Back to the future: 1980s dieting, but with valuable info in the last chapter
Reviewed in the United States on 26 January 2020
My doctor recommended this book for me. He claimed it was a packed, hard read. No. It’s an obnoxious, rambling, overly and unnecessarily verbose read with a smug, pop culture, fake upbeat attitude like you would find in the Reader’s Digest Health books. It takes the author easily 1.5 pages, on average, to make his point. Sometimes, he alluded to his point without directly stating it, and I have no idea what he means, why the paragraphs I read were relevant, or how I could apply the material presented.
Greger’s diet? Flashback to the 1980s: low fat, high in low glycemic carb, eat veggies, fruits, legumes, grains, and fish, and go sparingly on meats, nuts and nut butters, cheese, bacon, and maybe avoid chicken altogether. Opt for foods like celery which have high water and fiber content.
Well, I already knew about all of this. I lived through the 1980s, and I can tell you that this low fat, high veg, fruit, and fiber approach has never worked for me, leaving me with low muscle tone and wandering around feeling hungry, needing to eat 6 or 7 times per day. This approach also raises triglycerides and glucose levels once you add high-sugar, high-starch fruits such as bananas, pears, and apples, or plenty of grains.
Having followed this diet before, during the 1980s and 1990s, I can tell you how hard it was for me to stick to the diet. Constant sugar cravings led me to binge often, and to feel negative and defeated afterwards. Anecdotally, diets high in fruit, vegetables, and grains have never worked for me.
Nonetheless, I updated my review score from one star to three because the very last section of the book contains valuable information about coffee, tea, both green and black, coffee bean supplements, and green tea supplements, which I was popping twice daily even while I own an impressive collection of green, black, and white teas and a large variety of tisanes, including ginger, turmeric, nettle, and dandelion tisane. I had no idea that green tea capsules could lead to liver damage whereas drinking green tea does not. Like many people, I had fallen for both the green coffee bean and green tea supplement marketing.
Instead of weighing us down with lengthy tomes written in trying, pop culture language, Dr. Greger would serve us better by authoring quick pamphlets of billeted lists, instantly readable extracts of the volumes of information he presents. Sort of like mini Cliff Notes versions of his work. He could sell them for $5 each or distribute PDFs as part of an online subscription. I’d prefer that. His growing base probably would, too.
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