Review of The Way To Eat

Have you seen any of the Public Service Announcements encouraging people to join Healthy U’s “Let’s all read the same book” program? The book they’re talking about is The Way to Eat by David Katz.

Before we get into any comments about the book, there’s a little bone to pick. What’s with this title?

How can there be a “the way” to eat? Wouldn’t it have been more realistic (not to mention less presumptuous) to admit that there are hundreds of possible diets and this is just one of them?

Not necessarily. As Cathy Ferraro, a registered dietician practicing here in Salisbury, points out, this book is different from the usual fad diet book. Dr. David Katz, who wrote The Way to Eat, has spent much of his career studying which diets really work.

The Way to Eat

As a professor at the Yale University School of Medicine, and also as the nutrition advisor for Oprah’s O Magazine, he’s reviewed tens of thousands of scientific studies on weight control. From all of these studies, he’s concluded that there really is a “the way” to eat if you want to control your weight and you want to have a healthy life.

That way is a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It’s also moderate in protein and fat. This diet, combined with exercise, is the one followed by the overwhelming majority of people who lost weight and kept it off.

“What good fortune,” Katz said in his book, “that this same diet is associated with improved overall health, enhanced immune function, reduced risk of cancer, prevention of diabetes, increased survival and innumerable other health benefits.”

The Way to Eat can help you to a healthier life and it can make weight control much easier. It can help you take advantage of the latest research on hunger triggers. Knowing about “sensory satiation” can help you want normal quantities of food. There’s also a plan for gradually changing your taste preferences

Fad Diets

Dr. Katz’s approach may be good, but aren’t the other diets good also? What about the diets that specialize in low carbohydrate or high protein? Why not recommend them as well?

Ferraro has an issue with virtually every diet other than the one recommended by Katz. She’s seen that for most people, fad diets don’t work long term. She’s seen that people really do lose weight on them but, a year or so later, most people end up weighing more than they did when they first started the fad diet.

Ferraro believes that people who want to control their weight and give themselves the best chance of avoiding diabetes, heart disease, cancer and a host of other chronic diseases, need to make a commitment to lifelong healthy eating combined with exercise. They need to be thinking, not of a “die-it,” but instead, a “live-it.”

Which brings us back to the book, The Way to Eat. Ferraro will be one of several dozen people who will be leading discussion groups about the book. Look for the list of discussion leaders in the November 5th insert in the Daily Times.

You can find The Way to Eat in your local library or bookstore.

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