4 out of 4 stars
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Food Sanity: How to Eat in a World of Fads and Fiction was written by Dr. David Friedman, a holistic practitioner with almost three decades of experience under his belt. Friedman has also interviewed dozens of doctors and authors of diet fad books. In his book, he explains that each of them focused on different parts of the human diet and had different opinions as to how the body reacts to certain foods. In Food Sanity, Friedman uses proven science to rectify several misconceptions the average American has about certain foods, diets, and the health industry as a whole. Plus, he gives the reader an easy-to-understand crash course on everything the body needs to thrive and how to receive those nutrients from some of the poor options waiting for us at the grocery store.
Rather than list diet fads and what makes them work (or not, in some cases), Friedman breaks things down by in sections such as major food groups, vitamins and supplements, diets and the health industry, and finally a section on how to implement what you've learned in the book. I thought the way he organized the book made a lot of sense, although as I was reading through and guaranteeing myself not to eat anymore of these antibiotic and pesticide-filled foods, I was starting to wonder if there would be anything left I could eat. I'm not going to lie -- I've never once thought of going vegetarian, but I haven't bought beef since reading Food Sanity. I've also cut back on my milk consumption, because that was one eye-opening first chapter.
I'm pretty suspicious of anyone who tries to tell me what to eat, and I like to think that I know a little bit about the body and what's good for it. However, Friedman made me realize that I've been brainwashed, along with millions of other Americans, by Big Pharma and bad research. Some of the things he touched on in the book I had actually already heard from other sources, but they didn't provide me with the compelling research and horrifying comparisons Friedman did.
The thing I liked the most about Food Sanity was that Friedman did his research. He lists every source he used at the back of the book and the entire book is properly cited. This made me trust everything he was saying, because I didn't just have to take him at face value. He listed medical research papers, which have to be peer-reviewed before they are published. Also, Friedman has a laugh-out-loud sense of humor that shines through the book, starting right from the Table of Contents. He really knows how to get a message across in a memorable way.
I only found a few errors in the entire book, and most of them were spacing and punctuation errors. Also, there was one line that struck me as odd. Friedman pointed out that "depression is least common in countries where people eat the most fish, such as Japan..." However, Japan has a large number of suicides each year and is ranked 18th in the world, above America which is ranked 38th. This is because countries like Japan and Korea have horrible stigmas against mental illnesses and the number of diagnosed cases of depression is very low, despite millions of people actually living with it. Of course, this statistic has little to do with diets or fads, but it just goes to show that not all information written in a book is necessarily true. Like Friedman says, it's important to stay educated so you can notice these things for yourself and take charge of your health in a society where the government is trying to make all your choices for you.
Food Sanity has honestly changed my life, and I've already recommended it to my close family and several friends. I want everyone I know and love to read it and make better health choices so we have more time to spend together. Food Sanity deserves 4 out of 4 stars and I would highly recommend it to literally anyone. It is by-far the best health and diet-related book I've read in my life.
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