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Showing 1-10 of 760 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 863 reviews
on July 8, 2011
The book "Forks Over Knives" does a wonderful job of performing two disparate tasks:
It provides concise explanations of why a whole-foods, plant-based diet is healthiest for people, the planet, and the animals, and
It offers a wide range of amazing recipes to help people get started.

The editor pairs these tasks to perform one goal: to help people live healthier lives through their food choices.

The book does this in three parts: (i) why a plant-based diet is best for your health, the planet, and the animals (37 pages); (ii) basic facts on plant-based foods (19 pages), and (iii) recipes (133 pages). While the bulk of the book is for recipes, there is a lot of powerful information in the first two parts that has appeal for anyone from the newcomer to the most informed, with topics as diverse as the environmental impact of food choices to nutrition labels. Even after having read literally dozens of books on plant-based foods and having finished Campbell's eCornell course in plant-based nutrition, I became more informed after reading the first two parts. The third part is filled with tempting recipes from some of the top plant-based chefs who refuse to compromise on health to sell meals.

The writing style is, for lack of a better word, "comfortable". You can almost imagine yourself having a casual discussion with 11 experts on healthy eating, with insights that would surprise your general practitioner, but with language suitable for the layperson.

My only qualms with the book are with the image quality of the graphs and people, which are technically disappointing, although still discernable, and with the arrangement of the bios, which seems out of order with their contributions.

As a result of the dual tasks, some of the Amazon reviewers were negative. I've summarized them here, along with some counterpoints:

Claim: The educational part of the book was too concise and contained bios

If you are interested only in Dr. Esselstyn's work, try Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure. For more on Campbell's work, turn to The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted And the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, And Long-term Health. For the impact of our food choices on the environment or animals, there are hundreds of books that describe the effects in chilling detail. This book is not the most comprehensive, authoritative guide on any one of those subjects, but it is a very readable and compelling guide on what is arguably the most important topic for most readers: healthy eating. And it holds something for every nutritionist I've ever met, as well as for the overweight Wal-Mart shopper whose cart is filled with chips and soda, or laboratory-manufactured foods from aisle 17. I have yet to find a book that does a better job of balancing the tasks of enlightening readers and facilitating changes in diet.

The book does offer bios on the people who are trying to help us live more healthy lives. At first, I thought that this was a bit too much of a stretch for an already ambitious book...if I read a book on yoga, I'm not necessarily interested in the backgrounds of the leading proponents of yoga. But here I think the bios are justified because they offer a much needed perspective. The bio on T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., explains how he grew up on a dairy farm and was preparing to continue working with animal-based foods, how he discovered that animal protein was a problem rather than a solution to health woes, and then how certain factions in the food industry tried to smear him to stop him from sharing his findings. Dr. Neal Barnard found that the ribs on his cafeteria tray looked and smelled eerily similar to the ribs he had just examined from a human cadaver, which led him to think differently about food. Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn tells of how he saved cardiovascular patients who had been told to "go home and prepare for death". I know of dozens of people with cardiovascular problems and one person who was also told to give up hope, so this latter bio may serve as a wakeup call where all else has failed. Collectively, these bios show how the leaders in the field came to the same conclusions from different perspectives, in spite of the traditional food and health industry pressures and tactics.

Claim: The book offered nothing that couldn't be found on the Internet.

I've been a student of plant-based nutrition for 10 years and I've read everything I can on the topic, yet I found pieces here I'd never seen before: Bios that contain insights obviously drawn out from first-hand interviews with the subjects; success stories from people who chose to adopt this healthier approach to eating; a very concise and thoughtful summary which compares whole, plant-based foods to animal products (styled like black box warning labels for food), and some great recipes from leading chefs.

Claim: The book contained no bibliography and few footnotes.

This comment, especially when juxtaposed with the above comment, shows the difficulty in pairing disparate tasks: it's impossible to please everyone. If everything could be found on the Internet, why would someone need a bibliography and dozens of footnotes? Actually, there is a bibliography--called a "bookshelf" on page 199, as well as a list of online references on page 198. There are few footnotes, which will disappoint the purist, but this is a guide, not the definitive source on every topic covered.

