I picked up this book because I'm anxious to keep my cholesterol at healthy levels after stopping taking statins. The book is very deceptive - a quick flick through the pages reveals table after table of foodstuffs and figures, with a little narrative accompanying each table describing the qualities of the food group in question. However, the first 100 pages contains an extremely useful and clear explanation of a large variety of diet-related topics, not simply cholesterol, making this a good, concise guide to healthy eating in general. There is, of course, an emphasis on cholesterol, what it is in its different forms, and how it affects the cardio vascular system, but there is also a large amount of information on other aspects. Different types of fat are explained, their importance in maintaining a healthy body, and how they are best obtained. The main emphasis is on the benefits of the `Mediterranean Diet', although GI (Glycaemic Index) is also touched upon, with clear explanations of all the major constituents of diet - fat, carbohydrate, fibre, vitamins - and how we can improve our overall health by making some easy adjustments and without compromising variety. This isn't a weight-loss book by any means, but tactics for reducing weight and the importance of maintaining diversity in food choices are included. The role of alcohol, exercise and smoking are also discussed, and the information appears to be very up-to-date.
Personally, I would have been happy just to have that first 100 pages as a book in itself. Being normal paperback book size, rather than pocket-size, means it is less portable and practical as some of the other Collins guides, so the tables may be of more use when planning menu ideas rather than as a handy reference when out shopping. Definitely worth a look for anyone wanting to know how they can be proactive in keeping healthy cholesterol levels, and healthy generally!