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VINE VOICEon September 29, 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Anti-Inflammation Diet for Dummies contains much advice on inflammation...how inflammation can contribute to disease, anti-inflammatory nutrition, recipes, anti-inflammatory supplements and herbs and more.

Much of the nutritional information is good, if not well known--like using olive oil instead of lard, butter or margarine; eating lean meats, eating a variety of fruits and vegetables. Still, all useful, especially for someone new to a change in eating healthier.

I have several issues, with the recipe section, however. My biggest gripe is that, even though this is a book on anti-inflammatory foods, the recipes DO NOT include the anti-inflammatory ratings (IF) of each recipe!You get the calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbs and protein, but NO IF factor!

Another problem with the recipe section is that the portion sizes change in the oddest way. For example, compare the white bean salad and the red and black bean salad on the following page. Both recipes have olive oil and a couple of herbs/spices. The white bean salad--with 1 can of beans--serves 4. The red and black bean salad, with 2 cans of beans, serves 2! What? So the white bean salad has 186 calories a portion, the red and black has 528.

There are more examples of this throughout the book.

There is more: on beans, the authors recommend using dried beans over canned because canned beans have a high sodium level and dried have none. They write that according to the US Dept of Agriculture, 1 cup of navy beans has 1174 mg of sodium...Well, this "statistic" just sounded wrong, so I meandered to my cabinet and checked the sodium levels on what I had on hand:

Westbrae Natural lentil: 300 mg
Trader Joe's garbanzo beans: 780 mg
Westbrae Natural fava: 270 mg
Westbrae Natural kidney: 280 mg

(Note: you can rinse beans, thus getting rid of much of the salt.)

So, after recommending dried beans, they only give the amount to use in recipes of canned beans! (FYI...one 15 oz can of beans=1 1/2 cups.)

Another example is that several chicken recipes used the same amount of chicken with different servings. In addition, some recipes called for a whole chicken...my question is, how did they come up with the calories? Does it include the skin? Dark meat is higher in calories than white...Finally, in an anti-inflammatory cookbook, I would think only boneless white chicken would be used.

Finally, while they list 10 of their favorite anti-inflammation foods (salmon, flaxseeds, blueberries, almonds, mushrooms, broccoli, quinoa, brussels sprouts, onions, and green tea) they fail to give us the IF factor. (They do provide a list of 10 common foods, however.)They talk about nutritionist Monica Reinagel, the creator of the inflammation factor (IF) and tell the reader to go to her site for food ratings. Much more helpful would have been if they took some of their recipes and gave us examples of menus with the IF factors. According to Reinagel, we should strive for 50 + a day...well, show us how to do that!

I struggled with the rating for this book and considered going lower than 3 stars. However, there IS some sound advice in this book. There are also some terrific looking recipes (as a former professional and still avid cook, I am very good at looking at recipes and "getting" what they'll taste like)--all loaded with anti-inflammatory ingredients. The vast majority fo them are also pretty simple and quick to make. Reading them, you'll get how to make your own favorite recipes more anti-inflammatory (ie adding onions, garlic, turmeric, etc.)
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VINE VOICEon January 27, 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
When you buy this book (or think about buying it) remember what you are purchasing. I know that sounds a little simple, but in reality you need to remember this book is one in the "Dummies" series and for all intents and purposes really just serves as a cliff-notes version of a product. While the book is written in a friendly language and has all the hallmarks of a "dummies" book (word bubbles, interesting points, etc.), it does not delve into super deep detail about the misunderstood and still mysterious subject of inflammation.

Inflammations effect on the body is still being discovered, its triggers, its antidotes, and its exacerbaters are still debated among medical professionals today. They will continue to be debated for decades to come as well. For anyone that is looking to start their journey to anti-inflammation nirvana, this serves as a cursory bus schedule. You can gain some information, learn a few basic concepts, and then go from there. While the recipes aren't all that amazing (read: organic, all natural, absolute zero IF recipes), they are put here as a primer to changing your palate.

