This Health Warrior book review was written by Shane Emmett, co-founder and CEO of Health Warrior. To enter to win a copy of this book and a month’s supply of Health Warrior bars, visit our Instagram page and enter by 7/16/17.
I just finished John Mackey’s new book, The Whole Foods Diet: The Lifesaving Plan for Health and Longevity. I wager that this book not only tops the Amazon charts in the near future but will be a seminal work as we bridge the current (but hopefully temporary) insanity that is both the hyper-refined salt, sugar, and fat Standard American Diet and also our various un-scientific and un-historic snake oil diet fads (did you remember to put butter in your coffee this a.m.?).
This book is radically reasonable. A fast and important read. When you eat better, your cells feel better, and you are happier. Mackey takes us on an entertaining and delicious trip through the real scientific and anthropologic consensus on what we should be eating and it all just makes sense. There is no heroic macro ingredient that should live paramount above others. Starving your body of whole food complex carbs makes no sense based on science or history. Fruit is great for you, as are sweet potatoes (orange and purple). If someone tells you not to eat beans or sweet potatoes, run don’t walk away! Mackey is a vegan, but doesn’t preach orthodoxy, just health and longevity. Note well that while in the title and emphasis on our longevity is paramount, I found this book to be as much about feeling good while you’re on this spinning rock we call home as how long you get to stay here – they go hand in hand.
As you know, Health Warrior was based on the books Born to Run by Christopher McDougall and The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. One thing I love about Mackey’s book is that he celebrates, summarizes, and advocates for the hard and radically reasonable work done by others that has influenced him. The China Study. Blue Zones. The Omnivore’s Dilemma (we have mailed him Born to Run, because food and movement are our human yin and yang). This is a generous spirit and one I do not recall seeing in any other book with the word “diet” in it.
Maybe that is because this book isn’t really a diet in the lose-10 lbs-in-a-week genre, it’s a diet in the anthropologic sense that for all of human history one of the great truths remains inalienable: we are what we eat. The Whole-foods, plant-based plan is the best of our past and a key to our future.