In spite of the title, this is a staid, solid primer on the basics of sound nutrition. The authors blame what they call ""the nonsense of nutrition--unreasonable food fears and unnecessary prohibitions"" for taking the joy out of eating; they make their point of view clear at the outset: ""Foods are not by their nature alone either bad or good""--there are no real junk foods which will harm us all, and there are no super foods that we should all stick with. Rather, the bottom line is that ""What makes food good or bad for you is volume, balance, and interaction."" And when we reach a healthy balance and are properly nourished, even that won't extend the natural lifespan. But it will--and this is the goal here--""help you live right up to that limit and to live a healthier, more active and more productive life""; because what good nutrition does is let the body reach its maximum genetic potential. With that as the basis, the authors explain how to assess one's own diet (keep a record for three days and then analyze it). Part II explains essential nutrients, from carbohydrates to vitamins, minerals, and microminerals, and includes advice on deficiency symptoms, who may need supplements, and toxic effects. Part III, ""All About Eating,"" looks at constructing a balanced diet, bringing together nutritional concerns and needs into a satisfying way of eating. This includes consideration of allergies, and ""Toxic Pleasures"" such as alcohol (okay in moderation for most is the word here) and caffeine. Part IV looks at ""Diet and Disease,"" for those who need to be on the alert regarding heart disease, cancer, hypertension and others; and Part V describes ""Nutritional Needs Through Life,"" including pregnancy, and from infants to ""later years."" Sound, but nothing startling or new; and readers may prefer such all around guides as Jane Brody, who also includes recipes.