Aug 7 – Nutrition Books

Another frequent question I get from people is to recommend the best book to get started on better nutrition.  Seems like a simple question.  It’s not.

Something I like to ask audiences when I do nutrition talks is to guess the top selling genre of book sales.  Answer – Cook Books.  Still, with all the internet recipe sites, people still buy cook books.  Second most common genre?  Diet and nutrition books.  People continue to be incredibly interested in losing weight and finding the right combinations of foods and nutrients for long term health and wellness.  The next question I ask is basically the one I’m addressing here; which of all those diet and nutrition books sold every year is the best one.  My answer is… all of them.  Conversely, which is the worst… all of them.  Each one has some amazing info and strategies worth applying.  And at the same time, none can be taken as 100% scientific truth when applied to every person.  Why?  Biochemical Individuality.  Each of us is different and unique physically, physiologically, genetically, and chemically, and therefore one man’s cure is another’s poison.  The only way to know if a nutrition strategy from one of these 1000s of books is a good one for you is to try it and see for yourself.

But that’s an easy way out of answering a really good question.  I stand by my answer that each book has merits and each book has some real issues for certain people.  But, there are some that are 100% worth reading.  I’ve been reading nutrition and food books for almost 20 years.  I couldn’t count the number I’ve worked through.  But there are a handful that really stick out in my mind.  My litmus test for a good diet or nutrition book – I can recall the title and author still after many years, and I could explain the basic concepts contained within the book still after many years.  Each, in their own way, changed the way I think of or view nutrition science in some way.  Each one made me more wise to the political landscape surrounding food as well as the cultural realities of our weight gain and weight loss realities.  Each one also showed a foundational understanding of the uniqueness that exists between individuals and avoided proclaiming universal truths.  The best authors, in my view, avoid grand proclamations, and instead acknowledge the wide range of possible affects of their recommendations.  Or they simply tell the story of their science or their observations, allowing the audience to draw their own conclusions of how to apply those finding in the own lives.

So, with that said, over the past 20 years, here are the best that I’ve read.  This is not an exhaustive list of the best ever nutrition books, but rather a personal list of the best I’ve found.  These are in no particular order.  Each of worth reading for their own reasons, but each certainly changed my view of nutrition realities.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.  Thank you for asking.


Dr Mercola’s Total Health Program by Dr Jospeh Mercola

How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy by Paul Chek

Nutrition Tests for Better Health by Dr Cass Ingram

Biochemical Individuality by Dr Roger J Williams

Water by Dr F. Batmanghelidj

Metabolic Typing Diet by William Wollcott

Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Dr. Weston A Price

Pottenger’s Cats by Dr Francis M Pottenger

Food and Western Disease by Staffan Lindberg

The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan

Food Politics by Dr Marion Nestle

Food Fight by Dr Kelly Brownell

Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes

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