Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Throw Out Your Diet Books (Unless You Borrowed Them from Us)

If you’ve ever fallen asleep trying to read a book that tells you exactly what to eat and how much of it, complete with diagrams, give one of the following books a try instead.

In Defense of Food
Journalist Michael Pollan points out that we’ve been eating plants for 10,000 years. Sticking with what worked for our ancestors is the genesis of his motto: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” And by food, he means things that have been around since your great-grandparents’ time, not chemicals, additives, food with packaging that declares itself to be healthy, or Tootsie Rolls.

The End of Overeating
Physician and former FDA commissioner David Kessler takes a look at activity in the brain when you eat fat, salt and sugar. In lab experiments, they motivate rats as much as cocaine would. If you already knew this, skip straight to parts 4 and 5, The Theory of Treatment and Food Rehab.

Mindless Eating
Psychologist Brian Wansink explains why we’ve become conditioned to overeat, even when it doesn’t taste that good. Most helpfully, he has some strategies for overcome mindless eating: serve vegetables family-style, but measure the pasta onto plates in the kitchen. Don’t leave unhealthy food in plain sight in the kitchen, and don’t watch commercials at dinner time.

I think all of these authors would recommend that you cook most of your own meals, so if you don’t, you may want to search the BHPL catalog for quick and easy cooking. This will give you a list of the 80 cookbooks BHPL owns that won’t drive you insane.


Anonymous said...

It's David Kessler (author of The End of Overeating), not Andy Kessler.

Anne said...

thank you, I noticed that on reread, but always welcome editing.

Anne said...

in the "do as I say, not as I do" category, I would add, if it comes in a box, it's probably not good for you.

Ellen said...

Oops, that was my fault. I really liked Andy Kessler's books too which is probably why my brain decided to insert his name instead.