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Editor reviews

Using both science and personal stories, Gary Paul Nabhan alleges that people should follow diets according to their ethnic background. Because of his genes, a person with Italian roots should consume more olive oil than a person with Dutch heritage. In an age of a million and one fad diets, Nabhan's theory may provide a better approach to eating right. Meanwhile Gregory N. St. John's performance is clear and engaging. He handles scientific language with ease. Keep up, though, with his rapid pacing. Overall, this audiobook is original and thought-provoking, real food for thought.

Summary

Vegan, low fat, low carb, slow carb: Every diet seems to promise a one-size-fits-all solution to health. But they ignore the diversity of human genes and how they interact with what we eat.

In Food, Genes, and Culture, renowned ethnobotanist Gary Nabhan shows why the perfect diet for one person could be disastrous for another. If your ancestors were herders in Northern Europe, milk might well provide you with important nutrients, whereas if you’re Native American, you have a higher likelihood of lactose intolerance. If your roots lie in the Greek islands, the acclaimed Mediterranean diet might save your heart; if not, all that olive oil could just give you stomach cramps.

Nabhan traces food traditions around the world, from Bali to Mexico, uncovering the links between ancestry and individual responses to food. The implications go well beyond personal taste. Today’s widespread mismatch between diet and genes is leading to serious health conditions, including a dramatic growth over the last 50 years in auto-immune and inflammatory diseases.

Readers will not only learn why diabetes is running rampant among indigenous peoples and heart disease has risen among those of northern European descent, but may find the path to their own perfect diet.

©2004, 2013 Gary Paul Nabhan (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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  • Roxanne
  • 17-03-18

first steps into deep study

For many years I have been trying to find the specialty or field of study that I would like to dive into. This book has provided enough insight for me to be able to confidently and consistently take on nutritional epigenetics. The content was supported with references to big names in the industry as well as studies that I can dive deeper into.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Ryan Carter
  • 17-03-18

Angry narrator

Why was he so angry when he read this? I hope I never hear his voice again.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Pait
  • 24-05-17

Interesting genetic nerddom.

Super interesting, well researched. Related to bio-hacking. Contains specific gene reference for known expression. Having done personal genetic mapping make this book fascinating!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • April S
  • 01-03-17

Great book, terrible reading

While I suspect I would enjoy the written version, the narrator of this book was a terrible choice. There are many medical and scientific terms throughout the text, and it seems every single one is mispronounced. It is so distracting, because the mispronunciation is so severe as to make it hard to understand. Surely, a reader with even a basic introduction to common medical terminology, could have been found.

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  • Twang
  • 19-02-17

Good message but wanders

Ever have to write one of those papers where the teacher made you write a certain number of words? This book is painful in that respect. Additionally there's a lot of wondering off topic and even out of the scientific realm. However, buried in the wandering verbosity is an intriguing idea that warrants exploration.