And yes, Crabby is squandering a precious Guest Post which she should be hoarding for her vacation. But she's running a bit behind these last few days with her
And now, here's Mary!
Diet Books: Useful Sources of Fiber?
I decided to look into the South Beach diet, mainly because of the amazing success of Pasta Queen, who lost almost 200 pounds through following this diet and sensible exercise. (Amazing pictures on her blog. Check them out!) I read the book. If you accept the premise that everyone has the same insulin spike when they eat high-glycemic foods, then this diet should work. I did like the section on Why People Fail on this Diet. It's refreshing to read someone admitting that no diet is 100% successful for everyone all the time.
Then I read what the experts had to say about the diet. Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter rips into the South Beach diet, while the DietBlog didn't think it was that bad. Dr. Weil's opinion was somewhere in-between.
It's the same all over the place. Pritikin, Ornish, Atkins, every popular diet book is touted as a)The Best Diet Book Ever and b)Total Crap Written By a Dangerous Moron. It's both confusing and discouraging. I'm starting to think that the best thing to do is toss all these books over my shoulder. Or just eat them. Fiber is good for you. (Is ink is toxic?)
Cookbooks, sure. Always good to find a new way to cook something while staying healthy. And general books on nutrition can be useful; once I understand the why behind something I should be eating, it's much easier to do it. But diet books are an uneasy hybrid between the two; they leave out too much detail behind their specific Diet Philosophy, they generally lack very much variety in the recipes, and they all spend Far Too Much Time trying to sell you on their particular diet. Sheesh. Enough already.
Reading books on health, diet, exercise can be extremely helpful, because they help train the most important part of your body: your brain. I used to be a complete and dedicated carnivore, but after reading book after book about how much better my life would be if I ate vegetables, I tentatively, gingerly, with all the confidence of a timid maiden dipping one toe into a cold pool, actually Bought A Vegetable. And even ate it. I would never have done that if I hadn't read up on healthy eating. Reading good books is a useful motivational tool. But reading specific diet books? Bah. Tailor a diet to your own needs, and make sure it's something a) healthy and b) something you'd be willing to do as a lifetime adjustment rather than a quick fix.