How Not to Die

  • by Michael Greger, MD, Gene Stone
  • Narrated by Michael Greger, MD
  • 17 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From the physician behind the wildly popular website Nutrition Facts, How Not to Die reveals the groundbreaking scientific evidence behind the only diet that can prevent and reverse many of the causes of disease-related death.
The vast majority of premature deaths can be prevented through simple changes in diet and lifestyle. In How Not to Die, Dr. Michael Greger, the internationally renowned nutrition expert, physician, and founder of Nutrition Facts, examines the 15 top causes of premature death in America - heart disease, various cancers, diabetes, Parkinson's, high blood pressure, and more - and explains how nutritional and lifestyle interventions can sometimes trump prescription pills and other pharmaceutical and surgical approaches, freeing us to live healthier lives.
The simple truth is that most doctors are good at treating acute illnesses but bad at preventing chronic disease. The 15 leading causes of death claim the lives of 1.6 million Americans annually. This doesn't have to be the case. By following Dr. Greger's advice, all of it backed up by strong scientific evidence, you will learn which foods to eat and which lifestyle changes to make to live longer.
History of prostate cancer in your family? Put down that glass of milk, and add flaxseed to your diet whenever you can. Have high blood pressure? Hibiscus tea can work better than a leading hypertensive drug - and without the side effects. Fighting off liver disease? Drinking coffee can reduce liver inflammation. Battling breast cancer? Consuming soy is associated with prolonged survival. Worried about heart disease (the number-one killer in the United States)? Switch to a whole-food, plant-based diet, which has been repeatedly shown not just to prevent the disease but often to stop it in its tracks.
In addition to showing what to eat to help treat the top 15 causes of death, How Not to Die includes Dr. Greger's Daily Dozen - a checklist of the 12 foods we should consume every day. Full of practical, actionable advice and surprising, cutting-edge nutritional science, these doctor's orders are just what we need to live longer, healthier lives.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Honestly?? Mixed feelings about this book...

I'm still only a quarter of the way through this book, but I wanted to stop and give my thoughts on it so far. First of all, this book unfortunately falls under my biggest pet peeve - when a medical professional reads his/her own book. It's SO difficult to get absorbed in the message of this book because the author chose to read it himself. Dr. Greger talks fast and mumbles A LOT, and has strange pauses and "ahhhs" in the middle of his sentences. It makes it hard to listen for more than a half hour at a time, because it's not an effortless listen. I really wish he would have used a pro -- it would have made a huge difference.

Secondly, while there obviously is a lot of information about disease and plant-based diets that is spot-on and completely fascinating, there's also a lot of misinformation in this book. While he does state that he isn't an advocate for vegetarianism or a vegan diet, this book is essentially touting the benefits of those lifestyles. He makes some odd statements like how exercise doesn't provide any benefit to longevity or disease prevention, or how eating Omega-3 rich fish doesn't provide those benefits either. I reduced my C-Reactive protein from dangerous levels down to nearly negligible levels simply by initially exercising and eating way more cold water fish. Numerous studies have shown that inflammation is a contributing cause to death and disease, and that both exercise and Omega-3s found in fatty fish help to reduce inflammation.

While I absolutely agree with the fact that processed foods and commercial meats/dairy are contributors of death and disease, I once tried a "vegetarian diet" eating only plant-based foods. It left me hungry, and no matter how much olive oil or avocados and nuts I ate, my skin and hair looked limp and saggy, and my energy levels were down. I have done quite a bit of research on pasture and grass-fed meats and dairy. Humans are carnivores, and most of us have an undeniable craving for meat and fatty, calorie-dense foods such as dairy. Again, over the course of the past year, I switched my diet to one that consisted totally of small-farm raised meats and dairy, along with my usual produce, salads, greens, etc. -- and I have never felt better, more fit, or more energetic. My stamina is at an all-time high, my skin is glowing and my hair is thicker and more luxurious than ever. I eat a balanced mix of both plant-based and pasture-raised meat/dairy, and at 41, I'm the healthiest I've ever been.

I guess my point is, if you're desperate and on the verge of dying like Dr. Greger's grandmother was, then yes... this book makes sense as a drastic measure. However, I would've liked to have seen something more well-rounded and inclusive for the rest of us. Food is one of life's pleasures, and to give up two of our most satisfying food groups just isn't realistic. Most Americans aren't going to stop eating fish, meat and dairy, so education on the best kinds of fish/meat and dairy to consume with some science behind it would have made this book much more relevant to the masses. Is meat the enemy, or is it processed and commercial meat that's the problem? Heart disease is a relatively modern disease, and yet mankind has been eating fish and meat since the beginning of time. Sure, in this modern era we might gain a couple of extra years of longevity by eating like a rabbit, but that makes for a pretty dull life. Isn't there a way to have our health and eat meat, too? If so, Dr. Greger doesn't seem to think so.
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- Maria

A stunningly important book

What made the experience of listening to How Not to Die the most enjoyable?

I have read a lot of books on the importance of nutrition -- a LOT. The China Study, anything that Furhman or Weil or Hyman or a dozen others have written. All of them excellent. This one, though, is the one that finally convinced me to quit playing Russian Roulette with my health and get serious. I have listened to it twice and ordered the hard copy because there is so much good information - information backed my multiple studies - about exactly what to eat and why.

If I could only have one book in my library, this would be it. You may not resonate with how Greger reads his book, but the information in it is far too valuable to let that deter you from reading it.

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- Being

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-08-2015
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio