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Food: What the Heck Should I Eat? Hardcover – February 27, 2018
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"Just about every time someone leaves the doctor's office, they are told to exercise and eat well. Sadly, at this point in our collective human history, there is still not wide consensus on how to do either properly. With nutrition in particular, it feels like near daily whiplash. Yesterday coconut oil seemed a panacea, by tomorrow you may hear it causes heart disease. Dr. Mark Hyman, who has diligently dedicated his life to wellness, has a new book that may offer some much-needed relief. Food goes between the lines of nutrition research, providing a clear roadmap for the confused eater."―Sanjay Gupta, MD
"Dr. Hyman eloquently answers what may well be the most important question we all ask ourselves every day. Food brings the very best in nutritional science to a place of clarity and implementation for everyone."
―--David Perlmutter, MD, author of Grain Brain and Brain Maker
"Mark Hyman knows as much about food and our health as any human being alive. His new book, Food, is an invaluable guide to what we should eat and, perhaps more importantly, what we shouldn't, to get healthy and stay healthy."
―Gary Taubes, author of The Case Against Sugar
"In the diet wars, no battle is more contentious than low-fat vegan versus high-fat paleo. Mark Hyman finds common ground with paleo-vegan ('Pegan'), a plant-based diet supplemented moderately with animal foods (as 'condi-meat'). Food offers a delicious recipe for restoring our health, as we care for the planet."
―David Ludwig, MD, PhD, author of Always Hungry?
"Food and the way we produce and consume it is at the center of most of our world's health, environmental, climate, economic, and even political crises. With his new book, Food: What the Heck Should I Eat?,Mark Hyman, MD, shows us that food is powerful medicine, and it contains information that speaks to our environment and our genes, programming our body with messages of health or illness."―Deepak Chopra
"Food is at the center of our well-being, and how we get our food is directly connected to the health of our planet. But we're drowning in bewildering information and advice about what to eat. In his new book, Food, Mark Hyman, MD, breaks down all the science into practical advice about what to eat and what to avoid. This is a manual for how the food we eat can help us thrive."―Arianna Huffington, author of Thrive
About the Author
- Hardcover : 400 pages
- Item Weight : 1.35 pounds
- ISBN-10 : 0316338869
- ISBN-13 : 978-0316338868
- Dimensions : 6.4 x 1.55 x 9.55 inches
- Publisher : Little, Brown Spark; 1st edition (February 27, 2018)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #8,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Cons: nothing new here, slightly contradictory at times
First off, I am a fan of Dr. Hyman. I think this book is well done and very informative, especially if you are new to reading about nutrition or current scientific findings on the subject. I do think it’s worth noting his diet is more along the lines of Paleo, so if you’re vegan you won’t like this book. Many times he states the pitfalls of vegan diets but he does talk extensively on the importance of vegetables. Most, if not all, of this information is available on his social media or through other paleo/Whole food blogs. Lastly, he contradicts some times. For example, stating you need 30g of protein 3x a day but then saying he only eats meat as a condiment, legumes rarely and plants should be 50-75% of our plate. I find it difficult to eat this much protein if limiting both legumes and meat and also focusing on low carb vegetables. Another example is the back and forth on beans in general, one paragraph they’re packed with nutrients, another paragraph they’re anti-nutrient and off just full of too many carbs. Another example, dairy: he goes back and forth on the pros and cons so much that you’re left still not knowing if you should eat it.
So that’s why I took off two stars: info already available online and it’s conflicting at times. Otherwise, it’s well done.
I recommend it if you aren’t vegan and if you are absolutely in the dark on current nutrition/food quality.
This book is a great guide for those who are just starting out. It can be a bit overwhelming if you don't know a lot of it, but he does a good job of making you realize that there are a lot of problems with the conventional American diet, especially the foods that the media and lobbying industries are marketing towards us. His biggest pro is the fact that he is preaching on many topics that have been (in my opinion) firmly established in the literature already. For instance, unnatural carbs (ex. grains, processed foods, etc.) are NOT needed at all, so avoiding these makes obvious sense. This is why diets like keto are so popular right now; people are ridding themselves of mostly carbs, which in turn drastically cuts down on the amount of calories one eats each day. Generally, he does a good job addressing the major food groups and gives a nice, easily-accessible list at the end of each chapter on what foods to avoid and to get more of. In a world of confusion on what to eat, Dr. Hyman does a nice job of mapping out a starting point by which to become healthier and more vibrant. Some of the main takeaways I got from his book are that organic/minimally processed foods are best (mostly because of the added chemicals in our foods); the messages by the government are very biased; and that moderation really is the key to a healthy lifestyle.
