Thursday, August 18, 2011

Eating Clean for Dummies by Jonathan Wright and Linda Larsen


Eating Clean for Dummies is what one would expect from the 'for Dummies' series. The book is cleanly laid out with great use of white space, text boxes, bullet points, and font changes. Symbols along the sides of the page highlight information that is extra important. It is not necessary to read the entire book from beginning to end because there is enough repetition of information that you can simply start with whichever section you are the most interested in.

Eating Clean for Dummies systematically approaches why and how to change your diet to include more fresh foods and fewer processed ones. Scientific explanations are used often but simplified so they are not overwhelming. The book addresses the best foods to eat to prevent certain illnesses and the best foods to eat if you have already been diagnosed. Organic fruits, vegetables, and meats are addressed but the authors do not feel that you have to switch to an entirely organic diet to eat cleanly. They do give a list of the foods that are best purchased organic because they are the most affected by chemicals while also giving a list of the foods that you don't need to be as concerned about.

One thing that I found very interesting is that throughout most of the book the authors seemed to be advocating a very balanced diet including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, meats, and dairy but in a few sections they referenced the health benefits of the Paleo diet which excludes grains, diary, and legumes. While I realize that some variations on diets do benefit different people in different ways (a point the authors do make), I wonder if they believe the Paleo diet is actually a better eating plan but were not willing to say that clearly because there would be so much resistance from people?

The book does include recipes in the last section. While many of them sound good, I haven't actually gotten around to trying them yet.

Overall the basic message is that the closer the food source is to its natural state, the better our bodies can make use of it. The authors do acknowledge the difficulty in transitioning from processed foods (which can be addictive) to a cleaner diet and offer suggestions to ease that transition. They also realize that most of us cannot eat 100% cleanly all the time so give goals such as starting with a 50/50 split and working toward making more clean meals and snacks each week.

I received a copy of Eating Clean For Dummies from the Amazon Vine program for the purposes of providing them my honest review.

Note: All opinions provided on this blog are my own. If a product was given to me for review, the source of that product is noted in the post. Bookstore links are generally affiliate links and I do earn a small amount for each purchase. Other affiliate links will be noted in the post.