So You Think You Know What’s Good for You? by Norman Swan [7/10]

Along with tens of thousands of other Australians, I listen daily to Coronacast, a perfectly pitched podcast about Covid-19, run by a journalist and centered on “physician/journalist Norman Swan,” as he introduces himself. On the podcast, Swan is eloquent, sensible, deeply knowledgeable, and straight talking. His new book, “So You Think You Know What’s Good for You?” is pitched at the same general audience, but covering general health issues, especially dietary ones. This mightily useful book reads as if the doctor is talking to the reader, using understandable language (without ever oversimplifying) and peppering the text with chuckle-worthy asides and jokes. Swan’s general thesis, one I agree with, is that no magic bullets exist, that human health is complex, that the mind and body interact seamlessly. He slams fad diets, argues for sensible indulgence, and throws in cutting-edge research results. On psychological matters and general “happiness,” he is a fount of fatherly advice. So You Think You Know What’s Good for You? is a fascinating, germane compendium to be revisited and revisited, each time selecting whatever preoccupies you about your well-being.

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