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54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Guide to a Bone Healthy Diet
The Whole Food Guide to Strong Bones provides an outstanding summary of basic principles medical experts now agree on that can tremendously reduce risk of bone fractures and injury. Armed with current information and common sense, it really is possible to greatly improve one's bone health with balanced diet and exercise, and this marvelous book shows how this can be...
Published on August 18, 2009 by Cynthia Sue Larson

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great read.
I learned so much from this book. Many important things about food and how it can be more effective that medicine. A must read for anyone interested in improving their bones without the use of chemicals. Osteoporsis can be reversed by diet. I feel much better eating healthy foods.
Published 10 months ago by Anna R Finocchio


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54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Guide to a Bone Healthy Diet, August 18, 2009
This review is from: The Whole-Food Guide to Strong Bones: A Holistic Approach (The New Harbinger Whole-Body Healing Series) (Paperback)
The Whole Food Guide to Strong Bones provides an outstanding summary of basic principles medical experts now agree on that can tremendously reduce risk of bone fractures and injury. Armed with current information and common sense, it really is possible to greatly improve one's bone health with balanced diet and exercise, and this marvelous book shows how this can be done.

My interest in the subject of bone health has increased as I enter my midlife years, and hear of so many women who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis and low bone density. I have felt I was aware of some basics for good nutrition that improve bone strength and resiliency, but The Whole Food Guide to Strong Bones points out to me how many ideas I have accepted for years are actually based on out-of-date or inaccurate data... such as getting lots of dairy products and/or calcium is one of the best things you can do for your bones.

I was surprised to learn that 75% of people seeking osteoporosis advice are Vitamin D deficient, perhaps due to people spending so much time indoors and using sunblock every time they go outside. Daily lettuce added to one's diet can lead to 45% reduced risk of hip fractures, and some people who eat low calcium diets suffer fewer fractures than their high-calcium diet counterparts, such as people living in the USA and Scandanavia. I am really happy to learn of the advantages of exercise in helping bring the calcium we eat into our bones, as well as the way that we can increase magnesium while reducing calcium intake and actually increase our bone density.

While the fully detailed analysis of how we can best ensure good bone health may seem complex, author Annemarie Colbin cuts through the piles of research and cutting-edge medical theories to make it easy to understand what we most need to know about diet and weight-bearing exercise. I love the examples given of how people have successfully turned their bone health around, and the one third of the book dedicated to bone-healthy, tasty recipes.

I highly recommend The Whole Food Guide to Strong Bones to anyone wishing to enjoy many years of good bone health.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative and absolutely useful book but not the easiest to find your way around, December 31, 2012
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This review is from: The Whole-Food Guide to Strong Bones: A Holistic Approach (The New Harbinger Whole-Body Healing Series) (Paperback)
This book is full of information on how to build strong bones. Though I don't like the author's comment in the foreword that it's too late to correct osteoporosis once you've broken a bone. I don't believe in "too late". That's a defeatist notion.

This isn't the simplest or clearest of books, hence the four instead of five stars, and needs studying thoroughly. In the introduction the author informs us that the book is about "keeping our bones strong with high-quality whole foods --- along with exercise and sunlight".

Annemarie Colbin cites several dietary risk factors for osteoporosis - 1) eating a high amount of refined flour products and sweets 2) eating a high proportion of nightshade vegetables (potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers) 3) not eating enough vegetables, especially greens 4) not including enough good-quality fats in the diet 5) insufficient protein in the diet.

The risk involved in eating nightshade vegetables was new to me and I shall stop eating these. Re insufficient protein in the diet, this was not mentioned in the previous book I read and reviewed on the subject (by Lanou and Castleman). Annemarie Colbin states that both too much and too little protein can cause trouble with the bones. Vegetarians have been shown to have higher bone density than omnivores.

But more recent studies have indicated that those with the lowest protein intake had the most bone loss, and that lower intake of animal protein was also significantly related to bone loss in both the hip and spine. One study showed that a doubling of protein consumption from meat together with a reduction of carbohydrates not only didn't increase calcium loss through the urine, it is also associated with higher levels of bone growth factors in the blood. This is in direct opposition to the other, afore-mentioned book, but the latter bases its conclusions on many studies, and this was only one particular study.

Many people with osteoporosis never break their hips, and some with normal bone density do. Bone density tests present only a part of the picture.

Bone health depends on adequate supplies of many nutrients, including protein, healthy fats, certain vitamins, and a variety of minerals.

It is explained to us what bones are made of and how they work, and there is a small section on causes of fragility fractures. These occur when there is a low-impact trauma. Being hard and rich in calcium isn't enough to make bones resistant to fracture. Bones can be dense yet brittle and lacking in flexibility, which will cause them to break easily. A bone with zero calcium doesn't break, it bends, while a dense high-calcium bone with a diminished collagen matrix can break with slight pressure or shatter with a sharp blow.

