Out of a long list of books I have read, the book ‘Our Natural Diet’ by Mark Hines has become the first book I have complete confidence in recommending to patients who are interested in nutrition or who ask about different diets or supplements. The reason I get excited about this book is because it is so different from so many of the other books out there.
Why? It is the ‘No FADS — No DIET — No PSEUDOSCIENCE‘ evidence based book on human diet and nutrition written for the public – and goes beyond information to empowering people to think for themselves.
It doesn’t tell you what to eat or what not to eat – or get prescriptive in any way. It isn’t linked with any particular ‘diet system’ or supplement. It isn’t written by someone with a secondary line of products to sell you. It is written in a completely open and accessible style by an academic physiologist and is wholly based on a broad range of peer reviewed research on diet, nutrition and health.
The title tries to grab your attention – most people are interested in their health, their looks, or both. Don’t let this sway you to thinking that the book is written for fad lovers. Our Natural Diet begins thoughtfully and then enlightens readers about how the media influences our thoughts about nutrition and health. The book soon then goes into major food groupings: carbs, fibres and fruit/veg, proteins of various types, fats etc. For each major group it discusses the evidence around sources, how they are related to good health or ill health, how they are best prepared, and how they are absorbed. Particularly interesting is how understanding this can help us make more healthful food choices AND interpret the ‘health messages’ we are all bombarded with.
In addition to providing a wealth of information on dietary components and their relationship to health, Our Natural Diet empowers people. It helps people learn how to see through health claims in ‘sales pitches’, and through the pseudoscience that is rife in the area of nutrition- not in a way that tries to persuade but in a way that helps people evaluate and make choices for themselves. For people who have ‘read it all’ this book might surprise you and challenge you to see things from a new perspective. It outlines a straightforward and mature approach to life long healthy eating, and backs it all up with evidence to answer the ‘how’ and the ‘why’.
Some particularly interesting sections of the book include discussions on dairy, oxidative stress and antioxidants, toxins of various kinds, how much water we ‘really’ need to drink and more. The book also discusses supplementation, super foods and acid-base balance. All of these topics are discussed in a way that is very educational – and often very eye opening.
Human Evolution, Diet and Health: The Case for Palaeolithic Nutrition was Hines’ first book on the subject, which outlines the hard core evidence and served as a precursor to Our Natural Diet. I will more fully review that book in another post. Suffice it to say, I recommend Our Natural Diet to patients with a general interest in health and nutrition – and I use the Human Evolution book as a reference to the references and suggest it to those who are keen to really delve deeply into how we came to need the kind of diet that will keep us healthy.
You can read other reviews and purchase Our Natural Diet at Amazon.co.uk in paperback (£8.99) and in the Kindle e-reader format (£4.11).
This is the first in a series of book reviews I plan for the blog. Feedback is welcome.
If you’d like to discuss your diet, Tracy offers a dietary and lifestyle review that will give you information on where you might have dietary deficiencies, and all natural and ‘no supplement’ ways to help fix them. The focus is on wholesome healthy foods, and making changes that are gradual and adapted to suit your needs. No fad diets, no crash courses, no pills. Just straightforward advice you can use.
To book in with Tracy call 020 3143 3163 or book online.
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