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343 of 403 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW This is a must read for anyone interested in food
Every now and then a book or two comes along that makes me want to get on the phone to friends or email friends to tell them they must read the book. This happened this past week when What to Eat by Marion Nestle and Gone Tomorrow the Hidden Life of Garbage by Heather Rogers arrived at my cottage.

Starting with this book 'What to Eat' the author does an...
Published on June 1, 2006 by Beth DeRoos

versus
84 of 97 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hit or Miss, Depending on the Topic
I read this book after reading two of Michael Pollan's books and "Real Food: What to Eat and Why" by Nina Planck, and I have to say I was disappointed by this book. I think she's too critical of things that don't merit criticism (probiotics, healthiness of fish, saturated fat from nutrient dense foods such as pastured chicken eggs etc.) and not critical enough of topics...
Published on January 10, 2010 by D.A.G.


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343 of 403 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW This is a must read for anyone interested in food, June 1, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: What to Eat (Hardcover)
Every now and then a book or two comes along that makes me want to get on the phone to friends or email friends to tell them they must read the book. This happened this past week when What to Eat by Marion Nestle and Gone Tomorrow the Hidden Life of Garbage by Heather Rogers arrived at my cottage.

Starting with this book 'What to Eat' the author does an excellent job of explaining the psychology of food from its invention (since so much is man made or processed), to the thousand mile journey it makes, even if organic, to most grocery stores, and the vast amount of waste that is involved in getting even organic fruits and vegetables to your local grocer. And that local grown fruits and vegetables are often turned down for local sale in grocery stores, but packed and shipped across country, all as part of a man made game plan. As is the label game and how many label issues are voluntary and not mandated like for genetically modified foods.

Her section on dairy is good. Personally I buy organic milk from here in northern California and no matter where we have lived I have sought out locals who would allow me to make a 'donation' for their raw milk, since I prefer to make my own yogurt, butter, cheese etc. The taste of regular homogenized milk from the store tastes horrid to me. Probably because its altered so much to allow for weeks on the grocery shelf. How I wish people would demand that their grocer carry dairy products from humane farms that are also whole and healthy.

Her section on meat is equally interesting. As she notes well, those who cull (kill, slaughter) the meat Americans eat work for low wages in very dangerous conditions, with the buyer all to willing to ignore just what happens to get that piece of meat on ones dinner table or fast food meal. Page 139 'Raising cattle also consumes vast amounts of nonrenewable energy. According to figures in the June 2004 National Geographic, it takes more than 200 gallons of fuel oil to raise a 1,200 pound steer on a feedlot. ... You pay the costs of loss of environmental quality in taxes, not at the grocery store.' What is interesting to me is I come from a family where we hunted in the fall and wasted little of any animal we got. We did eat some beef, chicken etc but this was home grown either by us or friends. But when I did my own homework and found out what the local slaughter house near a town we lived in, I knew how unhealthy commercially raised meat can be. And having a son who has worked in the grocery business I admit I wasn't surprised when he told me that the clean cold cases that you buy your meat from are called meat coffins in the business.

Her section on eggs is good and basic but I also urge people to read up on humane egg production because the fact is, most eggs are from hens crammed into cages, beaks clipped to prevent hurting other chickens, and eggs not laid in straw nests but on a slopped cage floor that allows them to coast down an egg gutter where workers come by every few hours and collect them. No matter where we have lived, even in suburbia Dublin CA in the 70's, and now in the Sierras we have had a few free range laying hens, for eggs, not meat. I think its inhumane to buy eggs from caged animals.

I also agree with her frozen food section, that if you cannot buy fresh fruits and vegetables, then buy frozen. But as she notes, you still need to read labels and buy only those items that have a single ingredient i.e. frozen beans, whole strawberries. Rather than whole strawberries in sugar.

