The book "inspires us to set out on a path to improve our personal health and, at the same time, the health of our planet," the model wrote

By Sam Gillette
March 12, 2020 01:42 PM
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On Gisele Bündchen’s bookshelf is a new book titled Food Fix by Dr. Mark Hyman, which breaks down the ways readers can change their eating habits to fight off chronic disease — and help save the planet.

Food Fix shines a light on what is happening with our food system while sharing ways for readers to make a real change,” the model said in a review for the book. “Dr. Hyman’s book inspires us to set out on a path to improve our personal health and, at the same time, the health of our planet.”

Food Fix is the latest in bestselling books by Hyman, who is the founder and director of The UltraWellness Center. In addition to Bündchen, fans of the book include Deepak Chopra, Dr. Oz, Arianna Huffington and economist Lawrence H. Summers. At a time when citizens and lawmakers are scrambling to address the rising threat of global warming and global health issues, Food Fix, subtitled “How to Save Our Health, Our Economy, Our Communities, and Our Planet — One Bite at a Time,” takes a deep dive into the connections between the food industry, the health of everyday Americans, the economy and the environment.

“We have a chronic disease epidemic that affects 1 in 6 Americans — heart disease, diabetes, cancer, dementia, depression and more. Most of it is caused by our ultra-processed industrial diet that kills 11 million people a year worldwide,” Hyman, head of strategy and innovation of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, tells PEOPLE in a statement. “Food is both the cause and the cure for most chronic disease. The most powerful tool you have to change your health is your fork.

Credit: Tristar Media/Getty

“Food is not just calories or energy. Food contains information that talks to your genes, turning them on or off and affecting their function moment to moment,” he continues. “I have seen thousands of patients get better using the power of food as medicine. Unfortunately, we live in a society where it’s really easy to make the wrong choices and really hard to make the right choices for optimal health.”

In his book, Hyman likens “the food produced to our food system” to “biological weapons of mass destruction” that threaten our wellbeing, as well as the health of our planet. While he presents solutions on a larger scale, in terms of health care and business “innovations,” he also gives suggestions of what individuals should eat by outlining his “Pegan Diet,” which combines elements of Paleo and vegan.

Hyman’s recommendations range from eating “mostly whole plants” and eating “more nuts and seeds”, to selecting “regeneratively raised animal products whenever possible” and staying away from “pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, food additives, hormones, and, ideally, GMO foods.” In Food Fix, he emphasizes that eating food that’s good for the environment will also be good for you.

In a chapter on chronic disease, Hyman explains how eating the right foods can improve health, citing the case of a 66-year-old woman “dancing with death” because she was suffering from type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart failure, and a variety of other conditions. Janice had spent her whole life eating processed foods, so when she joined Hyman’s Functioning for Life program, her eating habits changed drastically. It was an “anti-inflammatory, low-sugar and low-starch diet” that focused on good fats and whole foods, according to Hyman.

After one year, she lost 116 lbs. She no longer has diabetes or takes medication.

“It was like a gastric bypass without the pain of surgery, vomiting, and malnutrition, and with the pleasure of eating delicious foods,” Hyman writes.

Dr. Hyman
| Credit: Courtesy Dr. Mark Hyman

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While Janice’s story is inspiring, Hyman explains that it’s important to understand how the food industry continues to prey upon consumers.

In a statement to PEOPLE, he outlines the dangers of shopping in the grocery store. “The food industry fills grocery stores with hyper-palatable addictive food-like substances that are cheap and fuel inflammation and chronic disease,” he says.

“It’s up to us consumers to vote with our forks and our dollar and say no to processed food.”

Food Fix is on sale now.