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The Brain in Your Kitchen: A Collection of Essays on How What We Buy, Eat, and Experience Affects Our Brains [Kindle Edition]

David DiSalvo
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $4.99

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Book Description

Every day, we’re faced with choices about what to eat, wear, and purchase. Blinded by a tsunami of information—some good, some bad, some intentionally misleading—often our brains are too overwhelmed to examine all the details. So how do we know we’re making the best decisions for us?

Author and science journalist David DiSalvo asks what’s best for our brains instead.

The Brain in Your Kitchen sifts through the good and bad information on the things we buy, the foods we eat, and the medicines we take. Using findings from cutting-edge science, DiSalvo divulges terrifically useful and little-known facts—each grounded in credible research—about everything from how gluten to cats affect your brain. Learn how we can trick our minds into helping us lose weight, what placebos are costing us big bucks with no results, and what caffeine is actually doing inside your head to give you that extra pep.

Disalvo cuts through frantic media sensation and consumer marketplace babble and gives you the knowledge to distinguish hyperbole from truth so you’re ready next time you sit down for dinner.

Editorial Reviews


David DiSalvo is our go-to source for true facts about the human brain. Whatever the brain is up to, and often it's up to something tricky, you can rest assured that David will be keeping an eye on it, and a skeptical eye at that. He's been meticulously separating fact from fiction for years, and has collected some of his finest--and to us, most important --work in "The Brain in Your Kitchen."
--Jeff McMahon, University of Chicago lecturer and Editor of Contrary Magazine

"Each chapter is a delicious and nutritious snack for the mind. DiSalvo use the raw ingredients of science and research to cook practical advice. He presents us with what we know, and just as important, what we do not know about how our brains, which evolved to survive scarcity and lack, can survive in a world awash with excess calories of every type." 
--Todd Essig, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, Author of "Managing Mental Wealth" at Forbes Magazine

"The essays in The Brain in Your Kitchen tackle a wide variety of interesting topics, some have made headlines and stoked controversy and others probably should. DiSalvo delivers a level-headed, healthy skepticism as he brings the light of evidence to bear. He again shows his knack for knowing "how much is too much" in the way of deep scientific language and has created very readable yet informative pieces that leave the reader feeling confident and informed."
--Dr. Robert Vandervoort, Pharmacotherapy Faculty, Florida Hospital Family Medicine Residency

About the Author

David DiSalvo is a science writer and public education specialist who writes about the intersection of science, technology and culture. His work has appeared inScientific American MindPsychology Today,ForbesThe Wall Street JournalMental Floss,SlateSalonEsquire and other publications, and he is the writer behind the widely read blogs, Neuropsyched, Neuronarrative and The Daily Brain. He is frequently interviewed about science and technology topics, including appearances on NBC Nightly News and CNN Headline News. His first nonfiction book, What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite, has been translated into seven languages and is available worldwide. 

Product Details

  • File Size: 201 KB
  • Print Length: 71 pages
  • Publisher: BenBella Books (November 27, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #978,339 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read! June 6, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It has easy to understand sections, such as: What eating sugar (alcohol, caffeine, etc) does to your brain. Informative, interesting, and memorable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Wow! This book blew my mind! I'm so glad I have it on my Kindle and can open it up at any time because there is quite literally a wealth of information in here!

The couple of things that really jumped out at me were the chapters about sugars, processed foods, and memory. I mean, I already knew that food can really affect us, sometimes in negative ways, but wow, David DiSalvo didn't hold back on the punches on what is really going on in our supermarkets. Of course that is exactly what I loved so much about this!

Gum was the #1 surprise for me.

"Beneficial effects on memory, alertness, anxiety reduction, appetite suppression, mood, and learning."

"Alertness and intellectual performance were increased in gum-chewing subjects while they chewed"

"Studies have also found gum to be an effective anxiety buster, though he reasons why are anything but clear. A 2009 study, for instance, found that under laboratory conditions chewing gum resulted in reduced cortisol levels (cortisol is frequently called the "stress hormone") and a reduction in overall anxiety."

The information on sugar was just as interesting.

"most of us are seriously damaging ourselves with processed foods high in added sugar, and the damage begins with our brains."

The above excerpts are just a snippet of everything in this book. And all of the information provided is just as powerful and interesting. The entire book had me on the edge of my seat like it was a horror, however in this case most of the culprits were stuff that I put into my body.

I do have to say, I'm probably not going to stop drinking Pepsi anytime soon, although I know the reasons behind it being so bad for me, I still think it tastes so yummy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something for everyone! September 8, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I very much enjoyed this collection of essays. They were informative and accurate, without being too difficult for the non-scientists among us to grasp. And each essay can stand alone, which makes them great for people with only a few minutes here and there to read. These would be a great starting point for conversations with friends and family who are oh-so-unaware of what they're consuming and how it may be helping or hurting their bodies. Read it. You'll take a closer look at what you eat, and your brain will thank you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Science a little lite - but fun February 5, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I received this as a free advance digital reading copy for review purposes

In some ways popular science journalist David DiSalvo reminds me of another author covering (but at greater depth) the same territory - Earl Mindell The Food Medicine Bible: What You Can Eat to Help Prevent Everything from Colds to Heart Disease to Cancer; Earl Mindell's New Vitamin Bible, and also of Jean Carper Food: Your Miracle Medicine - How Food Can Prevent and Treat Over 100 Symptoms and Problems

I must admit i prefer the other writers as they give more information, and, from my point of view, more useful, depth information as they REFERENCE PROPERLY. Something DiSalvo doesn't do. Sure, he lists a bibliography of all the internet sites information came form, at the end, and tells the reader at the end of each mini article the web site the information came from (generally Forbes) and the date it was published on Forbes - but this isn't the reference which is particularly useful, for anyone really wanting to investigate further. Lite referencing rather than light referencing!

He is broadly on the side of the angels (in my book anyway) in terms of the very logical and obvious 'eat natural, it is after all what your body has evolved to deal with' rather than the eat unnatural full of substances cooked up in a lab which might also be used in the manufacture of lacquers, anti-freeze and air-conditioner compressors - read the chapter on the ingredients in egg products as cooked up by Subway, McDonalds and the like!.

However, several of the snippety chapters only present early research, early suppositions and the sort of misleading alarmist headlines which journalists love to twist out because it makes good copy - read the chapter linking suicides and cats for a good example of this.
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