In 2006, my aunt gave me a copy of "The Maker's Diet." I read it in bed while recovering from hyperemesis, and it changed my whole outlook on life.
"The Maker's Diet" opened my eyes to the wonderful fact that many disease states can be prevented, improved, or even healed with diet, and it's been a wonderful learning journey ever since. (Check out the book to see how the author, Jordan Rubin, healed his nearly-fatal Crohn's disease with diet.)
Reading about nutrition is now a passion of mine, and I wanted to put together a short book list for readers who are similarly interested in learning more about nutrition and health.
And with that in mind, here are sixteen of my favorites to get you started!
A few notes:
- I have not actually read "Trim Healthy Mama." (I've read all the rest, really!) I include it simply because I've heard so many rave reviews from friends and fellow bloggers.
- Many of these books have a philosophical basis grounded in principles of macro-evolution. If you don't accept macro-evolution (I don't), fear not - just separate the operational science from the historical science and go from there.
- These books do occasionally have conflicting conclusions ("don't eat pork!" v. "bacon is wonderful!"), but that's okay too. There is great information to be learned on all sides, and themes do emerge despite differences in details.
- All description quotes are from each book's Amazon page (linked through the title).
Here are my favorites, by category:
"The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet"
*This book was incredibly interesting - I couldn't put it down. Dive in and enjoy!
"French Kids Eat Everything: How Our Family Moved to France, Cured Picky Eating, Banned Snacking, and Discovered 10 Simple Rules for Raising Happy, Healthy Eaters"
*Another page-turner. Read even if you don't have children!
"It Starts With Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways"
*When you want to change your diet and need a clear, concise, and easy-to-understand how-to manual, this is the book for you. Check out their website as well.
"Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia"
*After reading this book, the connection between diet, gut health, physical health, and mental disorders finally makes sense. This book is absolutely foundational, and highly enjoyable as well.
And now, the book list!
The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet
"For decades, we have been told that the best possible diet involves cutting back on fat, especially saturated fat, and that if we are not getting healthier or thinner it must be because we are not trying hard enough. But what if the low-fat diet is itself the problem? What if the very foods we’ve been denying ourselves—the creamy cheeses, the sizzling steaks—are themselves the key to reversing the epidemics of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease?"
It Starts With Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways
"It Starts With Food reveals how specific foods may be having negative effects on how you look, feel, and live—in ways that you’d never associate with your diet. More important, they outline their lifelong strategy for eating Good Food in one clear and detailed action plan designed to help you create a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, calm systemic inflammation, and put an end to unhealthy cravings, habits, and relationships with food."
"The Maker's Diet: The 40-Day Health Experience that will Change Your Life Forever"
"Discover how Jordan Rubin's faith-based journey from near death to vital health led him to uncover the timeless principles of the world's healthiest people."
Why We Get Fat (And What To Do About It)
"[Taubes] reveals the bad nutritional science of the last century—none more damaging or misguided than the “calories-in, calories-out” model of why we get fat—and the good science that has been ignored. He also answers the most persistent questions: Why are some people thin and others fat? What roles do exercise and genetics play in our weight? What foods should we eat, and what foods should we avoid? Persuasive, straightforward, and practical, Why We Get Fat is an essential guide to nutrition and weight management."
In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
"Food. There's plenty of it around, and we all love to eat it. So why should anyone need to defend it? Because in the so-called Western diet, food has been replaced by nutrients, and common sense by confusion--most of what we’re consuming today is longer the product of nature but of food science. The result is what Michael Pollan calls the American Paradox: The more we worry about nutrition, the less healthy we see to become... Pollan’s bracing and eloquent manifesto shows us how we can start making thoughtful food choices that will enrich our lives, enlarge our sense of what it means to be healthy, and bring pleasure back to eating."
The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy
"Being healthy and fit has gone mainstream--millions sweat the calories away on the roads or in health clubs and scrutinize labels and menus trying to do the right thing to control weight, delay aging, and feel healthy, fit, and energetic. And it's simply not working. Rates of obesity, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, and cancer continue to climb, and even the most committed fitness enthusiasts often carry 10 or 20 extra pounds of body fat.In this updated and expanded edition of the 2009 hardcover release from Mark Sisson, MarksDailyApple.com publisher and de-facto leader of the burgeoning primal/paleo/evolutionary health movement presents the compelling premise that you can reprogram your genes in the direction of weight loss, health, and longevity by following 10 immutable Primal laws..."
Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats
"This well-researched, thought-provoking guide to traditional foods contains a startling message: Animal fats and cholesterol are not villains but vital factors in the diet, necessary for normal growth, proper function of the brain and nervous system, protection from disease and optimum energy levels. Sally Fallon dispels the myths of the current low-fat fad in this practical, entertaining guide to a can-do diet that is both nutritious and delicious."
The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat
"If you want to lose weight-up to 75 pounds in six months-or if you want to attain optimal health, The Paleo Diet will work wonders. Dr. Loren Cordain demonstrates how, by eating your fill of satisfying and delicious lean meats and fish, fresh fruits, snacks, and non-starchy vegetables, you can lose weight and prevent and treat heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, metabolic syndrome, and many other illnesses."
Trim Healthy Mama
"For Women Of All Ages And Stages! Over 250 Recipes, Proven Ways to Lose Weight, How to Balance your Hormones, How to Re-fire your Metabolism, Make your Skin Glow, Ignite Marriage Intimacy, Simple but Effective Exercise Plan. (for Pregnant Mothers too!) Answers for Postmenopausal Women."
* Edited to add: This book has been updated into a condensed, revised version that has gotten rave reviews. The authors also split the book into two parts. Check out Trim Healthy Mama Plan and Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook.
Keto Clarity: Your Definitive Guide to the Benefits of a Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet
"Leading health blogger Jimmy Moore and researcher and internist Dr. Eric C. Westman join forces again to explain the powerful therapeutic effects of a ketogenic diet—one that combines a customized carbohydrate restriction, moderation of protein intake, and real food-based fats—which is emerging in the scientific literature as a means for improving a wide range of diseases, from Type 2 diabetes to Alzheimer’s and more. Simply eating a low-carb diet alone isn’t enough, and Moore and Westman tell you why."
Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health
"After witnessing over 2,000 patients regain health after giving up wheat, Davis reached the disturbing conclusion that wheat is the single largest contributor to the nationwide obesity epidemic—and that elimination of wheat is key to dramatic weight loss and optimal health. In national bestseller, Dr. Davis exposes the harmful effects of what is actually a product of genetic tinkering and agribusiness being sold to the American public as "wheat"—and provides readers with a user-friendly, step-by-step plan to navigate a new wheat-free lifestyle."
Death by Food Pyramid: How Shoddy Science, Sketchy Politics and Shady Special Interests Have Ruined Our Health
"In Death by Food Pyramid, Denise Minger exposes the forces that overrode common sense and solid science to launch a pyramid phenomenon that bled far beyond US borders to taint the eating habits of the entire developed world."
Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar--Your Brain's Silent Killers
"Renowned neurologist David Perlmutter, MD, blows the lid off a topic that's been buried in medical literature for far too long: carbs are destroying your brain. And not just unhealthy carbs, but even healthy ones like whole grains can cause dementia, ADHD, anxiety, chronic headaches, depression, and much more. Dr. Perlmutter explains what happens when the brain encounters common ingredients in your daily bread and fruit bowls, why your brain thrives on fat and cholesterol, and how you can spur the growth of new brain cells at any age."
Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia
"Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride... realized that nutrition played a critical role in helping children and adults to overcome their disabilities, and has pioneered the use of probiotics in this field. Her willingness to share her knowledge has resulted in her contributing to many publications, as well as presenting at numerous seminars and conferences on the subjects of learning disabilities and digestive disorders... She believes that the link between learning disabilities, the food and drink that we take, and the condition of our digestive system is absolute, and the results of her work have supported her position on this subject."
French Women Don't Get Fat
"Unlocking the simple secrets of this “French paradox” – how they enjoy food while staying slim and healthy – Mireille Guiliano gives us a charming, inspiring take on health and eating for our times.For anyone who has slipped out of her Zone, missed the flight to South Beach, or accidentally let a carb pass her lips, here is a positive way to stay trim, a culture’s most precious secrets recast for the twenty-first century. A life of wine, bread – even chocolate – without girth or guilt? Pourquoi pas?"
French Kids Eat Everything: How Our Family Moved to France, Cured Picky Eating, Banned Snacking, and Discovered 10 Simple Rules for Raising Happy, Healthy Eaters
"French Kids Eat Everything is a wonderfully wry account of how Karen Le Billon was able to alter her children’s deep-rooted, decidedly unhealthy North American eating habits while they were all living in France.
"At once a memoir, a cookbook, a how-to handbook, and a delightful exploration of how the French manage to feed children without endless battles and struggles with pickiness, French Kids Eat Everything features recipes, practical tips, and ten easy-to-follow rules for raising happy and healthy young eaters—a sort of French Women Don’t Get Fat meets Food Rules."
