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What Color Is Your Diet? Paperback – June 18, 2002

4.8 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"Most Americans eat far too few foods with any color in them," says David Heber, M.D., Ph.D., director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition. Instead, we tend to eat a high-fat, highly processed "beige diet" full of snack foods and refined grains (bread, cake, pastries) that don't fit the requirements of our genes. The average intake of fruits and vegetables is only 3 servings a day, when it should be 7 to 11 servings a day.

According to Heber, the varied colors in fruits and vegetables indicate "specific beneficial substances that help to prevent the common diseases that affect many of us as we get older." Damage to DNA leads to changes in our genes as we age that can result in diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease. Substances found in plant foods protect our DNA.

Heber has coded plant foods into seven colors, all of which have different health-protecting qualities: red, red-purple, orange, orange-yellow, yellow-green, green, and white-green. "Colorize your diet" to protect your DNA by eating at least one serving (one-half cup cooked or one cup raw) of a fruit or vegetable from each color each day. Huber also suggests that at least half your protein intake be soy. He includes diet plans for men (1,800 to 2,000 calories) and women (1,200 to 1,400 calories) and 19 recipes to get you started. Though the emphasis is on plant-based foods, most of his recipes are not vegetarian. --Joan Price --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

David Heber, M.D., PH.D., is at the cutting edge of medical research, investigating how nutrition and genes
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (June 18, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060988622
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060988623
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #557,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on March 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
I cannot say enough good things about this book. Almost a year ago, my husband decided he needed to lose weight (his doctor had been telling him to do so for years; he was verging into diabetes despite being on Glucophage, Glucotrol, and Lipitor). My husband's one criterion was he wanted a diet that allowed him to eat frequently during the day because he didn't want to be hungry. Enter Heber's book!

Merely by increasing the number of vegetables and fruits that my husband ate, he crowded out the crap he'd been obliviously living on. He began to count calories because the results from merely eating more healthily a la Heber made him feel very positive. In six months, he lost sixty-five pounds. His cholesterol went from 220 (a number achieved with the help of those meds) to 125. He's kept the weight off five months now, but we are determined that he will be eating this way for life. We have a word in our household: Heberific. My husband's Park Avenue doctor phoned me and said: "I didn't recognize your husband from his numbers [meaning his blood test numbers]. They've never looked like this! You've added at least ten years to your husband's life, and really fifteen quality years. You are a hero!" I accepted the compliment because it's I who do most of the food preparation.
Now I go to the fruits-and-vegetable market almost every day. I too have made a game of tracking what color fruits and vegies my husband is eating (I composed a daily chart; I've noticed another reader said he did the same thing). I keep meaning to write Dr. Heber a thank-you letter but then I thought perhaps I should simply post my praise on Amazon.
I know Dr.
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Format: Paperback
We're often told to "eat a good variety of vegetables and fruit" but that's not very specific. Heber makes it specific with his seven categories, asking you to eat at least one serving from each category each day. I made a little weekly checklist that I carry with me and treat the challenge as a game. As a result, I'm eating a much greater variety of vegetables and fruit and *more* vegetables and fruit--which crowds out other, less healthful foods. A very fine book, highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
At last! Not a "diet" book offering tricky schemes and cagey food manipulations but a nutritional lifestyle program based on scientific research and clinical investigations. Dr. Heber, a physician and researcher, tells us the story about the evolution and chemistry of food. He explains how our genes predict certain health and eating patterns. Why some of us hang onto fat (a survival adaptation). And what ancient man knew instinctively: how the vital colored substances found in fruits and vegetables helped us survive and how by consuming enough of the right quantities and colors today we can fight modern diseases and prolong life. Susan Bowerman's recipes are fabulous-delicious, and most importantly, easy to follow! That means even I-a notoriously uninspired cook-can serve up healthful dishes that look glamorous as well. Additionally, Dr. Heber's crayon box concept is a great way to start children on nutritious yet fun-filled paths to a lifetime of healthier choices and better eating habits. "What Color is Your Diet" is an essential read for anyone concerned about enhancing and protecting their health and the health of their family.
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Format: Hardcover
What Color is Your Diet? has changed my life! I've tried the low carb-high protein diets, the low-fat, low-calorie diets, I've even entered the "zone"! All those diets taught me was how temporarily loose weight and how to repress my bad food habits! What Color is Your Diet has not only helped me to loose weight, but has inspired me to make permanent and more colorful choices regarding the foods I consume. It is so easy! I am understanding why I should choose the blueberries, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes.. for their protective health benefits, not just loose weight. I feel more energized, happy and more positive about myself since I've read What Color is Your Diet. I highly suggest this book if you are looking for better health or just want to look and feel great! Dr. Heber and Susan Bowerman did a great job!
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By A Customer on December 12, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Probably the best source of practical knowledge concerning food values I have read, I appreciate this book so much I have purchased more for holiday gifts. Thorough, but easy to understand, I refer to this book often and keep it handy. It has caused my family and me to rethink our food purchases and preparation for a more healthy lifestyle. What happened is that we have discovered foods we had been avoiding and learned they are delicious as well as nourishing.
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Format: Hardcover
The good news: Dr. Heber has provided an interesting book with apparently sound current information, focusing on the critical importance of high dietary intake of phytochemicals from a variety of fruits and vegetables. Based on my other reading in the area it would appear that his recommendations are both sound and reasonable. Oddly, the most interesting information (regarding discussion of DNA damage and cancer) is toward the back of the book, after the recipes. Content gets 4-1/2 stars from me.
The bad news (which really irritates me): There are no footnotes and virtually no references (a whole chapter may have only one or two references cited). The text (though written for laypersons) addresses complicated issues relating to metabolism, biochemistry, genetics and other scientific issues. To support his points the author refers frequently to research, studies and publications, but virutally none of these sources are actually identified (well, sometimes "identification" is provided along the lines of "a 1998 study" or "according to the NIH" -- just try to find an article or publication on Medline based on that info!) On this issue, the text gets zero stars from me.
In as complicated and contentious an area as food, diet, supplementation and preventive health, it is unforgiveable for a purported authoritative book written by a real medical scientist to omit this information (especially since all of the sources would have to be collected in the course of writing, any way). In my view, the day is long past for accepting health books in which the author (no matter how well credentialled) in effect says the reader ought to follow his advice on the grounds that "I'm smarter than you and I'm telling you to".
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