It seems that everywhere you turn, someone, or something is offering advice on health and nutrition. Whether it’s on the news or Internet, or in magazines or books, there is a new study or diet which seems to contradict one from last week. So how are women to know if the advice is worth listening to or acting on? When looking at heath or nutrition books, consider these guidelines:
- Who is the author? It should be an MD for anything health related and ideally, an RD (Registered Dietitian) for anything nutrition related, but a nutrition book written by an MD or MS/MPH (Master of Science or Public Health) with a strong research background in nutrition is also very credible. All are experts in their field, and are specially trained to understand the latest research and make recommendations.
- Are there references at the end of the book or each chapter? References to research studies indicate that the book is based on information which has been studied and researched, and not on some product that someone is trying to sell. Also look for reviews by members of major medical groups such as American Journal of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, or top research and teaching hospitals like Mass General, Mayo or Cleveland Clinic, and whether the author is affiliated with any research hospital or University, which adds additional credibility.
- Does it sound too good to be true? If yes, put it down, step away and remind yourself that there are no magic bullets. Look for books that are based on research and practical advice, with tips that you can understand and follow.
The following are some recommended books on women’s health and nutrition:
The DASH Diet For Weight Loss, Moore MD
The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is based on extensive research by the National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute, and has been shown to reduce blood pressure significantly AND help with weight loss. It’s one of leading diets out there.
The DASH Diet Action Plan, Heller MS, RD
Written by a Registered Dietitian, this book offers tools and tips to help incorporate the DASH diet into your own lifestyle.
The Insulin Resistance Diet, Hunt MD, Grossman, RD
Call it insulin resistance, prediabetes, impaired, fasting glucose or metabolic syndrome. Women who have slightly elevated glucose levels, excess weight around the mid-section, high blood pressure, and probably a lower than desirable HDL (good cholesterol), are probably insulin resistant. This book offers a good explanation of what’s going on inside your body and how to correct it with diet and exercise.
Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book, Love, MD
This book has so much helpful information; it’s been called “The Bible for any woman who has been diagnosed with breast cancer”.
Our Bodies, Ourselves, Norsigian
An excellent, all inclusive resource for women of all ages who want to learn more about their bodies and how to stay healthy.
Strong Women Stay Young, Nelson, PhD
Miriam Nelson is a leader in research on the benefits of strength training for women. Her Stong Women series has been on the bestseller list for years, and her research on the impact of both nutrition and exercise on the prevention of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and arthritis has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and elsewhere.
MyPlate For Moms, Ward, MS RD
Written by Registered Dietitian, Elizabeth Ward, who is an expert in the area of feeding children and families. Her book translates the government's latest recommendations into practical, easy-to-understand advice and recipes that work for families who live in the real world.
Food Rules, Pollan
Michael Pollan is a best selling author and journalist, and one of the most inspirational writers on the common sense basics of a healthy diet. In this short book, he provides a simple framework for healthy and sustainable diet. Pollan’s advice is centered on his famous principal, "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." It includes his rules (i.e., "let others sample your food" and "the whiter the bread, the sooner you'll be dead"). Also not to be missed, is his documentary Food Inc.
What to Eat, Nestle, PhD, MPH
Marion Nestle is a world-renowned author, journalist, and professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University. She has written numerous books about how our food system and food choices are affected by science, the economy, and food marketing. What to Eat is a aisle by aisle guide to help navigate the confusion of packaged food products at the grocery store.