This blog was written by Dr. Mark Hyman about his new book, Food. What the Heck Should I Eat? (Article reposted with permission from Dr. Mark Hyman.)
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Eating healthy is more confusing than ever. I’ve been studying nutrition for 35 years and found that even experts are confused by the science. If the people we look to for nutritional guidance keep changing their views, no wonder the rest of us are so overwhelmed!
You know what I’m talking about. One day eggs are unhealthy, then the next day they are a miracle food. One year the government tells us to eat bread, pasta, and other carbohydrates as the foundation of our diet, and the next it tells us to cut carbs. The US Dietary Guidelines told us 35 years ago that all our health problems were derived from eating fat and recommended we eat fat “only sparingly.” Over three decades later, they suddenly learned fat wasn’t so bad for us.
Then you’ve got the dogmatists who believe you must adhere 100% to a particular plan to be lean and healthy, whether that plan be vegan, Paleo, vegetarian, Mediterranean, raw food, ketogenic, high-fat, low-fat or omnivore.
Lots of factors contribute to this nutrition confusion and contention, including misinformation, personal biases, and conflicting science. Chief among the reasons why so many people are so confused is our $1 trillion food industry that provides us with all sorts of “healthy” options – low-fat, high-fiber, whole-grain, gluten-free – that are mostly not healthy.
All this confusion is enough to make you give up and just eat whatever you want, whenever you want, and in whatever quantities you want.
That’s why I wrote my new book Food. What the Heck Should I Eat?. I want to help you undo all the beliefs about food that are making you fat and sick and replace them with a new understanding that will lead to health and longevity.
Why is Food. so different than every other diet and nutrition book out there? Because I organized the information to provide an honest, science-based, unbiased answer to the question, “What the heck should I eat?” I scoured the best and latest science to provide a roadmap about what to eat. This book cuts through the hype and hoopla to provide a realistic, fact-based, effective, and sustainable way to eat and live.
In Food., I break down 12 categories of food, deep-dive into the science as well as environmental and ethical guidelines behind those categories, and provide practical tools to sum up what I’ve found to determine what you should eat and avoid.
None of these principles involve deprivation. Instead, you’ll learn to incorporate delicious, whole foods full of flavor, texture, and culinary surprises.
I’ve designed this book to be practical, informative, entertaining, and easy to implement into your busy life. Food. shows you how to use food as medicine to reset your body and to eat in a way that promotes health. Among the take-home principles I incorporate into this book include:
- An all-in approach to one way of eating may not be the all-in answer. You’ve got so many eating options, but advocates believe their approach is the absolute best. But what if we could abandon the hype and focus on the best traits of each approach? That’s what I’ve done with the Pegan Diet, which combines the best principles from several eating plans to optimize what foods you choose. In Food. I discuss this effective, commonsensical approach to eating that bypasses nutritional dogma for common ground.
- Much of what we eat is not really food. At least, it has been so adulterated and processed we may as well not call it food. It is more of a food-like substance. And as a result, most of us are confused, baffled, and frustrated, not knowing whom to believe or what to eat. In Food., I’ll show you how to scout out things like mystery ingredients and damaging additives that can hijack your health.
- If there are health claims on the label, what’s inside is probably unhealthy. High-fiber, low-carb, no-sugar-added, the list goes on and on about the many health claims manufacturers boast on food packages. Chances are, they’re hiding what they don’t want you to know among the ingredients. Those gluten-free cookies might sound healthy, but flip the package around and you’ll find they contain more sugar than regular cookies!
- What you put on your fork is the most important thing you do every day. Food is medicine. It’s information. Food is the most powerful drug on the planet. It influences your capacity to live a rich, energetic, connected, soulful life. If you enjoy the real, whole, fresh foods I talk about in Food. that you cook using real ingredients, you are positively affecting everything around you. Food is the doorway to living well and loving well – and to fixing much of what’s wrong with our world.
- Real food doesn’t have to be expensive. While it might cost a little more to buy fresh meat, fish, and produce than to eat processed junk and fast food, it doesn’t have to. In fact, studies have shown that eating real food is not more expensive than eating processed food. You don’t always have to buy grass-fed steak (although that is ideal). You can eat well for less. In Food., I’ll show you how.
- The real revolution happens in your kitchen. We have to cook our way out of our addiction to bad food. Shopping, cooking, and eating are political acts with far-reaching benefits to our health, the earth, the economy, and beyond. Cooking is fun, freeing, and essential to achieving health and happiness. Unfortunately, we have handed the act of cooking, this unique task that makes us human, over to the food industry. In Food., I’ll show you how to take that power back, starting with your very next meal.
- When you feel confused, ask yourself this one question. Did a human being make this or did nature? Nature made an avocado, but not a Twinkie. Eating healthy is really that simple.
Even though Food. contains a great deal of scientific information about what to eat and avoid, my hope is that it actually empowers you to make the best food choices. Cooking and eating become infinitely easier when you leave all the artificial stuff behind and focus on real, whole foods.
I truly believe Food. contains all the principles to transform lives. My newest book will help you lose weight, reduce disease, positively impact the environment, and feel better, while knowing you are serving the healthiest foods for you and your loved ones.
I can’t wait to share all the information I’ve learned, so you can cut through the confusion and design a plan that helps you cultivate vibrant, abundant health. Food. comes out on February 27, 2018. You can learn more about the book, and pre-order it here.