Anything you want to know about what, when, and how to eat.
Food gurus Bittman (How To Cook Everything: Completely Revised 20th Anniversary Edition, 2019, etc.), special adviser on Food Policy at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health, and Katz (The Truth About Food: Why Pandas Eat Bamboo and People Get Bamboozled, 2018, etc.), founding director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, bring their expertise and common sense to answering myriad questions about diet and nutrition. “The artful (or at least competent!) blend of science and sense is what we believe to be our signature contribution,” write the authors, as they impart their views on various diets, whether it’s advisable to always eat breakfast (“there is nothing holy about breakfast,” they assert), what makes a good snack (apples, walnuts, bananas, carrots, hummus, bean dip, salad are fine), whether dairy is good or bad (it depends on what you’re eating and what dairy replaces), and whether there are any true superfoods (the idea of a superfood “is a marketing ploy”). They ring in on how much protein an average person needs, the difference between complete and incomplete proteins, the difference between saturated and unsaturated fats and between fructose (the natural sugar found in plants) and high-fructose corn syrup, which is processed in factories and contains about 45% glucose. Overall, the authors advocate eating unprocessed foods from local sources, which leads to “reducing carbon footprint, supporting local economies, eating seasonally (and fresh), knowing where your food comes from and how it was raised…all these are inarguably positive attributes.” They deal with debates over questions such as eating eggs, avoiding foods that cause inflammation, adding probiotics to one’s diet, using artificial sweeteners, getting enough antioxidants, and whether to take vitamin and mineral supplements, which “should be supplements to a good diet, not substitutes for one.” The authors are straightforward when they can’t resolve a controversy (such as the health benefits of taking a multivitamin mineral mix) and cite scientific studies.
A sensible guide to health from two genial experts.