What this book serves to do is take a complex lifestyle/subject and distill it down into something basic that normal, everyday people can comprehend. It takes that subject and then presents it in a way that isn't overwhelming and will allow you to digest the information at your own pace. What I found is that as I read this book, I was prompted to research further on my own with the resources that are available to me. It serves to jump start converstaions with yourself and your doctor, as well as providing you a jumping off point into the very very deep wates of the pool of anti-inflammation science.

It does all of those well and fits the bill perfectly. Just remember that you aren't purchasing a doctoral thesis on anti-inflammation, but rather a basic and nearly jargon-free primer for the subject and you'll be pleasantly surprised.
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on September 6, 2012
Looking for a bare-bones, no frills introduction to this very complex health topic? You can't get much better than this layman-only guide. With cursory coverage of the relationship between inflammation and chronic diseases like obesity and arthritis, it's a functional but theoretically limited presentation. You'll learn what foods to avoid, and which to replace them with.

As other reviewers have noted -- and in keeping with the rest of the Dummies series -- this isn't the book for you if you're looking for 100% fact-checked information and statistics. Rather, it's a broad-sweep approach that's just enough to get you going with the topic. Any in-depth learning is up to you and your health practitioner.

Here's a quick rundown on the book's main sections:
I -- Taking the Mystery Out of Inflammation
II -- Understanding Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition
III -- Enjoying Recipes for Less Inflammation and Better Health
IV -- Living and Anti-Inflammatory Lifestyle
V -- The Part of Tens
VI -- Appendixes

A quick note on the the recipes: they aren't especially tasty, but they're adequate, and they certainly are easy enough to prepare. Look elsewhere for a more thorough selection. Again, there's enough recipe help to get you going on a low-inflammatory diet, but not enough to "see you through."

If you or a loved one are suffering from any of the inflammation-related diseases (such as hay fever, periodontitis, atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and even cancer) but are intimidated by some of the other books out there, you'd do well to check this book out.

If you find the Dummies series to be a bit uninformative, you might be better off with Julie Daniluk's Meals That Heal Inflammation. It's much more thorough. If you or a loved one are suffering from inflammation-related diseases to the point where you or they are having trouble with mobility, Get Fit in Bed by Tartell and Kavanau is a book you should consider, as well. It's a bed-based fitness routine.
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on August 13, 2013
Gives you all anyone would need to know about this subject. I have diverticulosis and following an anti inflammatory diet cuts down and almost eliminate flare ups. I also Benefiber or the Wal Mart generic which is less expensive.
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on February 1, 2014
I have stomach troubles and so I bought this book. When I eat food that doesn't cause inflammation I feel great. But the second I don't watch what I eat I feel on fire inside. I like this book and would recommend it if you need it for feeling better like me.
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VINE VOICEon September 28, 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The nutrition field seems filled with confusing and contradictory information. It's really hard to know what to believe anymore. I've been reading a lot lately about inflammation and how it can affect chronic diseases. I got this book hoping to get some good advice and perhaps start a new dietary regimen. And while some of the advice seems logical and helpful, the recipes were a total turnoff for one primary reason: calories. In addition, much of the advice about foods to eat or avoid boils down to common sense. I think most of us would agree that olive oil is a better/healthier fat than lard. Still, some of their advice contradicts what I've recently read elsewhere. For example, agave is listed here as a "good" sugar-- and yet I just read a study saying that agave is a bad sugar (too high fructose). So which is it?

I found Chapter 16 contained a lot of useful advice (again, much of it common sense) about what foods to use when cooking, as well as preferred methods of cooking. Staying away from canned foods, processed foods, using healthier cooking techniques like poaching and steaming are all good suggestions. Likewise, Chapter 21 is very helpful. It focuses on the "ten inflammation-fighting foods": salmon; flaxseed; blueberries; natural almonds; mushrooms; broccoli; quinoa; brussels sprouts; onions; and green tea. I posted this list on my fridge and I am incorporating them into my diet as much as possible.

