Book Review: "The Reality Diet"

Wednesday, October 25, 2006 - 1:12pm

By Kathleen Goodwin, RD

With over a decade of best-selling, quick-fix, fad diet books and knock-offs of the "low carb” craze, it was refreshing to read The Reality Diet – a healthful book with delicious recipes which challenges us to "get real” again. What a pleasant surprise to finally come upon a diet and lifestyle book that gets a big "thumbs up”. It’s about time!

Buy The Reality Diet

Fiber fills you up
Cardiologist Steven Schnur has put together an appealing, sensible eating plan that (thank goodness!) also advocates regular exercise – not as an option, but as a necessary component to achieving optimal health. The overall eating plan emphasizes filling up on healthy, high fiber foods to assuage hunger. When it comes to choosing high fiber foods, Dr. Schnur offers us an easy guideline – "the 2:90 rule”. That is, choose products that have at least 2 grams of fiber for every 90 calories. This is a great guideline to follow, particularly when selecting grain products which frequently offer little nutritional value and are usually high in refined sugars.

A plan for a balanced lifestyle
Other areas emphasized in Schnur’s book include choosing foods from all food groups – not just fats or proteins, or carbs. The great thing about this book is that it guides us to the best fat choices, the best protein choices, and the best carbohydrate choices for taking off pounds and optimizing our health. We are free to eat all normal foods, with gentle guidelines that encourage us to choose foods that will invigorate and energize our bodies again. The daily food choices are packed with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants, fiber, and omega 3 fatty acids. Dr. Schnur backs his recommendations with solid research and client testimonials. And the best part of all? If we follow his plan properly, we can treat ourselves with a dessert daily! Even a glass of wine or a beer or two here and there is not off limits!

Healthy behavior is essential
Ensuring not to leave any boxes unchecked, The Reality Diet also encourages an emotional and behavioral assessment of your eating habits. It’s long been established that keeping a food record and becoming more aware of your food triggers and emotional health is a huge component of healthy long-term weight loss. This book does a great job of addressing the "big 3” when it comes to weight loss: diet, exercise, and eating behavior.

Packed with delicious recipes, tips for dining out and grocery shopping, as well as "real” tips for "real” people, The Reality Diet should be on every health professionals list of recommended diet books. I wish I’d have written it myself!