Highly Recommended: Protein Power Lifeplan by Michael Eades, M.D., and Mary Eades, M.D.

Protein Power LifeplanMaybe you want to lose or maintain weight.  Perhaps you have diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, diseases of the eye, or autoimmune disorders.  Or maybe you just want to find a healthy way to eat. The Protein Power Lifeplan by Michael Eades, M.D., and Mary Dan Eades, M.D., which I highly recommend, is the best book on this subject I’ve read so far.  This is not just a diet book, but as the cover says, this book is “A New Comprehensive Blueprint for Optimal Health.”

While the authors had written a previous book Protein Power: The High-Protein/Low-Carbohydrate Way to Lose Weight, Feel Fit, and Boost Your Health–in Just Weeks!, which I also bought, I was going on a trip and grabbed their second book first.  (I’m going to be reading their first book next.)

Before reading this book, I had actually evolved my eating to a natural diet (see my previous article), which is what the authors of this book are espousing, so I know this way of eating is very sound.  I love that they have eaten this way, too, as a way of life for more than twenty years now! In fact, after they published their first book, they received tens of thousands of emails and letters, telling them of successes, not just with weight loss, but in solving many serious health problems.  Also, they’ve used this nutritional program to treat thousands of their own patients.  I really respect that they would prefer to treat various diseases with diet, when possible, rather than prescribe a life-long regimen of medications.  Medications, themselves, can cause problems.

The authors recognize that some people don’t want to read all the explanations of why they should or should not be eating something; instead, they just want to know what they should be eating.  To accommodate both these people and those who do want to know the why’s or why not’s, the authors have written chapters with full explanations and summaries at the end to highlight what to eat or do.  I’ve found these summary sections very helpful, when, after reading the entire book, I went back to look up what vitamin and mineral supplements I should order.

The Protein Power Lifeplan starts out with an introduction, talking about what is in the book.  The authors highlight a section called “Tell Me Again Why the Low-Fat, High-Carb Diet Undermines My Health.”  They make the case that obesity has increased as fat in the diet has decreased.  There is good reason for this, as they also point out.  Then, instead of talking about the well-known French paradox, they talk about the less-known Spanish paradox.  Over the past 25 years, scientists evaluated the changing dietary patterns in Spain.  The Spanish decreased their consumption of bread, fruits, and vegetables, as well as olive oil, while increasing dairy products and meat of all kinds.  As the diet changed, Spaniards ate more high-fat foods, while decreasing low-fat, high-carbohydrate foods.  Interestingly enough, as I’ve discovered many times in my research, the Spaniards’ rate of heart disease decreased dramatically.

The first chapter, “Man the Hunter,” talks about why protein is important.  It’s protein and fat that signal the body that it’s full, and they keep the body fuller longer.  This chapter is closely tied to the second, “The Insulin Connection.”  With our modern food supply and availability of year-round foods that would normally be seasonal in nature, we are on insulin overload, creating the basis for so many Western diseases: diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, etc.

In chapter 3, “The Fat of the Land,” the doctors want to dispel the myth that not all fats are bad.  In fact, we need to eat good quality fats to prevent diseases, like cancer.  They define good and bad fats, and they do an excellent job of talking about the dangers of heating polyunsaturated fats, such as vegetable oils.  Heating these oils causes them to oxidize (become rancid), which creates a damaging fat, leading to free radical damage in the body.  They also talk about omega-3 (found in fish oil, among other things) and omega-6 fatty acids.  An out-of-balance ratio can lead to inflammation and other diseases in the body.

Chapter 4, “Cholesterol: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” talks about the various forms of cholesterol and how certain types are good while others aren’t.  The authors give an important ratio, which I had never seen before: triglycerides to HDL ratio.  This value should be under 2; a higher value indicates more of a risk for heart disease.  They also talk about the two forms of LDL, “bad cholesterol.”  One is very damaging while the other isn’t.  The authors talk about vitamins and minerals that are necessary to keep blood serum cholesterol in check.

In all my nutrition research, I’ve not come across any more concise, helpful vitamin and supplement information, pertaining to various diseases than this book in Chapter 5, “Antioxidant Use and Abuse.”  Take heed.  You may be overloading or deficient in some areas.  If you are taking supplements, are you getting the right ones and in the right format?  Even if you are, there could be other problems to consider.  For example, fish oil can become rancid, and the authors talk about what to do and how to tell.

Other chapters include, “The Leaky Gut: Diet and the Autoimmune Response,” “How Sweet It Is … Not!,” “The Modern Iron Age,” “The Magnesium Miracle,” “Sunshine Superman,” “Calisthenics for the Brain,” “Born to Be Fit,” “LifePlan Nutrition,” “The Protein Power Kitchen and Other Practical Pointers,” and “The Three Phases of Eating: Mix-and-Match Meal from Intervention to Maintenance.”

I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk a little about the last three chapters.  I never thought I could eat a Paleolithic (aka natural) diet when I started my nutritional journey in April 2009, but the more I learn about our modern food supply and how damaging it is to the body, the easier it has been to evolve my eating to a Paleolithic diet, which is where the last three chapters fit.

The authors recognize that many people don’t want to do a Paleolithic diet or do it all the time — they call it the “Purist” plan, so they’ve come up with three versions, which they discuss in the “LifePlan Nutrition” chapter: Hedonist, Dilettante, and Purist.  According to the book, the Hedonist plan “incorporates only those changes that will bestow the greatest rewards with the least effort and the fewest nutritional adjustments.”  The Dilettante plan “is a middle-of-the-road plan for those who wish to achieve certain additional health benefits without sacrificing all the pleasures of the Hedonist regimen.”  The Purist plan “is the strictest regimen, one that closely mimics the diet our ancient ancestors thrived on and therefore bestows the maximum health and fitness rewards.”  While I’m doing the Purist plan most of the time, I will jump back and forth, on occasion, with the other levels, as do the authors, themselves.  Additionally, in this chapter, the authors have tables for men and women to determine ones’ minimum protein requirement and a list of good and bad fats and how to use them.

The next to last chapter gives recipes and food suggestions, which are important to any successful eating plan, while the last chapter talks about the three phases of eating: intervention, transition, and maintenance.  If you have any health problems, you should start on the intervention level.  Each level allows a certain amount of healthy carbs, while protein is unlimited, always with a minimum requirement.

There’s a very helpful Appendix, too, with a table of supplements needed with the amounts for healthy people, as well as amounts needed for each of several health problems.  Also, there are lists of resources where you can buy healthy meats (grass-fed and pastured, including wild game), along with other helpful resources.

I highly recommend this book to those who are looking to eat more healthily, lose weight, and/or solve various health problems.  Even carb addicts can gain a lot of good advice from this book.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ (5 out of 5)


  1. […] The Protein Power Lifeplan by the same authors, which I already reviewed, this book doesn’t go deeply into the scientific reasons for eating a high-protein, […]