on 19 January 2001
The Food Bible
I am inherently suspicious about books that call themselves 'Bibles' since in my experience it usually means that you are going to be given some preacherly advice which you don't particularly want to hear. However, I am happy to report that The Food Bible does not preach or try to convert readers to chew their brown rice one hundred and fifty times but offers the latest well researched advice on what food the body actually needs to maintain optimum health. This is a chunky book with lots of colour illustrations, clear charts and useful tips. In my opinion this paperback is extremely good value. The Food Bible is a book that invites dipping into rather than being a straightforward read. It is divided into sections, including, Food for different stages in life such as the teenage years or middle-age, Food for Weight control with various diets and my favourite, Food as Medicine. I can now eat as many mangoes and sweet potatoes as I like secure in the knowledge that I am helping prevent arthritis.The Food Bible is not only a useful reference guide for someone who wants to know what to eat to create a healthy heart diet, or is wondering what foods help induce sleep but it also has a good recipe section. Each recipe is accompanied by a visual key informing you what vitamins, the number of calories and which minerals you will be getting for instance when you eat a bowl of as lentil and coriander soup. The feel-good factor which comes from the combination of self-righteousness at eating healthily and satisfied taste buds is irresistible. This is the sort of Christmas present I would have liked to have been given but wasn't. Never mind the best presents are usually the ones you give yourself!
on 13 March 2002
I heartily recommend this book - I bought it a few weeks ago and refer to it most days just to get more tips and find out a bit more about what I am eating.
It provides what I consider sensible, realistic information about food and diet (i.e. it doesn't assume that we all want to ingest thousands of herbal remedies, but does assume that we want to think a bit more about what we eat). It lists sources of lots of vitamins and minerals, it suggests diets for various conditions, and it has great recipes (the ones I have tried are very tasty and it is really easy to calculate points if you are doing Weightwatchers like me as it has calories and saturated fats listed for each recipe) The food tables at the back are also useful indicators of what foods are good to eat and what nutritional benefits there are in many different foods.
I find this much more useful than both Prescriptions for Nutritional Healing and Hazel Courteney's 500 Health Hints - these both assume that you are the type of person that wants to take lots of unproven herbal / homeopathic supplements etc., keeps telling you to completely give up things like caffeine, and talks about things like 'spiritual emergencies' - all things that are just not my wavelength!
If you like sensible, non new-agey advice, then The Food Bible is much more likely to suit your needs.
The premise of the book is that it is a guide to all that is good and bad in the food we eat. The Author is a nutrition expert, who has written for various magazines and newspapers, including the Daily Mail, Prima and Woman, as well as writing various health books and cookbooks.
The 320 page book is split into six sections, which I will briefly review in turn.
Section 1-Food for a balanced diet:
This section covers the different components of food, such as fibre, fat and vitamins, and how these contribute to a balanced diet. the book contains advice on the best sources of certain nutrients and how they can be built into the diet. It also explains what the different vitamins actually do for the body and why they are important. The section covers alcohol consumption, explaining what those units acually mean. The section gives some example meals, which show how easy it is to replace junk food with a healthy alternative.
Section 2-Food as medicine.
I'm a hypochondriac, so I really love this section. Basically, it lists all the common ailments, from acne to varicose veins, and tells you which foods can help alleviate the symptoms. I noticed she failed to mention chocolate as a cure all here! She also outlines sample menus for people with different health conditions, such as arthritis, and shows how you can strengthen your immune system by improving the diet. The section also reviews vitamin supplements and their value in a balanced diet, as well as popular herbs and their benefits.
Section 3-Food for the time of your life.
Babies need different food to adults, and this section explains what nutrients are the most important, depending on your age. It covers junk food and chidlhood eating disorders, and gives practical advice on weaning. It shows the problems that high sugar and fat diets can cause on health at different times in your life.
Section 4-Food for weight control.
A very short section, describing how a sucessful weight control diet should work, as well as evaluating the popular weight loss methods available today, such as food combining and meal replacement, and discusses the pros and cons of each method. It also shows how to use foods to gain weight, for underweight people, who also have many health problems related to their weight.
Section 5-Food for health and pleasure:
Lots of recipes in this section, which is a mini cookbook. It covers starters, dips and spreads, soups, main courses, pasta, pulses and vegetables, side dishes, sauces, puddings and drinks. I must admit, I have never cooked anything in this section, because it all looks a bit TOO healthy!
Section 6-Food at a glance:
This section is brilliant. it lists every type of food you can think of and gives a detailed nutritional analysis for each food, including calories, fibre, minerals, vitamins, protein, carbs, as well as special health notes about the food, such as whether it is likely to provoke allergies, and the glycaemic index. Superfoods have a star next to them, so you can see what the most healthy foods are at a glance. This is a really useful reference guide to anyone who wants to watch what they are eating for health or diet reasons.
In summary, this is a really useful book, which deserves its place on the bookshelf. It is great to dip into, and some sections are used quite often. It makes really interesting reading, and you don't have to be a health freak to benefit from what is being said in it.
on 29 April 2012
I've been doing a course in nutrition and bought this book (along with a few others) as extra references to broaden my knowledge, and this has turned out to be the most useful book I've ever bought.
It is very well written in a way that is easy to understand whether you have any or no nutritional knowledge. It's well presented and the layout is well thought out and makes it very easy to quickly find exactly what you're looking for.
The book covers everything from basic explanations of different food types and their roles, to using food to combat illnesses and disorders, and nutritional values of different foods, and does so in a way that never becomes boring or patronising. It contains guidelines for healthy eating for different age groups and a very handy chart of the nutritional contents or many different foods. There are also some recipes included, all of which have their nutritional content listed which makes it easy to know exactly what is in the finished dish.
All in all this is a very handy reference whether you're looking to broaden your knowledge or simply improve your own health through nutrition.