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Book review

Eat Well, Age Better

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Book review

Eat Well, Age Better is a rational, well-presented guidebook that can turn the average aging reader into a “conscientious ager.” For me the transition occurred while reading about “the crisis in nutrition.” This comprises the book’s first three chapters and provides a historical perspective on the role of nutrients in our health.

Eat Well, Age Better
by Aileen Burford-Mason, PhD, with Judy Stoffman
Thomas Allen, 2012, 319 pages, $24.95
ISBN: 978-0-88762-937-2

Eat Well, Age Better is a rational, well-presented guidebook that can turn the average aging reader into a “conscientious ager.” For me the transition occurred while reading about “the crisis in nutrition.” This comprises the book’s first three chapters and provides a historical perspective on the role of nutrients in our health.

I was reminded about how pathetically little (and outdated) nutritional education is provided to medical students, and how most graduates understandably lament this fact. We can only hope that Eat Well, Age Better will become part of the curriculum, as it should.

Soon I was engrossed in an eye-opening list of common prescription drugs and their effects on therapeutic nutrients in our bodies. I learned about why acid-suppressing drugs can be harmful and about the relationship between night sweats and magnesium deficiency. The pages kept turning.

In Eat Well, Age Better Burford-Mason pulls together, or rather “distills,” many years of personal practice and research into an easy-to-understand guidebook for those curious about where they rank on the spectrum between life expectancy and healthy life expectancy.

The book teaches us that the problems associated with nutritional deficiencies get worse as we age. With better understanding and a customized regimen of diet and supplements, it is possible to mitigate or avert fatigue, age spots, greying hair, cataracts, and memory problems. The primary cause of vision loss for Canadians aged 65 and older is macular degeneration, and Burford-Mason explains which foods and supplements are considered to be protective for those at risk.

For anyone mindful about healthy aging, this book will quickly become personal, as it did for me. Somewhere between the section about diabetes and pages about macular degeneration, I was moved to self-examination. I became ashamed (of past habits), disheartened (with current levels of inactivity), and empowered (it’s never too late!). Best of all, I was motivated to put down the book and head for an evening health walk.

There is much in the pages of Eat Well, Age Better that is both revealing and relevant. The book deserves our full consideration and contemplation. Thank you to its qualified and capable authors for arming us with facts and forethought to improve the coming years. 

buy Eat Well, Age Better at Amazon.ca

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