Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating


As seen on the Today show!

The National Bestseller Based on Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health Research…A Revolutionary Guide to Healthy Eating That Topples the USDA Food Pyramid

In Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy, Dr. Walter Willett explains why the USDA guidelines — the famous food pyramid — are not only wrong but also dangerous. Debunking current dietary myths such as the evils of eggs and how high milk consumption does a body good, Dr. Willett sets an all-new nutritional standard. You’ll discover:

  • eye-opening new research on the healthiest carbohydrates, fats, and proteins

  • why weight control is the single most important factor
  • menu plans and recipes that make it easy to reinvent your daily diet

Aimed at nothing less than totally restructuring the diets of Americans, Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy may well accomplish its goal. Dr. Walter C. Willett gets off to a roaring start by totally dismantling one of the largest icons in health today: the USDA Food Pyramid that we all learn in elementary school. He blames many of the pyramid’s recommendations–6 to 11 servings of carbohydrates, all fats used sparingly–for much of the current wave of obesity. At first this may read differently than any diet book, but Willett also makes a crucial, rarely mentioned point about this icon: “The thing to keep in mind about the USDA Pyramid is that it comes from the Department of Agriculture, the agency responsible for promoting American agriculture, not from the agencies established to monitor and protect our health.” It’s no wonder that dairy products and American-grown grains such as wheat and corn figure so prominently in the USDA’s recommendations.

Willett’s own simple pyramid has several benefits over the traditional format. His information is up-to-date, and you won’t find recommendations that come from special-interest groups. His ideas are nothing radical–if we eat more vegetables and complex carbohydrates (no, potatoes are not complex), emphasize healthy fats, and enjoy small amounts of a tremendous variety of food, we will be healthier. You’ll find some surprises as well, such as doubts about the overall benefits of soy (unless you’re willing to eat a pound and a half of tofu a day), and that nuts, with their “good” fat content, are a terrific snack. Relying on research rather than anecdotes, this is a solidly written nutritional guide that will show you the real story behind how food is digested, from the glycemic index for carbs to the wisdom of adding a multivitamin to your diet. Willett combines research with matter-of-fact language and a no-nonsense tone that turns academic studies into easily understandable suggestions for living. –Jill Lightner
As seen on the Today show!

The National Bestseller Based on Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health Research…A Revolutionary Guide to Healthy Eating That Topples the USDA Food Pyramid

In Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy, Dr. Walter Willett explains why the USDA guidelines — the famous food pyramid — are not only wrong but also dangerous. Debunking current dietary myths such as the evils of eggs and how high milk consumption does a body good, Dr. Willett sets an all-new nutritional standard. You’ll discover:

  • eye-opening new research on the healthiest carbohydrates, fats, and proteins

  • why weight control is the single most important factor
  • menu plans and recipes that make it easy to reinvent your daily diet

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Tags: usda food pyramid, harvard school of public health, usda pyramid, walter willett, New Health Ideas, harvard medical school

3 comments for “Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating

  1. Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!"
    August 6, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    The Latest Research, Good Explanations, and Easy to Use Review Summary: You would have a hard time finding someone in a better position to write this book. Dr. Willett is chairman of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, a professor at Harvard Medical School, and he heads some of the most important long-term studies of how nutrition affects health. In this up-to-date book, you will learn what the latest research shows about how eating, alcohol use, exercise and not smoking can help you avoid some diseases and birth defects. The book also explains how to read the latest health headlines and interpret the studies they are based on in the future. The lessons are summarized into a Healthy Eating Pyramid that you will find easy to understand, apply, and remember. The book contains a lot of helpful information about how to shop for more nutritious and healthful foods, and easy-to-follow recipes. I was particularly impressed with the summaries of the data on how weight and eating relate to various diseases. The book’s only obvious flaw is that it does not attempt to refine the overall research into subsegment groups like those with different blood types, different genetic tendencies, age levels, and so forth.

  2. George Webster, Ph.D.,
    August 6, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    At Last, a Reliable Book on Healthy Eating This book is a breath of fresh air among a noxious swarm of books that claim to know how we must eat in order to be healthy. They recommend a bewildering variety of diets, megadoses of vitamins and minerals, herbs, extracts, and heaven knows what else, all guaranteed to make us healthy. Some even peddle the nonsense that they can stop, or even reverse, aging.In contrast, Walter Willett’s book is based on solid science, obtained by careful research involving, in some cases, more that 100,000 persons. There is no intuition here. The recommendations are based on facts. And mighty interesting facts they are. We see that the famous, heavy-on-carbohydrate USDA food pyramid has little evidence to support its role in health. Instead, it appears to support the income of the food industry. He presents his own pyramid, based on daily exercise and weight control. Sitting on this base are whole grain foods, vegetable oils, fruits, vagetables, nuts, legumes, fish, poultry, and eggs. At the top of his pyramid are small amounts of dairy products, and even smaller portions of red meat and carbohydrate. He presents evidence to support his pyramid, and the result is impressive. He leads us through things that we should know about fats, carbohydrates, proteins, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. We even get recipes. For me, a biochemist, the book’s strong point is its lack of the unsustantiated claims that I see in so many of the popular books on nutrition. Walter Willett is one the persons best qualified to write an outstanding book on this subject, and the result is excellent.

  3. B. Marold "Bruce W. Marold"
    August 6, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    Simple, Safe, Authoritative, and Healty. Hard to Beat that. This book by Dr. Walter C. Willett is the second of two very good books on nutrition I am reviewing. The first was `Nourishing Traditions’. Both works have fairly impressive documentation for their claims from scientific literature. I just wish they would agree on all major points. The irony of the disagreement is that both appear to be railing against the same establishment that is based on endorsing a diet heavy in empty carbohydrates and demonizing fats.

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