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

Blog Tour Stop: Like Home by Louisa Onomé

  Today, I want to shine the spotlight on Like Home by Louisa Onomé, which came out this week. That means you don't even have to wait to pick up a copy of your very own. Thank you to Turn the Pages Tours and Penguin/Delacorte Press for arranging this. So let's get into what this latest YA is all about! Synopsis: Fans of Netflix’s On My Block, In the Heights, and readers of Elizabeth Acevedo and Ibi Zoboi will love this debut novel about a girl whose life is turned upside down after one local act of vandalism throws her relationships and even her neighborhood into turmoil. Chinelo, or Nelo as her best friend Kate calls her, is all about her neighborhood Ginger East. She loves its chill vibe, ride-or-die sense of community, and her memories of growing up there. Ginger East isn’t what it used to be, though. After a deadly incident at the local arcade, all her closest friends moved away, except for Kate. But as long as they have each other, Nelo’s good. Only, Kate’s parents’ corne

YA You Need To Read: April 2021

It's already April! School has been super super hectic, and I'm starting my old job as a bookseller again, so I haven't had much time for reading lately (ironic, I know), but I did want to talk about some books coming out in April that I can't wait to read (one day) that might inspire you to pick them up. I particularly can't wait for My Epic Spring Break Up! It's been on my list for a while now (I mean, look at that cover), but I also found some new books that hadn't been on my radar while browsing around the internet that I wanted to bring to your attention.  Let me know in the comments what April books you can't wait for!  Zara Hossain Is Here by Sabina Kahn  April 6th Zara has lived in Corpus Christi, Texas for a while. She's always dealt with the Islamophobia that's rampant in her high school, but when the star football player gets suspended, Zara becomes the target of a racist attack by the rest of the team that puts her and her family'

Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi: YA Book Review

  Yolk  by Mary H.K. Choi Overview: Jayne is in fashion school in NYC. Well, she's enrolled. It's debatable how often she actually attends. June has a fancy job in finance, or that's what everyone thinks. But when June gets cancer, the estranged sisters are pulled together because June needs Jayne's identity to get treatment. By pretending to be her sister to get the life-saving procedure, June is forced to come clean and pull Jayne back into her orbit. Though their relationship stays rocky, they're suddenly glued together, forced to admit that their respective glamorous lives are actually filled with roaches and trauma and missteps. Overall: 5+++ This book made me happy cry (that's never happened while reading) and sad cry. Characters: 5 The book is told from Jayne's perspective in an extremely close first person. This book has plot. Things happen in the way that life happens, but it's mostly just characters getting split open and probed for all their w

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

They Both Die At The End

They Both Die At The End  by Adam Silvera (368 pages) Overview: Mateo and Rufus are both going to die at the end, but I'm guessing you got that from the title. The thing is, Mateo and Rufus don't know each other till the day they are going to die. After getting their calls from Death Cast, the new organization that lets everyone know that they are going to die with a call sometime after midnight. While trying to digest the news, they both turn their attention to the Last Friend app in search of finding another "decker" to spend their final day with. As the boys try to think of ways not to waste their final moments, they start to form a bond they never anticipated. Overall: 4 Characters: 4 I have to applaud Silvera for keeping his (mostly) duel prospective narrative voices so separate. Mateo and Rufus not only have different traits but totally different dialects. Mateo is Puerto Rican, quiet, and totally paranoid with a hyperawareness about safe. Both careful an

Fear of Missing Out

Fear of Missing Out  by Kate McGovern  Overview: Astrid has a form of brain cancer called astrocytoma that causes a star shaped tumor to form near her brainstem. Though she was in remission, two years later, the cancer comes back, and Astrid becomes convinced that she won't beat the disease. She starts to pursue options that will allow her to have a life in the future, namely, cryopreservation. After essentially freezing her body, she hopes to wake up when there's a cure for her cancer so she can rejoin the world and see some of the milestones she fears missing. On the road trip to tour the Arizona facility, though, Astrid makes other realizations about her life and eventual death that alters how she sees her original plan. Overall: 4  Characters: 4 Astrid is relatable. She has a touch of dry, witty humor that makes her relatable. She loves her friends and family deeply, but she also has a conviction to follow what feels best for her. I appreciated how she always tried t

Writing Morally Gray Characters: A Guest Post by Laurie Devore, Author of A Better Bad Idea

Laurie Devore is stopping by the blog today to talk about her new book from Imprint, A Better Bad Idea , which is out now! This mystery/thriller/romance fusion is Laurie's third book, and it's a new twist on her usual contemporary YA stories. For this guest post, Laurie talks about crafting morally gray characters that your readers will still feel attached to and cheer on. Here's her best writing tips:  I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of what people will do when they’re pushed to their brink. While my new novel, A BETTER BAD IDEA, may seem like a departure in some ways from my previous novels, I actually think their DNA is quite similar. The stakes are higher, but as ever, this book is about girls making unimaginable choices because of their circumstances, whether self-inflicted or not.   I’m constantly thinking about what it means to write morally gray characters, and I think the main takeaway from me is that I’m just much more interested in what people do and w

Perfect on Paper: YA Book Review

  Perfect on Paper  by Sophie Gonzales (2021 Release!) Preorder The Book on Bookshop! Before I get into the review, I'm just so excited to be writing a book review! I hadn't finished a book since the end of September :(. Hopefully that's over now. Anyway... Overview: Darcy is like Hannah Montana. Well, kinda. She's not a secret pop star, but she does have a hidden identity. She's the girl behind Locker 89, home of the best relationship advice in California. Or, at least, at her high school. People drop a letter and $10 in the locker, and Darcy collects them after school when her mom, a teacher there, stays late. This goes perfectly until Brougham catches her. While it's a minor disaster, he has a fascinating Australian accent and some traces of charm, and he ropes Darcy into giving him personal relationship coaching to win back his ex-girlfriend. But maybe he doesn't want his ex-girlfriend back after all? And maybe Darcy could get over her painful crush on h

Trigger Warnings Show Empathy

This week, YA Twitter was alight with controversy over a number of things this week (per usual, unfortunately). Most of it was run of the mill discussion over labeling YA and creating new genres (which I've talked a little about and I'll link below the posts below). But there was one conversation at the start of the week that baffled me a little. It started with a YA author tweeting something insensitive about trigger/content warnings. She basically said that they shouldn't exist because they spoil stories and that the world is hard and bad or negative things can't and shouldn't be avoided. And the first thing I thought when I saw that original tweet, before reading anyone else's takes or more of the thread was "Wow. People really don't get what a trigger warning is and who they're for." Because trigger warning are put on media now for a small number of people who have a genuine need. It's a relatively new thing in books (and really mos