Skip to main content

How To Eat Review


How to Eat by Mark Bittman and Dr. David Katz
Overall: 5 
As you have all probably noticed, I've gotten really into learning about nutrition, food science, and food policy lately. I've been reading a ton of books surrounding the topic lately, and it's been very eye opening. Even as they all boil down to the same essential advice (because the science is the science regardless of who wants to make a buck off of it), the different approaches to displaying the findings and advice on how to incorporate it into your life fascinates me.
Anyway, I picked this one up on a whim after a co-worker mentioned it to me. I was currently reading Food Fix on audiobooks, so I wasn't particularly looking for a food book, but as I was thumbing through, I got sucked in. This is by far the shortest comprehensive nutrition book I've come across. It's also uniquely formatted. The entire book is written as a Q&A which I personally love. It made me excited to keep reading in a way that long chapters really don't. It works particularly well for this kind of subject that easily can be overwhelming or boring at times. And, if you don't want the whole picture, it makes it easy to jump to specific points or common points of interest without feeling lost. I devoured the book in about a day.
Honestly, of all the books on nutrition I've read so far, I would most highly recommend this for everyone to read. It offers the best, concise (at just over 200 pages) glimpse at what you can do to improve your health and what to believe in all the confusing articles you find on the internet. They have a great approach that focuses on dispelling the hysteria the food media can create and get as transparent with people as possible. Also, in making recommendations, they're also the most approachable. There's no guilt if you're not ready to give up meat or dairy. Sure, like all of these books, the findings are that a plant based, generally vegan diet is optimal, but all of the advice in the book rests on a sliding scale that makes you question "What is this replacing?" It offers a great way to ease into healthier eating and prioritize your approach to doing that without the element of fear that's heavily employed in some of the other books out there.
I enjoyed their no nonsense, blunt approach to interpreting the science and the light tone they use. There's a lot of humor and sarcasm that keeps each section engaging and quite a bit of fun banter between the phrasing of the questions and the answers. I think that's the definite advantage of having it co-authored by an acclaimed food writer and a doctor. They are also very focused on the cumulative picture of all of the food you eat and the total impact. This book manages to blend a lot of the subtopics of other books in the food space into this easy primer. There's a lot of interesting anthropological evidence used to tie into common sense food research and eating patterns, lots of studies, advice on reducing chronic disease, some pointers for healthfully losing weight, and a focus on the environmental impact of what we eat and, to a certain degree, food policy. I like that these elements are constantly interwoven in deciding what the best choices are because we cannot reasonably divorce things like environmental impact and ethics from our health. Everything is a web. Some books seem to forget this in an attempt at answering a very narrow question. It doesn't go into it a ton, but it's certainly enough to create far more awareness and possibly inspire someone to look into it more.
I also want to applaud the focus on clarity and helping people create a better understanding of food media and how those clickbait, oftentimes scary, headlines work. It seems like the book was written to help people wade through the confusion of fads and ever changin recommendations. Helpful information and myth busting happens on every page, but the entire back section is dedicated to decoding those kinds of articles and the science that are used to support them. They discuss what a double blind control trial (maybe the most common phrase in nutrition books) actually is and what it doesn't mean. They point out that a lot of the most dubious headlines are built on single studies usually stripped on context. They give advice on how to pick out the useful bits of information. I think this is so important in a world on constantly moving news and a lack of real, verifiable information behind a shocking headline. It's nice to see when so many of these books want you to follow in blind faith.
Overall, I'd recommend this book to everyone, especially people who want to learn more about what they're eating but are confused about where to start. There are books that go into ton more detail but are also much more time intensive and possibly confusing (How Not to Die). It offered satisfying amounts of information and enough new interpretation that made sense that it made it worth the read even though I already knew the principles they were looking to drive home. I get excited about any book that might lead to a new group of people finding the positive impact of interrogating what we eat and why we eat it.

Others Like This...

