T Nation

Nutrition Book Review

Nutrition and diet are the last hurdles that I need to get over. I’d like to know which nutrition books have made a difference in your progress? The ones that you took the info, applied it and saw progress. I’d really appreciate any advice.

For cutting- The Anabolic Diet by Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale. Skip Lacour’s Bodybuilding Nutrition made some good points also. I rotate between a high protein/mod carb/mod fat and the anabolic diet- mod fat/low carb/high fat diet every 2 weeks. I’m growing and losing at the same time. I came to the realization that if I quit eating for taste and just ate for nutrition I could accomplish my goals. Plain, simple meals and MRPs are now my staple- 6/7 times a day. Fuck taste! Now throw in a cheat day once every week or so. You’ll enjoy food a whole lot more.

My suggestion won’t give you any information about dieting strategies for body builders per se. But the books that helped me understand diet the most were written by Adelle Davis in the '50s and ‘60s. They explain the biochemistry of foods in more technical detail and more completely than any other book I have seen published in the last 50 years. Anyone studying anatomy and physiology in college will come across this information indirectly, so I have been continually surprised that there has not been a single book written by the so-called “experts” for the general public or the serious athlete that actually explains this information in a practical way. Many of Davis’ recommendations were way ahead of her time. For example, she was recommending diets of 1-2 gr/protein per pound of body weight for non-athletes as a way to increase and maintain health back in the '40s! She had a recipe for a fortified shake that, while not the most palatable thing, would give you almost 30 grams/protein for much less than today’s MRP . She explained the role of fats in the formation of hormones, the need for unsaturated fatty acids in the diet, as well as the role of vitamins C & E in overcoming stress, injury and athletic performance long before it was fashionable. Not to mention how digestion works and what happens chemically to food when you cook it. Every single one of her assertions is backed by reams of clinical and lab research cited in journal articles.

The fundamental aspects of biochemistry have not changed since then, so her information is just as applicable now as it was then. After reading these books, I have been able to make sense of what many “experts” have been saying about diet and been able to very accurately gauge how helpful their plans would be for me. The books have been out of print for a while, but you can get second-hand copies through amazon.com.

The only other book that was as much help as Davis’ was Dr. Linus Pauling’s book on vitamin C.