Now, a comment on some of the "reviews": A review should summarize the content, offer a critical assessment (e.g., Was it noteworthy? Understandable? Persuasive?), and an argument as to why prospective readers might or might not enjoy the book. Some of the comments for this book are simply mean-spirited attacks on a book that aims to inform, persuade and help those who want to live longer, healthier lives in making better food choices--all for the low price of $6.40, or less than one-tenth the cost of a doctor's visit, where the topic of whole, plant-based foods will likely never come up. Such attacks are to be expected when someone challenges long-held, but unjustifiable beliefs with extensive clinical and epidemiological evidence. Still, more thoughtful reviews would benefit Amazon customers.
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on September 27, 2015
Page 101: for the most nutritious meal ever known. Exxalus's Black Bean Soup. It stands alone as THE SINGLE MOST nutritious recipe you could ever make. It has everything! Put some hot sauce on it, or pepper sauce and it is perfect. For one thing I have never eaten chard before. Who has? But you will like it in this recipe. The film documentary changed our eating habits for good and you get the highlights in the beginning of this book. You almost don't need to see the documentary but you should. And we also have the large recipe only cookbook of the same name. We have both because we loved this documentary so much. Cutting out meat and dairy has made a tremendous difference in our lives. Also cutting out desserts and sodas as well. Weight loss comes pretty quickly and the long-term effects are indisputable. Why take a chance on your health? We do not deny ourselves one bit and totally enjoy our lifestyle. Of course we will have dessert on a special occasion, and maybe a soda once a month. But we keep them rare occurrences. As well as fish...this is where we digress from the book. We have fruit daily as our dessert and we are in no way lacking sweets. We have "infused" water with a splash of cranberry juice for an awesome drink that is not too sweet but has lots of fruit flavor. We drink this at home every day---it is our go to drink. Again, not lacking in any way. Cut out the sugar and cut out the red meat and cut out the dairy fat and your body can DIGEST food the right way. The other stuff just gets in the way of digesting your veggies which is where true nutrition is found. For this former voracious meat eater I didn't think I could survive on veggies, but with the right recipes I can. And the weight just stays off. Some great recipes in this book Easy Quesadillas p.82, Bean and Barley Chowder p.94, Zingy Italian White Bean soup p.96 and of course the go to Black Bean salad that stands alone, or as a side with another dish, or on top of your greens salad. p.105
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on March 15, 2013
I have been on this lifestyle choice for 6 weeks. My blood pressure was borderline before practicing a no animal foods diet but since this 6 weeks my blood pressure is normal. My friend went to his heard doctor because he knew he had a blockage to his heart before he retired. Well, after 1 1/2 years of retirement and many tests the cardiologist found that he now has 3 100% blockages to his heart. His doctor told him that he was not in good enough shape to even operator on him. His cardiologist told my friend to get the video and the book "Fork Over Knife" and start practicing this diet. It scared him so bad that he ordered it immediately and stopped eating all animal products. His cardiologist told him that he has 5 patients that were in as bad as shape as my friend and they have totally reversed their blockages and one even had healed their diabetes. I have lost 15 pounds since starting this change. My waist is 6 inches smaller and my skin looks the best it has in years. I think everyone should see this documentary and read the book. I do think most of Americans major health problems would go away and we would live a healthy longer lives. I love this book and video because the research and work done in this book were done by people that ate meat and meat products before the research. They changed their livestyles because of the research not just because they love animals. Two of the scientists are nearly eighty now and are still running and riding bikes and still preaching their message about living healthy productive lives. It is encouraging that you don't have to age like most American people, there is a choice to have a better life and to feel good. These products show you how.
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on December 18, 2013
When I first saw the Movie, I was bowled over by the idea that eating a plant-based diet would take care of the majority of health issues that I may face as I get older, and ones that I am dealing with now in my 50's. I bought the book so that I could have the recipe's at hand. I also bought Engine 2 Diet, China Study, and Forks Over Knives Cookbook. My husband and I have been "flirting" with going full-on to this plan, but have yet to get there. We have limited our meat to 3-4 times a week, only use almond milk now, and consumption of eggs are slowing. I've also recently given up caffeine, and adopted drinking green smoothies as a way to get more greens into our plan. In the new year, we plan to go on a 30 day plant based eating plan solely to see how it goes!! We are excited about the results we expect to see!
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on March 2, 2013
This book, which also comes in DVD as a documentary, is terrific at uncovering the demise of the American health system.( by
it's own government. ) Buy it and get educated.

Ninty percent of American citizens have no clue that dairy & meat are ruining their health & putting them on a collision course to early disease & death. Read this book & also Dr. Joel Fuhrman's book, "Eat to Live"......... & "The China Study", which in simple graphs shows how, for centuries, China's citizens had no heart disease , stokes or diabetes AT ALL! No cancer too.........until the American diet reached their shores. And you might also read , Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, "How to Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease." In that book he shows X-ray pictures of clogged arteries in people with heart disease who lived on the traditional American diet. Then after a year or two on healthy diet he shows the same arteries all back to normal and crystal clear!. If you saturate your mind with all these science proven books, you too will stand in the grocery lines, like I do, & watch in horror what people are putting on the conveyor belt headed to the cash register to buy & take home to thier families. When you reach that point, you will know you are on the proper course for a long healthy life for yourself and your family. Get educated about what NOT to eat & why.
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on April 12, 2017
This is a great series about food and food lifestyle. Helpful for people who are starting out to eat healthy but don't have a clue where to begin. I bought the whole series and they seem decent and were a good price.
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on October 13, 2013
This is the first book that makes perfect sense about what we should eat and why. I am post menopause with a thirty five pound weight gain as a result...and constant lack of energy. I could feel that I was unhealthy but none of the traditional eating plans/diets I tried made me feel any better or lose weight...even with exercise and I always felt deprived of good food. I am now seven weeks into this way of eating...I feel great...alert, focused, energetic and I have lost 14 pounds. And best of all I do not feel deprived. I highly recommend reading this book...if you are open to a new way of improving your health and well being...this book is well worth the read and the results are amazing. This is truly a new healthy way of life for me.
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on April 13, 2017
Amazing book, amazing recipes. Not just filled with incredibly easy recipes, but also wonderful testimonials, and great information. If you want true health, don't follow the high protein craze, a complete farce, whose founder died of his own diseases, or other fad diets. This book will teach you how to obtain, and re-tain, real health!
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on June 16, 2015
I thought it was a good book. Recipes are good and some "food for thought". I learned that "Knives" refers to scalpels rather then an eating utensil. I would recommend watching the documentary before reading this book.
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on May 8, 2017
I have no idea how bad my diet was before until I started watching and reading Forks over Knives... I'm eating more healthy now.
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