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The RealAge Diet

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Do some foods accelerate aging and others reverse it? Science says yes! Dr. Michael Roizen, whose number one bestseller RealAge showed Americans how to reverse aging by changing their lifestyle choices, and Dr. John La Puma have developed an authoritative antiaging diet plan that will help you live life to your youngest. The RealAge Diet examines the food-related factors that multiple studies have indicated can cause you to age faster than you should.

Just as in RealAge, there ...

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2001 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 400 p. Audience: General/trade. Diets; Health; Health & Fitness; Longevity; Non-Fiction; Nutritio

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The RealAge Diet

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Do some foods accelerate aging and others reverse it? Science says yes! Dr. Michael Roizen, whose number one bestseller RealAge showed Americans how to reverse aging by changing their lifestyle choices, and Dr. John La Puma have developed an authoritative antiaging diet plan that will help you live life to your youngest. The RealAge Diet examines the food-related factors that multiple studies have indicated can cause you to age faster than you should.

Just as in RealAge, there is a groundbreaking test to discover how your eating habits affect your RealAge. Once you know your biological age, you can make yourself younger by trying some of the fifty-one food choices and strategies that are age busters. Whether you are eating in or eating out, you will find simple guidelines that make age reduction easy. Cooking tips, two weeks of meals you can prepare in ten minutes or less, and twenty fabulous recipes make your RealAge younger with every bite. And with the easy-to-follow "Hourglass" diet, you'll have a handy visual reminder of what you can do to make aging stand still and to keep young longer.

Drs. Roizen and La Puma start with the simple premise "If it doesn't taste good, don't eat it." The RealAge Diet examines the principles of sensible weight loss and weight management. The authors evaluate the bestseller diets and show you which help you lose weight and which cause needless aging. Even better, they tell you how to modify the bestseller diets to make them more age-reducing.

This is not another diet book: if there is one thing you will learn from this book, it is that if you eat foods that are high in nutrients and low in calories, your body is going to be healthier and younger than you ever dreamed possible.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
In 1999, Drs. Roizen and La Puma topped bestseller lists nationwide with RealAge, their plan for anti-aging. This natural follow-up provides diet advice and recipes to implement that plan. The authors' strategy is realistic and comprehensive. It includes tips on reading between the lines of the restaurant menus and guidelines to selecting the right supplement.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Roizen, a physician and author of the bestselling RealAge: Are You as Young as You Can Be?, teams up with La Puma, also a physician and a professionally trained chef, to offer a new approach to eating based on the premise that, by making even small changes (e.g., starting every dinner with an ounce of nuts), we can become biologically younger than our chronological age (e.g., Roizen is 55 years old but has calculated his "RealAge" to be 38). Roizen and La Puma begin with a variety of quizzes so readers can assess their current diet and determine where they need to make changes. While many of the self-assessment tests are in the book, the authors frequently refer readers to their Web site for more detailed quizzes and additional nutritional information, which limits the book's value. On the other hand, this work does an excellent job of analyzing specific foods and explaining their benefits or risks to readers. Less appealing and comprising a large section of the book is the analysis of other well-known diet programs (e.g., the Atkins diet, the Carbohydrate Addicts diet, the Zone) and how to modify them using the RealAge principles. Although there is a reassuring validity to Roizen and La Puma's criticisms, readers may also find them somewhat smug. Overall, though, the RealAge diet is a refreshing and accessible approach to an age-old problem. (May) Forecast: Given the huge success of RealAge, readers' continual concern with dieting (particularly in pre-bathing-suit season) and a five-city author tour, this book should reach bestseller status. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060196790
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/24/2001
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael F. Roizen, M.D., is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller RealAge: Are You as Young as You Can Be? He is the chief wellness officer of the Cleveland Clinic and chairman of the Wellness Institute.

John La Puma, M.D., is medical director of the Santa Barbara Institute for Medical Nutrition and Healthy Weight.

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Read an Excerpt


The RealAge Diet: A Giant Menu of Possibilities

Good food choices help you not only live healthier and lose weight, but also grow younger and stay young. How can you make informed choices about food?

The RealAge Diet is not a diet prescription and not a fad diet. It's not a stringent routine you follow morning, noon, and night, It's also not about restricting yourself or measuring calories day after day. Instead, the RealAge Diet is a giant menu of possibilities: a menu of choices for growing younger and staying young. A menu for a lifetime -- a long and healthy lifetime -- of good eating.

