Michael Pollan's last book, The Omnivore's Dilemma, launched a national conversation about the American way of eating: In Defense of Foodproposes a new (and very old) answer to the question of what we should eat that comes down to seven simple but liberating words: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."
He challenges the prevailing nutrient-by-nutrient approach -- what he calls nutritionism -- and proposes an alternative way of eating that is informed by the traditions and ecology of real, well-grown, unprocessed food.
In Defense of Food shows us how, despite the daunting dietary landscape Americans confront in the modern supermarket, we can escape the Western diet and, by doing so, most of the chronic diseases that diet causes.
Michael Pollan's "The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals" attacks America's unhealthy food system from several acutely observant angles. Pollan, who authored the bestselling "Botany of Desire", shows how and why corn's sugary byproducts, high-glycemic starch and inflammatory, cancer-fueling omega-6 fatty acids have wormed their way into almost everything we eat, from soda to steak.
The book provides both a wake up call about the nature of our food supply, and some hopeful prescriptions for ending our reliance on fuel-intensive, health- and land-destroying agricultural practices.
"Along the way, he is alert to his own emotions and thoughts, to see how they affect what he does and what he eats, to learn more and to explain what he knows. His approach is steeped in honesty and self-awareness. His cause is just, his thinking is clear, and his writing is compelling."
Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D.
Stephen Sinatra is a physician with an unusual knowledge of, and passion for, nutrition and lifestyle approaches to heart health.
His latest work, written with co-author James Roberts, M.D., is titled Reverse Heart Disease Now. It informs readers on the latest findings in the science of cardiovascular diseases, and the nutritional and lifestyle factors that can alleviate or even reverse them, in a concise, clear fashion.
Columbia University surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz, author of “You: The Manual", recommends it as “A comprehensive and accessible guide to stop the rusting of our arteries so we can live longer and better.”
Dr. Nicholas Perricone praises it as well: “In ‘Reverse Heart Disease Now’ Drs. Sinatra and Roberts have taken preventive cardiology to an entirely new level by introducing innovative strategies for boosting cellular energy while reducing arterial plaque.”
Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., CNS
Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., CNS is a widely renowned and respected advisor on weight loss and nutrition, best known as the author of two best-sellers: Living the Low Carb Life and Jonny Bowden’s Shape-Up!.
We’ve long admired his scientifically informed but eminently practical approach to weight control and preventive nutrition. As the title implies, The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth is Dr. Bowden’s guide to the foods he considers the healthiest you can eat.
The book is organized by food group, which makes finding foods a snap, and the at-a-glance format, filled with interesting sidebars, makes information easy to extract.
And to make it easy to pick the very healthiest foods, Jonny designates his top choices within each food category with big, colorful stars: a select group that includes Wild Salmon and 14 other Vital Choice foods.
Connie Bennett, CHHC and Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D.
We are very impressed with the depth of Ms. Bennett's research for Sugar Shock!, and the wide range of experts she tapped -- including Drs. Stephen Sinatra, Nick Perricone, Mark Hyman, and Fred Pescatore -- to write this soberingly scary but thoroughly science-based book.
“Connie’s work spills the beans on the shocking impact of simple carbohydrates on aging and quality of life—a double whammy for humanity.”
- Mehmet Oz, M.D., coauthor of the # 1 New York Times bestseller, YOU: The Owner's Manual
"This is really a stunning piece of work -- a major contribution to the popular literature on blood sugar and carbohydrate addiction. Connie Bennett is a tireless researcher who has gone to great lengths to get the facts right and to explain them in an interesting and user-friendly way. She also managed to interview the absolute best minds in the field of diet and health."
- Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S., author, The 150 Healthiest Foods On Earth (Jan. 2007, Fair Winds Press) and Living the Low Carb Life: Choosing the Diet That's Right For You, From Atkins to Zone
Dr. Nicholas V. Perricone
Dr. Perricone's new bestseller--The 7 Secrets to Beauty, Health, and Longevity--is an exciting journey through cutting edge anti-aging, fitness, and relaxation findings that will make you feel and look your best.
"Wild Alaskan Salmon--The King of the Superfoods...As my readers know I've long urged people to eat wild salmon as frequently as possible for many reasons...Salmon is the healthiest high protein food of all...powerfully anti-inflammatory...a uniquely powerful antioxidant...and a rare dietary source of DMAE...I always recommend wild-harvested Alaskan salmon, because it offers a far healthier fat profile than farmed salmon...." ( The Perricone Promise, p. 46)
If ever there was a "must read" among our recommended titles, Susan Allports' The Queen of Fats qualifies. Without a doubt, some of the most important things you need to know about nutrition and health are conveyed in this book's 152 pages.