The author cites the case of a student she had who regularly developed calcium deposits in the ureter. It turned out she drank about a quart of milk a day. When she stopped drinking milk, there were no recurrences of the problem. Thought-provoking!

There is a chapter about what bones need to be healthy, including vitamins and minerals, healthy fats, etc.

A chapter on what weakens our bones discusses acid-alkaline balance and the need for eating fruits, vegetables, seaweeds, miso and salt. Annemarie states that protein and carbohydrate foods are acid-forming, but, as regards the protein, in my view this contradicts her statement earlier in the book that eating relatively high amounts of protein are necessary for bone health.

She goes into the harmfulness of consuming sugar, sweets, sweeteners, caffeine and alcohol.

Lack of exercise, too much exercise or high-intensity athletics, cause bone loss. Walking and weight training promotes healthy bones.

The author calls into question the belief that we should get calcium from milk products or supplements, that we should add soy to our diet (because of its health risks) that it's important to have bone density tests, that it's important to take medication to avoid or slow bone loss and that women should use hormone replacement therapy.

A chapter is included on how diet can promote healthy bones, there's one on the importance of movement and exercise and one on how it is possible to regain lost bone , which seems to contradict her remark in the introduction to which I took exception.

Finally, there are many enticing recipes for healthy bones.

What irritates me about the book is how some of the chapters are packed with information of a varying nature, thus making it hard to find one's way around the book. An index would have been helpful.

But the information presented is invaluable. We all need to look after our bone health, especially in this day and age when the diet of most of us leaves much to be desired.

I would like to add that I recently broke my thigh bone though I had in my view been eating "right" by consuming plenty vegetables, and had been walking every day. However, I was not getting much protein, only a little fish, a few eggs and portions of beans, so the author is probably correct in her contention that low protein intake is deleterious for bone health.

I recommend that you read this book in order to obtain the necessary information as to how to protect your bones.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, you need this book, March 27, 2010
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This review is from: The Whole-Food Guide to Strong Bones: A Holistic Approach (The New Harbinger Whole-Body Healing Series) (Paperback)
Colbin has been writing about food and health for over thirty years with logic and intelligence. She documents credible resources throughout this book and challenges the prevailing stronghold of the pharmaceutical and commercial food industries over our "well being". She also addresses the roles of exercise and the tenor of emotional energy we embrace upon our whole-being and the health of our living, dynamic skeletal system.
I was trained as a clinical nutritionist and she brings up important factors that were previously never academically addressed, such as crucial pH levels and the utilization of bone calcium to compensate for the out of balance diet, which is standard American fare. This book complements the increasingly popular voice of Michael Pollan, championing the importance of a back-to-basics approach to food: Eat your greens, and lots of them. This simple advice may be the key to surviving, by avoiding, our complex and expensive medical system.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Resource for improving your bone quality!, December 23, 2009
This review is from: The Whole-Food Guide to Strong Bones: A Holistic Approach (The New Harbinger Whole-Body Healing Series) (Paperback)
On Labor Day, my mother-in-law fell off her bike and due to her brittle bones, she shattered her ankle. (She is finally able to start her physical therapy and seems to be healing well.) Since then I have been thinking about how I really don't eat as good as I should and I started wondering about my own bones. I mean she is only 50 years old and for her bones to be that weak scared me. She is also a super healthy eater and a personal trainer, while I am the complete opposite!

So when I heard about the book The Whole Food Guide to Strong Bones: A Holistic Approach by Annemarie Colbin, PH.D. I knew I wanted to check it out. It is a book all about maintaining strong bones and even has 85 easy delicious sounding recipes in the back! Throughout the book it tells you the best foods to eat to build bone mass and it even tells you which foods can actually weaken your bones! I had no idea eating potatoes and eggplant could disturb my calcium metabolism and actually remove calcium from my bones. When calcium is removed or loss, you can feel aches, pains, and even deformation. Now eating potatoes, eggplant, and other "nightshade" vegetables can even out calcium overload too.

Overall, I found the book very helpful and it is not a book that just tells you what you can't do or what you need to avoid, but it gives tips and suggestions for how to live while eating foods and doing activities you enjoy. I am glad I am reading this book now so I have a chance to work on my lifestyle, but I also don't think it is ever too late to start eating and living better. The book is a 240 page softcover book and great for anyone looking to improve their quality of live, especially when it comes to your bones.

I received this book to review it but this review is 100% my opinion.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A truly holistic approach, December 19, 2009
This review is from: The Whole-Food Guide to Strong Bones: A Holistic Approach (The New Harbinger Whole-Body Healing Series) (Paperback)
I am one of those people who can only digest non-fiction books full of scientific-based information in small doses at a time. Luckily for me, the layout of this book is perfect for this approach. Colbin breaks each chapter into even smaller, more manageable sections. It was easy for me to read a bit, put the book aside for a bit to digest that information, and then pick up the book again without having to reread to regain my bearings in the book. Colbin uses a lot of references and scientific studies to back up the information she presents, which in some cases flies in the face of traditional thinking about bone health. She truly takes a holistic approach to the subject: explaining how the skeletal system functions when healthy, looking at how problems develop with the bones, and demonstrating how healthy eating, exercise, and mental/emotional/spiritual well-being can improve overall bone health.

