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The Hundred-Year Diet

Guidelines and Recipes for a Long and Vigorous Life

Clarion Review (4 Stars)

Thirty percent of heart attacks are fatal and modern medicine provides limited treatment for stroke cardiac disease and diabetes. Therefore prevention is crucial. Dr. Blair Beebe proposes that with a healthy diet and exercise the human life span could reach at least a hundred years.

Dr. Beebe presents healthy dietary principles in part one and touches on exercise mentioning abundant supporting research. He cites one study that showed fatal-arrhythmia suppression for heart patients taking fish oil. Two-thirds of adult Americans have excess pounds. Dr. Beebe writes “The extra weight promotes the development of cardiovascular disease by causing high blood pressure cholesterol abnormalities and diabetes mellitus type II.” He frequently refers to the “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” a U.S. government publication which advocates a diet low in calories saturated fats and sodium and high in fiber with whole grains replacing simple sugars. One of the book’s plentiful charts lists high-fiber foods including oatmeal and avocado.

Sue Beebe’s abundant recipes in part two avoid salt and minimize harmful fats by using vegetable or olive oil egg substitute nonfat milk nonfat cheese and low-sodium soy sauce. The “Codfish Cakes” recipe includes egg substitute dried nonfat milk and olive oil. A few of the recipes call for sugar while others use molasses or honey. The bread recipes mix white and whole-wheat flour. “Dark Chocolate Rye” calls for this mix plus rye flour. It also contains molasses.

Dr. Beebe has practiced medicine for over thirty years. He served as associate executive director for northern California’s Kaiser Permanente Medical Group. This board-certified internist previously taught in Stanford University’s Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism. His other book is Doctor Tales: Sketches of the Transformation of American Medicine in the Twentieth Century.

Ms. Beebe holds a master’s degree in microbiology. This culinary expert studied at cooking schools in France. She previously taught nursing students at San Jose State University and at two community colleges.

This well-organized book presents an important message. The “Key Points” for each section of part one such as “Exercise reduces the incidence of heart disease” provide a good preview. Unfortunately the book has typographical errors and other problems that thorough editing could have prevented. Clarity would have been improved by including the word “Recipes” within part two of the table of contents and indenting the appendix items.

Helpful food-value data follow each recipe and inquisitive readers will appreciate the Internet address of the National Library of Medicine for locating reference articles. This book will benefit adults seeking improved health. Readers who cook can extend the benefits to the whole family.

The hundred-year diet is a tremendous improvement over typical American eating habits. If it were followed by more people communities would have more centenarians and hospitals would have less business.

Norma D. Kellam