Our favorite quote and passage (a tough choice because there were so many!):
"I sometimes marvel how truth progresses, so difficult is it for one man to convince another, unless his mind is vacant." --Charles Darwin, 1868
"It is just a matter of time until a person's omega-3 status will replace serum cholesterol, LDL to HDL ratio, and even C-reactive protein...to assess that person's risk for sudden cardiac death and other diseases. It is just a matter of time until patients who are at risk will be advised to change the fats in their diet instead of taking statins and other costly medications. . . Patients will scratch their heads and wonder what happen to all of those earlier medications, recommendations, risk factors, and tests.... But the change is inevitable. The current tests will go the way of all the not-so-revealing medical assays, including the elaborate urine tests of the fifteenth century, and the phrenology maps of the early nineteenth century. Recommendations to reduce dietary cholesterol...will one day seem as quaint and outdated as bloodletting." (Allport goes on to provide ample evidence for her predictions.)
Wiliam Sears, M.D.
It’s no exaggeration to call William Sears, M.D. “America’s pediatrician.” Dr. Sears and his wife Martha Sears, RN have raised eight children and practiced pediatric medicine for more than 30 years.
They’ve authored 30-plus pediatric books and many magazine articles, and appeared on more than 100 television programs such as 20/20, Good Morning America, Oprah, NBC's Today Show and Dateline.
His new book, co-written with Martha and his pediatrician-sons, is a great book for anyone concerned with preventing disease and attaining optimal health.
And last but not least, the Recipes chapter includes two contributed by Vital Choice: “Penne with Salmon and Peas” (page 313) and “Salmon with Savory Marinade”, featuring a slightly modified version of our popular Organic Salmon Marinade (page 314).
Mark Hyman, M.D
Dr. Hyman is the editor in chief of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, the most prestigious journal in the field of integrative medicine, and the medical editor of Alternative Medicine Magazine. After 10 years as co-medical director at Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires he is now in private practice in Lennox, MA. He is the co-author of the NY Times best seller, Ultra Prevention.
"The king of good fats are the omega-3 fats. These are the fats that come from wild foods. We evolved eating these "essential" fats because, as recently as 10,000 years ago, before the agricultural revolution (a split second in evolutionary time), we were all eating wild foods. The problem is that 99% of us are currently deficient in these healthy, essential fats. . ."
Steven Pratt, M.D.
Dr. Pratt is a world-renowned authority on the role of nutrition and lifestyle in the prevention of disease and optimizing health. He is a senior staff ophthalmologist at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California.
"It's not just ok to include omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, it's imperative....When it comes to omega-3s, wild salmon is one simple answer. Add it to your diet. Wild salmon is delicious, high in protein, widely available in canned form, easy to prepare, and, more important, high in beneficial omega-3s. "
Dr. William Sears,
The Family Nutrition Book: Everything You Need to Know About Feeding Your Children--From Birth Through Adolescence. The beloved William Searsand his wife, Martha (a nurse), teach you how to become your own family nutritionist. Parents of eight children and well-known authors of more than a dozen childcare books, the Searses offer the solid advice on breastfeeding, beginning solids, and feeding picky eaters you'd expect. But more than that, they provide a crash course in overall nutrition.
Christiane Northrup, M.D.
Cofounder of the Women to Women health care center in Yarmouth, Maine which became a model for women’s clinics nationwide. Past president of the American Holistic Medical Association and an internationally recognized authority on women’s health and healing.
“Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are indispensable for human development and health….Research is rapidly accumulating that implicates DHA deficiency in the epidemic of attention deficit disorder in both children and adults. This essential fat is also one of the reasons why children who were breast-fed as infants have been found to have higher IQs than formula-fed babies.”
Andrew Weil, M.D.
Program for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, best selling author, widely considered the ”Guru” of natural medicine.
“Regular readers know that I'm a big fan of salmon. In fact, I gave up being a vegetarian because I didn't want to miss out on this fish, with its great flavor and health benefits. Salmon, like other oily fish (herring, sardines, mackerel), is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation, protect against heart attacks, and possibly reduce your chances of developing cancer. I recommend eating two to three servings a week of salmon or other oily fish rich in omega-3."
DANA JACOBI is the author of three previous cookbooks (and winner of the Gourmand World Cookbook Award). She has written for Cooking Light, Eating Well, and Natural Health, and her syndicated column "Something Different" appears in over 750 newspapers.
Dana Jacobi proves that good nutrition and pleasure are not mutually exclusive. Her inventive, simple recipes satisfy our desires and keep our bodies healthy.
