What You Should Know
Eat Drink and Be Healthy is a nutrition book authored by Walter C. Willett M.D., a professor and chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard. Considered one of the best nutrition experts in the country, his book is heralded for being an innovated book with legitimate science to back it up; he only includes advice that can be backed up with scientific studies. It has earned the title “The Harvard Medical School’s Guide to Healthy Eating” because of this, and is often recommended by dietitians and nutritionists. Several health organizations have also recommended his book, including The New England Journal of Medicine.
Fad diets and low-calorie diet are not a staple in Willett’s book; instead, he offers advice on how to eat nutritionally from his revised food pyramid, which was formed from his years of expertise. He criticizes most fad diets and the food pyramid created by the USDA, which he says is out of date and emphasizes carbs and fats instead of healthier foods, such as vegetables and ample protein. Since its release in 2001 it has sold millions of copies, and also has been recently updated to accommodate new information that has contradicted his theories. Eat Drink and Be Healthy can be found in most bookstores and online for $16.98. Relying on proven evidence instead of fad diets is generally considered a safer, more reliable way of losing weight, but his book does not necessarily promote weight loss.
Eat Drink and Be Healthy emphasizes the consumption of healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and plenty of vegetables.
Eat Drink and Be Healthy is quick to emphasize the USDA Food Pyramid is faulty and is not a healthy way to lose weight; he claims using his modified pyramid instead will lower the instances of several heart conditions and help dieters maintain their weight. All of his claims are backed up by ample evidence, and his claims are legitimate. Consuming more vegetables and cutting down on carbohydrates is shown to help dieters lose weight, but cutting out carbs completely is not recommended — it could lead to complications. Exercise is also another component of his “diet”, and Willett says exercise is the key to weight loss, not diet. This is true to an extent, and is backed up by several studies. Weight loss is not guaranteed in his book, however, but he does claim that a normal, healthy weight can be obtained by following the tips provided in his book.
- Only offers advice that is backed up by scientific studies.
- Authored by the chair of Department of Nutrition at Harvard, and is considered one of the top experts in the country.
- Does not promise to help dieters lose weight.
- Does not take certain food restrictions into account, such as diabetes.
- There is an emphasis on health rather than losing weight.
Eat Drink and Be Healthy is a well-researched book with plenty of information to offer dieters, but he does not claim his diet will help dieters actually lose weight. This may be the only drawback to his book. The sheer amount of nutritional, medically-backed tips about healthy eating may be helpful to some dieters.