Mark Hyman’s new book is out. Food: What the Heck Should I Eat?
I’ve been a fan of Dr. Hyman’s work for a few years. I love seeing medical doctors extending their knowledge of nutrition, and Dr. Hyman is a champion of whole foods eating. I reviewed his last book Eat Fat, Get Thin. So I was interested to see what he’s been up to. Read on for my review of Food: What the Heck Should I Eat?, which the cover calls a “no-nonsense guide to achieving optimal weight and lifelong health.”
Layout and design:
The book is organized into four parts:
1) Ending food confusion, fear, and insecurity.
2) What the heck should I eat? Chapters include meat, poultry and eggs, milk and dairy, fish and seafood, vegetables, fruit, fats and oils, beans, grains, nuts and seeds, sugar and sweeteners, beverages.
3) What else you need to know about food.
4) The pegan diet and how to eat for life.
The book is well-designed with easy-to-read fonts, except for the recipe section (see my comment below).
There are no photographs in the book.
The 35 recipes include rich and creamy blueberry smoothie (photo above), Mediterranean steamed mussels, smoky egg salad, and tempeh, quinoa, and veggie bowl. Nutritional analysis is provided. Recipes range from vegan to vegetarian to paleo options. He suggests doing a ten-day detox and recipes suitable for that detox are coded 10D (but there is not a meal plan). Then he offers a 7-day “pegan” meal plan. All recipes are gluten-free and most are grain-free.
What I liked about the book:
As always, Dr. Hyman has a friendly, accessible writing style and provides tons of information. He describes his way of eating as “pegan” meaning paleo-vegan. If you know anything about those two diets they seem like polar opposites, but he’s trying to bridge the gap with vegetables and whole foods. He’s packed a ton of research about food production and planetary impact (not just on our personal health) into part 2, which I will use as a reference book. I liked that he’s encouraging people to be less rigid in their thinking about whole foods eating.
I wasn’t so keen on:
Recipes were not coded for special diets. As a cook I prefer recipes laid out one per page, instead of having to flip back and forth between pages. I found the book more confusing that his previous books, and I’m not sure he successfully straddles the line between vegan and paleo. He presents more than one contradictory idea (coffee is good, coffee is bad), so I’m not sure readers will be left knowing “what the heck” to eat.
Nutritionists and people wanting the latest research on a variety of food groups, plus people who are already familiar with his recommendations
Not recommended for:
Newcomers looking for an easy whole-foods plan to follow
A note about my cookbook reviews: In the past, I tested at least three recipes from each book, took photos, and described my experience. Due to my dietary limitations (low-sodium, gluten-, dairy-, egg-free), it is no longer possible for me to test the recipes and do them justice.
FTC disclosure: I received a copy of the book from Dr. Hyman’s team in order for me to review it. I was not paid to write this review. Post contains affiliate links.
Here’s the book if you want to see more: