnibus, cover-all reference book on nutrition, this is it. It is a thoroughly comprehensive examination of nutrition from just about every possible facet. Dr. Haas incorporates most of the more modern and alternative thinking on nutrition, even going so far as to examine environmental and spiritual issues, while avoiding the extreme, faddish ideas either of the medical establishment or the alternative fringe. He really does seem to have taken the time to weigh the value of studies done in both the mainstream and alternative research communities and brought together the clear, probable truths from both camps. And by the same token, he provides warnings against the doubtful claims of both sides.
This is not a book, however, for those looking for a quick, capsule synopsis of a dietary approach. Those people might be better served with Patrick Holford's "Optimum Nutrition Bible" which provides much of the same information in a condensed form. Rather this book is ideal for those looking to make an informed decision based on their own choices.
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on July 20, 1999
Not only does this summary provide a comprehensive review of traditional nutrition, it also provides information on less traditional supplements and discussion of current nutritional issues. I highly recommend this book for both lay people and professional nutritionists.
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on April 19, 2001
I keep picking this book up and referring to it for information I need about health, diet, supplements, etc. It's big alright, but eventually I've been to all the sections. It's a sensible, reasonable book with no hype.
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on February 18, 1999
This book is absolutely one of the best nutrition books I have ever read. It is thorough and offers a great deal of information on vitamins, minerals, herbs, proper nutrition, various detox diets, why and what type of water should be consumed and much more. A must for anyone who wishes to study holistic nutrition.
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on January 2, 2008
I use this book as a desk reference. As a wellness coach with a specialty in nutrition I refer to this book as well as others, like Paul Pitchford's Healing with Whole Foods and The New Optimum Nutrition Bible by Patrick Holford. I like the scientific and integrative nature of this book. When I quote information from this book I can say this is by an MD. This book is the most comprehensive among the other ones I use. I have yet to use it more to suggest any area of improvement. So far I am very happy with it.
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on October 26, 2007
My doctor recommended this book because he knows I like to treat health issues naturally when at all possible. A nice blend of sound nutritional science and natural health care. If you want to live fit and stay healthy as you age, check out this book. An excellent reference for treating specific health issues, but so much more. If you only reach for it when you are looking for a remedy for a particular health problem, you'll miss a lot. It's a great book - even better with Amazon's price!
0Comment9 of 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I am glad to see that someone is telling the public the dangers of synthetic, processed foods. We all need to get back to the basic when it comes to nutrition. Elson Haas does a masterful job of explaning in detail everything you need to know about nutrition. The only nutrition book you will ever need.
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on April 16, 2013
I am studying dietetics and nutrition, and am always eager to read a different slant on things and explore various reference books. I was so, so excited to read this book, as it seemed from the other reviews that this author leaned in very much the same direction as I do in terms of considering the "optimal diet."

Unfortunately, my enthusiasm was short-lived. I will say that if you can weed through the author's ramblings to get to it, most of the information in this book is a great resource for people that are curious about nutrition and looking for an uncomplicated introduction. However, there is some information that is presented as fact, when it is simply the author's opinion, and I would advise other readers, particularly those who are using this as an introduction to nutrition, to be cautious. While every dietician has their own bias in terms of what they believe to be best for the general population, the author goes above and beyond in this book with his own beliefs, many of them without real, credible references. The funny thing here is that I *agree* with the author on most of the points I took issue with - the way they were presented was just unbelievable.

My biggest issue with this book was that I was expecting this to be a scientific text, and that is one thing that it is not, I'm afraid. The author has written this book in a weirdly conversational, oddly spiritual (my heart sunk at the first God reference - why is that in here?!), and really uncomfortably hubristic tone that just made me feel truly uneasy while reading it - as though I should probably look into other sources for anything I wasn't 100% completely sure about. Checking into things, unfortunately, is also difficult with this book, as the references are far from complete. What a wasted opportunity to present such a valuable standpoint.

For me, the way it was written made this book largely unusable, and I don't think I will be using it as a reference in the future, which is a huge disappointment, as this is one of the few reference books that approaches diet from a similar viewpoint as me. I hope that anyone who used this book as an introduction to nutrition took the author's opinions with a huge grain of salt and has moved on to more substantiated texts.
44 comments26 of 34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse