How Not To Die - Summary and Key Ideas

"How Not To Die" emphasizes the power of individual choices regarding diet and lifestyle to prevent premature deaths and lead a long, healthy life. It provides scientific evidence for the role of a plant-based diet in preventing, treating, and reversing the fifteen most common causes of death.

The target audience for the book "How Not To Die" are individuals who wish to improve their health and lead a long, healthy life by changing their dietary and lifestyle habits. It also caters to those who have already been diagnosed with one or more chronic illnesses and are looking for natural ways to treat or reverse them.

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How Not To Die

Key ideas


Nutrition is key to improving one's health and preventing diseases, but the flood of information requires careful selection and preparation.


The prevention of heart diseases through a healthy, predominantly plant-based diet and a healthy lifestyle could be more effective and cost-efficient than treating their symptoms.

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The combination of quitting smoking and consuming protective foods can activate the body's self-healing powers and significantly reduce the risk of severe lung diseases.

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Neuroprotective foods might be the best prevention against devastating brain diseases like stroke and Alzheimer's.

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Only a small proportion of cancers can be attributed solely to genetic factors. The rest are particularly caused by our diet.

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Strengthening the immune system through healthy living and hand hygiene is crucial for the prevention and control of infectious diseases.

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Prevention, treatment, and reversal of Type-2 diabetes are heavily dependent on diet and lifestyle, even in the short term.

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High blood pressure is not an inevitable consequence of aging, but is strongly related to our lifestyle and diet.

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Excessive alcohol and cholesterol consumption are strong predictors of serious liver diseases, with a healthy diet being the best prevention.

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Preventing blood cancer through lifestyle changes is crucial to avoid the need for treatment that is less effective in adults.

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A plant-based diet can reduce the workload and acid load on the kidneys, thereby contributing to the health of patients with kidney disease.

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Breast cancer does not develop overnight. A healthy plant-based diet can help prevent breast cancer.

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Summary & Review

"How Not To Die" by Dr. Michael Greger is an eye-opener regarding the role of nutrition in preventing, treating, and reversing the most common causes of death. Greger, an advocate against the food madness of our times, focuses on the worst civilization diseases and highlights how our modern diet is directly related to them. He emphasizes that health cannot be prescribed but that everyone needs to take proactive measures to improve their own health. Greger is not dogmatic and doesn’t prescribe a particular diet, but rather soberly analyzes each fact and provides recommendations based on the situation.

Michael Greger

Michael Greger is an American physician, author, and professional speaker specializing in clinical nutrition. He is the founder of, a non-profit organization that provides nutritional information to the public.

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