Michael Greger MD has dedicated his life to spreading the word about plant based diets and their health benefits as his grandmother was saved from dying young through this very strategy.
In Part 1, he systematically explores the biggest killers including heart, lung and brain diseases, a variety of cancers, high blood pressure, and diabetes; explaining what the research says about their causes. (Hint: it’s mostly through diet.) It was interesting to read that diet has a much bigger impact on health outcomes then genetics – sure, the genes you inherit play a part, but diet plays a bigger one. For example, research shows that when people move to a country with less healthy eating patterns, they end up ‘inheriting’ the same health outcomes as the population of their new home (and vice-versa).
Part 2 explores the health benefits of different groups of foods including beans, greens, berries, vegetables, whole grains, etc. The aim of the book is to show, through the latest research, that eating a whole food, plant based diet is the best way to get and stay healthy.
As someone who already eats this way, I was inspired by the book to keep going and, in fact, to try to make my diet even more reliant on healthy plant based meals. The only downside to the book is that it’s pretty long but I guess it has to be this way to fit in all the research. However, as there’s a chapter for each ‘killer’ and a chapter for each type of food, it’s pretty easy to dip in and out of as time permits.