-- Mollie Katzen, Author of Moosewood Cookbook
Dana is the most accomplished and sensible healthy cook I know. She has turned the 12 best foods into dishes so delicious I may well become a health nut.
--Arthur Schwartz, radio talk show host and author of Arthur Schwartz's New York City Food
Monica Reinagel served as editorial director of the Health Sciences Institute, a publication with more than 100,000 subscribers worldwide, and as managing editor for the American Academy of Environmental Medicine's weekly Medical Digest. A professionally-trained chef, she has developed healthy recipes and diet plans for several books and diet websites.
"Cold water fish are anti-inflammatory all stars….While wild-caught salmon is among the most anti-inflammatory food on the planet, farm-raised salmon is the most inflammatory fish you can eat!... The problem is that farm-raised salmon eat cereal grains that are high in omega-6 fatty acids, instead of the natural diet of algae and wild shrimp. As a result, the flesh of farm-raised salmon contains very high levels of the inflammatory arachidonic acid [and]… more than exceeds the anti-inflammatory effects of the omega-3 fatty acid it contains."
Walter C. Willett, M.D.
World-renowned researcher, Chairman of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of public Health, Professor of medicine at the Harvard Medical School, winner of the Mott Prize, the prestigious award of the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation.
"What makes omega-3 fatty acids so special? For one thing, they are important components of cell membranes throughout the body, especially in the eye, the brain, and sperm cells. For another, they are the raw materials from which some hormones are made, including those that regulate blood clotting, contraction and relaxation of artery walls, and inflammation. Perhaps just as important, they have been shown to have benefits in the prevention or treatment of heart disease and stroke and possibly autoimmune problems such as lupus, eczema, and rheumatoid arthritis; and a variety of other conditions….Given the wide ranging benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, everyone should try to eat at least one good source of them a day."
Alan Logan, N.D.
Alan Logan, N.D. is a naturopathic physician with the human brain on his mind. He is deeply concerned by the rapid decline of the Americans; brain health, as evidenced by increasing rates of depression, anxiety, and various forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
His intriguing, practical new book shines a light both on dietary strategies to keep your mind sharp and mood elevated, and on a significant, under-recognized threat to brain health.
The Brain Diet is full of useful, novel information gleaned from thousands of research studies. It offers in-depth coverage of a variety of mental and behavioral disorders in adults and children, and their nutritional connections and therapies. We recommend it highly.
Joseph Mercola, D.O.
Founder/director, www.mercola.com and the Optimal Wellness Center, Schaumburg, IL. Dr. Mercola is an internationally renowned physician trained in both natural and conventional medicine.
"By far, the best type of omega-3 fats are those found in fish. That's because the omega-3 in fish is high in two fatty acids crucial to human health, DHA and EPA. These two fatty acids are pivotal in preventing heart disease, cancer, and many other diseases. The human brain is also highly dependent on DHA, and maintaining high DHA levels can help deter depression, schizophrenia, memory loss, and Alzheimer's. Omega-3 is also very important for pregnant women and children, as researchers are now also linking inadequate intake of omega-3 to premature birth and low birth weight, and to hyperactivity in children."
Alexandra Morton, et al.
Watch for this book and the story of farmed salmon's devastating potential impact on wild salmon featured on television's Boston Legal October 11th.
"Each of the essays in this book is a brilliant exposition of the history, track record and ecological, economic and social impact of this INFANT activity."
Leo Galland, MD
Leo Galland, M.D., an internationally respected expert in nutritional medicine, received his education and medical training at Harvard and NYU. Regularly chosen by New York magazine as one of the best doctors in New York, as well as listed in America's Top Doctors, he has appeared as a medical expert on Good Morning America and on CNN, Fox News, and PBS. The author of two highly acclaimed books, Superimmunity for Kids and Power Healing, he is the Director of the Foundation for Integrated Medicine and maintains a private practice in New York City.
"...Your best way to get omega-3s is probably through fish, especially oily, cold water fish like salmon...Wild salmon is rich in omega-3s because wild fish feed on natural plant foods that are also rich in omega-3s."
Andrew Stoll, M.D.
Director, Psychopharmacology Research Laboratory, McLean Hospital, Faculty, Harvard Medical School.
“Omega-3 fatty acids have so many biological roles because they are a primary element of health for virtually every cell and organ system in the body. Along with their partners, the omega-6 fatty acids, they keep our bodies in balance, modulating such basic physiological functions as inflammation, cell signaling, blood pressure, immune response, the electrical excitability of heart and brain cells.”
Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S.
Jonny Bowden holds a Ph.D. in nutrition and has a unique gift for making complex subjects clear and interesting, and for empowering his readers in the process. A former personal trainer with a master's degree in psychology, he is the resident nutrition and weight loss expert on iVillage.com.
