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Eat This Not That

Eat This Not That!

September 18, 2009

By Doris J. Dickson

Diabetes1 Type 1 Mentor

David Zinczenko grew up in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.  He entered the military after high school, serving in the Naval Reserve while attending Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.  He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Men’s Health magazine and Editorial Director of Women’s Health and Best Life magazines.  He is a regular contributor to the Today Show and has appeared on Oprah, 20/20 and Primetime Live.  David lives in New York and Pennsylvania.

Matt Goulding is the Food and Nutrition Editor of Men’s Health magazine.  He lives in Pennsylvania.

Eat This Not That! The Best (& Worst!) Foods in America!: The No-Diet Weight Loss Solution is the fourth book in a set that also includes:  Eat This, Not That! Thousands of Simple Food Swaps that Can Save You 10, 20, 30 Pounds--or More!, Eat This Not That! Supermarket Survival Guide: The No-Diet Weight Loss Solution, and Eat This Not That! for Kids!: Be the Leanest, Fittest Family on the Block!  The book is the accumulation of nutritional information on a variety of restaurant chain and fast food and commonly available prepared supermarket foods.  The authors of the book and their staff have analyzed the information provided in the nutritional panel or by the restaurants.  Where restaurant chains refused to provide information, the authors used the information they were able to obtain, but automatically assess the food as “the worst” in its category.

The authors arranged the book into 24 chapters, primarily by food type (e.g. breakfasts, salads, burgers, snacks, and frozen foods, etc.).  Two chapters are dedicated to popular non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages.  Four chapters address foods that specifically affect symptoms, blood pressure, cholesterol, and the diabetic’s favorite - blood sugar.  Chapter 20 discusses food additives and their effects. 

Sprinkled throughout the book are easy-to-understand definitions and explanations of commonly used nutritional labeling terms, such as hydrogenated vegetable oil, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), maltodextrin, and mannitol.  Each description includes a “What You Need to Know” section and examples of products that include the item in question.

In addition to blatantly honest nutritional information, for each product analyzed and discussed, is a better option often at the same restaurant or made by the same manufacturer.

According to the authors, this compact, colorful, information-filled book is “not designed for reading; it’s a book designed for using.”  To that end, however, their index is less than user-friendly for rapidly locating a specific restaurant food, restaurant, or food manufacturer.  It would be difficult to grab the book to take to Appleby’s and quickly find the description of your meal if you had not already read the book and marked some of your favorite meals. 

This book is a good “read” for those who frequently eat out, eat on-the-run, or grab prepared foods at the supermarket.  If you think you are getting mostly ribs with those baby backs, think again.  That carbohydrate count is totally blown out of the water.  It is no wonder blood sugar is impossible to control with all this haphazard guesstimating.  It is also no wonder digestion rates are impossible to gauge with all the unimaginable hidden fats.  Do we taste food or additives?  It is truly food for thought. 

You may never use the phrase “but I only ate …” ever again when referring to take-out, restaurant, or packaged food, since the word “only” rarely applies.  It seems broccoli is uneatable without ten other ingredients, most of which the average mortal cannot pronounce much less understand. 

So, you may want to think twice before choosing not to pick up fresh chicken and broccoli at the supermarket and making the decision to pick up takeout instead while waiting at the bar, sipping on the drink of the day special. You may be consuming a week’s worth of carbohydrates and fats in just one meal and left wondering why those jeans do not zip anymore.  At any rate, you may at least want to be well informed before you decide to “Eat This Not That!”


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