I have been on a plant-based regimen for nearly a decade now and was happy with the way Rip put across his points. He has to be given credit for being a strong advocate of avoiding processed foods.
However, I am not too convinced with this book. While reading this book, I felt as if somebody was shouting at me and forcing me to buy the Engine 2 products. The author could also have given full citations for the reference material that he has included in his book. It would have certainly helped a reader to fact-check or do his research. Besides these issues, there are few major points which I felt has let the book down. These are:
Wrong selection of food to target processed foods: In his zeal to target processed foods, he ended up targeting Pop-Tarts. He talks about how they tom-tom around as vegan products, but in reality have lots of processed stuff in them. He is right when it comes to the processed food part. The issue here is that only a minuscule amount of Pop-Tarts can be called vegan. Most of them contain gelatin, so it is not even vegetarian. Rip could have used another product to target. And the last time I checked, there are hardly any frosted foods that can be called vegan in its true sense.
Sodium: Rip talks about the amount of sodium present in processed foods and rightly so. He then goes ahead and gives a formula for selecting foods that have less sodium (can’t remember it right now). He suggests preparing soup by following the recipe present in the book. The only problem here is the fact that if one follows the nutrition analysis program, then his recipe does not meet his own guidelines.
Trans fat: Now this is something that we all agree upon. Having excess trans fat is not good for our health. However, Rip, in trying to portray that trans fats are bad, end up targeting all dairy and meat products. He does not focus on things like peanut butter, margarine or even pizza. Can somebody tell Rip that the trans fat present in dairy is natural trans fat and much healthier when compared to the manufactured ones? Instead of focusing on trans fats in dairy and meat, it would have been better if he voiced his concerns about other things present in it such as fat, antibiotics, hormones, etc.
The recipes: Rip Esselstyn’s The Engine 2 Seven Day Rescue diet does contain some decent-looking recipes, but when one compares the recipes with those present The Whole Foods Diet, the latter is much better. I felt Rip was trying to sell his brand products through the various recipes.
That being said, this is my personal opinion, and it is not necessary that others might also feel the same way. It is best left for readers to decide which one is better for them.