I smiled when I read on page 356 'The huge SG Superstore in San Gabriel, California, caters to a largely Chinese speaking immigrant community. The store prints all its signs in Chinese characters as well as English, and the one over aisle 14B says: SPEAR ASPARAGUS, MUSHROOMS, COOKIES, CANNED FISH, and --get this-- JUNK FOOD.' Honest advertising to say the least.

And as the author notes, if we shoppers would set aside a few hours to just walk up and down the aisles and honestly read labels and see how many 'foods' are processed and loaded with cheap sugars and other flavorings and little real food, and then stop and ask ourselves how much of our hard earned money are we throwing away on 'food' that isn't healthy we might be shocked.

As Dr Mehmet Oz notes in his books, shoppers need to stop and read labels as if they were reading a medical prescription. If it has sugar or ingredients you cannot pronounce steer clear of the item. Consider Pepsi, Coke and other manmade beverages. Most six packs around here are around $2.50. What do you get for that $2.50? Water, sugar, caffeine and flavoring. Yet it costs less than .25 cents to make that six pack that has NO nutritional value! None. Same if its sugar free.

And as the author notes, we as a nation are paying dearly for the obscene profits the food manufactures are making. In poor dental and physical health. Diabetes and obesity levels are higher than they have ever been. Now I am not one to simply blame the food manufactures since I think as adults we have the obligation to grow up and act like adults and NOT allow unhealthy things into our lives. I actually am proud to be a food snob! But how do we get others to be food snobs to?

The book is helpful in how it also points out that eating whole healthy food need not be expensive, if we learn to eat fruits and vegetables in season, and if we substitute beans and grains for meat.

On page 489 she gives an excellent example of commercial sliced bread, and their ingredients, fiber and health claims with her comments. As an example there are 22 ingredients in Wonder bread, including enriched white flour, malted barley flour, and various minerals and vitamins ALL added, and not naturally occurring. Compared to home made bread that is easy to make and has less than six ingredients like whole wheat flour, salt, honey, yeast water, milk.

The section on infant formula should be read by any parent who isn't breastfeeding. Page 459 'Beyond the difference in cost, does it matter which level of convience you choose in an infant formula? It might. Powdered formulas are not sterile. ...In 2002, the FDA warned pediatricians that powdered milk formulas could be contaminated with Enterobacter sakaskii, a type of bacteria that causes rare but terrible and sometimes fatal infections in infants, especially those who are premature.' Considering the high number of preemies being born here in the states I wonder how many parents were told of this serious situation. She also has a good section on baby foods. I remember making my own, because commercial baby foods until the 1980's were heavily laced with sugars, and fillers. And as she notes commercial baby food is mainly for convience. But I think buying a $5 baby food grinder and simply taking some of your own steamed vegetables or fruits and grinding them at the table is much easier in the long run and you know the food is fresh.

Also appreciated her health food and supplement section and because I think those of use who strive to eat healthy need to be reminded to read ALL labels no matter where we buy our foods. As an example. I would buy the 100 calories Power Bars thinking they were 'healthy,' until I started taking my own advise and reading the labels. Now I reach for piece of fruit instead.

There is so much helpful information in this book and its a book I think anyone interested in healthy food should own or at least read. You may even want to donate your copy to your local library so hundreds of other people can also become informed.
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71 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An eye opener to the world of food, June 1, 2006
By 
S. Young (Bountiful, Utah USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: What to Eat (Hardcover)
Wow! What a Book!

In my quest to eat better and find the true meaning behind food companies claims of how healthy their products are I found Marion Nestle's book `Food Politics', while it was interesting my eyes started to glaze over (I'm not really fond of politics or boring text-book books). I gained a little knowledge that food companies could not be trusted in what they preach about their products because their sole purpose is to sell their products not for the consumer's health.

Then I found she had a new book coming, `What to Eat'. I already knew that Nestle had years of experience as a nutritionist and was more impartial to a person's health than promoting something. You can pretty much bet she wasn't on a payroll of a food company or work for the government, though she was on a national committee a while back, since she really dressed them down for irresponsibility to the public.

