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The Plant-Powered Diet - book review teaser

Posted Nov 13 2012 6:12pm

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Barnard Diet (by Neal Barnard, MD, founder of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine): Based on starches, vegetables and fruits. Diet is low-fat. Emphasis is on no animal foods, ever.

Biblical Daniel Diet: More than 2500 years ago a diet of vegetables and water was found to improve the health of men in 10 days, compared to men eating meat (the king’s food).

China Study Diet (by T. Colin Campbell, PhD): Based on starches, vegetables, and fruits. Animal foods may account for 10% or fewer of foods consumed.

CHIP Program (The Complete Health Improvement Program by Dr. Hans Diehl): Based on starches, vegetables, and fruits. Emphasis is on eating low-fat.

Esselstyn Diet (by Caldwell Esselstyn, MD): Based on starches, vegetables, and fruits. No nuts, seeds, avocados, or other fatty plant foods are allowed. Emphasis is on eating very low-fat.

Engine 2 Diet (by Rip Esselstyn): Based on starches, vegetables, and fruits. Emphasis is on eating very low-fat.
Fuhrman Diet (by Joel Fuhrman, MD): Based on green and yellow vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds. Not always low in fat. Small amounts of animal foods allowed. Emphasis is on eating “nutrient-dense” greens.

Hallelujah Diet (by Rev. George Malkmus): Consists of 85% raw, uncooked, and unprocessed plant-based food, and 15% cooked, plant-based foods.

Kempner Rice Diet (by Walter Kempner, MD): Based on rice and fruits. More plant foods and a few animal foods are allowed after recovery. Emphasis is on eating very low sodium.

Macrobiotic Diet: Based on grains (rice) and vegetables. Fish, seafood, seeds, and nuts may be eaten occasionally.

McDougall Diet (by John McDougall, MD): Based on starches, vegetables, and fruits. Healthy, trim people can eat some nuts, seeds, and avocados. Animal foods for holidays, at most. Emphasis is on eating starches.

Natural Hygiene Diet (by Herbert M. Shelton, ND): Advocates a raw food diet of vegetables, fruits, and nuts; and also periodic fasting and food combining.

Ornish Diet (by Dean Ornish, MD): Based on starches, vegetables and fruits. Low-fat dairy, some fish, and fish oils are used at times. Emphasis is on eating very low-fat.

Popper Diet (by Pam Popper, PhD): Based on starches, vegetables, and fruits. Emphasis is on eating very low-fat.

Pritikin Diet (by Nathan Pritikin): The original diet was based on starches, vegetables and fruits. Small amounts of meat, poultry, fish, and low-fat dairy are allowed. Emphasis is on eating very low-fat.
I have a long way to go in the book so this is not yet a book "review" but rather a teaser as I feel I can already recommend this book to individuals who desire to eat a more plant-powered diet.
There are no pre-reqs as to what kind of diet you have to follow before reading this book or what you are suppose to "not eat" when you are finished with this book. The book is simply a step-by-step approach to understanding how you can incorporate more plants into an omnivorous diet or why you should continue to enjoy your current plant-based style of eating. With a 14-day meal plan and 75 delicious recipes, this book keeps "balance" in mind and will likely leave you excited to live a healthier lifestyle.

Dr. David L. Katz (Director of Yale University Prevention Research Center) wrote the forward to this book. After I reach his forward, I was moved beyond words as to how he describes his views on food. Considering the many diets out there and the desire that you may have to follow the masses, please enjoy the following two paragraphs as you consider changing your views about food and your body, aiming for a more enjoyable and positive approach to "healthful" living.
The theme of healthful eating consistently emphasizes the same basic constellation of foods: vegetables, fruit, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains. There are several legitimate variations on the themes: some include low- and nonfat dairy and eggs, others do not. Some include fish and seafood, others do not. Some include lean meats, others do not. All banish to the realm of rare indulgence those highly processed foods that deliver concentrated doses of refined starch, sugar, trans fat, certain saturated fats and sodium. All start with the building blocks of actual foods that are recognizable and pronounceable, especially plant foods, and the portion control that tends to occur all but automatically when eating these foods.

That we can assert a theme of healthful eating with a confidence we lack for any specific variant is arguably a good thing. An allowance for variations on a theme is an allowance for customization. Food is a source of important pleasure in our lives, and while we should not mortgage our health for that pleasure, neither should we mortgage that pleasure for our health. The dietary sweet spot, as it were, is loving food that loves us back! Variations on the theme of healthful eating allow us each to get there in our own particular way. Several of these dietary variations have been investigated regarding their potential for health promotion.

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