Nutrition Books Worth Buying

OK, I admit it.  I often write about what I think is BAD nutrition information — books not to read, diets not to try or products not to buy.  Unfortunately, there’s a lot of that.

But this time I’m happy to showcase some good information.  My latest column in the Chicago Tribune is about the best new nutrition books of the year — and I’m proud to say that each one was written by a registered dietitian.

Click here to read the story online or the full article is reprinted below.

Chicago Tribune

The skinny
We cut through the glut of new nutrition books to sort out 5 of the best

by Janet Helm, Special to the Tribune Newspapers
January 26, 2010

Bookstore shelves are consistently filled with nutrition advice — especially this time of year. You’ll find an abundance of books that claim to flatten bellies, fight disease and keep you young.

With all of these options competing for your attention, how do you know which ones you can trust? Every new book seems to have a clever hook to help it stand out from the crowd. That’s fine, as long as the catchy angle is backed up by facts (but that’s not always the case).

We’ve sifted through the piles of new releases and identified our five top picks — all penned by registered dietitians.

SoEasy‘So Easy: Luscious, Healthy Recipes For Every Meal of the Week’

By Ellie Krieger (Wiley, $29.95)

The hook: Eating well is easier and more delicious than you ever imagined.

The skinny: Written by the host of the Food Network’s “Healthy Appetite,” the book may completely abolish your belief that taste and nutrition can’t happily coexist. You can tell this is one food-loving dietitian who wants you to see all the flavorful, good-for-you possibilities that are within your reach. Every recipe hits what Ellie Krieger calls her delicious-healthy-easy trifecta. No food is considered off-limits. She wants you to avoid a diet mentality and learn to appreciate real food — quality ingredients prepared simply. You’ll find 150 enticing and easy-to-prepare recipes, combined with subtle nutrition lessons and upbeat words of encouragement.

Takeaway tip: There is no need to deprive yourself or go to extremes to be healthy.

‘Your Inner Skinny: Four Steps to Thin Forever’YourInnerSkinny

By Joy Bauer (William Morrow, $16.99)

The hook: Achieving the weight you want is possible by shedding negative habits and quieting your inner critic.

The skinny: “Today Show” nutrition expert Joy Bauer maps out a plan to help you find the thinner version of yourself that’s trapped inside. She breaks down her diet into the four R’s: releasing your negative eating habits, relearning how to program your appetite, reshaping your body into the one that you want and revealing your success to the world. The book lays out a detailed diet plan, with a fairly strict regimen of approved foods during the first phase, along with menus, recipes, shopping lists, tips for eating in restaurants and an exercise plan.

Takeaway tip: Successful weight loss is largely about attitude.

‘101 Optimal Life Foods’101OptimalLifeFoods

By David Grotto (Bantam, $16)

The hook: Improve your physical, mental and emotional well-being by changing what you eat.

The skinny: Instead of focusing on what not to eat, this book celebrates the potential health-enhancing ability of various foods and encourages you to enjoy them. With great enthusiasm and humor, Grotto takes a closer look at distinct health challenges — from headaches to hot flashes, acne to anxiety — and then highlights specific foods that may offer some help. The book reviews the latest science and includes an array of tempting, nutrient-packed recipes and menu plans.

Takeaway tip: Blueberries, strawberries, Concord grape juice, cocoa flavanols and turmeric may help improve mental performance.

‘Eat Your Way to Happiness’EatHappiness

By Elizabeth Somer (Harlequin, $16.95)

The hook: Discover 10 simple secrets to enhance your health, your energy and your mood.

The skinny: An action plan for becoming blissfully happy, fit and trim. It’s packed with research that’s been skillfully translated into user-friendly advice, including studies that suggest certain foods tweak our brain chemistry and help us stay happy and energized. The fun, interactive book features self-assessment tests to see if you’re eating like a happy person and includes loads of practical tips, menus, snack ideas and recipes to elevate your mood and whittle your waistline. One chapter reviews the dynamic dozen — super mood foods and how you can easily eat more.

Takeaway tip: Recharge on a regular basis by eating nutritious little meals or snacks spaced every four or five hours throughout the day, starting with breakfast.

‘Nutrition At Your Fingertips’NutrFingertips

By Elisa Zied (Alpha, $18.95)

The hook: Cut through the clutter and quickly find reliable, easy-to-understand information about nutrition.

The skinny: This comprehensive paperback will likely answer any question you would ever have about nutrition. It’s not meant to be a diet plan, although you’ll find plenty of weight-loss information. Instead, the book teaches you to make good choices on your own. You’ll find simple, straightforward explanations to help you decipher food labels, translate government dietary guidelines and shop smarter. It’s full of charts that tell you how much of a specific nutrient you need and practical tips on how to get them.

Takeaway tip: Do not rely on color to find a whole-grain product; some breads and other grains are dark in color from added ingredients, not because they contain whole grains.

Copyright © 2010, Chicago Tribune

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