When you wake up in the morning, do you wonder what you should eat that day? Are you sick of being mixed-up and confounded by conflicting media reports about the latest research on which foods are good or bad for us? One day eggs are unhealthy, and the next day they are a miracle food. One year the government tells us to eat six to eleven servings of carbohydrates (bread, rice, cereal, and pasta) as the foundation of our diet, and the next it tells us to cut carbs. The US Dietary Guidelines told us 35 years ago that all our health problems were derived from eating fat and recommended we eat fat “only sparingly.” Then, more than three decades later, they suddenly learned fat wasn’t so bad for us. We were just recently told, in the 2015 US Dietary Guidelines, “Uh, don’t worry about fat; there is no restriction on how much you can eat because the research shows no connection between obesity or heart disease and dietary fat. And that cholesterol we told you to avoid for fear of dropping dead of a heart attack? Well, we were wrong about that, too, so skip your egg whites and enjoy your whole eggs.”

Of course, the $1 trillion food industry provides us with all sorts of “healthy” options: low-fat, high- fiber, whole-grain, gluten-free — most of which are the opposite of healthy. My food rule is if there are health claims on the label, what’s inside is probably unhealthy. Multi-grain Frosted Flakes, anyone?

All of this is enough to make you give up and just eat whatever you want, whenever you want, and in whatever quantities you want. It feels like nutrition whiplash.

This is the reason I have written this book. I want to help you undo all the beliefs about food that are making you fat and sick and replace them with a new understanding that will lead to health and longevity.

The sad truth is that much of what we eat is not really food. At least, it has been so adulterated and processed we may as well not call it food. It is more of a food-like substance. And as a result, most of us are confused, baffled, and frustrated, not knowing whom to believe or what to eat.

I’ve also written Food because I believe that cultivating and consuming real, whole food is the answer to many of our world’s problems. How we grow it, produce it, and eat it affects almost every aspect of our lives and our society. Food is an honest how-to guide designed to answer the question, “What the heck should I eat?”

Excerpted from FOOD Copyright © 2017 by Mark Hyman, MD.
Used with permission of Little, Brown and Company, New York. All rights reserved.