Book Review: The Healthiest Diet on the Planet by Dr. John McDougall #Health #BookReview #Diet #Vegan #Starch

The Healthiest Diet on the Planet

by Dr. John McDougall & Mary McDougall


My Thoughts:

This book is a perfect example of why people need to choose the foods that work for their bodies and not just go by what one person says.

In The Healthiest Diet on the Planet, Dr. McDougall warns against eating dairy, oils, eggs, meat (including fish), taking supplements, and any kind of fake meat or heavily processed food.

While I do agree with some of Dr. McDougall’s suggestions, I certainly do not believe that his recommendations will work for everyone, and that begins with me. Do I believe starchy foods are healthy? Yes, some, but I’m not a person who believes in wheat and corn because I do have sensitivities to them. Have I been diagnosed with celiac disease? No, but many people (including myself) have what’s called ‘gluten sensitivity’ which can be just as bad, causing a wide range of problems including autoimmune disease. Soy can also be an issue. I can understand where the author is coming from with going against the use of supplements, but some people (including myself) must take supplements like iron and vitamin D. There’s just no way around it unless you want to risk deficiency.

Another thought: unless you’re making your own whole grain bread at home, it’s loaded with stuff that isn’t good. Anyone can argue that the majority of the breads at the supermarket are unhealthy. So, if you don’t take organic into account, by eating all the wheat and corn suggested, you’ll be eating loads of pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals too. Because I live in America where heavy chemicals are used on farmed foods like soy, produce, wheat, and other grains, I can’t agree with that and will continue to make organic bread at home for my family. Maybe there’s a healthy bread recipe in one of the author’s other books?

There were a few other niggles I had, like frying in a non-stick pan. Really? I’ll use cast iron and organic olive oil over teflon any time. I do believe there are non-toxic pans that claim to be nonstick, but they aren’t mentioned here. Eating out of cans is also questionable, especially tomatoes and other acidic foods. Also, the book seems to be directed toward people who are overweight, so nuts, avocados, and dried fruits need to be kept to a minimum. Not all sick people are overweight; some people are skinny and sick. It’s a good start, but diet isn’t the only fix.

I appreciated that Dr. McDougall mentioned the climate crisis and one major problem we have in America: livestock farming. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of people talking about that and it’s something we all need to be aware of. Many people don’t even realize that mass meat farming is a top cause for greenhouse gases. I don’t want to slam meat, because people obviously feel strongly about it and might get upset, but meat (grass-fed) is something I eat little of and hope to completely remove from my diet. So, don’t get me wrong, there were very good parts (for me) in the book too. It just all comes down to what you believe in.

Overall, I think there are some really good recipes here and healthy recommendations. I don’t mean to bash the book, but if you’re going to title a book like this using the word ‘healthiest’, surely you have to take much more into consideration than just removing animal products and oils. This book seems like more of a ‘lesser of two evils’ diet. After all the years I’ve spent reading books on diets on what you should and shouldn’t eat, my conclusion is that you have to find what works for you. What’s good for one person might not be good for another. Personally, what works for me is a diet consisting mainly of plant based foods. With that said, it’s important for us to make our own educated decisions. I have a friend who swears by this diet, so definitely pick up this book and decide for yourself whether or not you think it’ll work for you.


Find this book on Goodreads and Amazon:

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; 1 edition (September 27, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062426761
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062426765


The bestselling author and internationally celebrated physician and expert on nutrition offers an appealing, approachable health solution—eat the foods you love to lose weight and get healthy.

For years, we’ve been told that a healthy diet is heavy on meat, poultry, and fish, and avoids carbohydrates, particularly foods high in starch—empty calories harmful to our bodies.

But what if everything we’ve heard was backwards?

High in calories and cholesterol, animal fats and proteins too often leave you hungry and lead to overeating and weight gain. They are often the root causes of a host of avoidable health problems—from indigestion, ulcers, and constipation to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. On the other hand, complex carbohydrates like whole grains, legumes, tubers, and other starches provide your body with essential proteins and nutrients that satisfy the appetite while simultaneously fighting illness. But Americans eat far too few calories from carbohydrates—only about forty percent, according to Dr. John McDougall, internationally renowned expert on nutrition and health, featured on the documentary Forks Over Knives.

The Healthiest Diet on the Planet helps us reclaim our health by enjoying nutritious starches, vegetables, and fruits. McDougall takes on the propaganda machines pushing dangerous, high-fat fad diets and cuts through the smoke and mirrors of the diet industry. He offers a clear, proven guide to what we should and shouldn’t eat to prevent disease, slow the aging process, improve our physical fitness, be kind to the environment, and be our most attractive selves.

Featuring a unique color picture book that shows us exactly what we should and shouldn’t eat, and two dozen color photos of mouth-watering recipes from Mary McDougall, The Healthiest Diet on the Planet is the easiest way to look great, feel better, and forever change the way we think about health and nutrition.

Thanks for reading my review! Have you read this book? Let’s chat in the comments section below!

