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Food: What the Heck Should I Eat? by Mark Hyman M.D., Little, Brown and Company, US $28.00, Pp 400 February 2018, ISBN 978-0316338868

Everybody wants to have a healthy and slim body. Many of us make efforts to achieve this goal by eating healthily according to our knowledge of what is good for our health. Many of us have gathered our knowledge of food first by listening to our parents as children and, second, by reading an umpteenth number of cookbooks. Most of us believe the following to be absolutely true although there is no scientific basis for such beliefs.

1 — You should avoid egg yolks because they raise your cholesterol and cause heart attacks.

2 — Red meat is unhealthy and causes cancer and heart disease.

3 — You should avoid butter because it has too much saturated fat and causes heart disease.

4 — Vegetable oil is better for you than butter.

5 — It is better to eat chicken than red meat.

6 — Low-fat milk is better for you than whole milk.

7 — You should not eat shrimp because it contains a lot of cholesterol.

8 — Arugula is just another kind of lettuce, like an iceberg.

9 — Beans are a good source of protein. Beans are the ultimate health food.

10 — Whole wheat bread is a great way to get your whole grains.

In Food, Dr. Mark Hyman says that all of these and hundreds of other things you believe to be good for your health and weight are actually not true. In fact, many such beliefs are actually harmful to your health. Dr. Hyman is the director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, chairman of the board of the Institute for Functional Medicine, and founder and director of The UltraWellness Center. He is also the bestselling author of numerous books, including Eat Fat, Get ThinThe Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet; and The Blood Sugar Solution. Dr. Hyman has analyzed hundreds of commonly-believed concepts about food and health and explained why they are false or, in some cases, true. This is what explains why so many of us cannot achieve good health and lose weight in spite of our hard work.

Time and money are the biggest perceived obstacles to eating well. Dr. Hyman argues that, in most cases, neither is a true obstacle. He says that Americans spend eight hours a day in front of a screen. On average, we each spend two hours a day on the Internet – something that didn’t even exist 20 years ago! But we cannot find the time to plan, shop, and cook for our families? True it might cost a little more to buy fresh meat, fish and produce than to eat processed junk and fast food. But it also doesn’t have to. He says that studies have shown that eating real food is not more expensive than eating processed food. You don’t have to buy grass-fed steak (although that is ideal). You can eat well for less. To put it in perspective, Europeans spend about 20 percent of their income on food whereas Americans spend only 9 percent. We have to value our food and health. What we don’t spend on the front end we pay for on the back end at the drug store and the doctor’s office.

Dr. Hyman convincingly argues that what is missing is the education – the basic skills, knowledge, and confidence – to purchase and cook real food. When you don’t know how to cook a vegetable, how can you feed yourself or your family? It is not lack of desire to get well that holds people hostage to the food industry and the marketers. Without the confidence that comes from knowing how to prepare quality foods, people are left vulnerable to the aggressive marketing tactics of the food industry. Which is all too eager to sell us highly addictive, poor-quality, man-made food-like products that fatten us up, along with their bottom line. Major packaged food companies are like drug dealers pushing their addictive products.

Food is a must-have for everyone who cares about their health and weight. Dr. Hyman shows that our lack of scientific knowledge about what we eat is the biggest reason for our less than ideal health and how we can improve our health by improving our knowledge of food. He also shows that how agricultural industry has played havoc with the health of millions of people. Food is a goldmine of knowledge for health-conscious people. This one book will help you more to regain your health and lose weight than any other cookbook.

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