Cover image for Diet cults : the surprising fallacy at the core of nutrition fads and a guide to healthy eating for the rest of us
Title:
Diet cults : the surprising fallacy at the core of nutrition fads and a guide to healthy eating for the rest of us
Author:
Fitzgerald, Matt, author.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Pegasus Books, 2014.
Physical Description:
303 pages : illustrations 24 cm
Summary:
From the raw food movement to Atkins, an ever-increasing number of health and weight-loss diets are engaged in an overheated struggle for new converts. Paleo Diet advocates tell us that all foods less than 12,000 years old are the enemy. Vegans demonize animal foods. Then there are the low-fat prophets and supplement devotees. But underneath such differences, author Fitzgerald observes, these disparate groups all agree on one thing: that there is only "One True Way" to eat. The first clue that this is untrue is the sheer variety of diets. Indeed, while all of these competing "diet cults" claim to be backed by science, a good look at actual nutritional science suggests that there is no single best way to eat. What makes us human is our ability to eat--and enjoy--a wide variety of foods. The appeal of diet cults is their power to offer a food-based identity to latch onto--yet many more of us are turned off by their arbitrary rules. Fitzgerald offers an alternative: an "agnostic, " reasonable approach to healthy eating that is flexible enough to accommodate a wide range of personal preferences and lifestyles.--From publisher description.
Language:
English
Contents:
Forbidden fruit -- 100 foods to eat before you die -- Homo coquus -- The caveman of Orange County -- The suck-it-up diet -- It's a bird! It's a plane! It's superfood! -- Consider the potato -- Eat bad, look good -- Coffee, chocolate, and wine -- Sugar water -- Starve or die -- Scapegluten -- The protein club -- What's your poison? -- Agnostic healthy eating.
ISBN:
9781605985602
Format :
Book

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Central Library RA784 .F58 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

From "The Four Hour Body," to "Atkins," there are diet cults to match seemingly any mood and personality type. Everywhere we turn, someone is preaching the "One True Way" to eat for maximum health. Paleo Diet advocates tell us that all foods less than 12,000 years old are the enemy. Low-carb gurus demonize carbs, then there are the low-fat prophets. But they agree on one thing: there is only one true way to eat for maximum health. The first clue that that is a fallacy is the sheer variety of diets advocated. Indeed, while all of these competing views claim to be backed by "science," a good look at actual nutritional science itself suggests that it is impossible to identify a single best way to eat. Fitzgerald advocates an agnostic, rational approach to eating habits, based on one's own habits, lifestyle, and genetics/body type. Many professional athletes already practice this "Good Enough" diet, and now we can too and ditch the brainwashing of these diet cults for good.


Author Notes

Matt Fitzgerald is an acclaimed endurance sports and nutrition writer and certified sports nutritionist. His most recent book, Iron War, was long-listed for the 2012 William Hill Sports Book of the Year, and he is the author of the best-selling Racing Weight. Fitzgerald is a columnist on Competitor.com and Active.com, and has contributed to Bicycling, Men's Health, Triathlete, Men's Journal, Outside, Runner's World, Shape, Women's Health and has ghostwritten for sports celebrities including Dean Karnazes and Kara Goucher.


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Eschewing the term "fad diets" in favor of "diet cults," sports nutritionist Fitzgerald (Racing Weight) attempts to ascribe cultish behavior to the quest for weight loss. Noting that there's no single approach that works for everyone, but that each approach has effective elements (though some are only effective in the short term), Fitzgerald identifies what works and what doesn't within each of the major weight-loss programs. Along the way, he studies the paleo diet, the wildly successful Weight Watchers program, gluten-free diets, and the Atkins diet, along with old approaches such as fasting. He concludes with what amounts to his own cult diet. Noting that motivation is a key component, he focuses on common sense: eat lots of fruit and vegetables, avoid processed foods, incorporate healthy oils, eat high-quality meat and seafood, and, of course, exercise. Those who've stuck with Fitzgerald may feel like the kid in A Christmas Story when the secret is revealed, but it's a sensible approach, even if it's reached in elliptical fashion. Agent: Linda Konner, Linda Konner Literary Agency. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Athlete and nutritionist Fitzgerald (Racing Weight) describes a diet cult as "a way of eating that is morally based, identity forming.viewed by its followers as superior to all other ways of eating." Acknowledging that cult diets have existed since antiquity, he briefly examines Jewish eating laws and the food philosophies adhered to by followers of Confucius, then examines modern diets and concludes with his own "agnostic healthy eating game." Many eating programs both healthy and not are surveyed, including raw foods, paleo, Weight Watchers, superfoods, -Atkins, gluten-free, and others. Fitzgerald notes that most popular diets advocate "one true way" of eating in order to attain maximum health while focusing on an "unnecessary avoidance of healthy foods." His own eating guidelines are basic: eat mostly from a list of essential and recommended foods-vegetables, fruits, nuts, healthy meats and fish, whole grains, and dairy-and eat less refined grains, processed meats, sweets, and fried and processed foods. -VERDICT While the cult analogy is carried a bit far, referencing the Bible and referring to protein shakes as "a sacrament," the conversational writing is enjoyable and the content informative.-Pauline Baughman, Multnomah Cty. Lib., Portland, OR (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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