Every single day, you make hundreds of choices that affect your health and rate of aging. Choosing to exercise or not to exercise is such a choice. If you aren't physically active, you age more rapidly, because your heart, arteries, and immune system grow old prematurely. If you exercise regularly, you age more slowly, postponing the decline of your arteries and immune system' Choosing your bedtime is another health choice. Everything from brushing your teeth to buckling your seat belt to spending time with friends is a health choice that speeds up or slows down your rate of aging.

One choice that you make several times a day is whether or not to eat, and what to eat. Over and over, each and every day, you decide, "I'm hungry. I want to eat." How can you learn to make better decisions about food? How can you make food part of your plan to stay young longer?

For starters, you have to learn to love food. You may already love food, and that's great. Eating should be fun -- a main course of the good life.Your diet shouldn't be a prison sentence. When we think "diet," we think restriction, deprivation, and endless calorie counting. It doesn't have to be that way.

Unfortunately, too many of us have been raised to think about food the wrong way. Instead of celebrating food, we feel ambivalent about it. As a result, we get caught in a cycle of overindulgence and deprivation. Although we're obsessed with staying thin, as a nation our waistlines are widening. More than 55 percent of the U.S. population considers itself overweight. And for the most part, we eat uninteresting, unhealthful food that makes us gain weight. We eat food out of habit and convenience, instead of making our meals a focal point in our lives.

I spent many years eating food I didn't much think about-pizza, vending machine snacks, carbonated sodas -- only to go on semi-annual diets to lose the pounds that accumulated from this diet. I felt sluggish, and I was harming my body. My eat-now, diet-later approach was causing me to age faster than necessary. Worst of all, it wasn't much fun. I wasn't enjoying eating, and a lot of my food choices made me feel guilty.

Any activity you do every day of your life shouldn't be a burden. It should be a pleasure and a joy. The more you know about food and the more you make new foods a part of your life, the better you will eat and the more likely you will be to lose weight and feel good about yourself. Good eating should be an adventure for a lifetime. Don't worry about diet Plans and punishing yourself when you fall off the wagon. Instead, set out on a new beginning: food for life.

Eating the RealAge Way

The response to RealAge: Are You as Young as You Can Be? was overwhelming. I received thousands of e-mails and letters of thanks. People told me they loved having a way to measure their rate of aging and, even better, had found some simple steps for slowing that process. Most of all, they said, they liked knowing they were in the driver's seat, able to make choices that would affect their health. Indeed, genetics plays a far smaller role in aging than we thought. Almost 70 percent of premature aging is caused by choices we make. By making better choices, you can slow -- or even reverse-aging, regardless of your genetics.

What Is RealAge?

RealAge gouges how fast you're aging biologically. Some people age faster than average. Others age more slowly. What can you do to slow the sands of time and stay younger longer? If you have not yet calculated your RealAge, please take the full test online at, or complete the test in RealAge: Are You as Young as You Can Be, now available in paperback.

Science-Based Research

I'm a medical doctor and a scientist. My co-author, John La Puma, is a medical doctor, too. We are committed to the highest scientific standards. Indeed, the guiding principle of the RealAge concept is that only factors that have been scientifically proven to affect longevity and/or the quality of life are used to calculate a person's RealAge. Each factor must have been proven to affect longevity and/or the quality of life in no fewer than four peer-reviewed studies involving people, not animals.

When the RealAge team applied those criteria to more than twenty-five thousand scientific studies, we identified 127 factors that affect a person's RealAge, or rate of aging. These factors, which we discuss in detail on our website and in RealAge: Are You as Young as You Can Be?, include everything from cessation of smoking to flossing your teeth. Twenty-five of the factors concern exercise, food choices, and factors that affect food choices. In the four years since RealAge was written, we continued to study advances in scientific research for new factors that help you stay young. Even more factorslike eating an ounce of nuts five days a week-have been repeatedly shown to make your RealAge younger. In this book we discuss old and new nutritional factors and choices that make you younger relatively easily.

Every recommendation in this book is based on scientific evidence. Whenever a recommendation is not a purely scientific fact, it is always a suggestion about practical ways to achieve something that has been shown likely to be correct. When little is known on a subject, I tell you so and suggest how you might want to proceed, on the basis of what is known. I always point out that this information is an opinion, hypothesis, or educated guess.

As an accompaniment to this book, the RealAge team has built the RealAge Diet Nutrition Center on our website. There we offer many online tools and assessments that help you evaluate your own diet and eating needs. The assessments are personalized to you, so you get answers that fit your individual needs and profile.

