Take con­trol

This book says you can be in charge of your health by mak­ing the right food choices.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - BOOKS - Re­view by CH­ERYL POO Your Health, Your Choice

Author: Dr M. Ted Morter, Jr Pub­lisher: Ad­van­tage Quest Sdn Bhd, 272 pages

THIS book is a com­pre­hen­sive guide to how our choice of food in­flu­ences our over­all health. Author Dr Ted Morter leads us on a jour­ney to dis­cover why cer­tain foods make us the way we are, how dis­eases creep in, and how we can use nat­u­ral ways to help our body heal.

He goes into great de­tail to ex­plain how the hu­man body has a pow­er­ful abil­ity to sel­f­re­gen­er­ate and re­pair it­self – as long as it is pro­vided with the right fuel, i.e., the cor­rect health­ful food.

The sim­ple and sci­en­tif­i­cally ra­tio­nal fashion in which he makes his points is a good plat­form the reader can use to de­velop a sturdy frame­work for un­der­stand­ing the hu­man body.

The first few chap­ters are rather dry be­cause the doc­tor tends to go a long way to make his points; he’s quite repet­i­tive too. I felt a teensy bit im­pa­tient with his style at first but learned to over­look it when I re­alised the im­par­tial­ity and sound­ness of his views. While I can’t prom­ise you an easy start, I can say that the con­tent gets more in­ter­est­ing and will prove en­light­en­ing if you just com­mit to it.

I also had to come to terms with the book’s tech­ni­cal and rather text­book-ish for­mat; I do wish it was live­lier in pre­sen­ta­tion and con­tained more im­ages than graphs and ta­bles. Then again, per­haps these are more use­ful in es­tab­lish­ing the book’s cre­den­tials and mak­ing the point that books on health should be eval­u­ated for their sub­stan­tive value even when vi­su­als are ab­sent.

With sim­ple and sound the­o­ries, Dr Morter busts com­mon mis­con­cep­tions: Age as the prime rea­son for poor health, and our re­liance on med­i­ca­tion to heal a sick body. He proves that be­ing un­healthy is the re­sult of poor eat­ing habits in the past and that medicine merely sup­presses symp­toms; only the body can heal it­self, which is why what we con­sume is vi­tal.

He wants us to re­think the gen­eral con­sen­sus that blames bad health on ge­net­ics. Our health is in­deed within our con­trol, he in­sists, if only we can un­der­stand that giv­ing our body a chance is all it needs to func­tion at the op­ti­mum level.

Dr Morter in­tro­duces the con­cept of “acid ash”; ba­si­cally, an ex­ces­sively acidic en­vi­ron­ment in our body is not a good thing be­cause the body is meant to run on al­ka­line re­serves.

Most fruits and veg­eta­bles are al­ka­line, which is why our daily food in­take must fol­low the or­der of 75% fruits and veg­eta­bles, and 25% meats.

He also of­fers his an­swer to one of the most highly de­bated food ques­tions of the decade: Is cow’s milk good for us? In short, no, he says, be­cause of its high acid con­tent, which can kill a num­ber of nu­tri­ents in our body. If we must drink milk, goat’s milk is the bet­ter op­tion – cow’s milk is the per­fect so­lu­tion for calves, not hu­mans!

Your health, Your Choice ends with a brief sum­mary of food com­bi­na­tions – what works and what should never be taken to­gether – and a rec­om­men­da­tion to ex­er­cise. While the author ad­mits that there’s more to the for­mer than listed in this book, I find his in­for­ma­tion on food com­bi­na­tions help­ful and bite­sized enough for daily prac­tice.

Dr Morter, how­ever, warns his read­ers not to ob­sess over health­ful eat­ing, for car­ry­ing around guilt about your diet is as dam­ag­ing as car­ry­ing around ex­cess pro­tein. It’s a point worth not­ing and not one that is made in most books about di­ets.

And, fi­nally, the book ends with the no­tion that a well­reg­i­mented ex­er­cise rou­tine will com­ple­ment health­ful food con­sump­tion. Peo­ple with a high pH con­tent (less than 6) in the morn­ing should monitor their body by giv­ing it the kind of food that al­lows it to stay in the al­ka­line range, which is a pH level of be­tween 6.8 and 7.4. (You can mea­sure pH lev­els by test­ing urine with strips avail­able at most phar­ma­cies.)

Over­all, I found this to be an en­light­en­ing and in­for­ma­tive read that is easy to un­der­stand.

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