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The Superpyramid Eating Program: Healthy Eating with the Revolutionary Five New Food Groups

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1993 Hard cover New in very good dust jacket. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 510 p. Audience: General/trade. Never read: my-posted 8/14

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
While not offering a great deal that is new, this text is an interesting amalgam of food lore, recipes and nutritional self-help guidelines. Spiller believes that by following a diet of ``whole plant foods'' we can live more fulfilling, healthful lives. The book's backbone is the ``Superpyramid'' program, which consists of five tiers: whole grains, beans, egg whites and nonfat dairy products (including milk, cheeses and yogurt) make up the pyramid's foundation; the second tier is fruits and vegetables; the third is nuts, seeds, olives, avocados and fish; the fourth is low-fat dairy products, meat and cheeses (like a triple-cream Brie). Unlike the architects of the USDA's recent food pyramid, Spiller differentiates between nonfat and whole dairy products, assigning them to separate rungs on his food plan. The author takes great pains to point out that his program is not a diet. He deliberately does not include information about portion sizes--one need only know that the cornerstone of this eating regime is the first-tier foods. The grains, beans and nonfat yogurts are supplemented by foods further up the pyramid and ``the foods on tiers four and five . . . to be consumed in limited amounts.'' The latter pages of the book are devoted to uncomplicated recipes that follow Spiller's program (many have their origins in Mediterranean, Asian or Middle Eastern cuisine). There is also a chapter on breads, muffins and other baked goods using a starter of fermented grains as the leavening agent, rather than store-bought yeast. ``The joy of real food requires a closer contact with the foods of the land,'' Spiller says. ``We have gone too far in making fast foods, food substitutes, and prepared, prepackaged meals a major part of our daily life.'' That's an admirable Frugal Gourmet-like sentiment, but this book may try too hard to repackage yesterday's groceries. (Mar. )
Library Journal
Spiller, clinical nutritionist, professor, and director of the Health Research and Studies Center in Los Altos, California, presents an alternative to the food pyramid released, after much controversy and revision, by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1992. Spiller's pyramid builds on a foundation of grains, legumes, low-fat dairy products, and vegetables. First, Spiller traces various Western diseases, showing that populations that traditionally eat a diet similar to the one he presents rarely or never suffer from them. He then describes each tier of the superpyramid and devotes a chapter to the discussion of each. ``The Third Tier'' chapter (nuts, oils, and fish) includes a clear explanation of the various types of fats. The last half of the book is devoted to Madison's recipes, which can be helpful to anyone unfamiliar with ancient grains and other foods that are not part of a typical American diet. Spiller emphasizes throughout the need for lifestyle changes rather than a temporary ``diet'' and celebrates the joy of eating whole, natural foods. Well organized and clearly written, this book is recommended for health and nutrition collections.-- Carol Cubberley, Univ. of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg
Barbara Jacobs
The problem with any "revolutionary new" eating program--at least for the majority of Americans--is that the sense of deprivation looms large. Certainly, Dr. Spiller bases his five tiers on well-established medical facts and research: among them, that preventive actions such as proper nutrition, exercise, and appropriate mental and spiritual nourishment will do more to battle cancer and heart disease than drugs. He segues from the newly established USDA food pyramid to create five (instead of four) tiers, eschewing red meat altogether and recommending poultry and fish sparingly. The 150 recipes, contributed by Deborah Madison ("The Savory Way)", emphasize versions of Mediterranean and vegetarian cuisines, such as skordalia (Greek garlic sauce), polenta, falafel patties, spicy artichoke and carrot stew, and spinach pasta with ricotta and walnuts. Even with 26 menus for every meal of the day and intricate directions for barm making (a substitute for yogurt), however, potential converts to the Superpyramid will need to change mindsets and find more food-preparation time.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812920567
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 12/20/1992
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 510

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