I am surprised and saddened to find that the government who is supposed to watch out for the welfare of their people take contributions in the millions to `look the other way' while corporations are allowed to throw out claims that sugary, over processed, artificially colored and flavored foods are whole grain and healthy for a balanced diet.

This is one of the reasons I read this book. Artificial sweeteners give me headaches but when I looked on the internet about them I read from one end of the pendulum in `it's healthy and good for you' to the other `its cancer forming and bad for you'. Who do you believe? You know a good share of these websites are the producers of the products and their competition.

Nestle goes through the entire store telling you what she's learned in her own quest to find the truth about what we buy, why we buy it, and what it all means to eating better. I liked that it wasn't as dry as `Food Politics', at least for me, it was simple and easy to read and told me what she knew that made it a really interesting.

I also learned that food corporations pay supermarkets for `prime real estate' on shelves, at the front of the store, by the check-outs so that you will see their products and be more apt to buy them, while things that are more healthy for you are in the `bad real estate section' because they don't sell as well.

Nestle's motto is `eat less, move more, and eat lots of fruit and vegetables', it's good advice though it's easier said than done and she admits that it is without a bit of effort because prepared/processed foods are easier to use in our hectic world. Nestle does admit that junk food is okay to eat, she tells of her fondness for Oreos, but they should be eaten on a rare occasion and in moderation, I mean... no one can eat just one... right?
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84 of 97 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hit or Miss, Depending on the Topic, January 10, 2010
By 
D.A.G. (San Jose, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: What to Eat (Paperback)
I read this book after reading two of Michael Pollan's books and "Real Food: What to Eat and Why" by Nina Planck, and I have to say I was disappointed by this book. I think she's too critical of things that don't merit criticism (probiotics, healthiness of fish, saturated fat from nutrient dense foods such as pastured chicken eggs etc.) and not critical enough of topics that deserve harsher criticism (rBST, polyunsatured oils, oxidized cholesterol in low-fat dairy). I think she missed an opportunity to inform people about what are very reasonable arguments questioning the validity of the importance of blood cholesterol levels. And any one of the millions of women who eat yogurt to prevent yeast infections during antibiotic use can attest to the usefulness of probiotics!

I also think she glosses over the nutritional differences between organic and non-organic produce, eggs and meat, which can be substantial. Explanations are somewhat simplistic and people with prior nutrition and/or science backgrounds will likely be frustrated by overly-simplified claims and explanations and the lack of detailed specific explanations about nutrients and why they are important.

Overall, this book provides a very basic overview of nutrition according to the status quo and gives the impression that nutritionists have it all figured out now, when in fact they don't. Her sources for bold claims are rarely quoted. She refers to studies generally, but not specifically. It's almost as if she drew conclusions by reading only the abstracts of many journal articles without reading the entire article. From personal experience I can tell you that a study may appear to be well -designed and conclusions may appear to be reasonable, but when you look at the specifics of the study, you often find other variables which completely negate the supposed conclusion.

I do, however, think she's on target with regard to the overwhelming power exerted by big food producing companies and their lobbyists. And she does explain some of the environmental and moral issues created by factory farms, fish farming and big agricultural. So I give her credit in this regard.

Personally, I think Nina Planck's "Real Food" provides a much more detailed explanation of various foods, nutrients, and controversial health claims and guides. She covers quite a few (important) topics that Nestle's book doesn't and is impeccable about supporting her assertions with journal citations so you can research the original source. She offers a differing point of view in some regards- a view you likely have not heard and I think her arguments for doing so are compelling. The ONE area where the two authors agree? Eat your veggies!
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74 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical and easy to read, May 9, 2006
By 
Shashi Jivan (Berkeley, CA. USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: What to Eat (Hardcover)
This is a great book for anyone who eats. That would mean all of us, because the choices we come upon at the grocery store, restaurant, farmers markets etc. are immense, and Marion Nestle's book informs the average person (organic vs. nonorganic; how far did the blueberries in your grocery store travel to get there and what can you guess about their freshness, how the soil they are grown on is doing ...).

