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Publisher's Summary

From the physician behind the wildly popular website Nutrition Facts, How Not to Die reveals the groundbreaking scientific evidence behind the only diet that can prevent and reverse many of the causes of disease-related death. 

The vast majority of premature deaths can be prevented through simple changes in diet and lifestyle. In How Not to Die, Dr. Michael Greger, the internationally renowned nutrition expert, physician, and founder of Nutrition Facts, examines the 15 top causes of premature death in America - heart disease, various cancers, diabetes, Parkinson's, high blood pressure, and more - and explains how nutritional and lifestyle interventions can sometimes trump prescription pills and other pharmaceutical and surgical approaches, freeing us to live healthier lives. 

The simple truth is that most doctors are good at treating acute illnesses but bad at preventing chronic disease. The 15 leading causes of death claim the lives of 1.6 million Americans annually. This doesn't have to be the case. By following Dr. Greger's advice, all of it backed up by strong scientific evidence, you will learn which foods to eat and which lifestyle changes to make to live longer. 

History of prostate cancer in your family? Put down that glass of milk, and add flaxseed to your diet whenever you can. Have high blood pressure? Hibiscus tea can work better than a leading hypertensive drug - and without the side effects. Fighting off liver disease? Drinking coffee can reduce liver inflammation. Battling breast cancer? Consuming soy is associated with prolonged survival. Worried about heart disease (the number-one killer in the United States)? Switch to a whole-food, plant-based diet, which has been repeatedly shown not just to prevent the disease but often to stop it in its tracks. 

In addition to showing what to eat to help treat the top 15 causes of death, How Not to Die includes Dr. Greger's Daily Dozen - a checklist of the 12 foods we should consume every day. Full of practical, actionable advice and surprising, cutting-edge nutritional science, these doctor's orders are just what we need to live longer, healthier lives. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2015 Michael Greger, MD (P)2015 Macmillan Audio

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What listeners say about How Not to Die

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A stunningly important book

What made the experience of listening to How Not to Die the most enjoyable?

I have read a lot of books on the importance of nutrition -- a LOT. The China Study, anything that Furhman or Weil or Hyman or a dozen others have written. All of them excellent. This one, though, is the one that finally convinced me to quit playing Russian Roulette with my health and get serious. I have listened to it twice and ordered the hard copy because there is so much good information - information backed my multiple studies - about exactly what to eat and why.

If I could only have one book in my library, this would be it. You may not resonate with how Greger reads his book, but the information in it is far too valuable to let that deter you from reading it.

210 people found this helpful

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Clear, Compelling & Transformative

If you only listen to one book about reversing &/or preventing chronic disease related to lifestyle choices this should be the book. The information is research based, scientifically accurate and compelling. Dr Greger presents his subject in language that non-medical people can easily understand. He breaks the book into chapters focused on different diseases--for example heart disease, respiratory illness, & brain disease--to name three of fifteen illnesses covered.

Please don't misunderstand me when I use the term easy. What I mean is that the message Dr Greger is discussing is easy follow and grasp. However, following a plant-based diet is difficult going until you get the hang of it. This is hard work--because processed foods, prepared food, fast food and anything not plant-based is off the list. That said, it is worth the effort. It is possible to heal what ails you by changing what you choose to eat.

Dr Greger has an excellent not-for-profit web site with lots of information and video lectures available as well. He is passionate about educating the public and trying to get his message out there. Sometimes this can feel a bit overwhelming--also occasionally I might have preferred a professional narrator. All that aside, if you want to take charge of your own health and wellness this is the book to read. Life changing and really pretty fantastic.

138 people found this helpful

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Honestly?? Mixed feelings about this book...

I'm still only a quarter of the way through this book, but I wanted to stop and give my thoughts on it so far. First of all, this book unfortunately falls under my biggest pet peeve - when a medical professional reads his/her own book. It's SO difficult to get absorbed in the message of this book because the author chose to read it himself. Dr. Greger talks fast and mumbles A LOT, and has strange pauses and "ahhhs" in the middle of his sentences. It makes it hard to listen for more than a half hour at a time, because it's not an effortless listen. I really wish he would have used a pro -- it would have made a huge difference.

Secondly, while there obviously is a lot of information about disease and plant-based diets that is spot-on and completely fascinating, there's also a lot of misinformation in this book. While he does state that he isn't an advocate for vegetarianism or a vegan diet, this book is essentially touting the benefits of those lifestyles. He makes some odd statements like how exercise doesn't provide any benefit to longevity or disease prevention, or how eating Omega-3 rich fish doesn't provide those benefits either. I reduced my C-Reactive protein from dangerous levels down to nearly negligible levels simply by initially exercising and eating way more cold water fish. Numerous studies have shown that inflammation is a contributing cause to death and disease, and that both exercise and Omega-3s found in fatty fish help to reduce inflammation.

