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Calorie Count Blog

5 New Health Books That Love You Back

By +Elisa Zied on Feb 14, 2013 10:00 AM in Dieting & You

By Elisa Zied, MS, RD, CDN

With the New Year a distant memory, it’s likely your efforts to improve your eating habits and get more fit are likely in full swing. But maybe you’ve abandoned your food and fitness resolutions—or never made them in the first place—because you lost motivation or never even found it.

To help you move towards eating a more well-rounded, nutrient-dense and enjoyable diet, as well as help you lose weight if you need to—and keep it off—I’ve put together five of my favorite new books. They’re well written, practical, and can help you improve your habits while keeping your heart, soul and palate satisfied. An added bonus: they’re written by some of my RD friends and colleagues, and I have no doubt you’ll love them as much as I do!

The Best Things You Can Eat: For Everything from Aches to Zzzz, the Definitive Guide to the Nutrition-Packed Foods that Energize, Heal, and Help You Look Great (De Capo Press, January 2013) by David Grotto, RD, LDN.

The Purpose: Described as the “ultimate nutrition dictionary” by Today Show nutritionist Joy Bauer, RD, and as a “fortune 500 for food” by Ellie Krieger, RD, this comprehensive guide cuts through the clutter to answer the question, “Which is better,” when comparing foods and the nutrients they contain.

The Perks: Whether you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure or you’re simply fighting the common cold, Grotto has sifted through the science to recommend top food picks based on sound science to help you heal.


The Plant-Powered Diet: The Lifelong Eating Plan for Achieving Optimal Health, Beginning Today (The Experiment, July 2012) by Sharon Palmer, RD.

The Premise: If you want a long and vibrant life, The Plant-Powered Diet fits the bill. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or omnivorous, Palmer has put together a comprehensive resource that helps you move in the direction of consuming more nutrient-packed plant foods in an effort to optimize your health. The book packs in tons of science-based information, but makes it accessible and practical rather than overwhelming. Reading it will teach you more than you thought you wanted to know about the enormous power of plant foods and how to seamlessly incorporate them into your diet.

The Perks: Seventy-five recipes, a 14-day meal plan and tons of practical tips to help you shop and prepare meals and eat on-the-go help will no doubt help you make plant foods the prominent parts of your plate.


Clean Eating for Busy Families: Get Meals on the Table in Minutes with Simple and Satisfying Whole-Foods Recipes You and Your Kids Will Love (Fair Winds Press, November 2012) by Michelle Dudash, RD.

The Purpose: This book is designed to help moms get healthful and delicious meals on the table with ease. Dudash, a mother herself, knows firsthand how dinnertime (and dining time in general) can get messy and provides delicious recipes to satisfy all kinds of palates. Dudash also takes a “clean food,” and eco-friendly approach to help you create a healthy family while supporting a healthy environment.

The Perks: Clean Eating for Busy Families provides recipes for everything from slow cooker meals to satisfying sautés—most that can be whipped up in 30 minutes or less.


The Food Lover’s Healthy Habits Cookbook: Great Food and Expert Advice That Will Change Your Life (Oxmoor House, December 2012), by the Editors of Cooking Light with Janet Helm, RD.

The Premise: We all have busy lives, and this book successfully guides readers in the kitchen—and in their lives—to make sustainable, healthful changes in their food choices and food-related habits to maximize nutrient intake and simply eat better.

The Perks: The book is gorgeous to look at, packs in over 150 delicious recipes and provides tons of expert tips on everything from shopping for food to cooking it to help you go from thinking about eating better to actually doing it. Anecdotes of how real people changed their less-than-healthful habits for the better make the book relatable and make following the suggestions and advice that much easier.


Walk Your Butt Off! Go from Sedentary to Slim in 12 Weeks with This Breakthrough Walking Plan: (Rodale Press, Inc., February 2013) by Sarah Lorge Butler with Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD and Michele Stanten.

The Purpose: With so many Americans reporting low levels of regular exercise, this book provides a simple plan to help you move more and build up your walking speed to promote weight loss. Since I’m an avid walker who has walked two half marathons over this last year, I can’t help but love this book that guides beginners (and seasoned walkers like me!) get the most out of every step.

The Perks: While reading this book may not be the magic bullet that “makes you slim in 12 weeks,” it will likely inspire and motivate you to add a little spring to your step and walk more. And because walking is free, you’ll likely save money as you help your heart and your waist shape up. The nutrition tips by Bonci, likely to help readers maximize their workouts, round out the sensible and smart advice offered in the book.

Disclaimer: I received a book from each publisher (but I also bought several since I like them so much). 


Your thoughts...

Which nutrition books have helped you better understand how to eat right for a healthy lifestyle?


Start with The Paleolithic Prescription by Eaton, Shostak and Konner. There have been a number of books around this theme but I believe this was the first. Great information on anthropological/evolutionary-based nutrition theory and exercise, even if you don't go 100% paleo. Then check out The Zone Diet, which has applications for elite athletes on down to the rest of us. Then get the first of the long series of South Beach diet books and cookbooks for great analysis of the importance of glycemic index-based eating. It is very interesting to then compare the large amount these three approaches have in common.


To understand what is really going read these (the titles give sufficient plot summaries): Crister's Fat land: How Americans Became the Fattest people in the World; Nestle's Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health; Kessler's The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite; and finally Gilman's Fat: A Cultural History of Obesity.

Interesting and easy to read are books by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

SUPER IMMUNITY and EAT TO LIVE are two I have read, and available through my library.

His latest is THE END OF DIABETES.

He has also appeared with Dr. Oz.


Original Post by: snancys

Interesting and easy to read are books by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

SUPER IMMUNITY and EAT TO LIVE are two I have read, and available through my library.

His latest is THE END OF DIABETES.

He has also appeared with Dr. Oz.


Love the EAT TO LIVE book, its truly magnificent and inspiring. I love the OKINAWA DIET book and Gillian MCKEITH FOOD BIBLE.


Thanks for your article. It's just what I needed as eating more nutritiously is my main goal for 2014 and beyond!

I also like Dr. Fuhrman's book as well as the South Beach Diet book and cookbooks.  They have helped me keep my pre-diabetes under control.

If you haven't yet checked out Julie Daniluk's, Meals That Heal Inflammation, this book is a must have! It's not only informative regarding nutrition and health, it's fantastic for a sensible, realistic, and healthy weight loss.

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