- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 13 hours and 42 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Tantor Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: March 25, 2013
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00BEW8QEA
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Perfect Health Diet: Regain Health and Lose Weight by Eating the Way You Were Meant to Eat Audiobook – Unabridged
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However, what that means is that most of the book is just re-hashing information already in other books. Though, sometimes doing so in too general a form to be useful.
A case in point is the cavalier treatment of blood sugar as it relates to the diet. One would better read Dr. Bernsteins book, and I would also highly suggest "Blood Sugar 101" by Dr. Jenny Ruhl.
You'd get a better picture of what blood sugar is and the dangers of what it can do.
Also note that the authors first condemn, then praise, then condemn again, low-carb diets. And their assertion that low-carb actually RAISES blood sugar has no footnote or other reference.
The same applies to their assertion that low-carb causes insulin resistance. See Lyle McDonalds book on low-carb diets and Dr Jenny Ruhl's "Diet 101" for a better perspective.
(I spent hours trying to find any kind of medical study or paper on the causes of insulin resistance, and the best I could come up with were two that stated saturated fat had a definite link and any link with carbs was inconclusive.)
Too, note that the author Mark Sisson does NOT advocate this plan - he simply laudes the authors as being dedicated and having a detailed scientific approach.
There are too many areas where the author's lightly skip over important topics, yet seemingly expect the reader to accept their opinions as certified facts. Read closely on AGEs, for instance, and on blood sugar (already mentioned).
I suspect the author's of "cherry picking" references to match their opinions as well - the controversies on milk, potatoes, and other things are largely ignored.
Some conclusions of lineage are also contradicted by other evidence - the author's state we ate meat and starches for millions of years, yet "we" (homo sapiens) only go back a few hundred thousand years, and NO DIRECT LINK between us and prior hominids exist. ALL prior hominids, though similar to us, were distinctly separate species. And, by the way, they're all extinct.
Maybe it was the starches...
Speaking of starches on a personal note, I tried taro (cooked and eaten as directed (which means with meats and fats, etc) in the book) and measured the results with my glucose monitor - the
readings were 126 after an hour and 146 at two hours, with the 4 hour reading still at 117. That, my friend, is not exactly healthy....
Leading to this: Get a COMPLETE check up - include liver, thyroid, insulin, blood glucose, and anything else that applies - before you start this or any other diet. I think any author who leaves this part out of their book (and it should be in the FRONT and stressed to the utmost) is guilty of criminal negligence.
On a technical note - the "select reference" feature does not work on my Kindle or on my Kindle For PC. You click on any given reference in any given chapter, and you'll end up at the first reference with that number. So click on reference 1 in chapter 10,11,20, etc., and you'll end up at reference 1 for the preface. I wonder if they'll fix that then give me a new copy....
The authors base their prohibitions of grains, legumes and vegetable oils on the concept of toxins inherent in these foods which cause various forms of damage to the body. However, they do not address the fact that environmental toxins accumulate in fat tissue, so unless you're eating animals that ate food that was never touched by pesticides, drank filtered water, lived in uncontamined bodies of water, or breathed filtered air, you're eating the chemicals that accumulated in their bodies. Animal liver, which the Jaminets recommend eating weekly, will contain even higher levels of toxins than fatty tissue, because the job of the liver is to filter toxins. Even though I eat only naturally-fed, humanely-raised animal products, I try to protect myself from the environmental toxins that will inevitably end up in those foods by taking chlorella and regularly going to the sauna. A good detox strategy is an essential part of modern-day paleo eating on our filthy planet. Within the context of our food system, it is certainly not true to say that "animal foods are generally non-toxic" (p.120).
I believe that the only mention of environmental toxins in this book is a recommendation not to eat tuna and swordfish because they are more likely to be contaminated than fish such as salmon and herring. But then the Jaminets go on to recommend eating farmed salmon, which researchers have found to contain much higher levels of PCBs, dioxins, and pesticides than wild salmon. The researchers, at the University at Albany Institute for Health and the Environment, recommend limiting consumption of farmed salmon to once or twice a month, based on EPA guidelines. (The Jaminets would have you eat up to a pound a week).
