Books I have read on Nutrition

It’s pretty complete I think. Before reading any of these I would suggest reading Bad Science.

  • The Vegetarian Myth – the title does it a dis-service. Yes it’s a great debunking of all the arguments you ever here about being a vegetarian. It however also explains why the only truly sustainable way of living requires harmony with nature.
  • Why We Get Fat – almost like a shorter less detailed version of the Diet Delusion. This should be read by everyone. Short enough and an easy enough read for everyone to be able to enjoy it. A superbly articulated read explaining the current best thinking on why fat accumulates.
  • The Diet Delusion – an excellent read. Gives a full history of how current ‘conventional wisdom’ came about and provides all the evidence you need that such wisdom is almost the opposite of what you should do. If you read just one book on nutrition read this.
  • Big Fat Lies, Is Your Government Making You Fat – short easy read that could change your life. Written by an ex lawyer and takes a lawyers approach to the evidence for todays dietary advice.
  • The China Study – booked based on a single (very) large study in china. This was an observational study but despite this the author makes endless deductions of causation. This book has been widely critiqued. Eg here, here  and here. My conclusion is the author has ulterior motives and the books conclusions are wrong.
  • Racing Weight  – a lot of common sense here BUT just re-iterates the standard dietary dogma. Talks about how complicated GI is and then introduces his own more complicated “Diet Quality Score”. His calculations for how many carbohydrates you’d need look ridiculous. I know what he states for me would have me ballooning in weight even during 40 or 50 hr training weeks.
  • Trick and Treat, How ‘Healthy Eating’ is making us ill – Very detailed book looking at the whole spectrum of nutrition advice and what evidence there is. Another book that will change the way you view what the media / experts tell you about a healthy diet.
  • The End Of Overeating – excellent book looking at how foods containing fat, sugar and salt are ‘hyper-palatable” and how the food industry produces more and more of these. Great tips on how to overcome an addiction to these hyper-palatable foods.
  • Endurance Sports Nutrition – nothing will surprise you here just tells you conventional wisdom. Effectively spouts the government food pyramid.
  • Nourishing Traditions – this is a fascinating book telling how to cook like your great grandmother probably would.
  • Protein Power – Written by a couple of doctors who found moving patients from low  fat diets to a diet based around protein intake cured a lot of their ills. Like many books here it states that weight gain is down to carbohydrate intake and it’s that you need to control to be healthy.
  • Protein Power Lifeplan – Continuation of the Protein Power.
  • The Paleo Diet – Great read. This book set me on the road to really investigate what constitutes a good diet. The logic of this is inescapable.
  • The Paleo Diet for Athletes – Explains how to adapt the Paleo diet if you do a lot of exercise. Explains when high carb foods can be eaten. I felt if over complicates things and in giving very precise timings and types of goods to eat gives the impression of a much greater understanding by science of how we process food than i think is the case.
  • Neanderthin – Nice little read. Effectively the Paleo Diet but in a much smaller book.
  • Dangerous Grains – If you eat lots of bread and cereals READ THIS. It’s not quite managed to stop me eating bread and cereals but it’s certainly means I view them as very bad for my health
  • The Cholesterol Myths – If you’re on statins, are worried about your cholesterol or even adjust your diet based on being told you need to lower you cholesterol you really need to read this book and the next one.
  • The Great Cholesterol Con – See comments on The Cholesterol Myths
  • The Schwarzbein Principle – yet another name to a low carb diet. There are a lot of books about low carb diets under different names. The media dispels them as fads but I think it’s because low carb diets work
  • The Metabolic Typing Diet – proposes that we need to decide what type of person we are – protein type, carbo type or mixed. There’s some sense can be made of this which is you should try things out and see what works for you.
  • The South Beach Diet – yep another low carb diet.
  • Optimum Nutrition Bible – monster interesting read written by someone thats probably questionably qualified. He certainly gets a beating in Bad Science
  • New Optimum Nutrition Diet – more of the above.
  • The Atkins Diet – the original (?) low carb diet. Try and ignore what you hear from people about this. Most have never read it and only regurgitate what they here in the press. This makes a lot of sense and is pretty much the same as the Protein Power and Protein Power lifeplan.
  • Atkins For Life – More details of how to live happily on an Atkins diet.
  • Overcoming Binge Eating – the title says it all. As athletes I think we can get obsessed with food and often eat it for the wrong reasons. This gives you good methods to avoid this.
  • Eating Less, Say Goodbye to Overeating – More useful techniques for avoiding over eating.
  • The New Glucose Revolution – all about GI of carbs. Very useful when combined with a low carb diet to help you chose the better carbs to be consuming.
  • The GI Diet – more of the same.

+diet sections of various training books

  • Going Long
  • Triathletes Training Bible
  • Cycling Training Bible
  • Long Distance Cyclists Handbook
  • etc …. the list goes on and on