. . . omega-3s are the supplements I recommend for just about everybody. The impact of omega-3s on human health are so enormous that it would require a whole book to fully explain them...virtually every clinician who uses nutritional supplements with clients recommends omega-3s.
Dr. Artemis Simopoulos
International authority on essential fatty acids, former chair of the Nutrition Coordinating Committee at the National Institutes of Health, former nutritional adviser to the Office of Consumer Affairs at the White House, Editor in chief of World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics.
“Clearly if you want to fight disease and enjoy optimal health, you need to be eating the ratio of EFAs that sends cancer-fighting, heart healthy messages to your genes. The ratio that sends those messages, studies have shown, is a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids that is less than 4-1. Not by coincidence, this is similar to the ratio found in our evolutionary diet. Yet today when we forage for food at the local grocery store, we are likely to bring home food that contains from fourteen to twenty times more omega-6 than omega-3 fatty acids, upsetting a critical balance that has been maintained for millions of years and putting us at greater risk for virtually all the diseases referred to as “the diseases of civilization…. Unless you are eating fatty fish two or more times a week you are likely to be deficient in both DHA and EPA [essential fatty acids].”
Richard E. Tapert D.O.
'Stop Worrying About Cholesterol!' challenges the current official opinion that consumption of animal fat and cholesterol are the cause of our epidemic of heart disease and heart attack death. The author exposes the bad science, bias, and conflict of interest that have characterized the demonizing of cholesterol. He exposes the irrationality and the profiteering behind the ongoing focus on the lowering of blood cholesterol levels by diet and dangerous drugs to treat and prevent heart disease.
“A masterful job of informing the public on the dangers of modern medicine and the influences of the pharmaceutical industry. A must-read for those who want to stay healthy in spite of what your doctor may tell you.”
Donald Mantell, M.D., N.D. Medical Director
JAMA Medical Clinic
Frank Addleman is professor emeritus at Santa Ana college in California where he taught nutrition and fitness in the sports medicine department from 1965-1997. He is also a popular speaker on the lecture circuit taking his unique “motivational nutrition/fitness’ theme to national sports clinics, corporations, health and medical conferences, and numerous city firefighter agencies.
"I want you to start thinking about what you eat and why you eat it. After you finish reading this book, you will also know what’s best to eat. Your selection of food choices has a tremendous effect on your overall health and well-being. It is important to understand this process."
Dr. Gerald H. Smith
Doctor Smith is president of the International Center For Nutritional Research, Inc. and maintains a private practice in Bucks County Pennsylvania, where he focuses his healing on chronic pain patients. Doctor Smith's thirty years of clinical research has identified several of the major missing links for successfully treating cancer and chronic pain. He has published over thirty articles and contributed chapters to several professional books.
"In order for the body to function normally, it requires natural essential fatty acids like omega-3's found in wild salmon and other fresh fish from unpolluted waters. Without these vital fats cancer cells grow wild and out of control."
Journalist, chef, nutrition researcher and founder of the Weston A. Price Foundation, an organization dedicated to returning nutrient-dense foods to the American table.
"Current research on omega-3 fatty acids has brought new appreciation for one of the most delicious fish that our oceans and rivers provide--salmon. Salmon...helps protect us against heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, cancer, arthritis, psoriasis, asthma, and autoimmune disorders."
Jennie Brand-Miller, Ph.D., et al
Professor of Human Nutrition in the Human Nutrition Unit, School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences at the University of Sydney, and President of the Nutrition Society of Australia.
Seafood is generally a healthy choice, but salmon, anchovies, mackeral, trout, herrings, and sardines are richest in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. Include fish at least once a week.
Mary G. Enig, PhD
Dr. Enig is a nutritionist/biochemist of international renown known for her research on the nutritional aspects of fats and oils. She is a consultant, clinician, and a Fellow of The American College of Nutrition, a member of The American Society for the Nutritional Sciences, and President of the Maryland Nutritionists Association.
“Switching from a diet of imitation foods, such as those found in the typical low fat and high carbohydrate diets or those imitation foods high in partially hydrogenated vegetable fats, to a diet of real foods with normal levels of natural fats will result in a gradual and sustained weight loss in most overweight people....Fish should come from a native habitat and thus have its normal fat composition... ”
Author of the #1 New York Times best seller, Miracle Cures.
“New research underscores the enormous lifesaving power of fat in fish. Eating fatty fish can directly intervene to save people from death and disability from heart attacks… It is smart to eat fish, especially fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring and tuna, at least two or three times a week.”