This book is sure to make you think about how and why your local supermarket places things where they do and how you can make educated choices for eating in your family.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An easy way to go about changing what you eat and why, June 17, 2007
By 
Ann Ueda (East Bay, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: What to Eat (Paperback)
Ms. Nestle is a public health nutritionist, professor, and self-proclaimed lover of food who has written several other books about our food supply and nutrition. This is her most recent book and an effort to provide some well-needed information and considerations about what we eat and why. With this book, she joins other authors who have written similar books about the same topic in the last few years--but What To Eat is different in that Ms. Nestle offers her own ideas about what she eats--and why.

While at times a bit too proscriptive in her at times outright "This is what you want to eat if you have the choice," it is helpful to know the kinds of food choices she makes for herself based on what she knows about the nutritional value of different foods, the politics and science behind the ways food is regulated and evaluated ("nutritional quality" and claims made by food manufacturers), and the different options available for the same kinds of foods (white bread, "whole wheat" bread, and true whole grain-high fiber breads--indeed, what are the differences between them and how do they matter to your health/diet?).

Ms. Nestle's book is organized according to the general layout of most markets (there is a reason why your market is spatially organized as it is, do you know what that reason is--and how it profoundly affects your shopping experience?). The section and chapters headings are helpful in knowing what you will learn about food.

The Produce Section
Fruits and vegetables; what organic means and doesn't; safety; genetically modified, irradiated, and politicized.

The Dairy Section
Milk; dairy foods; yogurt as food or desssert

Dairy Substitutes
Margarine; soy milk, panacea or just another food

The Meat Section
Issues around meat manufacturing; questions of safety; organic versus "natural" (Did you even notice that more and more manufacturers are putting the claim of "natural" on their products, hoping that you'll think that's the same as organic? It's not! Learn the distnctions and how they can impact your diet.)

The Fish Counter
The dilemmas and quandaries about fish "production"; methylmercury contamination; the problems with fish-farming; fish-labeling; more seafood dilemmas with safety and sustainability (A very important chapter, as more of us contemplate eating fish for its health benefits.)

The Center Aisles: Cool and Frozen
Eggs: the truth beyond the hype; the Salmonella problem; frozen foods and what they're made out of; calories and diets; understanding the nutrition facts of frozen foods

The Center Aisles: Processed
Wheat flour and the glycemic index; sugar(s); cereals; packaged foods and their endorsements from well-known entities; snack foods; foods just for kids (really just a myth); oils

The Beverage Aisles
Water; "healthy" drinks, sugared and artifically sweetened; teas and coffees, what the eco-labels mean

The Special Sections
Infant formula and baby food; supplements and health food; bread; prepared foods

And you don't have to read the entire book or in order! While it's easy enough to read at 524 pages, you can also pick any section or chapter in the book and just read that.

I have noticed a few drawbacks to What To Eat that include a complete lack of consideration for people who don't have the income necessary to buy truly wholesome, eco-friendly, high-quality food or have places nearby where they can buy these very items. Her considerations assume that you have enough money (and access) to buy organic produce, for example. Her nutritional advice also covers the diet needs of people who aren't recreational or professional athletes; I am a long-distance runner, so my diet needs necessitate (at least from my experience with my own performance) Gatorade, a higher level of protein, and certain supplements that seem to enhance my running before, during, and afterwards--all things that she recommends people not do or consider. Of course, if you're seriously into your sport, you should already have a solid understanding of diet and nutrition, so you'll be able to modify accordingly Ms. Nestle's recommendations, still improve how and what you eat, and continue to perform at a high level in your chosen sport(s).

