How not to die

Book Review: How Not To Die by Michael Greger

About How Not To Die by Michael Greger

How Not to Die explains how a plant-based diet can extend your life while transforming your quality of living. This book offer a wealth of health-boosting nutritional information and hands-on dietary advice that you won’t get from your doctor.

About the author

Michael Greger, MD, is an internationally renowned doctor, author and speaker. Additionally, he serves as director of public health and animal agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States and runs the website NutritionFacts.org. Gene Stone is the author of several books on plant-based nutrition, including the bestseller, Forks Over Knives.

My highlights

  • How Not To Die explains that poor diet is the number one cause of premature death, and it’s often ignored by the medical industry.
  • Meat, dairy, eggs and processed foods that dominate the typical American diet are bad news. The study found that people who ate diets rich in these food groups were at greater risk of heart disease, diabetes and a number of other chronic ailments. Not just that, but excessive animal fat and processed meat also resulted in high cholesterol and an elevated chance of heart disease.
  • A plant-based diet can provide better treatment than pharmaceuticals.
  • Vegetarians of 12 years who began eating meat one day per week saw a drop in life expectancy of 3.6 years.So are vegetarians healthier? Well, cultures that eat plant-based diets certainly experience much less disease than we do in modern American society.
  • How Not To Die suggests that plant-based diets can even help reverse disease.
  • Doctors find it easier to prescribe drugs than to change a diet, even though medication poses potential threats.
  • Plant-based diets have been shown to be just as effective and come with none of the risks.
  • Fruits, especially berries, help deter cancer and boost the immune system.
  • A healthy diet should contain four servings of fruit a day, one of which should be berries. Keep in mind that means whole fruit and not fruit juice.
  • Eating fruit has been found to improve lung function. This is due to fruit’s rich antioxidant content, which limits cellular damage and reduces inflammation. And don’t worry about the natural sugar in fruits causing weight gain. Only the fructose in added sugars is associated with health problems. The fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients in fruit itself can combat the adverse effects of fructose. This incredible antioxidizing power is believed to come from their pigmentation, and berries are second only to herbs and spices as the most antioxidant-rich foods, with an average of ten times more antioxidants than other fruits.
  • Vegetables are vital to a healthy diet.
  • Whole vegetables, as opposed to processed ones, have been found to protect cellular telomeres – nucleotide “caps” that keep DNA healthy as cells divide and age. Not just that, but vegetables like broccoli and cabbage can aid liver and lung function while cutting the risk of lymphoma and prostate cancer.
  • One of the main messages in How Not To Die is that eating five servings of veggies a day is the magic solution. Out of these five, two should be leafy greens like kale, arugula and chard. One should be a cruciferous vegetable like broccoli, cabbage or cauliflower. And the other two should include carrots, beets and mushrooms. Cruciferous vegetables are essential as they produce sulforaphane, a potentially powerful, anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting molecule. These vegetables are best eaten raw since the enzyme that activates sulforaphane is destroyed by heat. Chopping them up before cooking is fine, however, since doing so activates the enzyme, thereby forming sulforaphane. After just 40 minutes, the molecule is preserved, and the vegetable can be safely cooked. Dark leafy greens are important since they contain the most nutrition per calorie of any food on earth. If you don’t like them, just try blending them into a fruit smoothie.
  • Beans and whole grains are great for your health.
  • The American Institute for Cancer Research recommends eating a serving of beans or legumes with every meal since they offer an animal-free protein with added benefits, like fiber.
  • Soy is the most popular bean in America, but processed versions of soybeans, like tofu, should be avoided.
  • Lentils are a good choice for legumes as they can cut a sugar spike, even hours after a meal. Beyond that, they’re loaded with prebiotics, can relax the stomach and slow the rate of sugar absorption.
  • You should eat beans three times a day, and the same goes for whole grains, which can deter debilitating diseases.
  • Whole grains can cut the risk of heart disease, type-2 diabetes, obesity and even strokes.
  • Check nutritional labels and confirm that the ratio of carbohydrates to fiber is five to one or lower.
  • Nuts and seeds are super nutritious.
  • A single daily serving of nuts or seeds can make all the difference in fighting disease?
  • The phytates found in nuts and seeds detoxify excess iron from the body, which can create free radicals linked to colorectal cancer. While phytates used to be considered inhibitors of mineral absorption, they’ve since been found to increase bone density.
  • The most recommended seeds are chia, hemp, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower.
  • Walnuts are the most nutritious. They’re even among the most antioxidizing foods and boast high levels of omega-3s.
  • Herbs and spices make healthy foods even more beneficial.
  • Herbs and spices can add flare to a dish, but these fragrant flavorings are also powerful fighters of disease, especially cancer.
  • Spices like cloves, cinnamon, oregano and nutmeg inhibit an enzyme known as monoamine oxidase, which can spark depression. But of all the herbs and spices, turmeric is the best, especially for cancer. While turmeric is eliminated from the body quite quickly, simple black pepper can suppress this process.
  • When it comes to beverages, water reigns supreme.
  • Aim for at least five 12-ounce beverages per day, and there’s nothing better than pure H2O.
  • Coffee, which benefits the liver and the brain. Those who drink more than two cups of java per day experience half the risk of both chronic liver issues and suicide.The second is tea, which can have powerful medicinal effects.
  • How Not To Die explains that milk is a big no-go
  • While moderate drinking – one drink a day for women and two for men – has benefits for heart disease, booze is also correlated with cancer.
  • Exercise coupled with a healthy diet is the recipe for a long life.
  • While healthy eating is essential, its benefits can only be increased by adding exercise to the mix. The daily recommendation is 90 minutes of moderate or 40 minutes of intense exercise.

Final summary

The key message in How Not To Die: Switching to a plant-based diet can help you live longer and more healthily. Many of the debilitating diseases we suffer from today are merely a result of eating animal-based foods. By changing your diet, you can prevent or even reverse conditions as serious as heart disease or cancer.

Any thoughts? Leave a comment below:

Originally posted 2017-12-18 14:55:19.

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