While I absolutely agree with the fact that processed foods and commercial meats/dairy are contributors of death and disease, I once tried a "vegetarian diet" eating only plant-based foods. It left me hungry, and no matter how much olive oil or avocados and nuts I ate, my skin and hair looked limp and saggy, and my energy levels were down. I have done quite a bit of research on pasture and grass-fed meats and dairy. Humans are carnivores, and most of us have an undeniable craving for meat and fatty, calorie-dense foods such as dairy. Again, over the course of the past year, I switched my diet to one that consisted totally of small-farm raised meats and dairy, along with my usual produce, salads, greens, etc. -- and I have never felt better, more fit, or more energetic. My stamina is at an all-time high, my skin is glowing and my hair is thicker and more luxurious than ever. I eat a balanced mix of both plant-based and pasture-raised meat/dairy, and at 41, I'm the healthiest I've ever been.

I guess my point is, if you're desperate and on the verge of dying like Dr. Greger's grandmother was, then yes... this book makes sense as a drastic measure. However, I would've liked to have seen something more well-rounded and inclusive for the rest of us. Food is one of life's pleasures, and to give up two of our most satisfying food groups just isn't realistic. Most Americans aren't going to stop eating fish, meat and dairy, so education on the best kinds of fish/meat and dairy to consume with some science behind it would have made this book much more relevant to the masses. Is meat the enemy, or is it processed and commercial meat that's the problem? Heart disease is a relatively modern disease, and yet mankind has been eating fish and meat since the beginning of time. Sure, in this modern era we might gain a couple of extra years of longevity by eating like a rabbit, but that makes for a pretty dull life. Isn't there a way to have our health and eat meat, too? If so, Dr. Greger doesn't seem to think so.

97 people found this helpful

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Highly Recommend!

Would you listen to How Not to Die again? Why?

Yes. This book is full of important, evidence-based information on health and nutrition. It's a wonderful listen - so well organized, with just the right amount of anecdote and humor (that fans of Dr. Greger from NutritionFacts.org will no doubt find familiar). I listen to audiobooks all the time - Dr. Greger as writer and narrator *could not* be any better. What a joy to read!

Who was your favorite character and why?

The entire book is a gem.

Have you listened to any of Michael Greger, MD’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I follow Dr. Greger on his website (free), NutrionFacts.org. His voice, energy, humor, can be fully appreciated on the audio. Simply the best! This is no textbook....the personal stories, anecdotes, and humor spread throughout the book are a treasure. I definitely found myself having a chuckle here and there.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

At just over 17 hours long....I finished this book off in 3-days, with commuting, time spent in the gym, and long hikes. I will read it again very soon.

Any additional comments?

I could not recommend this audiobook any more highly. A great listen. It could save your life and that of the people you love - all by changing what we put in our mouths.

57 people found this helpful

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Good ideas but horrible narration

The book is well research. However the narration is so irritating that it was difficult to take in the ideas.
I thought for sure it was being read by an actor who didn't know that first thing about what he was reading and was hugely overcompensating by overacting, over emphasizing and the parts where he wanted to demonstrate his incredible empathy was severely lacking that in his tone. Now I guess the problem is that it should've been read by an actor. The author's ideas are worth hearing - just not from him. His tone is nauseatingly dripping with self-righteous narcissism. It's almost impossible to look past and hear his ideas.

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buy the print version

What did you love best about How Not to Die?

Excellent info, very informative, research based evidence on nutrition, something that is lacking in medical schools today (as he also explains in the book).

Who was your favorite character and why?

None

What about Michael Greger, MD’s performance did you like?

The most frustrating part of this book is having to listen to Dr. Greger read his own book, he should have paid for a professional to read the book. There are odd pauses, mumbling, then rapid speech, all in the same sentence. It doesn't flow well, which makes it very difficult to listen to. I would recommend getting the print version instead.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The content is great, all of it is important.

Any additional comments?

Please consider a revision in which a professional reads this book. I will need to get the print version, as the audible version is so difficult to listen to.

53 people found this helpful

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Evidence based

This is a persons life long love affair with evidence based nutrition. I'm so glad that Dr. Greger did his own audio. His corky personality shines and adds a little flavor. I strongly recommend it.

45 people found this helpful

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My favorite book of its kind!

What did you love best about How Not to Die?

So thorough and compelling!

