Great books on nutrition

books on nutritionThere are dozens of good books on nutrition I could recommend. Since I can’t list them all, here are some of my top choices. They are guaranteed to raise your awareness, provide loads of good information, and sometimes even get you shouting: ‘how come I never knew that before??!!’ Good question!

Mind blowing

  • “The China Study” (T. Colin Campbell). This book, which created a real storm in the world of nutrition when it was first published in 2006 (and pretty much ever since) covers the life work of one of America’s top most cancer researchers, who investigated cancer patterns in the Chinese population. The book is explosive. Suffice it to say that the author, who grew up on an Iowa farm and a diet of beef and milk, turned vegan as a result of his findings. The book has since been quite heavily criticised, not least by one brave and outstanding blogger, but it remains as thought-provoking as you’d ever want a good book to be. The film “Forks over Knives”, due for release in 2011, will examine the theories presented in the book as applied to real life patients.
  • “Anti-Cancer” (David Servan-Schreiber) is on par with “The China Study”. Very powerful, very good explanations, very alternative yet coming from a top scientist who cured himself of brain cancer primarily through changing his nutrition. His amazing lessons and journey form the basis of this book.
  • “Your Life In Your Hands” (Jane Plant) – also about cancer, also from a top UK scientist who ‘discovered the light’. After five cycles of vicious breast cancer and a sad declaration from her doctors that there was nothing left to do, Jane Plant decided to take her life in her hands. Her near miraculous recovery relied primarily on a dramatic change in her nutrition, especially the extreme exclusion of all things dairy. A fascinating and thought provoking personal account from the heart of the scientific community.
  • “Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It” (Gary Taubes) – this excellent book is diametrically opposed to “The China Study”. Just when you thought you’ve nailed it all down, Gary Taubes is here to challenge you with the theory that a high carbohydrate diet (including the ‘good’ carbs) is directly responsible for the obesity epidemics. The solution to this epidemics, according to Taubes, lies in a high (good) protein and fat diet, also known as the ‘Paleolithic Diet’. After a verbose start the book reads like a thriller and presents a sound theory in a very convincing way.

Popular

  • “In Defence of Food” (Michael Pollan) – such a no-nonsense, cut-out-the-bullshit book. Not so much a textbook as a call to get back to basics and stop faffing around with so-called ‘scientific’ notions about food. Very readable, very intelligent with lots of good background.
  • “Food Bible” and “You Are What You Eat” (Gillian McKeith) – popular books by the nutritionist who took the UK by storm. Clear, concise, and very informative, the books include plenty of practical advice. Châpeau to Gillian McKeith for having so successfully popularised hard core nutritional theory.
  • “Eat Your Heart Out” (Felicity Lawrence) is a mind-blowing account of the modern food industry. You won’t want to touch any processed food after you read that. Good background reading. “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” (also by Michael Pollan) covers the same topic from a different angle.

Textbooks

  • “Staying Healthy with Nutrition” (Elson Haas) – a proper textbook – what foods contain, what we need (for different ages, seasons etc.) Very comprehensive and useful, and a balanced mix between scientific knowledge and holistic view.
  • “Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill” (Udo Erasmus) is a superb textbook on fats, one of the most important nutrients that has been so distorted in the last 70 years and as such is the cause of so much illness. Udo’s book is the seminal work in this field. Amazingly, he manages to make it fascinating reading, too.
  • “Better Health through Natural Healing” (Ross Trattler) – one of my all time favourites. It’s more naturopathy than pure nutrition, but nutrition is of course discussed to a large extent. The opening chapters explain all about the philosophy of naturopathy in a clear and precise way. It’s both a textbook and a practical handbook with detailed suggestions for different diseases and a very holistic point of view.
  • “Healing with Whole Foods” (Paul Pitchford) – a classic book bringing together the best of Oriental thinking and Western knowledge on health and nutrition. Informative, detailed and very thorough, it’s a book you’ll want to refer to again and again.
  • “Your Body’s Many Cries for Water” (F. Batmanghelidj) is a classic treatise on the role of water in the body. What it lacks in writing style it provides for more than sufficiently in food for thought.
  • “Low Blood Sugar” (Martin Budd) – there are many books on the subject, but this one does a better job than most. Low blood sugar is likely an underlying cause of many diseases we see as nutritionists and is extremely common, although it often goes undetected because there’s no standard medical test for it. It’s a good book to read is you suffer symptoms resembling those of LBS (see feature).
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