Otherwise, this is a fantastic book and should help you make certain diet and nutrition changes easily and with a greater sense of understanding about why you're making these changes. As I read this book, I found myself adding fish oil supplements to my diet because of what I learned about the importance of certain oils to my overall health. I also made a significant change in the type of yogurt I now buy and eat, in order to dramatically cut the unnecessary sugars in my diet from 24 grams per serving to less than 10 grams; not only did I reduce the sugar, I found out that I actually PREFER less sweetened yogurt, because I like the natural tanginess. I now avoid "natural" and look for organic; and I know what the organic seal means. I know what kind of eggs to buy and what the differences mean to the chickens and to myself. I've decided to stop buying bottled water, as the water out of my tap is, thankfully, good enough for me; as a result, I've also opted out of the whole process used to manufacture the plastic containers that are used to hold and sell water and "water products" (vitamin-fortified water, etc.).

The choices you decide to make will, of course, be different. But I guarantee you that if you read this book, you'll find yourself making certain changes to what you eat and the reasons why based on the information, comparisons, and recommendations provided by Ms. Nestle. Ms. Nestle has written an easily to read, comprehensive, and helpful book that will in turn help you become a better consumer of food.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Tome on Food and Nutrition Industry and Manipulation, March 30, 2007
This review is from: What to Eat (Hardcover)
This is an excellent and well researched work on the wares sold in most supermarkets (and drug stores, in the case of supplements). I consider myself pretty well versed in most of the topics covered by Marion Nestle, but I learned A LOT from this text. As a researcher and nutritionist, Nestle certainly has the background to treat this subject and her writing flows easily. In short, this book is quite easy to read (and there's no need to read it in order--I skipped from chapter to chapter, reading whatever I was interested in at the moment). Although I, as well as another reviewer, found her "surprise" at supermarkets a bit silly and the format of the book (based on the aisles of a supermarket) a little contrived, I am still glad I purchased and read this book. The chapters on fish, especially, are superb, as are those on dairy and supplements. (NOTE: I have not read her "Food Politics", so I don't know how much she's already covered in that text). This is an excellent source of food-related information and a welcome addition to the library of anyone interested in what he or she eats.

That said, I'm only giving it 4 stars instead of 5. I find no fault with the book's factual material. However, when Ms. Nestle starts venturing into food criticism (telling the reader what tastes "best"--uh, "best" is a highly subjective term and Ms. Nestle is a nutritionist, not a restaurant reviewer or food critic). She does have a tendency to come across condescendingly or as a know-it-all (which she surely does if the topic is industry manipulation and nutrition). Also (earth to Marion, come in Marion), we don't all live in Manhattan and we may not have access to all-organic, hearth-baked, TRUE artisanal bread. And readers would be better served if she offered suggestions for people who may have to make food choices based on financial considerations (e.g. would it be better to buy organic fruits and vegetables, but forgo the organic pastas and breads if one's budget doesn't allow for both). One gets the sense that she's really writing for the privileged.

Still (and I suppose I am one of the privileged, because I can largely afford many organics, etc.) I would recommend this book to others, even in light of my criticisms of it. This book is solidly packed with good information.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why 5 Stars?, May 26, 2007
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This review is from: What to Eat (Paperback)
I give Marion Nestle's WHAT TO EAT the highest rating because it is a necessary reference book -- one that should as much nestle (if you'll forgive the pun) between cookbooks on your kitchen bookshelf as a dictionary does between novels in your den or library's bookshelves.

Although you could march through its 600-plus pages chronologically, it is wiser to use the table of contents to choose topics of special interest to you. For instance, I skipped the chapter on margarine because I do not eat it and never have, and thus do not need to know about its questionable ingredients or health hazards. If you, however, have switched from butter for health reasons, you should educate yourself on the fire now that you've leaped out of the frying pan.

Fearlessly, Nestle wades into the claims and counterclaims, the health benefits and the health hazards, the truths and the half-truths of fruits and vegetables, dairy products, cereals and breads, meat and seafood, snack food and yes, even bottled water. It gets confusing when you read labels and see such murky terms as "natural" which sound good but mean many things to many packagers.

