“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will instruct his patient in the care of human frame in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.” –Thomas Edison, 1903
“The scriptures contain a mixture of sand and sugar, as it were. It is extremely difficult to separate the sugar from the sand. Therefore one should learn of the essence of the scriptures from the teacher or from a sadhu.” –Sri Ramakrishna
In his remarkable collection of books Dr. Michael Greger separates the sugar from the sand in the overwhelming miasma of health information and misinformation that threatens to drown the inquirer, and presents the essence of the connection between nutrition and health. In our ashram’s study of diet and health over the past fifty years, his writings stand out as uniquely well-informed and helpful; we recommend you see for yourself.
Based on thousands of scientific studies
His conclusions are based on exhaustive reviews of thousands of scientific studies and medical tests of the effects of nutrition (and exercise, sleep, and more) on health. The citations for health studies referenced in his first book, a New York Times best-seller with the implausible title of How Not to Die, added an extra 140 pages to this encyclopedic presentation. He solved the problem of accommodating the 4,990 studies and articles citations in his second book by moving them on to his site nutritionfacts.org. And in his latest book, in addition to the 8,360 citations he parks on his site, he references numerous free videos on his site that expand on the topic at hand (more on these below).
Letting the facts speak for themselves, he assumes nothing and questions everything – and we mean everything! What were the results for those who ate a half of cup of beans each day, and for those who didn’t? What about those who ate an egg each day and those who didn’t? If you swap out chicken or fish for meat will it lower your cholesterol? Will extra vitamin C help you once you’ve come down with a cold? Unknown to most readers, there are health studies that tested these and other nutrition choices and their health consequences among tens of thousands of participants, sometimes for decades.
Dr. Michael Greger: Fun with Puns
Don’t let our description “encylopedic” put you off from reading his books. Dr. Greger’s style is engaging and personable, and his wry sense of humor and skill with puns make his books pleasurable reading. (Who can forget his account of his college-days’ mishap with the uniquely “fragrant” Durian fruit? Teaser quote: “Uh-oh.”)
No surprise, he concludes that the number one killer is what we eat; Big Pharma is not the answer. And he demonstrates how through the miraculous resiliency of the human body, debilitating and fatal disease can be prevented and even reversed by a wise and informed pursuit of the right diet. Reading his cogent explanations of the myriad processes that billions of cells and bacteria sustain in our body from moment to moment, one can only conclude that the greatest material evidence of God’s greatness and His hand in nature is not mountains, stars, or seas, but the awesome miracle of the human body.
“Doctor, it hurts when I do this.” “Then don’t do that!”
In How Not to Die he explores chapter by chapter each of the leading fifteen killer diseases – what research shows is contributing to these conditions, and how to prevent, arrest, and reverse them. His “Daily Dozen” checklist of foods is his recommendations for the optimal diet. This list is good news for the yogi; no surprise, a plant-based has proved again and again to be the effective choice to protect against and even reverse the Big 15.
When asked what he would do to reverse the coronary artery epidemic if he were omniscient, the director of the Framingham Study, the longest-running epidemiolocal study in the world, told PBS: “Have the public eat the diet described by Dr. T. Colin Campbell” (author of The China Study). In other words, he told PBS, if Americans ate plant-based enough, the whole heart disease epidemic “would disappear.”
Dr. Greger’s How Not to Diet is not just for the overweight. The principles of diet and health that he explains apply to us all. Again, he separates the sugar from the sand, exploring the popular and faddist solutions that claim to stem the tide of obesity, and presenting the research that demonstrates how the yo-yo life of dieting and weight-loss struggles can be replaced by a simple, healthy, sustainable lifestyle.
Similarly, his latest book How Not to Age is not intended solely for seniors. The challenges of aging and chronic illness – dementia and Alzheimers, loss of hearing and sight, fatal loss of circulation, and more – find their roots in the choices we make in our earlier years. And the solution to these is not to be found through the dubious and costly offerings of Big Pharma, but through the practical nutritional and lifestyle strategies that he presents. This book includes the sections Slowing the Eleven Pathways of Aging, the Optimal Anti-Aging Regimen, and Preserving Function (fifteen chapters on how to – and how not to – preserve your bones, your hearing, your mind, and more, as you age).
Please also visit his website nutritionfacts.org, where you’ll discover a rich resource for information about almost any health and/or nutrition topic you can think of, presented in short videos with the choice of reading the video transcript online if you prefer – all very informative, all very accessible.
“Let food be your medicine, and be medicine be your food.” –Hippocrates
- Spiritual Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet
- Humans: Are We Carnivores or Vegetarians by Nature?
- An Introduction to “Vegetarianism and Occultism” by C. W. Leadbeater