Book Review: Total Gut Balance
As some of you may have seen on my Instagram, I bought myself a new book recently! Dr. Will Bulsiewicz a.k.a. the Gut Health MD brought this book to my attention on his Instagram and my curiosity was triggered!
I immediately ordered ‘Total Gut Balance’ a book by Dr. Mahmoud Ghannoum and had to wait 3 weeks for it to arrive. Yay, the Netherlands! So slow.
As I was reading the book, I realized it would be fun to do a book review on Positive Gut. So here we go, a book review on ‘Total Gut Balance’!
About the Author: Dr. Mahmoud Ghannoum
To be honest, I had never heard about dr. Mahmoud Ghannoum before I started reading this book. But it turns out, he’s earned his stripes in the gut health world! Dr. Ghannoum is a leading researcher on the mycobiome (that is like the microbiome, but then for the fungi living in your gut!), he has published over 400 papers, has a company that makes gut health supplements and has a podcast where he discusses gut health.
Pretty impressive. He decided to bundle all his knowledge in the ‘Total Gut Balance’ book which includes tons of information and a diet plan.
About the Book
The book itself is beautiful and contains lots of informative images and lists that help explain the science. All the facts in the book are science-based. Dr. Ghannoum has done studies with the recommended diet, and shown it’s effectiveness!
The facts and information in the book are very useful, and personally I found them refreshing. The mycobiome isn’t something you hear about too much yet, so it’s nice to be one of the first to get your information.
A breakdown is given by Dr. Ghannoum about the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ guys in your microbiome and what to do when the ‘bad’ guys take the upper hand. This is explained in the diet plan. To me, the diet plan really lines up with my personal knowledge and opinion on the right foods for gut health. Which is a nice confirmation of my views on the gut.
Also, Dr. Ghannoum gives clear and evidence-based explanations as to why some diets are good for gut health, and some are not. For example, he breaks down the paleo, keto, standard western diet, Mediterranean diet, and vegetarian/vegan diet.
After the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ guys have been explained, the book continues on a load of facts on Candida in all its forms. Which is informative, but I found a bit disappointing. Candida IS the most well-known fungi, but I would have liked to find out more about all the other new fungi we just learned about! Hopefully, that information is still to come.
The diet part of the book provides you with lists of foods to eat every day, 3-times a week and as little as possible to never. And adds a couple of meal plans to it. This makes it a very comprehensible diet to follow. It basically comes down to a relatively low carbohydrate diet which is high is vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains and some animal protein. As little processed foods as possible are included and an abundance of spices and herbs is recommended. No food groups are being excluded, which results in a very do-able diet.
The diet resembles a Whole Food Plant-Based (WFPB) approach but with some eggs, fish, and dairy. This will be a far easier step for a lot of people than actually cutting out all of their animal-based foods.
About half of the book consists of recipes. This, I personally found a little bit disappointing. I was hoping that more than 150 pages of the 322-page book would be facts and information. But nonetheless, most of the recipes seem appealing.
At the end of the book, there are links provided to find more resources online on the website of the book. Unfortunately, at the time of writing, these links don’t work.
The Verdict: Go Read It!
Overall it’s a great book to get information on gut health and the best foods for a healthy microbiome. It provides in-depth and science-based explanations of why you should or should not use a product. A good way to get your knowledge up, and to actually know why you’re following the diet!
If you got curious about the book, click this link to buy ‘Total Gut Balance’ on Amazon.
If you just want to read more about the microbiome and gut health, check out my articles on gut health, the FODMAP diet, IBS, the microbiome and many more!
Hi there, I’m Manon.
In my daily life I work as a registered dietitian in the Netherlands with a special interest in gut health.
During my workday I get loads of questions about healthy food, recipes and lifestyle to make it a little easier to get healthy. On Positive Gut I collect my best recommendations, tips and recipes to make your healthy lifestyle a little easier!