Best of all, the book explains the politics of food -- how powerful lobbying groups ensure that their profits take precedence over your health via their strong control over both politicians and, more disturbingly, the very government organizations (such as the FDA and the USDA) responsible for protecting us, the consumers.

Though not as engaging as Michael Pollan's seminal book THE OMNIVORE'S DILEMMA, Nestle's WHAT TO EAT deserves its spot in every foodie's library. If you're worried about what you're putting in your (and your kids') mouth, you should be. Arm yourself with knowledge. Speak the language (often the "doublespeak") of Big Food. Promote healthier practices in the food and agriculture business by voting with your food dollars (chiefly for organic and local foods which, with enough support, will come down in price). Sadly, money is the only language giant food corporations understand. Protests about the dangers of their practices and ingredients -- unless it affects their precious bottom lines -- will forever fall on deaf ears.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Eat less, move more, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, go easy on junk foods.", February 9, 2008
By 
This review is from: What to Eat (Paperback)
Marion Nestle's What to Eat is a scientific examination of the health claims that food manufacturers and marketers use to move products. Organized by supermarket aisle, the book covers every food product in the produce, diary, meat, fish, frozen, processed, baby and specialty food aisles. Nestle helps the reader decipher both nutrition labels and marketing claims such as `certified organic,' `fair trade,' and `American Heart Association certified.' She exposes the food industry's role in our national nutrition and food policy and roots out the truth the sound bite headlines for scientific studies on diet.

What to Eat serves up 600 pages of indispensable advice, but the author is also willing to sum it up quickly: "Eat less, move more, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, go easy on junk foods."
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58 of 78 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Flawed and shockingly bad in some parts, March 22, 2012
This review is from: What to Eat (Paperback)
If a low-fat, high carb and low-calorie diet makes you feel good and helps you maintain a healthy weight and you just want to refine your regime a tiny bit, then this might be the book for you. It tells you about some of the benefits of eating organic and choosing healthier meats although it does also give terrible advice about taking vitamins and supplements.

If aiming for a low-fat, high carb and low-calorie diet makes you feel awful, hungry and ill - as it does for many of us - and has impeded your attempts to maintain a healthy weight, this book has little to offer and there are so many better books out there for you.

This book says low fat or no-fat dairy foods are the best type to get, that adequate protein can easily be gotten from beans, fluoride is safe and good for your teeth and should not be removed from drinking water, soy formulas for infants are completely safe, vegetarian diets are the healthiest, junk food is fine so long as your portions are small and not too high calorie, to lose weight you just need to eat less and move more - all of which I would strongly disagree with based on information and research in lots of far better researched books.

The section on supplements is unspeakably bad and it is very clear the author has done very little research in this area. There is a grain of truth in what she says. I would very much agree that a Centrum multivitamin (or other low quality mutivitamin) is going to do very little good to anyone, but so would every nutritional medicine expert there is! The information given here is beyond skewed and extremely selective, not to mention based on flawed studies which do not at all reflect what nutritional experts are actually recommending. It is not at all the reasonable and educated overview of this topic that it claims to be.

(For example, negative studies using the synthetic form of vitamin E in isolation are not relevant to the use of natural vitamin E in all the 8 forms and as part of a complete nutritional program. No nutrient works well in isolation or at a dose far lower than what is typically used by nutritional medicine experts. These study flaws are very well documented, even in quite old books such as 'Live Longer and Feel Better' by Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling.)

Dr Abram Hoffer explains that we need about 45 different nutrients in optimal quantities. He also explains that no nutrient works alone, and that an enzyme reaction that needs three different nutrients to take place, requires all three nutrients and so no one nutrient should be considered more important than the other.

Some nutrients can be obtained in reasonable amounts in food, while others will sometimes or always require the use of supplements to ensure optimal levels. It is not true as some claim that the optimum levels of all nutrients can be obtained through diet alone.