Links of Interest:

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Halsey's I Would Leave Me If I Could Poetry Review

  I Would Leave Me If I Could  by Halsey  I've started this review a couple times and scrapped all of them. I've written hundreds of reviews before, and this is the first time I have absolutely no clue how to review a book. It's not just because it's poetry. And it's not because I don't have thoughts on every single poem. I've read the book twice and scrubbed a million notes around her words and highlighted every poem on my second read through. I have so many favorites, and my heart feels like it's going to burst after finishing each poem. Halsey exceeded every expectation I had set to the high bar of her music. I almost feel like this book is too good for my review to remotely do it justice, so I don't even know where to begin.  This book is extremely vulnerable. Halsey has never held back on telling the ugly truth in her lyrics, but the poetry takes it so much farther. She has space to tell the entire story, fewer constraints than what will fit in

Swimming Lessons By Lili Reinhart Poetry Review

  Swimming Lessons  by Lili Reinhart  Overall: 5 This is the first poetry book I've ever read in its entirety outside of Shel Silverstein, so I've checked off one of my reading goals for the year with this one. I've now read a graphic novel and a book of poetry. I've been anticipating Swimming Lessons  so long that I can't believe it's actually in my hands. I've been a fan of Lili since Riverdale, and I've continued to be a fan of hers even when the show got a bit too ridiculous for me to keep watching every week. I've been excited for the chance to get to see something completely created a controlled by Lili.  I'm not sure what I expected from Swimming Lessons . I think I had almost no idea what it would be like or the topics it would cover. After the first couple poems, I was completely hooked. In the intro, Lili prefaces the collection by noting that poetry has always given her solace in knowing other people felt the same specific emotions tha

My Most Anticipated of 2021/2021 ARC TBR

  A few days ago, I put out a list of my favorite books of the year that I couldn't stop talking about all year long. Now I'm here to introduce you to a brand new slate of books that I'm predicting will make my favorites list next year. These are the books I can't wait to get my hands on because they sound absolutely amazing! I've decided to separate the list into an ARC TBR so far for 2021 of ARCs I have and then to make a wishlist section below that with ARCs I hope to get or books that I'll splurge to buy. I'll include preorder links to the books that are already up for preorder so that you can easily grab a couple surprise gifts to show up throughout the year if any of these books look exciting! These will be affiliate bookshop links which means shopping the links support the blog at no cost to you. Also, if you're looking for even more 2021 books, Rachel and Vicky made the most amazing database/spreadsheet/blog to collect all the 2021 debuts togethe

More Than Maybe Review

More Than Maybe  by Erin Hahn (May 2020) Overview: Vada works at a dive bar, scraping together money for college and learning about running from a show her soon to be step-dad to get closer to her future dreams. She also runs the Loud Lizard's successful music blog Behind the Music. Vada is about to head off to LA and start working towards her music journalism dreams, but she has to make it through senior year first. Luke Greenly is the son of famous British punk rocker, Charlie Greenly. The whole family has set down roots in Michigan where his mom works at the university, but remnants of his dad's past life still follow them. Luke loves writing songs but hates performing, and, because of his dad, he's been thrust into the spotlight more than he'd like. For now, he'd rather stick to making successful podcast The Grass Is Greenly with his twin brother, Cullen, and hopelessly pining after Vada through stalking Behind the Music. Overall: 5 Characters: 5 Vada is a

Super Fake Love Song by David Yoon: YA Book Review

Super Fake Love Song  by David Yoon Overview: Sunny Dae is sick of his California neighborhood where everyone pretends to be something they're not to keep up with all the other rich families. He's happy in his own world, LARPing with his friends, even if he gets made fun of for it at school. That is until Cirrus comes into the picture. She's undeniably cool and he's undeniably a loser in everyone's eyes, so he finds a new personality. He borrows a life from the coolest person he used to know, his older brother Gray, who's on his way to becoming a rockstar. Of course, lies like that always fall apart, and the music industry is unforgiving. It's a long fall from the top. Overall: 3  Characters: 3 This is the weirdest book I've ever read, which I'll get into more later. One part of that is the book is basically only told in details. You'd think this would help with characterization, but so many characters are left completely flat. Sunny is unashamed