Where I think the book falls apart (and why I can only give it 3 stars) is the recipe section. Whenever I see recipes requiring lots of ingredients-- and unusual ones at that-- I know the odds that I'm going to stick with the system are greatly reduced. Also, some are just ridiculously high in calories. For instance, they recommend you enjoy a breakfast consisting of a Banana Coconut Milk Smoothie which sounds great but comes in at 463 calories. They suggest you pair this with a serving of Triple Berry Granola which has 771 calories in one serving, making your breakfast a whopping 1234 calories. In addition, those two items would give you 70 grams of fat, and 143 grams of carbohydrates. I know there's good fat and bad fat, but I have to believe that a breakfast containing 70 grams of fat just can't be that good for you.

Another recipe, Raw Nuts and Fruit Mix is billed as a snack and has 354 calories per serving. The recipe serves 12, and because it contains fresh fruit is described as "highly perishable" so I guess if you don't have 11 friends or relatives nearby you will either have to throw much of it out-- or eat more than one serving, which would be a caloric nightmare.

So...I'd like to see more research, more validation that the trade-off of "good" (anti-inflammatory) ingredients counterbalances the high calories before I can recommend this.
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on July 20, 2015
Thank goodness for this book! It is a treasure-trove of easy-to-understand information, and as the writers make clear from the beginning, one can "jump in anywhere" and find whatever is needed at the moment. A great publication, as easy to handle as it is to read (for those of use with "older" hands). HIGHLY recommend this for the health-conscious, and those determined to become so, of any age.
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VINE VOICEon October 9, 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I read tons of book about healthy eating and healing. I've dealt with fibromyalgia for over a decade and was finally able to bring my symptoms to a halt through dietary changes. I am always on the lookout for more books that I can read and learn from. Certain that I can always further improve my health, I continue to do my research. With all that research though, I have become very discerning about what I take from these books.

Now, there is some good information in this book, but I really didn't see anything I didn't already know. If you are just starting out on a journey of healing, this may be a good place to start because there this is a basic guide. If you are looking for weight loss in addition to anti-inflammation, the recipes in this book are a bit scary. I was rather shocked by the high calorie content in so many of these recipes. I'm not concerned with losing weight because I've already lost fifty pounds, but I would not want to prepare these recipes. I would probably plump right back up again.

So, my feeling are mixed about this book. There is some good information and a few reasonably good recipes, but since this book has so many recipes, I wish there had been a better concentration on keeping them low calorie. Sometimes you just have to take the good with the bad. This book has a bit of both.
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on March 28, 2014
The book arrived quickly and is in very good shape for a used copy. It is informing me about inflammation, a condition I kept hearing about without really understanding what it is and how to deal with it. The book suggests grocery items to purchase and those to avoid, which is very helpful. Anyone with arthritis could benefit from reading it and following its guidelines.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Anti-Inflammation Diet for Dummies is well-written. Its reading level is for those with a high school education and above. There is no jargon used, words are (for the most part) chosen for the layperson, and if there is a need for multi-syllablic ones, they are carefully explained.

The author does a wonderful job of keeping the concepts simple (after all, it's even for 'dummies'). Chapters are clearly headed and sections are well-defined. For all these reasons, this book would rate five stars.

However, I disliked the set-up of the recipes. In both the Table of Contents and the Index, there are no categories; such as breakfast; snacks; or, divisions bearing labels of poultry; vegetables; fish and seafood; etc. The reader must first find Part III, Chapter 9 in order to begin searching for recipes. There, one must continually turn the pages in each section to find a listing of its recipes--sans page numbers. The less-than-easy-to-find recipes reduce my rating to four stars.

I also found the recipes simplistic but, that's merely a personal note. Since the book is for 'dummies', I should not expect anything more than basic recipes.

Kudos to Dr. Morris for including information about: eating out; exercises to do at home; and a discussion of supplements. Even if we frequently hear about them in periodicals and on tv shows, it's always good to have a go-to reference book on hand, reminding ourselves of important information for our well-being.

This is the second book I have reviewed about anti-inflammation: its causes; symptoms; how to reduce it; anti-inflammation recipes; and self-care. See my earlier review of The Inflammation-Free Diet Plan by Monica Reinagel at Amazon.com. The review is titled 'Edible Arthritis Relief', May 24, 2010. Both books are good sources of information and for use as a reference. I prefer the format and recipes of the latter book, while the direct, easy-to-understand approach of 'Dummies' may be yours. If you can, purchase both books.
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