Friday, July 27, 2012

Book Review: Nutrition Zombies: Top 10 Myths That Refuse to Die

Nutrition Zombies: Top 10 Myths That Refuse to Die: (And How to Keep Them From Sabotaging Your Diet) by Monica Reinagel

Being a fan of many of the Quick and Dirty Tips podcasts, I found out about this Kindle book from several of them. Since the title talks about zombies and it is fairly cheap ($2.99), I thought I would try it out.

The introduction lays out her basic approach: after careful research, she writes about ten popular misconceptions about nutrition. Getting rid of outdated and incorrect information is important, so she encourages a healthy skepticism about "conventional wisdom" when it comes to food. In that spirit, she encourages readers to check her resources (provide on her web page).

The tips cover a variety of topics including the following: caffeine is bad for you, microwaving destroys nutrients, we're all dehydrated, juice is good for kids, whole grains are highly nutritious, etc. Having a focus on parenting issues, let's look at the "juice is good for kids" myth.

Most people think fruit juice is a good substitute for eating actual fruit and even the USDA says you get credit for eating one fruit if you drink half a cup of fruit juice. The problem is most fruit juices are processed and lose a lot of their nutrients and fiber. Sugar (and calories) still remain, making for a tasty drink. This results in a second whammy, getting children to prefer sweet drinks, rather than healthier options like milk or water. An unhealthy habit can develop under the guise of a healthy alternative. I looked at the documentation and it is pretty convincing.

We typically cut the juice we give to our children, filling their cups half with water and half with juice. I will be shifting the amount to more water and start offering just water, especially when we are out and about.

I've never listened to The Nutrition Diva podcast by Monica Reinagel, so I can't comment on how this compares to the regular fare she serves up weekly in audio format. I did find this book entertaining and informative. Her style is not overly technical; the advice is straightforward and concise. The book is not very long and can be read quickly. I recommend it!

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