Barry Sears, Ph.D.
Widely published scientist and researcher.
“What your body really needs are adequate amounts of …omega-3 fatty acids, particularly the most important fatty acid in this family, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). EPA helps your body avoid the same negative hormonal cascade that excess intakes of omega-6 fatty acids can trigger…The best source of EPA is fish (with salmon the richest). Eating adequate amounts of EPA should be a primary dietary goal.”
Julia Ross, M.A.
Author of the best selling The Diet Cure, leader in the field of nutritional psychology and executive director of Recovery Systems, a clinic that treats mood, eating, and addiction problems with counseling, nutrient therapy, and biochemical rebalancing.
"Let’s start out with the most spectacular good-mood fat. It’s called “omega-3,” and its first home is your brain…Where can you get this wonder food? ...by far the best sources for the omega-3 fats are wild salmon, sardines, herring, anchovies, and mackerel. They have about three times more omega-3 than other fish and five times more than flaxseed oil."
Jonathan Goodman, N.D.
Griffin Hospital Integrative Medicine Center, Derby, Connecticut.
“Physicians agree that the best way to incorporate EFAs in your diet is to get them from foods rather than supplements; when you eat whole foods you also get healthy amounts of vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients…. I always advise people to get these vital nutrients from natural food sources whenever possible…All fish contain some omega-3s, but the best sources by far are cold-water fish, such as salmon. If you’re trying to get more EFAs in your diet, it’s a good idea to shop for “wild” fish as opposed to those that are farm raised. Cold water fish are among the healthiest foods you can eat.”
Robert E. Kowalski
Medical Journalist, author of #1 New York Times best seller.
“I find it astounding that anyone who regularly reads the scientific and medical literature could still recommend a vegetarian diet free of fish and seafood. For years, the idea of fish being “heart food” came from observations of people who ate or didn’t eat fish. Now the evidence is so clear that the AHA recommends having fatty fish twice a week…The list of research studies goes on and on, all with favorable results.”
Dr. Weston Price
Dr. Price has been universally accepted as one of the foremost authorities on the role of foods in their natural form in the overall health pattern and the development of degenerative illnesses as a result of the addition of processed foods to our diet.
"The primary criteria of the modern food distribution system is how cheaply can the wholesaler get it for and does it have good shelf life. Weston Price documents repeatedly that modern denatured food is THE major cause of the degenerative diseases and the overall poor health of our society. A must read for anyone seriously interested in the effects of food on health."
Ann Louise Gittleman
America's First Lady of nutrition.
“Omega -3 fats are a necessary ingredient for balanced brain function; as such, they provide a real help for problems such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Omega-3s also prevent blood clotting, repair tissue damage caused by clogged arteries, lower triglycerides and high blood pressure, and protect the body from autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. These delectable oils are found in fatty fish such as salmon…"
Health education teacher, social worker, therapist specializing in integrative medicine, and cancer survivor.
"Recently nominated as one of the four top health books in the country, Surviving Cancer is a remarkable book with practical, user friendly steps to use toward wellness. It blends traditional medicine with complementary techniques and can be used by anyone dealing with any kind of challenge."
Sharon Redd, Cancer Survivor
Totally Alive - A Simple Program to Tap Into Living Healthy Longer
If you were diagnosed with cancer and then told your chances of survival were slim, what would you do? Sharon Redd, M. Ed., chose to fight and beat the odds. Here's a remarkably simple program that is a must for anyone facing a health challenge.
Laura J. Stevens, M.S.
Ms. Stevens has earned her Masters Degree in Foods and Nutrition from Purdue University. She has authored 5 books about diet, allergies, and behavior. She has conducted graduate research into biochemical factors affecting children with ADHD; and most importantly, has 25 years experience helping children with ADHD.
"...Eating salmon and flax seed, which are high in omega-3 fatty acids, may improve the symptoms of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who are deficient in essential fatty acids."
James Braly, M.D & Patrick Holford
Dr. Braly is an internationally renowned expert on food allergies, gluten sensitivity, celiac disease, and clinical nutrition. Patrick Holford has authored more than twenty health books, including the best-selling "Optimal Nutrition Bible" with over one million copies sold.
"Fish--The Miracle Food: ...fish eaters are much less prone to severe depression, suicide, arthritis, asthma, heart disease, high blood pressure, and strokes. Fish lowers blood pressure, raises glutathione levels, and has antiarthritic, pain-relieving, and anti-inflammatory benefits. Eating 4-6 ounces of fresh fish...a few times a week not only reduces the risk of death from heart attacks and strokes but also reduces risk of premature death from all causes..."
American Heart Association