“How Not to Die” is certainly a provocative title. On the other hand, it makes a great eye-catcher and it certainly worked to grab my attention. In How Not to Die,Dr. Michael Greger discusses the state of current research on fifteen top causes of premature death in the U.S. and explains how changes in diet and lifestyle, namely eliminating animal products from your diet, can be more effective than medications and supplements for the prevention and reversal of disease. Does he succeed in making his case?
This is a big honking book. It’s roughly 560 pages in length, with 134 pages dedicated entirely to an appendix documenting every referenced study, meta-study, or information source. Frankly, I’m impressed with the extent of the footnotes, I’ve never seen a diet or lifestyle book with such extensive references. The book is divided into two main parts – the first is the more clinical portion that covers what science currently has to say about diet’s role in disease causation and prevention. The second part is the more practical portion that focuses on strategies for adopting the recommended diet and lifestyle.
If you’re looking for another diet planning book, this ain’t it. There is no specific meal guidance provided and no recipes to follow. How Not to Die is strictly an attempt to present the current state of nutritional science as Dr. Greger reads it and make a case for a diet based on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes, and free of animal-based products such as meat, dairy, fish, poultry, and eggs. Dr. Greger makes a very convincing case to give up animal products altogether, or at the very least consume them infrequently. Although a lot of Dr. Greger’s theories are convincing, there are so many different nutritional informational books out there, it’s really only about finding out what will work best for you.
There are some incredible true cases of his patients following this nutritional plan and reversing symptoms and diseases. It really is inspiring and two of us here at Pacific Companies, have decided to put this to the test. I have been using his recommended diet since January and I have seen major changes to my health, my energy and some medical issues I have had for a long while are gone and I just overall feel balanced and healthy.
I learned a lot by reading this book, and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to look past the veil of pseudo-science, propaganda, and marketing surrounding food to see what genuine research actually says about the effects of a standard American diet on long term health and wellness. At the very least, it will allow you to make more informed decisions about what you choose to eat.