David Zinczenko is the editor-in-chief of Men’s Health magazine. I first noticed his “Eat This, Not That” column in the Yahoo.com Health section. One of the major shortcomings of any diet, according to Zinczenko, is that people do not have much control over how their food is prepared when they eat out at a restaurant. Obviously you should avoid Double Whoppers if you care about your health and your waistline, but sometimes things are not so obvious: there are other entrees that sound healthy but actually aren’t. Eat This, Not That gives you the tools to make informed choices.
Chapter 1 has a list of the 20 worst foods in America, as well as a restaurant report card of popular fast-food and sit-down restaurants. Some of the grades were surprising to me– Chick-Fil-A gets an A+ while Panera Bread gets a D– but Zinczenko backs up his grade with a short summary of why each restaurant got the grade it did.
Chapter 2 features reviews of 60 popular restaurants. On the left page of each review is a healthy entree that is recommended (“Eat This”). This includes a nice photograph of the dish, along with its nutritional information. An “Other Picks” section lists other recommended choices. The right page lists dishes that are not recommended (“Not That”).
I found my share of favorites on the “Not That” side of these reviews. A funny but sobering feature is the “Weapon of Mass Destruction” — an item that can do unusually high damage to your health and waistline. (I did survive one of these weapons recently, the Five Guys Bacon Cheeseburger with barbecue sauce and mayo with fries, which has 1,750 calories and 82 grams of fat, 26 of them saturated.) There is also a “Hidden Danger” warning with a big black exclamation point when an apparently healthy item is sabotaged by a hidden and unadvertised ingredient.
The other chapters provide even more tools to eating wisely. Chapter 4 is a guide to what food to eat and avoid on holidays and special occasions, which is especially appropriate now as we head into the Thanksgiving season (you will want to limit the amount of dark turkey meat after you read this section). Chapter 5 is a guide to supermarket shopping in the same Eat This / Not That format. I’m a big peanut butter fan, and I was surprised that a reduced-fat version is not recommended because …. well, you will have to read the book to find out.
Useful as the reviews are, they are by no means comprehensive, so you may want to check out some other titles in this series: Eat this, not that! supermarket survival guide : the no-diet weight loss solution, Eat this, not that! for kids! : thousands of simple food swaps that can save your child from obesity! and Eat This Not That! Restaurant and Fast Food Survival Guide: The No-Diet Weight Loss Solution. But this book is a great place to start in finding the right kinds of foods to eat and avoid to help you live a healthier life.
Check the WRL catalog for Eat This, Not That