1,463 of 1,557 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Blood Sugar Solution: The UltraHealthy Program for Losing Weight, Preventing Disease, and Feeling Great Now! (Hardcover)Let me cut right to the chase: Do I think this book is worth buying? Yes. With reservations. Before I get to them, though, let me tell you why this is such a valuable resource. Dr. Hyman understands that there are a myriad of factors that affect both our weight and our overall health. One of the things I find most helpful about this book is the focus on environmental factors such as pollution, pesticides, hormones and antibiotics in our food. Taken a step or two further he has nothing good to say about heavily processed food, and while there are processed foods that I genuinely enjoy like Nutella (which I will no longer eat because it contains palm oil, which is a whole other issue) I recognize they're not good for me, and I try to avoid anything that falls into this category. Fair enough, I say, it's relatively simple to cut much of the processed food out of your diet. You just have to make smarter choices and work a little harder.
It's also relatively easy to buy foods that are organic, rBGH-free, free of high fructose corn syrup and so forth (non-GMO foods are harder.) Relatively easy. Not simple, and certainly not cheap. If you make a commitment to avoiding these things, it takes some homework, and rebudgeting. But doing these two things are good starts.
Taking supplements because our diets will probably never provide the level of nutrients many of us need, that's a good start too. Again, quality supplements aren't cheap, and by now you're beginning to see that good health is a bigger commitment than you might imagine. It's not just about eating less and jogging for an hour each morning. Far from it. It's about making the choices I've mentioned, and as Dr. Hyman points out, it's about advocating for change in every aspect of life that affects our health. Big business isn't going to worry about whether we're fat and miserable, they're just going to keep shoveling cheap, sugary, salty food at us and watching their bottom line. Industry isn't going to clean up the air and water voluntarily because it costs them money. So part of taking control of your health is becoming an advocate for everyone's health.
Exercise is another important part of Dr. Hyman's program, and I can testify to the effectiveness of even a little exercise. It has improved my blood glucose dramatically and put a big dent in my depression. We have to move to be healthy. I hate to say it because I'm sedentary by nature, but there it is. We have to move.
Where I tend to disagree with Dr. Hyman is in the way he's structured his program. Now I have no argument with the idea that cutting out whole food groups will help pinpoint whether you have a problem with them. That's just common sense. What I do have a problem with is that you start the program by cutting out all sugar, including the so-called "healthy" sweeteners like honey, agave, stevia and all artificial ones; all gluten, all other flour products, even gluten free ones, all dairy, all processed foods, all grain, all starchy vegetables and all fruit except for 1/2 cup of berries a day. In fact, he says you should start by throwing out everything in these categories, just dump it. I say, I'm sorry, but who -- apart from someone in a blind panic about his or her health problems -- has the money to do that, not to mention the will power to wake up one morning knowing that you're going to spend at least six weeks eating virtually nothing but lean meat or fish, legumes and leafy vegetables? I can't. I can't afford it and I sure know that I'd maybe last two days on a regimen like that before I'd be running out for a burger or some cookies. To me it's like setting yourself up for failure and self-flagellation.
You do start adding foods back into your diet once you've... I guess de-toxed is the word. Not that I necessarily buy into detoxification diets, but hey, whatever, right? You add them in and you pay attention to how you feel as you do. And that makes a lot of sense in terms of discovering where your problems lie, if any -- there are group of questionnaires at the beginning of the book to help pinpoint where some of your problems may lie, and no matter what your score, Dr. Hyman says you need his plan. Well yeah; why would he say you don't right? So so you might well ask what is the point of all those questions? But I think they're valuable because they can show you where you really may be having problems. Sensibly, to me anyway, that's the place to start. By all means work the program, but work it in a targeted manner. There's so much in it that's good that you have to start feeling better if you do even part of what he recommends. If you can do it all, then wow! Go you! You're a star. But for most of us, that's simply not going to happen no matter how much we may want to do it.
Bottom line: This is a commonsense plan save for the fact that he doesn't seem to accept that human spirits are always willing, but the flesh is very, very weak in most cases. It's certainly a plan that's worth working with, but if you find it overwhelming, you'd be better off working at it slowly than giving up on it entirely.
ETA: I won't be monitoring this review any longer, and so can't answer questions about it. If you do have serious questions, please either buy the book or ask a professional. Neither I, nor the True Believers are actually qualified to answer medical questions.
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Showing 11-20 of 136 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 2, 2012 4:12:24 PM PST
Thanks, Michelle,and good luck. You do the best you can.
Posted on Mar 3, 2012 8:49:51 AM PST
I don't think anyone could possibly judge this diet plan if you haven't tried it. If you are happy with the way you feel, then what is the need. But people buying this book have some reason. Our food system is really screwed up and it's no wonder so many are sick! If it was easy, everyone would feel great. It does take drastic measures to once and for all figure out what is making you sick!
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 3, 2012 9:53:45 AM PST
Then why did you bother to even read the review, Amy? Because all reviews of this book are judging the plan.
What all of you commenters seem to have missed is that I gave the book four stars and said it was worthwhile. I guess that's not enough for proselytizers.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 3, 2012 1:35:18 PM PST
Organic Girl says:
Nic: depends on how desperate you are. Sure, the first two weeks are rough. You need the support of family and other people doing it to keep you focused. But, if you set your mind, as I did, to resetting your body's metabolism, it's doable. And, sometime between week 5 and 7 your mind shifts. Like another human who is sane about food is suddenly in your head. That is a miracle. And for people who have spent years feeling shame over their weight and always thought they didn't have the "will power" to push back from the table, he gives a huge and welcome message: "it isn't your fault" -- some of us are just blessed with bodies which are much more sensitive to carb loads. My fasting insulin was 22 which is high. I'd been eating "clean" for three years. I went on Hyman's plan, it dropped to 15, and our goal is 10. My husband, who has never struggled with his weight and eats pretty well, but definitely eats more sugar than I do had a fasting insulin of only 9. No wonder he was always sane around food! He didn't have insulin circulating begging him to eat!
Posted on Mar 3, 2012 3:15:06 PM PST
All kidding aside, Tracy, if you put as much energy into believing that you could do this program as you do defending your belief that you can't...
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 3, 2012 3:42:04 PM PST
Michelle Korn says:
Please stop with the talking down to her. That's not being nice at all. She wrote a review, I doubt she sits all day trying to find ways to bring herself down so she CAN'T do this. Melodramatic anyone?
She is being HONEST about who she is. I applaud her for that.
Not everyone is able to just drop all food products like you & everyone else here who judged her.
Thanks Organic Girl, your one post about "fasting insulin" (I don't know what that is) makes me want to purchase the book as I'm sounding like you.
Posted on Mar 3, 2012 7:26:23 PM PST
Gidget Jones says:
"Not that I necessarily buy into detoxification diets, but hey, whatever, right?"
-I was interested in your review and impressed with what seemed to be a logical line of reasoning until I got to this line. What point is "hey, whatever, right" supposed to make?
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 3, 2012 9:04:19 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 3, 2012 9:11:26 PM PST
All kidding aside, GJS, why do you insist on making a review of a book personal? This isn't about me, it's about the book as written. What is it about True Believers that they need to turn everything into a personal attack to try to defend their positions? If you have to do that your position can't be that strong to begin with.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 3, 2012 9:06:10 PM PST
Thanks, Michelle. And again I stress that this is about the book, not me. All I intended to do was to warn people that it's not necessarily easy but it is worthwhile even if you go at your own pace. I guess that's just not enough for the True Believers. *g*