Supplements are necessary, for the following reasons:

* The soils used to grow our food are often very depleted.
* The levels and types of toxic pollution and toxic chemicals we are exposed to are vastly higher now than they were in the past (which requires far higher levels of nutrients than were necessary in the past, to deal with them).
* Many nutrients in food are fragile and only remain fully intact when food is picked and then eaten immediately. Storing foods for long times and heavily processing foods can dramatically lower nutrient levels in the food and may destroy some nutrients entirely; for example, oranges have been found to contain between 100 mg of vitamin C and 0 mg of vitamin C, each.
* The high levels of sugar in the diet of many people is also problematic as sugar is an anti-nutrient.

Supplements are necessary and eating well is also important. As Dr Sherry Rogers writes, 'What you eat has more power over disease than any medication your doctor can prescribe. Food is awesomely powerful.'

It is also important to be aware that the more ill you are, and the more stress your body is under the higher your nutritional needs will be. A person can need many times more vitamin C when ill than they need when they are well, and these higher doses just cannot be gotten from food.

More helpful information on intelligent supplementation is included in books such as Detoxify or Die, Orthomolecular Medicine for Everyone: Megavitamin Therapeutics for Families and Physicians and Primal Body, Primal Mind: Beyond the Paleo Diet for Total Health and a Longer Life among others.

Other bizarre claims in this book include that no doctors disagree on the role of cholesterol causing heart disease or the need to avoid saturated fats to cut down heart disease risk. This is just not true. See books such as Ignore the Awkward.: How the Cholesterol Myths Are Kept Alive and The Great Cholesterol Con: The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid It for example. Even more bizarre it is claimed that the idea that eggs are good for you is just propaganda by the egg industry!

This book reinforces the following myths:
1. Eating fat makes you fat
2. There is no such thing as good and bad foods
3. A calorie is a calorie and whether calories come form protein fat or carbs doesn't matter when it comes to weight loss
4. Junk food in moderation wont hurt anyone
5. The best diet for health and weight loss is a low-fat and high-carb diet

Reading this book felt a bit like reading the 'health and beauty' liftouts in the weekend papers. Each topic was dealt with so lightly. There was no real depth of discussion or research, or the necessary intelligent and impassioned challenging of the status quo that would make putting a book out worthwhile.

Far better books than this one which set out a diet that is all about health and disease prevention and treatment as well as weight management, and are far better researched and well written include: Eat Fat, Lose Fat: The Healthy Alternative to Trans Fats, Primal Body, Primal Mind: Beyond the Paleo Diet for Total Health and a Longer Life, Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food, Perfect Health Diet: Four Steps to Renewed Health, Youthful Vitality, and Long Life, The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy and others.

Many of us have got fat and ill eating exactly the way this book recommends. Low fat and low calorie diets which include some junk foods and lots of highly processed foods just don't work for so many of us. If it works for the author and some others that is great, each to their own, but for many of us this is not helpful advice and is incorrect. Luckily there are lots of really wonderful diet and nutrition books available today.

Jodi Bassett, The Hummingbirds' Foundation for M.E. (HFME) and Health, Healing & Hummingbirds (HHH)
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most practical and fun nutrition book ever, August 25, 2006
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This review is from: What to Eat (Hardcover)
I read a lot about nutrition. Before I read this book, I smugly thought I knew my way around a grocery store. "What to Eat" confirmed many of the things I already know, but it also provided an amazing amount of new information. Marion Nestle's writing style is funny and down-to-earth. I couldn't stop reading. As I started each new chapter (cleverly organized like a trip through a supermarket), I found myself getting excited to learn about each new topic ("oh boy, milk!"). I love that Marion always shares her own opinions and how she personally shops for each item. I learned so much about nutrition and food marketing from this book. I am able to use this information every time I go to the grocery store. I feel so much more comfortable about my food choices and understand the marketing hype that I see all around me. Wonderful book!
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What to Eat
What to Eat by Marion Nestle (Paperback - April 17, 2007)
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