How Not To Die
Read in 13 min.
Listen in 16 min.
Learn the key ideas of the book by Michael Greger

How Not To Die

Good nutrition for good health

How not to Die takes us on an interesting and heart-felt journey into the world of health and nutrition. According to Doctor Gregor, making the right food choices can help us prevent and even cure some chronic illnesses. The best diet for our health is one that involves a daily intake of fruit and vegetables, as well as berries, seeds, dried fruit, and spices. When food is highly processed, it is stripped of essential nutrients which are replaced by enticing flavours and preservatives. By making the right changes to our diet, we could all live a happy, healthy life without illness. Doctor Greger’s aim is to inform and encourage people to make the necessary changes to their eating habits and above all, to take the approach that prevention is better than a cure.

How Not To Die
Read in 13 min.
Listen in 16 min.

Good health is important to everyone, but the extraordinary thing is knowing that there are things we ourselves can do to influence it

When Michael Greger was young, his grandmother had heart disease. The doctors who discharged her from the hospital and sent her home had not left her with much hope of recovery. However, his grandmother, who was just 65 at the time, did not give up; she had heard of some alternative health care therapies carried out by a doctor named Nathan Pritikin, and wanted to try them. Dr Pritikin was beginning to make a name for himself for having proved that there was a way to reverse heart disease. The lady went into Pritikin’s clinic in a wheelchair, and walked out by herself three weeks later. Not only that, she went on to live for another 31 years. The therapy she was prescribed was a plant-based diet.

This story explains the motivation that drove Dr. Greger from the start of his career, his grandmother’s recovery having left a profound impression on him. He wanted to believe that it was no coincidence, and that a healthy diet really could cure chronic disease. 

Meanwhile, medicines actually come with damaging side effects, which in the long run, end up simply compounding any initial health problems. Food, on the other hand, provides everything the human body needs, and the right food fuels the body’s ability to heal itself.

Since then, Greger has travelled the world to share his and other doctors’ discoveries, certain that we can have control over our health by following just a few simple guidelines.

His mission is to spread the culture of nutrition through better understanding of food, because food has the ability to keep us healthy, help us feel good, and above all, to bring us back to good health when we are unwell.

Everyone knows how important health is, yet most people are only willing to make lifestyle changes when they become unwell. The thing is that the secret lies in prevention, in choosing quality over quantity when it comes to food, and in leading a healthy lifestyle.

For example, the risk of cancer cannot be reduced by taking antioxidant supplements, but by eating the right foods that contain antioxidants.

Our health is an asset which, in many ways, we can control.


The key ideas of "How Not To Die"

Good health is important to everyone, but the extraordinary thing is knowing that there are things we ourselves can do to influence it
Many chronic illnesses can end in death if they are not treated appropriately, but we can actually turn back the clock on these illnesses by following a healthy diet
Plant-based and unprocessed foods have the biggest impacts on our health
The traffic light system used by Greger to establish what foods to favour, which to limit, and which to cut out of our diet altogether is an effective way to help balance our intake of nutrients
The second system that Greger introduced involved a check-list with 12 key nutrients
We are all responsible for our own health
Take-home message
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