♥️ Mischenko

19 thoughts on “Book Review: The Healthiest Diet on the Planet by Dr. John McDougall #Health #BookReview #Diet #Vegan #Starch

  1. This is a great review, Jen. I personally think this book sounds like it’s full of you-know-what but that’s just me. Anybody can put the word “healthy” in a title and get away with it but that doesn’t make it so. I really don’t think a diet of focusing on high calorie, starchy foods is going to be healthy for anyone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Vanessa. I totally agree. To me, the healthiest diet is one that works for each individual person. I know the author wants to help people, and he is helping, but in the end we have to listen to our own bodies and eat what keeps us thriving in this world. I appreciate your thoughts. ♥️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You make some very valid points. It’s no good lumping everyone together and touting what you say as the ‘best.’ Different foods work for different people, as you say. I’ve never been one for faddy diets, we all know what’s healthy, what’s not and what works for us as individuals. I certainly don’t remember being told a diet heavy in meat is healthy. Whatever works in moderation…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Cathy. He does mention Adkins, which was the meat fad diet. I have a friend who swears by Keto and eats tons of meat, eggs, and other high-fat foods. He loses weight when he does the Keto diet, but then the moment he slips out of it he gains it back and then some. He’s okay with that, but I’m not. All that meat would have my body so out of whack and my hormones too lol!😂 Everyone is so different. My grandfather who weighed his food, counted calories, and stayed active and healthy, ate dairy, pickled beets, meat, and all sorts of things I simply couldn’t eat, and he still lived a healthy life with minimal issues until old age. Of course meat was different back then, and he was good with moderation though.

      I appreciate your thoughts, Cathy! ♥️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s half the problem with fad diets, as soon as you stop the weight comes back. It’s more a matter of changing eating habits than keep trying diets. I do think a lot of it is down to luck too. My father in law ate all sorts of stuff, smoked until he was in his 70s but stayed slim and healthy until he died at 92. You never can tell…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Exactly. Genetics obviously plays a role too. Some people can trash their bodies their whole lives and live happily, my dad for one. The author is obviously trying to help people here and I get that. With sensitive people like me though, organic is huge, and I have to be picky about everything eat.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I appreciate your thoughts on this one, M. I have been reading What the Heck Should I Cook, and it’s an interesting blend of Paleo and Vegan called Pegan. It would work well for me if I ate any meat. 😂 The doctor says that most of us are lactose and gluten intolerant. I know I need to cut back on both of those…

    My grandparents had it all down and I wish I could eat like them. Moderation. No snacking. Lots of fresh fruits and veggies grown on their own land. They used to say I ate like a bird and that I ate to live, and looking back on it, that’s exactly how they were! And I wish I still ate to live!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s sounds like a good one, Jen. I hear you on the meat. It’s been a few weeks with no meat for me and I always feel like I’m missing something, even with everything I eat. 😂 It’s really the only thing left to remove and just finding out that my iron is low again, I’ll just have to take iron until I’m older I guess. My body can’t count on meat for iron anyway, so I don’t even see the point in eating it anymore.

      Anthony William’s protocol has really been the only thing that’s worked for me. After suffering from eating disorders and food addiction, it’s truly his protocol that has straitened me out–no joke. He doesn’t really want anyone eating meat, but doesn’t push real hard against it, just mainly to stay away from pork. I really think you’d like his recommendations, but he does cut dairy and eggs too. Those I don’t really miss that much.

      It’s like our grandparents were smart about eating because maybe they were raised differently, were limited, and having to go through The Depression, etc., they learned to do without. We have too many bad food choices, and simply too much of it in our western culture, imo. I should stop ranting now. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great review and as you, we’ve gotten selective with what appears to work best for us and have ended up with a pretty good variety. I harvested a few carrots the other day (looking at freezing temps) and parsnips. But the parsnips turned out so irregular, it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to make chips out of most of them. Soups and stews?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Parsnips are so good. I love using them in vegetable soup. We’ve done oven chips with them too, but they don’t get as crispy as potatoes, unless I’m doing it differently. Beets are good that way too. Hope you’re ready for winter! 😉


  5. Wonderful review Jen. I totally agree with you. This is one person’s opinion. Being diabetic, I can’t eat all that starch, and I need to eat protein. You are also right in that anything you buy from the supermarked is pretty much full of preservatives so to say it is healthiest is pretty hypocritical. It is like a restaurant that says it sells “The best …” Of course making your own using organic ingredients if the best way but many people are not able to for a variety of reasons.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. starjustin

    A book that touts starches over fruits and veggies, and doesn’t even mention organic when it comes to the starches, has no ‘right’ using the word healthiest in the title. I’m wondering what planet the author is talking about. Lol.
    I’m another gluten sensitive person so this wouldn’t work for me. And the thought of eating meat these days just turns me off.
    Thanks for sharing this one Jen!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, he does recommend fruits and veggies, and starches too, but doesn’t seem to talk about organic. Some of the recipes also have canned food, which I’m leery of, especially non-organic. I’m feeling the same about meat here lately. ☺️ Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I hear sooo many different things about what’s good & bad for you. I’ll believe one thing & then hear a whole other thing contradicting it! Like you said, whatever works for me & doesn’t make me feel crummy is what I eat now lol.


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