Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease Review

I meant to write this sooner to when I actually finished the book, but I recently read “The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease” by Daniel E. Lieberman. I have read extensively and widely on topics relating to humans, health, and nutrition and this book explained things relating to those topics better than any other title I've read.

Lieberman is a paleoanthropologist at Harvard University and the beginning of the book is a slightly dry and technical look at the species along the chain of human evolution. He uses a lot of illustrations to highlight his key points. This information was interesting to me but was much harder to get through than the latter part of the book. Once you get through to Part II “Farming and the Industrial Revolution” the book picks up speed and becomes more interesting (at least to the type of people who probably read this blog!).

Lieberman explains everything in a way that is easy to grasp and is grounded in evolutionary science. I love the way he talks about macronutrients and dispels many of the myths held in our culture like fat makes you fat and protein is the only thing that builds muscle. He doesn't advocate for any particular diet or lifestyle, but makes the point that our bodies were designed to crave sugar/salt/fat and were also designed to move for most of the day. He talks about how this design is a mismatch with our current environment and how that mismatch leads to obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other health issues.

I snapped one screen shot of my eBook that I have to share here because it beautifully sums up the major premises of the book:

I hope you will all take the time to read this gem. Check your local library to see if they have a free print/eBook copy!

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