Thursday, July 12, 2007

Complete Food and Nutrition Guide

Author: Roberta Larson Duyff
Published: 2006

Published by the American Dietetic Association, and book one of three towards my summer reading goal.* It is a hefty tome, close to 700 pages, and more complete than one might need. But if you are confused about how to navigate through a supermarket, or what appetizers might be a healthy choice in a Greek restaurant, perhaps this is just what you need.

Well written, nice amount of bullets, sidebars, and myth-busting factoids to keep it interesting. One criticism is the book makes the FDA sound like it can do no wrong. So, bring a shaker of salt (just not too much, have to watch sodium intake).

The information on nutrition was interesting and prompted some meal-time changes on my part. We eat healthy anyway, but one statistic worried me. Calcium is good for teeth and bones, we all know that. The body deposits calcium to build those bones and teeth, but only until about age 30-35. Okay, I can deal with being past the deposit stage.

But wait, the body still needs calcium all through one's life. If it doesn't get enough, it starts leaching it out of the bones! Thus, the bones become porous, as in osteoporosis. Thirty years after your bone-account is full, you fall, break your hip, and die.

Um, why didn't someone tell me this in my 20's when I could have been saving more! Back then my fluid intake consisted mainly of beer and coffee! Oh, and by the way, alcohol and caffeine inhibit the body's ability to absorb calcium. Well, I probably wouldn't have listened back then anyway.

So, the lesson for today: Drink your milk, eat your yogurt, and sip your soy smoothies every day!

*The theme of the summer adult reading program at the local library is "Gray's Anatomy". My goal is three books on health, nutrition, and exercise.

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