Saturday, August 26, 2006

Healing with Whole Foods (Pitchford)

Healing with Whole Foods is not a light reading book. First of all, its hefty. Second, it uses words like "beta-amyloid" and "xanthine oxidase." But it also presented way more information than I was expecting. In fact, I was expecting the book to focus on what foods would be best during illness, and while that definitely is a part of it, I would say the overall focus is on good health. This third edition also starts with an introduction focusing on the latest diet fads and how those affect overall health. (If you do read this book and read nothing else, read the introduction. It's really informative and interesting.)

I've been a vegatarian for 10 years now, and this book reminded me that even if you're a vegetarian, you can still manage to make some unhealthy choices. Processed foods can really get you, as can sugar. As the title suggests, whole foods are the way to go, and the book gives you excellent scientific data to back up the claims. I also think it's important to remember (and they do say this in the book) that you shouldn't expect to change your entire diet to match the recommended one in here. It's just not feasible for most people, especially in the West (the recommended diet in here is based heavily on Chinese medicine). But beginning to make healthier choices is the best thing to do.

I wouldn't recommend getting this book from the library and expecting to read it all (it's over 700 pages, and I ended up having to skim the last half to get it back in time), but I would recommend getting it from the library to see if this is something you would like to own. I think it would make a great reference book (and there are recipes in the back, some that sound very good, and others that sound like they may be too healthy, such as "Toasted Kasha with Cabbage Gravy,"---I just can't get excited about that).

Next book up: Heat by Bill Buford

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