In the quest for a more vibrant, healthier existence, there’s a fundamental truth we must acknowledge: “You are what you eat.” The profound impact of our dietary choices on our overall well-being is undeniable, yet navigating the labyrinthine world of nutrition often feels like an insurmountable challenge. Fortunately, within the pages of This Book Could Save Your Life – brought to you by the esteemed team at New Scientist – lies a transformative journey that promises to empower you like never before.
Graham Lawton, a staff writer at New Scientist, specialises in life sciences, biomedicine, earth sciences, and the environment. He holds a biochemistry degree and an MSc in science communication from Imperial College London.
With New Scientist since 2000, he has held various editorial roles and now writes features, opinions, and a monthly column titled “No Planet B.”
Graham Lawton’s work has appeared in major publications and he’s a frequent guest on national media. In 2023, he was named “Writer of the Year” at the Professional Publishers Association awards. He’s also been nominated for “Science Writer of the Year” at the British Journalism Awards and received multiple nominations from the Association of British Science Writers awards. He’s authored several books: The Origin of (Almost) Everything, This Book Could Save Your Life, and Mustn’t Grumble: The Surprising Science of Everyday Ailments and Why We’re Always a Bit Ill.
What is the book about?
This Book Could Save Your Life by Graham Lawton is a comprehensive guide to health and wellness. The book is divided into sections, each dedicated to a specific area of health and well-being. It covers topics such as nutrition, diet, weight loss, exercise, vitamins, supplements, hydration, sleep, and ageing. In each section, Lawton delves into the latest scientific research, dispels myths, and provides actionable advice for readers. He also encourages readers to develop critical thinking skills to evaluate health claims, emphasising the importance of relying on evidence-based information.
Key takeaways from the book
1Empowerment through science
Graham Lawton emphasises the importance of relying on evidence-based information and the latest scientific research when making health and lifestyle choices. He highlights his background in biochemistry and science journalism as qualifications for providing credible health advice.
2Complexity of health information
The author acknowledges that the field of health and wellness can be overwhelming due to the abundance of information, some of which may not come from authoritative sources. He aims to simplify and clarify this information for readers.
3Comprehensive health guidance
The book promises to cover a wide range of health-related topics, including nutrition, diet, weight loss, hydration, exercise, preventative medicine, sleep, and ageing. It offers practical advice on these subjects.
4There are no quick fixes
The author is clear that there are no quick and easy fixes for achieving good health and fitness. He emphasises that making positive lifestyle changes requires effort, willpower, and sacrifice.
5Understanding willpower and habits
Lawton discusses the importance of understanding willpower, motivation, and habit formation in achieving lasting health improvements. He suggests that science can help individuals harness these factors for their benefit.
6Critical thinking and evaluation
Lawton encourages readers to develop critical thinking skills to evaluate health claims, myths, and trends. He aims to equip readers with tools to separate fact from fiction in the world of health and wellness.
Table of contents
- THE TRUTH ABOUT FOOD
- THE TRUTH ABOUT DIETS AND WEIGHT LOSS
- The truth about breakfast
- The truth about fasting
- The truth about going vegan
- The truth about food intolerance and avoidance
- The truth about probiotics
- The truth about BMI
- The truth about calorie counting
- The truth about metabolism
- The truth about hungry genes
- THE TRUTH ABOUT VITAMINS AND SUPPLEMENTS
- The truth about supplements, from vitamin A to zinc
- The truth about antioxidants
- THE TRUTH ABOUT DRINK (AND DRUGS)
- The truth about staying hydrated
- The truth about soft drinks
- The truth about fruit juice
- The truth about coffee and tea
- The truth about health drinks
- The truth about healthy alcohol
- The truth about healthy smoking
- The truth about healthy recreational drugs
- THE TRUTH ABOUT EXERCISE
- The truth about exercise is good for you
- The truth about laziness
- The truth about how much exercise you need
- The truth about 10,000 steps
- The truth about fast fitness
- The truth about cardio and resistance
- The truth about working up a sweat
- The truth about exercise addiction
- The truth about exercuse and weight loss
- The truth about motivation
- The truth about a positive mindset
- THE TRUTH ABOUT STAYING WELL
- The truth about daily meds
- The truth about medical screening
- The truth about your immune system
- The truth about being at one with nature
- The truth about air pollution
- The truth about loneliness
- The truth about sunshine
- THE TRUTH ABOUT SLEEP
- The truth about what happens when we sleep
- The truth about why we sleep
- The truth about how much sleep we need
- The truth about getting too little sleep
- The truth about how to sleep well
- The truth about catching up on missed sleep
- The truth about power naps
- The truth about sleep hacking
- The truth about insomnia
- The truth about feeling tired all the time
- The truth about light and sleep
- CAN I LIVE FOR EVER?
- The science of ageing
- … And how to slow it down
- Biological age versus chronological age
- How to live to a ripe old age
Strengths and weaknesses, according to readers’ reviews
Provides a concise and accessible overview of scientific information related to health.
Offers a balanced perspective on health, avoiding a preachy or judgmental tone.
Covers a wide range of topics, including health, food, exercise, and sleep.
Includes valuable advice backed by scientific research, avoiding trendy or fad-based recommendations.
Some readers found the book repetitive or not particularly insightful, especially if they were already well-informed about health.
While it provides science-backed information, some readers found the writing style boring and challenging to engage with.
Best quotes from This Book Could Save Your Life
“There is a multitude of reasons why processed food is so laden with salt. As well as prolonging shelf life, it makes cheap ingredients taste better and masks the bitter flavours that often result from industrial cooking processes. It can be injected into meat to make it hold more water, thus allowing water to be sold for the price of meat. It improves the appearance, texture and even the smell of the final products. And it makes you thirsty, boosting sales of drinks.”
“Observational studies are the most common type, but are haunted by methodological gremlins. Monitoring what people eat is time-consuming so most studies rely on self-reporting, often in the form of a food diary. Unsurprisingly, these are highly unreliable.”
“If you want to lose weight, the world is your oyster. Or maybe oysters are your world. According to any number of websites dishing out dietary advice, eating oysters is a great way of shedding the pounds.”
This Book Could Save Your Life serves as a manual for a healthy lifestyle and a reminder that good health is worth striving for, even in the face of today’s information overload.
Where to buy
You can buy This Book Could Save Your Life on Amazon at the best price. It’s available in paperback, audio and Kindle formats.
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