Last year my wife and I had the pleasure of meeting Michael Greger on the Holistic Holiday at Sea Cruise. Despite having a significant claim to fame in the scientific community, he was very pleasant to meet. I thought I would share this little story before I dive into the full review of How Not to Die!
While many books on the vegan diet are circulating, How Not To Die is of significant importance because of the depth and detail, which is constructed heavily out of scientific research and study. Much of modern medicine has become a method for making money as a result of the pharmaceutical industry and big business lobbying the government, insisting that there view of the world is not only right, but should be forced upon the rest of society.
A recent 2016 article by TIME Magazine hits on this point in detail. The government mandates "Dietary Guidelines," while at first glance a potentially good thing for the citizens of the United States, is representative of politics 101. When the government has so much control that they are able to suggest and recommend what people eat, they have a larger ability to control the population. Whether it is meant maliciously or not is another debate, but I imagine the truth is out there, somewhere. As noted in the aforementioned article, lobbying from the meat industry has helped to keep meats as a core component of the diet suggested in these guidelines. Oddly enough, within the guidelines themselves it is stated, "Lower intakes of meats, including processed meats, have often been identified as characteristics of healthy eating patterns." It is in simple moments like this that we can see the difference between good science and fraudulent science.
This book functions to teach us "how not to die." All throughout it covers an array of diseases often seen as being associated with poor dietary choices. Lung disease, congestion, joint pain, infections, diabetes, high blood pressure, liver disease, blood cancer, depression and much more. Many chronic diseases lead to further sickness, an inability to live life to the fullest, and at times will cut life short. If you realized that it is simply your diet that is causing all of this, wouldn't that be reason enough to consider a plant-based diet?
It seems like in every book review I return to my own personal experience of transitioning from the SAD American diet to my current plant-based (and plant-smart!) lifestyle. Having lost over 60+ lbs and regained my health, it is hard to argue with the progress and benefit of this method of living. This stands in stark contrast with my father who died relatively young at 47. I can't help but think if he had known what I know, would he still be with us today?
How Not to Die is over 500 pages and is segmented into sections. As noted, a large part is dedicated to covering diseases plaguing modern man. The 2nd part dives into the specifics of the types of food recommended by Dr. Greger such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. At it's core, he advocates a vegan diet to better your health.
There is so much this book covers, and a review can hardly do it justice. This is an excellent book worthy of some praise. If you are suffering from any diseases that you think may be connected with poor dietary choices, I would highly recommend picking this one up. It serves as a book that is useful for those of you just starting out, and has plenty of interesting, science-based, information that will be beneficial to those of us already living the lifestyle for years now.
You can check out more about Michael Greger, MD at his website Nutrition Facts. If you are interested in purchasing the book in physical or digital form, we would suggest going through Amazon! For those of you not feeling like reading this lengthy book, you could also consider purchasing the Audio CD format and listen while relaxing at home or while commuting to work!