I do, however, have quite a lot of gripes with his content.
His book reeks of confirmation bias. I'm guessing that he selectively included studies from authors who he works with regularly to fit the narrative he wants to advocate. Obviously this happens with any writer, but it's a problem when someone writes a no-nonsense guide to eating healthy and only includes information on the bias he has. The reality is that nutrition information is not set in stone, and many of the topics he talks about are non conclusive enough to give an affirmative answer. Some of the examples include:
1) Dairy: His main arguments for not consuming milk are that it's inflammatory and that it leads to cancer. For me, I don't have issues with digesting dairy at all, so that part of his argument is thrown out immediately. Second, his argument that dairy leads to cancer is non-conclusive. He pretty much says that research suggests there is a link between dairy and cancer, but that could be said for so many things. He doesn't mention much about the benefits of dairy, including its protein content, natural sugars, healthy fats and vitamins, etc. Long story short, he doesn't comprehensively convince me that dairy should be avoided. Yes, I will try to go organic when I can, but organic dairy is four times as expensive as non-organic dairy.
2) Beans: His main arguments for avoiding beans is that they are inflammatory and have high carbohydrates contents. Yes, these probably should be avoided if you're diabetic or insulin-resistant (as should most carbs in that case). However, once again I don't have issues digesting beans, and I find that their fiber content is world's better than any other foods I eat. One serving of beans makes me regular for days. Apart from incredible amounts of fiber, beans have lots of protein, micronutrients, and are very satiating. What about the difference between canned beans and dry beans?
3) Grains: His main argument for avoiding grains are that they are just like sugar when digested. Yes, this is true. However, what about whole grains? He doesn't talk enough about the difference between whole grains and highly processed grains. This makes it difficult to make a decision---should I avoid grains altogether or just processed ones?
Overall, his main weakness is that what he says isn't clearly convincing. Yes, I will try to buy organic foods when possible and yes I will try to limit the carbs I consume. However, I don't know necessarily what ultimate decision to make. These foods exist on a spectrum (ex. juice vs. natural fruit, ice cream vs. whole milk, etc.) What should I do? Furthermore, the type of diet he advocates is far out of reach for most people in society. It's just too expensive and not convenient in the slightest. This book will absolutely help those who are eating only junk food, but it isn't necessarily helpful for those are in-shape, workout regularly, don't have the money and/or time, and want to live a moderate lifestyle. I wish he had spent more time telling me about the complete pros and cons of each food group and allowing me to make a decision on my own, but instead he picks a side (ex. beans are mostly bad) and goes with that one side. A good researcher discusses both sides on a topic, but unfortunately Dr. Hyman chose to ignore some of the information that would have weakened his arguments and bias.
His evidence-based reference section is 30 pages long, & about 19 references per page. Perfect for arguing science to those who insist that reading only headlines, & social media, are accurate sources of nutrition information.
It is clearly indexed on 12 specific food groups (meat, poultry/eggs, milk/dairy, fish/seafood, vegetables, fruit, fats/oils, beans, grains, nuts/seeds, sugar/sweeteners & beverages). In each food group he discusses the science, what the experts got right & wrong about the food group, what we still don’t know for sure, things you should know about the food group & what you should eat/avoid in that food group.
After those sections, he further patiently spells out what to keep out of your food. In case you haven’t already gotten the idea in Part II.
He goes into a 10 day detox diet, & provides a meal plan & fabulous recipes. His recipes are the best; They’re delicious & healthy. Tonight I’m making his herb-marinated chicken breasts.
I pre-ordered & got the book the day it dropped. Already I’ve highlighted & bookmarked half of it. I used it today @ work, while teaching my diabetes class, to answer a question about raw milk (p. 89).
Dr. Hyman, thank you for another great book. You keep out-doing yourself. And I use your Blood Sugar Solution recipes weekly.
Top reviews from other countries
If you have any interest at all in your health, or lack thereof, and want to do something about it, buy this book and put Mark's advice into action. I'm about a third of the way through and I can wholeheartedly recommend it. It's simple and straight to the point. It references the supporting research but keeps things simple and actionable.
I normally wait until the kindle version of a book is available but I preordered this in hardback. I don't really like hardbacks but I wanted to get on with implementing some changes in my diet so decided to get this rather than hang on. Glad I did.