Eating Well for Optimum Health: The Essential Guide to Food, Diet, and Nutrition

Eating Well for Optimum Health: The Essential Guide to Food, Diet, and Nutrition

At last, a book about eating (and eating well) for health — from Dr. Andrew Weil, the brilliantly innovative and greatly respected doctor who has been instrumental in transforming the way Americans think about health.

Now Dr. Weil — whose nationwide best-sellers Spontaneous Healing and Eight Weeks to Optimum Health have made us aware of the body’s capacity to heal itself — provides us with a program for improving our well-being by making informed choices about how and what we eat.  

He gives us all the basic facts about human nutrition. Here is everything we need to know about fats, protein, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins, and their effects on our health.
He equips us to make decisions about the latest miracle diet or reducing aid.
At the heart of his book, he presents in easy-to-follow detail his recommended OPTIMUM DIET, including complete weekly menus for use both at home and in restaurants.
He provides eighty-five recipes accompanied by a rigorous and reliable nutritional breakdown — delicious recipes reminding us that we can eat for health without giving up the essential pleasures of eating.

Customized dietary advice is included for dozens of common ailments, among them asthma, allergies, heart disease, migraines, and thyroid problems. Dr. Weil helps us to read labels on all food products and thereby become much wiser consumers. Throughout he makes clear how an optimal diet can both supply the basic needs of the body and fortify the body’s defenses and mechanisms of healing. And he always stresses that good food — and the good feeling it engenders at the table — is not only a delight but also necessary to our well-being, so that eating for health means enjoyable eating.

In sum, a hugely practical and inspiring book about food, diet, and nutrition that stands to change — for the better and the healthier — our most fundamental ideas about eating.


  • Hardcover: 307 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1 edition (March 7, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375407545
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375407543
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.4 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (177 customer reviews)
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  1. I usually have to force myself to read nutritional type books, but I found this book to be quite different. The approach taken by the author is a very rational one, and it makes a lot of sense over the course of a lifetime. There are no short term diet or health solutions presented, but rather the focus is on healthy, enjoyable eating as a way of life. The author strongly emphasizes that healthy eating does not need to be a miserable experience; but that it can and should be pleasurable. A wealth of information about food is provided in the book, including the best and worst diets in the world. In several chapters the components of food and nutrition are broken down and explained. There is a section of the book that contains 85 recipes, and another section that answers specific questions about food and nutrition. Much of the information given is scientific in nature, but I found all of the chapters to be very informative and interesting. I greatly appreciated the sense of compassion and humor that Dr. Weil brings to his book. This is a very well written book, and I recommend it to everyone.

  2. [email protected] says:

    With certainty, compassion and humour Dr.Weil addresses management for the intake of our food – whether eating at home or in restaurants. I’ve taken the highlighter to it and have the recipes copied on the counter for ready and easy use. They sound delicious enough to eat the menu! The coverage of micronutrients made the book a must have reference for myself and my family.

  3. Of the many health books I have read, this is undoubtedly one of the best. In addition to providing a wealth of nutritional information, Dr. Weil evaluates various diet plans and exposes the dangers inherent in a number of currently popular ones. He offers medically sound and practical guidelines for healthy and enjoyable eating, stressing that for a diet to be followed successfully over a lifetime it must be a source not only of ample nourishment but also of ample pleasure and that healthful food need involve no compromise in taste. An especially useful feature of the book is the tips it contains for shopping and menu planning as well as for making sensible choices when dining out. Readers will also find Dr. Weil’s advice very helpful when consulting cookbooks. For example, following the basic principles set forth in his book, I have discovered a gold mine of great eating in Sonia Uvezian’s masterpiece, “Recipes and Remembrances from an Eastern Mediterranean Kitchen,” which is filled with easy-to-follow recipes for a myriad of dishes that are both wonderfully healthful and exceptionally delicious.

  4. I was fascinated to realize that there are so many MIS-understandings we (collectively speaking) have had– about nutrition, until now.
    In his book, Dr. Weil indicated that table sugar, is not as “bad” as we tend to think, as the results from the Glycemic list show that there are worse things (such as white flour).
    FAT is another issue which Dr Weil makes quite clear, as it has its place in our diets, both in terms of taste, as well as the Omega 3’s (or 6’s).
    This book is NOT about “the basics”, as it is much more involved. Actually, given the current media “fights” between both diet “extremes” (e.g. Pritikin (no fat) and Atkins (lots of it), THERE ARE NO BASICS, rather an acceptance of various beliefs about what is best for our health.
    I am grateful for Dr Weil’s book, as it is comforting to know that meat is not always the “ememy”, nor are carbohydrates always the enemy either. I think he does an excellent job explaining how the various carbohydrates affect us in different ways.
    I have read many, many diet and nutrition books. I appreciate whatever information I gained from them, yet with Dr Weil’s book, I feel a greater level of CONFIDENCE in what he has to say, as he goes into the scientific detail (some of which I get, some I don’t).

  5. If you are tired of trying to make sense out of all of the conflicting claims about foods, diets, and various diseases, this book is your answer. The author bravely takes on any school of thought about food (including unhealthy ones), and provides a balanced perspective on what is wrong with that approach.
    Health is not only about eating. It is also about exercise, sleep, relationships with others, genetics, and environment. But for the part of health that relates to food, this book is the be-all and end-all for now. I say that not because of any weakness the book has, but simply because scientific information about health is expanding so rapidly.
    As Dr. Weil points out, the information he shares in this book is often news to medical students and physicians. Food and health are subjects that are poorly connected in our minds at this time.
    The book begins with an excellent section on what food means to us. While most health books focus on the disease related issues, Dr. Weil points out that food not only runs our bodies as fuel, but also is a source of pleasure (did you ever think you would hear that from a physician?), a way to create social interaction, a part of health, and a way to address some diseases toward restoring health.
    The second section is on the basics of what our bodies need. This is where scientific studies are neatly put together into a consistent description. I was especially impressed with the section on fats. It is very easy to omit getting the right fatty acids in your diet, and I was pleased to see this issue addressed well here.Read more ›

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