Thursday, March 11, 2010

RunnerDude's New Favorite Book: The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth

If you haven't already picked up on it, I'm an avid reader of fitness, running, and nutrition material. My wife would say I have enough books sitting in our kitchen alone, to open a small book store. (She's probably right.)

I've learned through all the reading I've done, that you have to be really careful not to get swayed by some underlying product that's being sold. So often, the information presented while still (usually) factual is often slanted to support a particular diet or fitness trend. That's why I was so delighted when I came across The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth by Jonny Bowden, Ph. D., C.N.S. (Fair Winds Press, 2007). It's not a new book, so many of you may already be familiar with it. I've seen it several times at the book store, but on a recent jaunt to the local Barnes & Noble for my daughter to select her next Vampire series book, I had a lot of time on my hands. So, I got a cup-a-joe and found a chair in which to chill. Beside me and my chair was a display of "diet and nutrition" books. So, I picked up The 150 book and began to read.

A tagline on the cover reads, "The Surprising, Unbiased Truth about What You Should Eat and Why." I'm thinking okay, "that may be an over promise." But, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it pretty much was that—an unbiased presentation of information on 150 really healthy foods.

Of course Jonny Bowden is wanting to sell the book. It does come with a free CD and it pitches his website http://www.jonnybowden.com/ where he has all kinds of health-related goods and books for sale. But, as far as the book itself goes, it's a great resource on healthy foods you should be eating and why.

The book is organized into 14 chapters each on a different food area—Vegetables; Grains; Beans and Legumes; Fruits; Nuts, Seeds, and Nut Butters; Soy Foods; Dairy; Meat, Poultry, and Eggs; Fish and Seafood; Specialty Foods; Beverages; Herbs, Spices, and Condiments; Oils; and Sweeteners.

From the onset, Bowden makes it very clear that these are not the only foods good to eat. He just feels of all the foods out there, these are probably the healthiest for us. Among the 150 he's selected, some are given stars which denote foods that he feels are "superstars" in their area and deserve some special recognition.

For each food, Bowden presents in a very readable and informal manner the science behind the food, what's been reported/researched on its health benefits as well as some background about the food in various cultures. For example, did you know that broccoli is a member of the brassica family of cruciferous vegetables? You know, bok choy, cabbage, kale, and Swiss chard. Broccoli is "vegetable royalty" because it's an excellent source of a family of anti-cancer phytochemicals called isothiocyanates which fight cancer by neutralizing carcinogens (the "bad guys"). Bowden continues by listing the healthy benefits of broccoli specific to women (helps reduce risk of breast and cervical cancer). He continues with other nutritional benefits apart from it's cancer fighting accolades (good source of protein, fiber, potassium, calcium, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, beta-carotene, vitamin A, and lutein).

He also gives little "Worth Knowing" factoids that are pretty interesting to know. For example, did you know that carrots got a really bad and totally underserved rap by the low-carb folks because of their high glycemic index? Bowden continues the factoid by saying, " Actually, the glycemic index isn't very important—the glycemic load is. The glycemic index tests are done on a 50-g portion of carbohydrate, whereas the load tests are done on real-life portions. A carrot has only about 4g of carbohydrate, so its glycemic load—the only number that matters— is ridiculously low (about 3 on a scale of 0-40+). You'd have to eat a ton of carrots to get a significant rise in blood sugar."

Another thing that impressed me is that the majority of the 150 foods are ones that the average person is going to be purchasing. It's not loaded with a ton of exotic foods that you'd have to go to the Kingdom of Tonga to get. There were some that were new to me, and that's good. I like exploring new foods, but as for a resource, I want information on readily available foods—The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth does that.
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So we left Barnes & Noble with Vampire and foodie books in hand. (Blood wasn't on the list of 150 foods.) I'm thinking the cast of Twilight may want to pick up a copy. They're looking kind of pale.

Check out The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth. Having this book may just change what goes on your next grocery shopping list.
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Note: I purchased a copy of The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth with personal funds. No payment or endorsement of any kind was involved with the review of the book. My review is strictly an independent review based on my opinion of the book.

19 comments:

onelittletrigirl said...

I could probably open a store too with all my books...and I don't think you can ever have enough! I am headed to a book store tonight actually, so I'll keep my eyes peeled for this.

RunnerDude said...

Hi onelittletrigirl! If you get it, let me know what you think.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the book suggestion. Can't wait to get it.

Kenley said...

Love how you tied in the Vampire books with the food books. Yes, they are looking pale. lol. Great review of the book and I am glad it helped you out. I will have to check it out next time Im at B&N. The great thing there is that you can just sit and read like at the library. If it is worth buying, then you can make that decision 2-3 hours after reading it. lol. Thanks for the review. have a good one.

RunnerDude said...

Hey Anynymous! Sure thing! Let me know what you think, if you get it.

RunnerDude said...

Hey Kenley! Liked the Vampire tie-in, huh? LOL! Yep, B&N is a great place. Our family usually goes every weekend. Of course, it's like Target. We can never go in without spending way more than we intended. LOL! Worse vices, I suppose.

Adam said...

I'm going to check into this book and cross my fingers that chicken strips and doritos are in there.

Kidding kidding... This is very cool - I'm a HUGE fan of the eat this not that series, so this one would help a lot too.

PS, how goes the biz w/ the storefront etc?

Teamarcia said...

Looks like a goodie! I too spend more than my share of time waiting in bookstores while Vampire books are perused. Parenthood-gotta love it!

Running Through Life said...

thanks for the book review. This really looks interesting.

RunnerDude said...

Hey Adam!! I really like the Eat This Not That series too, especially the grocery store version.

Business is going well. Only been open for a week and a half, so working hard on getting clients. It will come. Just will take time. Having an open house on March 21st. and have an ad in today's paper, so hoping some calls will be coming soon. Thanks for asking man! Hope all is well your way!

RunnerDude said...

Hey teamarcia! What is it about those books anyway? LOL!!

RunnerDude said...

Hey Tony! Yep, this one's a keeper. The ones Adam mentioned are cool books too.

Kathy said...

Oh, I'm SO JEALOUS! Cawfee and a store FULL of English books! :) Sounds like a great book.

RunnerDude said...

Hey Kathy!Yep, coffe/bookstore setup is great, but I'm thinking you have some natural beauty down your way the beats ours hands down! lOL!

The Happy Runner said...

Looks like a good one -- I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the review

Boris T. said...

Thanks for the book suggestion! :)

RunnerDude said...

Hey The Happy Runner and Boris! Great seeing you guys on the blog! Thanks for the comments. If you happen to get the book, let me know what you think!

Adam said...

Glad to hear things are moving along w/ the store!!

Cindy said...

Interesting how that data gets skewed (index vs load). Curious to know if avocado made the list. I get a lot of gasps when I eat a whole one.