Then there are the recipes. Colbin focuses on leafy greens as a vegetable source of calcium but she also provides many other recipes as well. A few that I would like to try are Broccoli with Mushrooms, Salmon Frittata with Fresh Dill, Avocado-Cucumber Soup, and Hearty Shrimp Bisque. Colbin also provides recipes for many types of stock, which she says are rich in minerals that we need for our bones.

Overall, I found Colbin's book to be very informative and easy to follow. As with any book on health, please talk to your doctor or health care professional before self-diagnosing or self-treating any health condition.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A welcome and highly recommended addition to personal, family, and community library Holistic Medicine reference collections, July 11, 2009
This review is from: The Whole-Food Guide to Strong Bones: A Holistic Approach (The New Harbinger Whole-Body Healing Series) (Paperback)
Enhanced with the inclusion of 85 recipes, Annemarie Colbin's "The Whole-Food Guide To Strong Bones: A Holistic Approach" is an invaluable and informative guide to the role good nutrition plays in strengthen the human skeletal system and can be the key to naturally rebuilding bone mass. Among the vitally important issues comprehensively addressed are which foods can actually weaken bones, diminish bone mass, and why such approaches as estrogen therapy, calcium supplements, and even prescription medications may not be efficacious. Of special note is the information concerning what can place us at risk for bone fracture -- which is a hazard that can be increasingly dangerous as we grow older. Thoroughly 'reader friendly', "The Whole-Food Guide To Strong Bones" is a welcome and highly recommended addition to personal, family, and community library Holistic Medicine reference collections and supplemental reading lists.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A most informative and well written book, February 28, 2009
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This review is from: The Whole-Food Guide to Strong Bones: A Holistic Approach (The New Harbinger Whole-Body Healing Series) (Paperback)
Annemarie Colbin's book on bone health is marvelous. Easily read with delicious and interesting recipes, it takes one through the science and common sense of eating whole foods for bone health and good health.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whole Food Guide to Strong Bones, April 2, 2012
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This review is from: The Whole-Food Guide to Strong Bones: A Holistic Approach (The New Harbinger Whole-Body Healing Series) (Paperback)
A great guide to knowing how to eat well. There is more information about diet and strong bones in this book than any other book on foods that I had read.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Profoundly Informative, Delicious Recipes, December 18, 2011
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Spiritvoyager "lmont123" (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Whole-Food Guide to Strong Bones: A Holistic Approach (The New Harbinger Whole-Body Healing Series) (Paperback)
Annemarie Colbin knows health and food. I bought one of her ealier cookbooks over 35 years ago when I was first learning to cook. I bought the "Whole Food Guide to Strong Bones" a couple of years ago and let it sit on the shelf, because I was not taking care of myself, getting caught up in responsibility and rushing. After hitting a health wall I pulled out this book.

It is a wonderful guide to healing and strengthening your bones. The recipes are wonderful. So far I have tried the "Root Stew With White Beans And Wild Mushrooms", "Sunflower Seed Soup with Celeriac"(substituting garlic cloves and thyme for the tarragon), and "Oat Dulse Crackers"(substituting half the oats with rye flakes, quinona flakes, and barley flakes, and adding whole pumpkin seeds.) Whole Foods Market carried all of the ingredients, including fresh burdock root. Everything is SO delicious. I am not even tempted to return to my bad habits.

Every woman of a certain age will benefit from this book. Mrs. Colbin points to evidence that we can completely rebuild our bones in 7 years. She illustrates this with the case history of a woman in her early 40s who did so using natural foods after receiving a diagnosis of advanced osteoporosis. Whatever your particular symptoms are, reading this book will guide you to what foods to use and avoid and how that can change as you heal your condition. This is important information to incorporate into our lives and share with our families.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sound and Grounded Perspective, June 5, 2011
By 
Karen Brown (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Whole-Food Guide to Strong Bones: A Holistic Approach (The New Harbinger Whole-Body Healing Series) (Paperback)
I have been a fan of Anne Marie Colbin for many years. She has good basic common sense which resounds through out this book. Her point that bone density does not automatically translate into bone health nor does it necessarily correlate with reduced rate of fractures is a fact that every woman and man should know. She questions 'conventional wisdom' and the 'one size fits all' method of medical practice. I believe in her multi-faceted approach to bone health as well as health in general.
I recommend this book as one source of information regarding bone health.
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The Whole-Food Guide to Strong Bones: A Holistic Approach (The New Harbinger Whole-Body Healing Series)
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