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by Andrew Weil
Sounds True, 2003
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Oct 3rd 2003

The Beginner's Guide to Healthy Eating

In The Beginner's Guide to Healthy Eating, Andrew Weil spells out the essentials to his approach to nutrition and the optimum diet in 70 minutes.  This is one of the most accessible presentations of his ideas that he has set out in many other works.  The book contains a wealth of useful information.  He addresses the role of carbohydrates, fat and protein in the healthy diet.  Naturally, he warns against the dangers of processed food and recommends food as it comes from nature.  He explains that when selecting carbohydrates, it is best to choose foods with a lower glycemic index, that converts more slowly into blood sugar.  Beans, berries and whole grains have a low glycemic index, while flour (white or brown) has a high glycemic index.  Weil also recommends undercooking pasta so it is al dente: this keeps its glycemic index down.  Repeated spikes in one's one blood sugar can lead to adult type-II diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure, and so this is a great recommendation for those who are concerned with weight issues.  When it comes to fats, Weil emphasizes that all fats are bad -- it is best to reduce saturated fats and most polyunsaturated fats and have only monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, canola oil or grape-seed oil.  But it is also good to have omega-3 fatty acids, which help to protect people from cancer and heart disease, such as from fish, walnuts or flax seeds.  He recommends keeping oils in the refrigerator.  High quality dark chocolate is good if it contains cocoa butter, which is mono-unsaturated.  Weil presents all his ideas with great clarity, explaining the science behind them, and always with an awareness of the practical limitations of eating healthily.  He emphasizes that eating should be a pleasurable experience and food preparation should not be a chore, so he proposes ways to keep cooking simple and food full of taste.  As various healthy food fads persist, Weil remains a trustworthy figure among the array of self-appointed experts on nutrition.  This audiobook is an excellent resource for those looking for straightforward information about eating well. 

 

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© 2003 Christian Perring. All rights reserved.

Christian Perring, Ph.D., is Academic Chair of the Arts & Humanties Division and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island. He is also editor of Metapsychology Online Review.  His main research is on philosophical issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.