More Books on FOOD and HEALTH (Added Later):
The Magnesium Miracle
"Magnesium is an essential nutrient, indispensable to your health and well-being. By adding this mineral to your diet, you are guarding against—and helping to alleviate—such threats as heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, diabetes, depression, arthritis, and asthma. But despite magnesium’s numerous benefits, many Americans remain dangerously deficient. Updated and revised throughout with the latest research, featuring an all-new Introduction, this amazing guide explains the vital role that magnesium plays in your body and life."
Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain for Life
"Debilitating brain disorders are on the rise-from children diagnosed with autism and ADHD to adults developing dementia at younger ages than ever before. But a medical revolution is underway that can solve this problem: Astonishing new research is revealing that the health of your brain is, to an extraordinary degree, dictated by the state of your microbiome - the vast population of organisms that live in your body and outnumber your own cells ten to one. What's taking place in your intestines today is determining your risk for any number of brain-related conditions.
"In BRAIN MAKER, Dr. Perlmutter explains the potent interplay between intestinal microbes and the brain, describing how the microbiome develops from birth and evolves based on lifestyle choices, how it can become "sick," and how nurturing gut health through a few easy strategies can alter your brain's destiny for the better. With simple dietary recommendations and a highly practical program of six steps to improving gut ecology, BRAIN MAKER opens the door to unprecedented brain health potential."
Sexy by Nature: The Whole Foods Solution to Radiant Health, Life-Long Sex Appeal, and Soaring Confidence
"In Sexy by Nature, female health expert Stefani Ruper outlines five easy-to-follow steps that heal you and make it impossible not to love the skin you’re in. This book is a must-have for any woman who wants to be healthy, sexy, and free.
"Women’s health is more complicated than men’s health. How often is this important fact given adequate attention in the health and fitness world? Almost never. To the joy and empowerment of women everywhere, Stefani Ruper’s Sexy by Nature finally delivers what they’ve needed all along to achieve their health and weight-loss goals.
Modern culture insists that the only way around female health problems like acne, PMS, and stubborn excess weight is to wage war against them with gym memberships, calorie counting, and restrictive diets. But it doesn’t have to be hard, frustrating, or an uphill battle. It can be the easiest, most fun, and most exciting journey of your life. How? By letting nature do the work for you. As a product of nature, the female body has specific needs. When those needs are not met, health problems ensue. When they are met, the body heals, energizes, and becomes sexy on its own. Sexy by Nature provides the tools and inspiration you need to meet those needs, to overcome health challenges, and to become the radiant, confident woman you were born to be."
The Wahls Protocol: A Radical New Way to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions Using Paleo Principles
"An integrative approach to healing chronic autoimmune conditions by a doctor, researcher, and sufferer of progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) whose TEDx talk is already a web sensation
"Like many physicians, Dr. Terry Wahls focused on treating her patients’ ailments with drugs or surgical procedures—until she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2000. Within three years, her back and stomach muscles had weakened to the point where she needed a tilt-recline wheelchair. Conventional medical treatments were failing her, and she feared that she would be bedridden for the rest of her life.
"Dr. Wahls began studying the latest research on autoimmune disease and brain biology, and decided to get her vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids from the food she ate rather than pills and supplements. Dr. Wahls adopted the nutrient-rich paleo diet, gradually refining and integrating it into a regimen of neuromuscular stimulation. First, she walked slowly, then steadily, and then she biked eighteen miles in a single day. In November 2011, Dr. Wahls shared her remarkable recovery in a TEDx talk that immediately went viral. Now, in The Wahls Protocol, she shares the details of the protocol that allowed her to reverse many of her symptoms, get back to her life, and embark on a new mission: to share the Wahls Protocol with others suffering from the ravages of multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune conditions."
The Science of Skinny
"With scientific research, her own chemistry background, and the traditional diets of our not-so-distant ancestors as her guide, Dee McCaffrey casts new light on an age-old wisdom: Eating foods in their closest-to-natural form is the true path to sustained weight loss and, in fact, the remedy for almost any health problem. We are so far removed from foods in their natural state that we now call them “health foods,” a sad admission that we’ve compromised our health for the sake of convenience. The Science of Skinny aims to create a space for change--to educate and enlighten readers on the value of proper nutrition so that they can find a healthier and more life-affirming relationship with their bodies and the food they eat."
The Dorito Effect
Sugar Nation - Sugar and Diabetes.
Sugar Crush - Sugar and Diabetic peripheral neuropathy.