BOOK REVIEW: ‘Foods that Heal, Revised and Updated: The Best and Worst Choices to Treat your Ailments Naturally’: Revised Edition of Best-Selling Food Encyclopedia

  • Reviewed by David M. Kinchen 
   BOOK REVIEW: 'Foods that Heal, Revised and Updated: The Best and Worst Choices to Treat your Ailments Naturally': Revised Edition of Best-Selling Food Encyclopedia

The first edition of “Foods that Harm, Foods that Heal”, published in 2004 by Readers Digest Association, must have struck a welcoming chord with the book buying public because more than 7 million copies were sold worldwide. Now comes a revised and redesigned edition “Foods that Harm, Foods that Heal:

The Best and Worst Choices to Treat your Ailments Naturally” (Readers Digest Association, 400 pages, index, hundreds of color photos,  $19.99) that correlates more than than 90 health   entries from arthritis to insomnia to heart disease with almost  150 food entries from apples to zucchini — including fast food, additives, and more — that can affect the health conditions for good or ill.

In other words, this book is an evolutionary version of the revolutionary first edition. It features:

> Simple ways to eat, cook, and store each food

> Food-medicine interactions to be aware of

> Sidebars on everything from the new USDA Food Plate to the many benefits of vitamin D, probiotics and super foods like goji berries and acai.

Innterest in food as medicine has only grown as researchers have continued to discover the crucial connections between diet and chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other serious illnesses, as well as the impact of food on stress, insomnia, and other common complaints.

I’m particularly interested foods that affect my heart, since earlier this month I made another visit to the hospital where two more stents were placed in my arteries, bringing the total to four. I’m not the bionic man, yet, but I’m working on it! (One artery was 90 percent blocked, according to my cardiologist.)

I feel great and have eliminated most of the bad foods from my diet. I don’t smoke anymore and I’ve never been a big consumer of alcoholic beverages, but I realize that diet alone won’t keep me off that gurney going into the OR.   Do I personally recommend this book? A big YES, with the caveat that you pay attention to your other bad habits. Yes, you have bad habits! Root them out, rid yourself of them, keep exercising and see your family doctor. A heart attack doesn’t always involve chest pain. Mine didn’t!

About the Author

RDA is a global media and direct marketing company that educates, entertains and connects more than 130 million consumers around the world with products and services from trusted brands. With offices in 43 countries, the company reaches customers in 78 countries, publishes 91 magazines, including 50 editions of Reader’s Digest, the world’s largest-circulation magazine, operates 78 branded websites and sells 40 million books, music and video products across the world each year. Further information about the company can be found at

About the Consultants

Joe Schwarcz, PhD, the Director of McGill University’s Office for Science and Society, is dedicated to demystifying science for the public, the media, and students. Dr. Schwarcz is well-known for his informative and entertaining lectures on nutrition and alternative medicine. He has written several best-selling books, received numerous awards, appears regularly on the Discovery Channel, and was the host of “Science To Go” a show that focused on common foods, as well as special appearances on various other TV and radio shows. He lives in Montreal.

Fran Berkoff, RD, is a registered dietitian at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, and the nutrition columnist for the Toronto Sun and Canadian Living magazine. Berkoff lives in Toronto.    //


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