This is the fifth installment in a six-part series. These books have all had a positive influence on my own training, health, or mental well-being, and I highly recommend them. The books are in no order. For full disclosure’s sake, know that if you click on the linked image to purchase the book, it will give me a small kick back.
How Not to Die
by Michael Greger, M.D.
I have one my desk at work a Post-It note that says, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” That quote from Michael Pollan’s Omnivore's Dilemma has been a constant reminder to follow a healthy diet.
I remember the first time I saw the title of Greger’s book and thinking, “This sounds like something we should all read.” And boy, is it a great book. Greger is a doctor who has dedicated his life to solving the problems that plagued his ailing grandmother and to promote healthy eating. He saw her make a miraculous comeback fueled by healthy foods, comprising of whole foods and mostly plants.
In How Not to Die, Greger looks at 15 “killers” and then discusses the research on how diet can help fend off these life-shortening diseases. For example, if you are at risk for breast cancer, soy milk can be a better choice than dairy. The list of advice is extensive but the big take away if take whole foods and plant sources to heart.
I am not a huge believer in dieting, but I do think that diet, as in what you eat, plays a big role in being and feeling healthy. There is not a doubt in my mind that following a whole food and vegetarian diet is a fantastic way to combat a plethora of illnesses, and in How Not to Die, Greger spells it all out for us in a pretty easy to read and fascinating way. He has a nice balance of intellectual and practical writing that I like, and his stories are clever and entertaining. I also like that Greger does not push veganism or vegetarianism down the reader’s throat. He simply makes his case, and he lets you decide how much of it to digest. Pun intended.
The book, How Not to Die, is a big one at 576 pages, but it is easily read in any order you’d like it to be. You can jump around topics with no harm. And furthermore, there is an impressive amount of supplemental work published by Greger on his nutrionfacts.org site, including more articles, updates, videos, and podcasts. He is quite an impressive guy, and he is making a difference in many people’s lives. I personally started using his Daily Dozen app, and it has helped me tremendously to increase my intake of healthy foods. I hope you check the book, site, and app out.