Finding the Balance of Nutrients, Calories, and Fats

If there's one thing to remember about eating, it's this: Eat nutrient rich, calorie poor, and delicious.

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Customer Reviews

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( 4 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2001

    Gastronomic guide par-excellence!

    In the RealAge Diet, the two eminently-qualified physician authors have managed to adroitly navigate the reader through the abstruse and often conflicting research data on food and health in a succinct, cogent and readily 'digestible' manner. Although the authors' commentary and critique of existing diet books are reflective of their own biased 'take' on the subject, the fact that their dietary recommendations are based on peer-reviewed journal articles do lend credence to their claims. Moreover, pithy snippets of information interjected in the form of 'RealAge Cafe Tips' render the text more visually arresting and flavorful. ...Altogether a seminal gastronomic tome and wellness-guide rolled into one...a fitting sequel to 'RealAge' and a 'must-read' for those who aspire to live life with vim, vigor and vitality.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2001

    Useful Applications of Research on Food and Health

    The connection between food and health is a strong one. Many diet-obsessed people overly focus on this one element of health though. This book builds from the RealAge research to help you change your eating habits in permanent, healthy ways. The book's weakness is that the recommended solutions require a lot of discipline to get started. The book's conclusion that these changes will make you physiologically younger may well be a stretch. 'To be honest, there's still a lot that scientists don't know about nutrition.' That sentence is the most important one in the book. A new diet could be produced every year incorporating the latest research results, and each one would be different. I suspect that this continuing change in perceptions will go on for decades. So I suggest that you not take the results of any one diet book too seriously. Some of the key conclusions of each one will probably be contradicted in the future. Nevertheless, this book is an attempt to point you toward eating habits that reduce diseases older people get more frequently and extend longevity. On the other hand, this book does not focus on appearance or weight level. Many people who read diet books are more interested in those two areas than longevity. If you are interested in another diet currently, this book probably reviews the other diet and gives you a rating for whether or not that diet will help extend longevity. The book is most positive about Eating Well for Optimum Health and Dean Ornish's Eat More, Weigh Less. The book's advice can be encapsulated as 'Eat nutrient rich, calorie poor, and delicious.' These foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, fish, and the right fats (eaten in moderation early in the meal). If you are familiar with books about nutrition, you won't find any big 'aha's' here. The main news is that eating fish seems to have benefits separate from eating the fats that are in fish. Now, I find that I feel a lot better if I eat fish 2 or 3 times a week. I suspect that listening to your body is often as reliable as the latest evidence. Like many of the best books about nutrition and Sugarbusters!, this one warns about paying attention to glycemic levels of foods. I did find its focus on calorie count to be questionable. The weight set-point for people differs a lot, and some people with slow metabolisms may find this approach just another painful way to be overweight. Calories do count, but picking your target is hard to do well. Spending a lot of time measuring calories will reduce consumption. If you have a high metabolism, the effort may well bring weight-loss rewards worth the effort. The scientific references in the back of the book are impressive, but are not well connected to the text. You would have to do a lot of reading to find out what the research really says. I would like to have seen a closer connection between the footnotes and the text. Both Eating Well for Optimum Health and Live Right 4 Your Type are better in this area. A clear conflict exists between this book and Live Right 4 Your Type. Both seem to be equally based on scientific research, except that Live Right 4 Your Type attempts to match the advice for your blood type. This book discusses the earlier book, Eat Right 4 Your Type, which does not closely match to research references. Based on my own experiences with both the average and the blood type adjusted approaches, I think the Live Right 4 Your Type method works better for me than the RealAge Diet. If you have heart disease, you will have to modify some of those diets to reflect that by reducing fat (see Dean Ornish's Reversing Heart Disease). If you are well read on nutrition, this book will not add much to your knowledge. If you eat poorly and have not read about nutrition, this is a fine book for you. I would like to commend the section in the book on eating out. There are many good ideas for how to have your food prepared in healthier ways. Even

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2001

    Science, health, good food, and fun

    This is an outstanding book which helps make sense of diets, nutrients, and health. Drs. Roizen and LaPuma recommend foods which have the micronutrients for optimal health, but which don't require eating only one kind of food or omitting whole classes either. The chapter which evaluates other diets (including Atkins, Sommers, and Ornish) is great - it shows what is good and bad about these diets, especially what makes sense scientifically and what doesn't. If these diets work for you, the authors have made some tips about making them healthier. I have found the chapter on how to order healthy food at restaurants to be particularly helpful, both for myself, and in giving recommendations to my patients.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2009

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