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on July 29, 1998
Love the book. This book is perfect for the begginning dieter. Usually when someone starts a new lifestyle, which includes a change in activity level and/or diet, they do not know much about what they need to do, as far as exercise, and how they need to eat to accomplish the goals they want. I am a exercise sports science major with a minor in nutrition and I have reccommended this book to many of my personal training clients. Reason being b/c as everyone knows you can not just start an exercise routine, you must change and modify your diet to see good results. Your body needs the right type of fuel and the right amount. This book explains in easy to follow terms how to go about changing your diet to a more healthy one. If you are trying to change your diet, knowing what you should be doing and eating is the place to start. Knowledge is a great thing! Buy the book you will be glad you did.
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on September 27, 2004
This book contains a lot of information that seems so dated. The author seems like she's pretty out of touch with modern nutritional knowledge. What this book taught me: Food processing makes food safe and yummy. The US RDA is a respected guideline. Antibotics and hormones make livestock healthy and efficient. Wake up lady.

If you are looking for up-to-date health information on topics such as: natural vitamins vs. synthetic vitamins, the nutritional value of bleached flour, micronutrients, carcinogens, or food additives, don't bother with this book. It is like a text book from the 1950s, written with a cutesy style that grates on you when you realize how inaccurate the information is.
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on June 27, 2001
I got this book as a wedding shower present less than 4 years ago and my copy is already bent back at the spine and dog-eared to beat the band. What this book is is a wonderful, sometimes funny and always informative guide to basic nutrition. Ms. Rinzler explains very complex ideas simply and competently in 'real people' language without pouring 'sugar' on them to make them more palatable - she explains things how they really are, which helps enormously in demystifying natural biological processes and how our body uses and then discards everything we put into it. Two years ago, I (5'6" female) made the scales groan at 171.6 american pounds. Thanks in part to this book, I now weigh a much healthier 129.8 pounds.
I definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to get a handle on their own nutrition and who want to be in charge of what goes on their plate and into their mouth!
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on March 23, 2002
This book title may be misleading, as it is not for dummies, it is for those who know little about nutrition but wish to know more It is highly informative, covering all aspects of nutrition, including vitamins, minerals, etc. that are stored in the body as well as those are not. Examples are given for foods that promote good health with plenty of references and studies that back up these claims. The digestive system is explained to give a very good and necessary knowledge of how foods are metabolized in the body. Scientific names are given, always with the layman's term or at least a thorough explanation. Plenty of websites are given for further reference. I highly recommend this book for those who wish to further their knowledge of nutrition. An excellent companion book, which is almost completely a very thorough list of food values and little else is 'Bowes And Church's Food Values of Portionz Commonly Used'.
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on June 11, 2003
Like any book of the Dummies series, this book provides a lot of information, and establishes a strong foundation in an incredibly complex and confusing field. I am a big fan of the Dummies series. Thanks to them, I learned a varied set of skills including EXCEL software, Chess, and cooking. But, nutrition is far more confusing than a user friendly software program.
This book gives you all the basics you need to know about nutrition. This includes a good description of the macro nutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fats). The author even describes their respective chemical molecular compositions. Coverage of micro nutrients (vitamins, minerals) is just as good. This book gives you the information so you will eat healthily, understand what you eat, and what are your eating requirements. It is just like an excellent textbook for a college level course on nutrition. Except, as all Dummies book, it is a lot funnier and user friendly to read and extract the information than a college textbook.
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on November 17, 2011
I made a decision to focus on my nutrition for the next year. Nutrition for Dummies was an easy choice because I was totally ignorant about what I ate.

This book put me on the right path with simple explanations and a plan for a proper diet. I feel better, have more energy, I'm more mentally alert, and take my diet seriously because the author made it so easy to follow.

It takes what it takes for us to get ready to take action and this book made it simple to take the first few steps. Thank you Carol Ann Rinzler, you helped me change the direction of my life.
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on February 22, 2006
Yes, the title "Must Have" is well justified for this book. About a year ago, I started searching for a book on diet, good eating habits etc. Owing to the complexity of the topic, there are many theories and many more proven diet plans to support those. It couldn't get more confusing. I wanted was something totally unbiased. Some book that could explain the basics, "101" topics in easy to understand words and make it more and more interesting to read as I keep reading it. This book provides all that. It covers all that a beginner needs to know about. Right from Digestion system to macro nutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fats) and micro nutrients (vitamins, minerals) is covered in fair details. Again the book made me read more and more and understand the core topics than follow a particular diet system. It could help me change my diet but only after understanding the dynamics behind it. In short, the book is

-Easy to read and understand
-Unbiased i.e. does not ask user to follow any particular diet or style but gives information that can help you decide your diet for yourself

I would highly recommend this book for beginners looking to open up to the horizon of healthy leaving.

If you wish to read on some more details on the book...

Salient Features of this book
This book provides insight into following areas
-Interpret nutritional labels
-Distinguish "good" fat from "bad"
-At home => Prepare delicious, healthy meals, preserve nutrients while cooking
-Dining out => How to eat smart
-Which Weight Loss plan is right for you?

There is also a useful nutrient chart at the back of the book. I would also like to mention that some people who read the book did feel that the information was outdated. Basically what they mean is the information is not so useful for an advanced user. That is why I write in CONS section that you may not find latest industry standard info in this edition of the book.

What's in Next Edition
The upcoming fourth edition of the book is believed to carry information on USDA MyPyramid, which helps people customize calorie and serving size based on activity level, sex, and age. Advice on latest low carb, controlled carg diet plans. May be upcoming edition tries to cover up for the fads and latest trends that people want to know about.

Final Note
Overall, I would re-emphasize that I found this text very useful for a beginner. Its highly possible that some readers might already be aware of some of the concepts illustrated in the book. In any case, for any book, I would always go to the nearest bookstore and skim through the book before actually buying it.

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on February 7, 2012
Dummies books are all the same - no matter what the topic and I love being able to pick it up and flip to any section to learn something. This book hits the mark as a Dummies book and is packed full of information on nutrition. It has really helped me understand what I am eating and what it does to my body! I would recommend this book to my friends!
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on January 24, 2011
I have an earlier print edition of this book and wanted to update. I purchased the Kindle version thinking that it would be more convienent. However, as I read, many places in the book is the following, "For more information on xxx, be sure and check out the full-size edition of Nutrition for Dummies, 4th Edition". I though I was paying for the full edition of Nutrition for Dummies, 4th Edition, not the Reader's Digest.

UPDATE: Note that the book now appears with the "Pocket Edition" displayed. So, given that insight, that still does not explaing why the references to missing material appear in the "Pocket Edition" unless one concludes poor editing. I do not recall seeing "Pocket Edition" when purchasing the Kindle version; I would not have ordered the "Pocket Edition" as, to me, really means "The full edition absent of all the details".
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on September 30, 2001
This is an excellent source of information organized in an easy-to-read format. It covers an entire range of topics from basic facts to healthy eating and food preparation. Much of the data is arranged in chart and table formats, which make it a great reference guide.
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