- Paperback: 432 pages
- Publisher: Free Press; Reprint edition (September 19, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1501164775
- ISBN-13: 978-1501164774
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 268 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating Paperback – September 19, 2017
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"Uniquely knowledgeable, equally wise, unfailingly thoughtful, and deeply concerned for the well-being of people and planet alike, there simply is no better guide to dietary health- anywhere- than Walter Willett- and no better guidance than 'Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy.' " (David L. Katz, MD, MPH Director, Yale University Prevention Research Center Founder, The True Health Initiative)
“In this updated edition of Eat, Drink and Be Healthy, Dr. Willett, one of the world’s pre-eminent nutrition researchers, explains the latest evidence to help us all thrive, and live longer lives. And for home cooks, professional chefs, and food lovers everywhere, this must-read elegantly bridges nutrition and culinary strategies in ways that honor the cause of deliciousness and the pleasures of sharing food with family and friends." (Greg Drescher Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, The Culinary Institute of America)
About the Author
Walter C. Willett, MD, DrPH, has led the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health for twenty-five years and is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. A world-renowned researcher, he is a lead investigator of the landmark Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Dr. Willett has won many honors, including the Mott Prize, the prestigious award of the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation. Coauthor Patrick J. Skerrett, the former Executive Editor of Harvard Health Publications, is the editor of First Opinion at STATnews.com.
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I could personally do without the entire recipes section, but other readers might find them useful. Definitely recommended.
Unfortunately, there is a super-abundance of information about eating thrown at us, much of which is rife with half-truths or is just plain wrong. Some sources have an agenda, such as selling us products that enrich their bottom line but line our bottoms with unhealthy fat. Others are well-meaning but are working from an inadequate scientific base - witness the diet fads that have come and gone with regularity.
Dr. Willett has been to the mountaintop and received the wisdom to guide us in our quest. As the principal investigator for path-breaking studies observing two large populations followed over time, he has had the unique opportunity to correlate their nutritional habits with their health outcomes. That research has provided some of the best evidence of the benefits and limitations of specific dietary elements that is available today.
This book distills the insights gained from these studies and other parallel studies by other investigators into a practical guide for planning one's own optimal diet. The good news is that there are many degrees of freedom to the individual in planning his or her diet. It isn't necessary to eliminate carbs, or reduce fats, or stock up on proteins. The emphasis is on the right kind of carbs and fats and proteins. Within those boundaries, there are many different ways to accomplish the goal.
I highly recommend this book for those who want to improve their chances of avoiding strokes, heart attacks, diabetes and a host of other chronic diseases. You will still have work to do to determine which of the choices works best as a plan you can stick with in the long haul, but that's a lot better than bouncing from pillar to post with the latest fads.
I'm a medical doctor with experience in critically reviewing the medical literature and judging the strength of evidence in research papers. There have been some new developments since this book was published that are worth knowing about, but you will hardly go wrong by studying it carefully, re-reading several times and drawing from its wisdom.
1. As one reviewer stated, the book is ten years old (with a six year old revision), so it's no longer cutting edge. Lots of what is said is all over the media, like the benefits of nuts. And much as I appreicated the discussion of overhyping calcium, there is more to dairy than just calcium and it's quite possible that milk products may be much better than the author thought in 2000. Yogurt especially should be considered as a potential health food. None of this is a refection on the author, of course, but just the inevitable impact of age on a book of this sort.
2. Like so many books about food, the author is a bit sanguine about the difficulties of adopting a new diet. His diet plan is far less restrictive than some, but readers should still be prepared for just how much they will still crave foods like white bread and sweets. Far from being a social construct as the book suggests in one spot, the human preference for rich and highly refined foods is inborn and (I would speculate) based on the fact that such foods are simply easier to eat and digest.
3. My personal approach is to buy the most natural food I can under most circumstances. Much as it recommends whole foods like grains and nuts, the book does not really discourage use certain margarines and artificial sweeteners. I would generally avoid such things simply based on the past experience that many factory foods have turned out to have more problems than anticipated.
4. I would make more assertive use of supplements than the book recommends. I typically take 8 or 9 different tablets daily, including extra D and a B complex, and I think it is helpful.
When it comes to exercise, healthy eating and weight loss, there is no such thing as "easy". There is such a thing as "possible", and this author does a pretty good job of getting us thinking on that track.