Monday, August 3, 2009

Diet Book Reviews by Dietitians

Here are three book reviews that were published in this month's edition of the ADA Times, a newsletter of the American Dietetic Association. I particularly like to get another dietitian's viewpoint about diet books, since I will never have time to read all the diet books out there!

I've inserted the capacity for you to click on any book that you might like to buy, and directly purchase it at the lowest available price through Amazon. Enjoy!

The Food You Crave, by Ellie Krieger, MS, RD
Review by Bonnie Taub-Dix, MA, RD, CDN

"Centered on a flexible 'usually/sometimes/rarely' philosophy to incorporating all foods into a healthy diet, this is first and foremost a cookbook. Recipes include nutritional analysis as well as highlighted positive qualities (e.g. "Excellent source of vitamin C"), a handy chart alphabetically lists nutrients, daily, values, and functions, and "The New Way Pantry" itemizes ingredients that are frequently used in the recipes. Also throughtout the book are tips and information on subjects such as safely storing leftovers, smart snacking and cutting back on fats.
If there is any drawback, it is that some of the recipes would need to be modified in order to fit a tighter budget; depending on where you live or shop, some specialty items on the ingredients list may be difficult to find. However, with some smart substitutions, this book could fit most budgets."

Naturally Thin, by Bethenny Frankel
Reviewed by Toby Smithson, RD, LDN, CDE

"This book includes 10 rules, sample meal plans and recipes. Some of the nutrition information is in line with successful weight loss (portion control, savoring food, etc) but there is also a fair amount of incorrect information--not surprising since the author has no education or background in dietetics or physiology. Examples include eating almonds after cupcakes and chocolate to control blood sugar; alternating carb-based meals and protein-based meals; and avoiding starches when drinking alcohol (two to five cocktails).

Will you lose weight following the meal plan? Probably not, especially since the guidelines to follow are simultaneously specific (you should eat this today) and vague (but if you don't eat it, no biggie). The 10 rules aren't bad food philosophies in general, but readers will be more successful by seeing an RD. "

The Quantum Wellness Cleanse, by Kathy Freston
Reviewed by Ruth Frechman, MA, RD

"Claiming to bring 'the body, mind, and spirit to a higher level' the diet includes vegetables, legumes, seeds, whole grains, fruits and nuts, Stevia, agave nectar, organic foods, vegan products, protein powders and bars; and eliminates sugar, caffeine, gluten, alcohol and animal products. Though the program lasts 21 days, the author hints it could be continued indefinitely; however, readers who do continue may lack vitamin D, Vitamin B12, and Omega 3 fatty acids in their diets. The book also contains plenty of misinformation. For example, apples and pears are NOT high in calcium or vitamins A and C. Gluten is NOT 'part protein and part starch'. Sugar does NOT contribute to an overgrowth of fungus in the body or feed cancer. And readers are told to eat complex carbohydrates and avoid white bread, pasta and conventional cereals, all of which ARE complex carbohydrates.

There is no scientific evidence that a temporary diet jumpstarts weight loss and healing, and there are much better resources for people who want to follow a plant-based diet. There is nothing wrong with a 'a gentler way of thinking and living' but from a nutrition standpoint I would not recommend this book."

If you have questions about any diet books, or the reliability of any diets in particular, feel free to email me at and I'll answer your questions in an e-mail reply and they may be posted on this blog, or on my other blog, Ask The Diet Coach.

1 comment:

balance nutrition bar said...

Thanks for the head's up! Looks like an interesting read!