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Customer Review

on September 19, 2006
"The food you put into your body is the single most powerful factor that determines your health and well being." - Dr. John A. McDougall, MD

This challenging theme underlies all of Dr. McDougall's writings. Genetics and one's exercise habits are important, but for most people most of the time, the food you eat trumps everything else in determining your overall health. In this book Dr. Mcdougall focuses on how food affects the health of the body's digestive system.

This book takes you on a tour of your digestive system starting with your mouth, and progressing through your esophagus, stomach, liver, gallbladder and bowels. Dr. McDougal discusses the major conditions/diseases that afflict each of these organs. He explains through his own experience and scientific research how poor diet creates the problems most commonly suffered, and how a change in diet can relieve these problems. He also explains how problems in one particular area, the bowels, can trigger problems throughout the entire digestive system.

This book is for you if you suffer from any one or more of the following digestive conditions/diseases: bad breath, tooth decay, acid reflux - GERD, indigestion, ulcers, gallstones, liver chirrhosis, appendicitis, diverticulitis, IBS, constipation, hemorrhoids, vericose veins, hiatus hernia, colitis, colin polyps. Dr. McDougall explains that a healthy person shouldn't suffer from these conditions. But if you do, a change in diet will usually be sufficient to eliminate or greatly reduce the problem.

Dr. McDougall advocates a low-fat, plant based vegan diet as the simple solution to these commonly suffered digestive conditions and diseases. This simple solution sounds startling in our era of high-tech medical treatment, drugs and surgery. But it is supported by both his experience and scientific research. Why should you trust what McDougall says? Well, you don't have to. Just give his diet a fair test for a few weeks and see if you like the changes you see.

Dr. McDougall provides lists of foods appropriate for his diet as well as cooking techniques. All of the foods he recommends are available in a typical supermarket. So you don't need to change where you shop - just what you shop for.

In one short chapter Dr. McDougall tries to argue that humans are designed by anatomy and evolution to be vegetarian and not omnivores or carnivores. No one seriously argues that humans should be strict carnivores, so that is a straw man. And the last 10,000 years provides enough evidence that humans can thrive as omnivores. This superficial chapter is unnecessary and detracts from his main argument: choosing to follow his diet promotes optimum health. That is enough reason to follow the diet.

Achieving good health is a very empowering experience. It may, however, require changing attitudes and habits about food. But good health without resorting to drugs, pills, surgery, or constant medical surveillance is a goal worth striving for. This book can help you achieve that goal.
82 helpful votes
83 helpful votes
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