Farmed fish is acceptable to the Jaminets, as is feedlot beef, because it is naturally low in omega-6 fatty acids. And while they say it might be nice to buy pastured poultry and eggs, because the EFA ratio is better, it's more important to limit your consumption to a few times a week. According to the Jaminets, "animal foods should be selected for their fat content" (111). There is no discussion anywhere in this book of any other health problems associated with eating factory-farmed animal foods, and not a whisper of any environmental or moral reasons to choose naturally-raised animal products. It seems the Jaminets have focused their research so narrowly on technical questions of nutrition, that they really don't know much about the larger context of food production. For example, they seem to think that free-range chickens eat only "vegetables and insects, not cereal grains" (p. 110), but it's really not possible to raise healthy pastured chickens without supplementing their diet with feed. And in encouraging vegetarians to eat eggs and dairy, they claim that "no animals are killed to obtain these foods" (p. 269). As every vegan knows, almost all male chicks and calves in the egg and dairy industries are killed. They've never heard the slogan "veal depends on dairy"? They're not going to convince any vegans this way.
Animal products contain some inherent toxins too: considering the vast amount of research that went into this book, it's hard to believe that the authors missed the news about heme iron (the kind found in red meat): it has been found to form carcinogenic compounds in the gut (although research is inconclusive yet about whether eating fresh, unprocessed red meat causes colon cancer). However, this damage has been observed to be countered by the presence of chlorophyll in the gut. So to protect myself from this toxin, I always eat green, leafy vegetables at the same time I eat red meat. The authors do suggest always cooking meat with vegetables, but a more balanced book would have discussed the toxicity of heme iron. They do mention the opioid-like peptides, allergens, and naturally-occuring hormones found in milk, and they warn against copper build-up from eating too much beef liver.
In addition to environmental toxins, anyone contemplating buying some random piece of meat at Kroger's should know what else is likely to be in there: antibiotics and hormones, dyes, additives, etc. Oh, and that it was irradiated to kill the nasty things that result from feeding animals food they weren't designed to eat and from filthy industrial slaughterhouses. But if we are to believe the Jaminets, it's perfectly safe to eat animals that have eaten GMO corn and soy, although we ourselves should not eat anything genetically modified. According to them, "the best way to detoxify genetically modified grains" is to "let animals eat them first" (p. 156). In this heavily foot-noted book, this statement conspicuously lacks any references, such as studies comparing the tissue of animals that ate GMO feed vs. non-GMO feed. The Jaminets did, after all, just get done telling us that "such is the complexity of biology that seemingly innocuous genetic alterations can have far-reaching effects" (p.156).
I noticed a few other convenient inconsistencies which raised a flicker on my BS-detector and reduced my trust in the authors: on page 75 we read that Americans eat 3770 calories a day (roughly accurate, as of 2002, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization); but on page 174, to bolster their argument that Americans are undernourished, they claim that the average male "modern office worker" eats 2560 calories per day and his female co-worker a mere 1760 calories. In the section on grains, they tell us that because eating wheat germ increases stool weight, that means that eating wheat causes "large amounts of food to be excreted instead of digested" (p.123), although anyone who has read the section on fiber might wonder if that extra stool weight is actually made up of gut bacteria that proliferated feeding on the fiber. And it was just plain weird to see them recommending spirulina as a source of long-chain omega-3s for vegetarians, since spirulina is known to produce neurotoxins, something you'd think the authors would know about.
For anyone interested in paleo-style eating, I do recommend this book for its fascinating technical content; however, it needs to be placed within the larger context of industrial food production. There are many books covering that subject: Fast Food Nation and The Omnivore's Dilemma go in-depth; The Butcher's Guide to Well-Raised Meat gives a quick overview, and tells you what to do with your relatively non-toxic, ethically-produced meat.
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Lots of technical stuff in here but for me that's great!Read more