Healthy Reading: Part One-Disease Proof by Dr. David Katz

The Cryptoquote in the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Nov. 4th puzzle page had this quote by Sir Francis Bacon that seems perfect for this posting, especially the last phrase:

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.

Dr. David Katz is a board certified specialist in preventive medicine and his book reflects this wholehearted interest in prevention. (It is written with the help of health writer Stacey Colino.)  According to the research discussed in this book, we can slash our risk by 80% or more of the chronic diseases such as cancer, dementia, diabetes, heart disease and obesity by changing our lifestyle. This means: not smoking, eating well, staying active, and maintaining a healthy weight.

The author points out in the very beginning that this is possible as a result of our modern understanding of epigenetics, that is, how the environment influences our genes. And by environment he means the way you live on a daily basis: our eating habits, our sleep patterns, stress management, exercise routine, etc.  What this means is that while specific genes may make you more prone to inflammation, aging, insulin resistant, degeneration and oxidation, etc. we can develop wholesome habits that reduce the risk of our genes’ expressions. Or, as Dr. Katz writes: “You can reshuffle the genetic deck in your favor with healthful behaviors—enough to reduce the likelihood of a bad health outcome by 80 percent.” (p. 13).

After reading this, I was hooked on Dr. Katz’s philosophy and protocols in which he emphasizes that we need more than will power; we need skill power to accomplish this “do over” of our genes. Thus, the rest of the book is geared to do just that, with chapters such as: Developing Nutritional Knowledge—and Power; Taste Bud Rehab; Move Your Body, Lose the Health Risks; The Whole(istic) Truth, and a final chapter on Changing the World with healthier habits. The chapters are a comprehensive approach to coupling will power and skill power.

Included in this user-friendly book is an appendix entitled NuVal Scores, a trademark for a nutritional scoring system that ranks foods from 1 to 100, with the higher the number indicating higher nutritional value. (Go to to see if there is a supermarket near you that uses this system. If not, the book has several pages that display a range of scores with foods in the same category to show their variations in nutritional value. For example, the bread page ranges from 14-50 brands of so-called healthy breads.

This book will become one of my go-to reference books because it is packed full of information on preventive practices that are empowering to the reader. As Arianna Huffington noted in her quote on the back cover, this is a “book we desperately need.” Published by the Penguin Group, this 286-page book costs $25.95 (hardcover version).

One Response to “Healthy Reading: Part One-Disease Proof by Dr. David Katz”

  1. Paula Says:

    Agree! Thank you……Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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