What other book might you compare How Not to Die to and why?

Proteinaholic, The Campbell Plan, China Study, Food Revolution. All awesome books, too. All about plant based eating and positive effects.

Have you listened to any of Michael Greger, MD’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have and it is very close to his presentations. He reads in an entertaining manner, just like his presentations.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. There is too much info to listen in one sitting (and over 17 hours). But I listened to it daily and couldn't wait until the next time. I am also reading the hard copy and listening to it again.

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  • KK
  • 02-07-18

Don't Eat Eggs, Milk or any Animal products if you

Would you try another book from Michael Greger MD and Gene Stone and/or Michael Greger MD?

..don't want to die an early, painful death. Anyway, I LOVE the idea of using nutrition and supplements as medicine and why I bought this book on Audible (how I live my life). There is indeed a fundamental problem with the American diet as Greger points out. Also true that eating whole foods, plant-based whole foods, is absolutely helpful in reversing disease. As Americans, we do rely too much on big pharma to fix our created/diet-inflected diseases (cancer, heart, brain, lung disease, etc) and at best only band-aid the worst symptoms of disease, thus creating new problems to medicate. Our fast food/processed food diet as well as our overall mentality toward "diet" is terrible - agree again! Anyone watching TV understands that big pharma is pushing the need to take life-time meds to fix our mostly self-inflicted diseases (as well as the follow up lawyer ads to sue to the pharma companies) is big, massive business. I can't even get started on the topic of Cancer -- The American Cancer Society is also now advertising. Like Gerber, I have lost faith in most of the medical community who is incented financially to do procedures while only addressing 'symptoms' through medications was pointed out nicely by Greger. I wholeheartedly agree how most doctors don't have the knowledge or desire to do anything different. Medical schools don't teach nutrition (using food as medicine) and doctors are generally a one-trick pony show. Gerber makes a good point that we won't see advertisements for sweet potatoes any time soon. Follow the money to see what's going on in our world!

My issue with the book is that it is a big promotion for Veganism being the right, best, perhaps only path to health. As others have said, Greger (like those he criticizes) uses his own skewed "studies" to support his plant-based/vegan agenda. There is "new" science that blows up the huge campaign to demonize eggs because of cholesterol in an egg (which doesn't translate to rising cholesterol in the body) as one example. Just like Greger, I could cite many more studies on virtues of consuming certain "animal products". Greger's view is way too simplified. I don't like the all or nothing approach he takes in his science. I have personally revamped my own diet over the last decade - example: almost no processed food, no added sugar (e.g. only naturally occurring in whole foods like fruit), no gluten 95% of the time (else whole grains), more veggies, pastured/grass-fed/sustainable meat and seafood, limited dairy, I use nut milks, etc..and I strongly believe in the benefits of diet to heal. All this said, I just don't buy into the vegan agenda Greger is forcing down my throat. I don't believe he is being open minded in his own research as he criticizes everyone else for THEIR short-sightedness. I guess the faults we find in others exist in ourselves definitely holds true here.

In closing, Greger's message and intention overall is good, even helpful, but his agenda is not and I feel duped by selecting this book.

What could Michael Greger MD and Gene Stone have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Greger could have made this "more enjoyable" by not pushing his own agenda. He needs to explore his own biases and righteousness deeper.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Michael Greger MD?

Doc Greger was a decent narrator.

What character would you cut from How Not to Die?

Veganism. This doctor should be providing good guidelines about diet/nutrition from a broader perspective. Meat is the devil apparently, even fish... let's spend MORE time on sugar, processed food, enriched flours -- maybe those scarfing down meat are also eating these other items. What is the true culprit? Did deeper.

41 people found this helpful

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Nutrition Information That Appears Slanted

The author seems to have an agenda to get people to avoid dairy and meat, and to switch to a plant based diet. Seems like many studies that he includes in the book are to push this agenda. As a fan of Dr. Weston A. Price, Sally Fallon, who stress traditional, ancestral diets, I started to find this book tiring, like I was being preached to. For example, he recommends GMO soy products to women to help prevent breast cancer (and recommends soy to all people). Other articles, that I've read, show that soy is a major hormone disruptor. The author says how harmful poultry and meats are for the body. Because of the harmful things that the livestock consume like a poor diet, chemicals and toxins. But, you could also argue that if animals are raised in a healthy, humane way, that meat will be in turn be healthy. For example, eating 100% grass-fed, pasture raised, organic beef of cattle raised on small, non-industrial farms. He quotes a lot of studies. But, why not look at traditional diets more, like the Dr. Weston A. Price foundation does.

34 people found this helpful

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