"Eating well," according to Dr. Andrew Weil, the best-selling author of Spontaneous Healing, is "using food not only to influence health and well-being but to satisfy the senses, providing pleasure and comfort. In addition to supplying the basic needs of the body for calories and nutrients, an optimum diet should also reduce risks of disease and fortify the body's defenses and intrinsic mechanisms of healing." At the outset, Dr. Weil presents the seven basic propositions that are the foundation of his philosophy of food. He then tackles what he calls "the basis of nutrition" with an overview of the role of fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fiber in human health. Interspersed throughout the book are healing stories about the wise choices individuals have made about food.

Filling out this invaluable resource, Dr. Weil presents his recommended optimum diet with complete weekly menus to use at home or eating out in restaurants. He also provides 85 recipes. The author believes that the Mediterranean diet is a very healthy one. He advises readers to strictly avoid all products containing partially hydrogenated oils of any kind. Most controversial of all is Dr. Weil's contention that sugar and refined starch are not the direct cause of insulin resistance and therefore of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, although eating a lot of refined carbohydrates might worsen your condition if you already have these problems. The book ends with customized dietary advice for those with asthma, allergies, heart disease, thyroid problems, and other disorders.