The Best, The Brightest, The Totally Biased List of my Favorite Books of 2020

 Welcome to my big list of 2020 favorites! Usually, I do this award show style and give out different awards in a variety of categories I made up. This year is a little different because it's 2020, and I'm out of brain power to think of categories. These books appear in no particular order, and I selected them purely based on which books are still in my head months after I read them. I didn't read nearly as many books this year as usual, but I think I managed to read more books that I fell head over heels for than ever. Publishing a book this year is a major accomplishment in itself, so these authors all deserve extra rounds of applause for launching their books into an uncertain world, and even if a book from this year doesn't make a list, it's still incredible for existing. Even though I've already talked everyone's ears off about these books all year long, I'm going to do it one more time because they got me through both a hard and hectic year and pro

evermore book tag!

As you probably know, I absolutely adore Taylor Swift, and I recently did a folklore book tag, so I figured I should make a version of evermore as well! If you want to read that post, you can find it here . And if you want all my thoughts on folklore, you can watch my original folklore reaction on my YouTube channel here.   I'm so happy to have found an evermore book tag I loved created by  Star Is All Booked Up ! That post is linked (I really enjoyed it!), and those are the prompts I'm using here.  In this tag, I just talked about books for the prompts and didn't get into the songs. If you want more of my evermore thoughts specifically, check out my blog post of favorite lyrics here and my new reaction to evermore here . You can also scroll to the bottom of the post to watch the video as well. If you want to know more about any of the books I mention, all of their titles are linked to my review.  I hope you love the post, and let me know your favorite evermore songs in the

Positions Book Tag

Today, I'm sharing a new book tag created by Cielo over at Bellerose Reads who tagged me in her new Positions book tag. I love working on book tags inspired by pop music, so I was thrilled to get the tag. If I'm being totally honest, I wasn't super into Positions, Ariana Grande's latest album. I'm much more of a Thank U Next fan because that album was far more lyrically focused. Positions reminds me a lot of Sweetener. I do like "POV", the closing track of the album. Still, I'm super excited to share the tag because these are some of the best tag questions I've ever seen. Cielo did a wonderful job coming up with really cool prompts. I had a blast thinking of books that fit them. As always, just click the book title to read my review of any of the books I mentioned. And don't forget to read the original tag here .    shut up – a book you couldn’t shut up about  There are way too many. Honestly, a ton of them are already sprinkled through this po

Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant: YA Book Review

  Happily Ever Afters  by Elise Bryant  Overview: Tessa gets the writing opportunity of her dreams, but her words run out at the same time. While she can't wait to take a novel writing class at her new school, the idea of sharing her work with anyone but her best friend, Caroline, makes her unable to keep writing, even for herself. Caroline devises a plan to get her to fall in love so that she can jumpstart her creative juices for the romances Tessa writes herself into. Real life inspiration is clearly not the answer, and Tessa is left even further from the answer to all of her problems. Overall: 4 Characters: 4 While I knew this book was going to have a kind of forced dating situation as Tessa tried to get this boy to fall for her, I didn't predict the love triangle till I started reading. I'm not going to fault Bryant for using a love triangle because everyone does it, but I do have to note that these characters fall into the unfortunate side effect of most love triangles

This Will Be Funny Someday by Katie Henry: YA Book Review

  This Will Be Funny Someday  by Katie Henry Overview: Izzy is sick of being 16. She's sick of being the "easy kid" who never causes a problem for the family or demands attention. Her mom is always busy working at her law firm, and her dad just isn't super invested. School is awful, and her controlling boyfriend makes her question what it means to be in love. And then she stumbles into a bar on comedy night, and suddenly, she finds a world so different from her own- one that's better. Though it requires maintaining more than a few lies, this new life with her college friends is too good to give up. That is, until it all comes crashing down. About growing up, being your authentic self, and navigating intense relationships for the first time, this book is incredibly relatable and quite unique in the way it approaches common YA questions. Overall: 5 Characters: 5 I relate to Izzy on a deep, deep level. From the second I read the synopsis, I knew the book was going to