Non-Fiction, Health & Nutrition
Avery Publishing Group
May 12, 2020
January 22 - 24, 2023
The instant New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher's Weekly bestseller
A bold new plant-based plan that challenges popular keto and paleo diets, from an award-winning gastroenterologist.
The benefits of restrictive diets like paleo and keto have been touted for more than a decade, but as renowned gastroenterologist Dr. Will Bulsiewicz, or "Dr. B," illuminates in this groundbreaking book, the explosion of studies on the microbiome makes it abundantly clear that elimination diets are in fact hazardous to our health. What studies clearly now show--and what Dr. B preaches with his patients--is that gut health is the key to boosting our metabolism, balancing our hormones, and taming the inflammation that causes a host of diseases. And the scientifically proven way to fuel our guts is with dietary fiber from an abundant variety of colorful plants.
Forget about the fiber your grandmother used to take--the cutting-edge science on fiber is incredibly exciting. As Dr. B explains, fiber energizes our gut microbes to create powerhouse postbiotics called short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that are essential to our health. SCFAs are scientifically proven to promote weight loss, repair leaky gut, strengthen the microbiome, optimize the immune system, reduce food sensitivities, lower cholesterol, reverse type 2 diabetes, improve brain function, and even prevent cancer. Restrictive fad diets starve the gut of the critical fiber we need, weaken the microbes, and make our system vulnerable.
As a former junk-food junkie, Dr. B knows firsthand the power of fiber to dramatically transform our health. The good news is that our guts can be trained. Fiber-rich, real foods--with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts, and legumes--start working quickly and maintain your long-term health, promote weight loss, and allow you to thrive and feel great from the inside out.
With a 28-day jumpstart program with menus and more than 65 recipes, along with essential advice on food sensitivities, Fiber Fueled offers the blueprint to start turbocharging your gut for lifelong health today.
Some years ago I watched a news segment or something about a fecal transplant. Sounds gross, right? Well, for whatever reason this woman had this transplant done and after having lived her entire life at a healthy weight, and making no other lifestyle changes apart from the transplant, suddenly she put on weight. And more weight. And she didn’t know why and she was frustrated. Which led doctors to wonder, could the bacteria in her donor’s fecal matter have changed their patient in more ways than expected? Ever since then, fecal transplants and the microbiome have been in the back of my mind.
Now, if you’ve followed me or my blog at all in the last few years, you’ll know that I’ve been really interested in health, nutrition, and fitness, which led me to this book: Fiber Fueled: The Plant-Based Gut Health Program for Losing Weight, Restoring Your Health, and Optimizing Your Microbiome.
That’s a big title packed with promises, so does it deliver? I can’t say. But what I do know is, the basis of his claim just makes sense. While the author, Dr. Bulsiewicz, appears to be a firm advocate for veganism, he isn’t preachy about it. He uses his own anecdotal evidence from his own life in this book, how he went from a college grad student living on energy drinks and fast food, to being a young doctor working long hours and drinking endless coffee and enjoying steak dinners whenever and wherever possible, to finally meeting the woman he would eventually marry and seeing her living a plant based lifestyle and being healthier and having more energy, to starting to emulate her and feeling so much better.
The main take away from what he preaches is this: eat plants, lots of them, and often. (Which is a throw back to a book I read last summer, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan.) What Dr. Bulsiewicz adds to the argument that Pollan makes, is that the wider the variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains you eat, the healthier and more diverse your gut microbiome will be.
My own anecdotal evidence for eating healthier foods and cutting out (most) of the processed junk we all favor, is this: In 2019 I started taking my health seriously. I cut back on the breakfast cereal, take out food, processed foods from the freezer and cans, and started living mostly on chicken breasts, eggs, brown rice, fruits and veggies. (I already only drink water, so I didn’t have the easy fix of cutting out soda or juice!) and I felt so much better! I didn’t eat a wide variety though.
This book has recipes in the back. I did not try those recipes because I do not have a good relationship with food, in that I’m an extremely picky eater and afraid to try new things. That said, I have come a long way in the last 15 years, and every day is a new chance. For me though, I’m better off finding a recipe on the internet and using my best judgment about how nutritious it is.
Whew! That was a lot of word vomit. In conclusion: This is a great, easy to read book about the importance of having a healthy gut biome. If my library has more books on the topic, I will absolutely check them out in the hopes of gleaning more information.
OH! Fun fact I just remembered: Apparently you can sprinkle mustard on cooked broccoli to activate an important enzyme that fights cancer causing cells or something. Google it. Or just read this book!