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Coffee or no coffee? Are yolks good or bad? A doctor’s guide to eating healthy

WTF Should I Eat is helpful for those left confused and exhausted by contradictory food findings.

books Updated: Apr 29, 2018 09:51 IST
Anonna Dutt
Anonna Dutt
Hindustan Times
Coffee,Chocolate,Egg whites
Oatmeal and orange juice for breakfast? You might want to think again, says the mythbusters section in Dr Mark Hyman’s book. (Pixabay)
Food: WTF Should I Eat?
  • Author: Dr Mark Hyman
  • Publisher: Yellow Kite
  • Price: Rs 280 (e-book); ₹450 (paperback)

Does your morning coffee protect you from colon cancer or contain a cancer-causing agent? Should you stick to egg whites or just go ahead and enjoy the whole egg? If you’re as confused as most of us by the parade of contradictory scientific findings about food, then Food: WTF Should I Eat? is the book for you.

The author, Dr Mark Hyman, is an expert in functional medicine and believes that food can be a powerful drug and can help control and even reverse chronic illness. “We know food can harm but how many of us believe that food can heal?” he asks.

In the book, Dr Hyman takes a look at each food group and breaks down the science behind good nutrition. He calls his set of guideline on eating healthy the Pagan Diet, mostly as a spoof on the fanaticism of friends who swear by extreme regimens like the Paleo and Vegan diets.

The book also explains why nutritional research is so confusing. Essentially, he argues, it’s very very hard to do it right.

“Ideally, scientists would take two groups of people, feed them different diets (making certain they do not eat anything else), and follow them for 30 years.” This is clearly impossible in most cases, so the studies end up with contradictory or confusing findings.

His Pagan Diet excludes no food groups, except ‘Frankenfoods’ — highly processed food-like substance high in fats and sugars. “No part of this book involves deprivation and suffering. I want you to wake up every morning, feeling good, enjoying life, and ready to eat great food,” he says in the book.

Dr Hyman spends part of the book focussed on the kitchen — on preparing meals from the scratch, cooking and eating mindfully. He traces the journey of a family of five in which three members were obese, and explores how cooking right helped them lose weight.

His perspective is clearly American, with its focus on highly processed, tinned, and fast food. But his nutritional advice is relevant across the globe. As are the healthy recipes he has sprinkled through the book. Best of all are his mythbusters — oatmeal and orange juice for breakfast? You might want to think again.

First Published: Apr 28, 2018 16:28 IST