To help with your resolutions, here are Diet Detective's picks for the most interesting and inspirational nutrition books from the past couple years.
1. Get Smart: Samantha Heller's Nutrition Prescription for Boosting Brain Power and Optimizing Total Body Health
by Samantha Heller, M.S., R.D., C.D.
Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010
Hardcover, $43; Kindle, $9.99
From the publisher: "Heller's Nutrition Prescription plan considers each person's habits, budget and food preferences when making lifestyle recommendations. Raised on white rice and beans? Switch to brown rice instead. Can't afford fresh Atlantic salmon? Canned salmon will do just as well. Fresh vegetables unavailable at the neighborhood bodega? Frozen are just as nutritious. Heller's unique, user-friendly approach is based on the most current scientific and medical research, while her food lists, meal plans, substitutions and recipes are easy to follow."
Comments: This is a creative and inspirational guide to eating better.
About the author: Samantha Heller is a dynamo. She loves nutrition education, her voice is powerful and she has a thorough understanding of the topics she discusses.
2. The Diet Detective's All-American Diet: Lose Weight With the Foods You Already Love to Eat From Your Favorite Supermarket and Restaurant Choices
by Charles Platkin
From the publisher: "Significantly less expensive, more accessible, and infinitely more practical than convenience eating programs like Jenny Craig or NutriSystem, The Diet Detective's All-American Diet operates according to the same proven principles of portion control, behavior change and proper nutrition for effective weight loss. The book gives readers a mix-and-match, Build-a-Meal program that shows them how to pick their breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack from lists of thousands of popular brand-name foods available anywhere."
Comments: Yes, I wrote it, but I really love this concept for people who are having trouble losing weight and are confused by all the mixed nutrition concepts out there.
About the author: I'm a syndicated columnist, nutrition advocate and assistant professor at the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College in New York City.
3. Read It Before You Eat It: How To Decode Food Labels and Make the Healthiest Choice Every Time
by Bonnie Taub-Dix
Paperback, $15; Kindle, $12.99
From the publisher: "The whole foods movement explained how to shop healthfully at the farmers market, but how can families shop smart at Walmart? Readers can bring this handy guide to the supermarket to help them interpret labels like a pro."
Comment: This book is just like having a nutritionist take you by the hand and shop at the supermarket with you.
About the author: For 30 years Taub-Dix has been practicing, writing and speaking about nutrition topics. She gets it!
Charles Platkin, Ph.D., M.P.H., is a nutrition and public health advocate and founder of DietDetective.com.