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The Anticancer Diet: Reduce Cancer Risk Through the Foods You Eat    by David Khayat order for
Anticancer Diet
by David Khayat
Order:  USA  Can
W. W. Norton, 2015 (2015)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Don't know about you but I've been finding the flood of reports on what foods we should and shouldn't eat both contradictory and confusing (though I have discovered some that appeal, telling me that wine, coffee and chocolate are all good for us, in moderation). So I generally avoid books on the subject.

What I immediately liked about David Khayat's Anticancer Diet: Reduce Cancer Risk Through the Foods You Eat is that he offers sensible explanations as he sifts through studies and tells us which should be taken more seriously. In his Introduction he talks about why folk are at different risk levels for certain cancers in different parts of the world, where 'eating habits have played a role in what's happening with cancer.'

Early chapters look at what cancer is (a genetic disease); what causes it; and the effects of food biocompounds on our bodies. The book continues to examine the main food groups - fish, red meat, dairy products and eggs, fruits and vegetables; fats (including cooking methods), sugars and sugar products, drinks, and dietary supplements and nutrients - and offer 'anticancer advice' related to each of them.

The author gives specifics on types of fish and shellfish most likely to be contaminated; fruits and vegetables with most and least pesticides (rather disturbing as we eat a lot of those with high pesticide levels); toxicity in overheated oils; arsenic in drinking water; and beneficial supplements and nutrients. Concluding chapters address the importance of keeping physically active (I like the notion of ecologyms) and golden rules of anticancer advice for different age groups. Finally, an Appendix offers an alphabetical reference of healthy or harmful foods.

In The Anticancer Diet, Dr. Khayat, who heads medical oncology at the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris, offers a well reasoned analysis of what can be done by each of us in cancer prevention, based on 'over thirty years of research into cancer, both in laboratories and at patients' bedsides, in France and in the United States.' It's well worth reading and taking seriously.

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