Good reads for dietitians
October 5, 2010 6:50 AM   Subscribe

Recommend books to broaden the mind of a future dietitian.

I'm studying to become a certified dietitian, and I can choose freely some of the extra literature I want to include in my studies.

Obviously, any scientific (or popular science) literature related to food, health, policy, specific illnesses or disorders - including psychological - or sports would be an easy sell (I do need to get the faculty's seal of approval, although they're not very strict), but thinking outside the box is OK, too. And perhaps even more fun. I'm thinking of areas such as society, culture, history, economics, ethics, agriculture... or perhaps there's something I could learn from that I'm not even thinking of at all?

Some caveats:
- I already have a graduate degree in social psychology, so I don't really need to generally branch out into that direction. Although it remains an area of interest, so if you have a specific recommendation in mind, great!
- I live in continental Europe, so e.g. very US-centered topics aren't really relevant. Then again, suggestions related to, say, global issues are welcome.

TL;DR: What fascinating books (on a wide range of topics) could a student of dietetics read for extra marks?
posted by sively to Grab Bag (17 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Nourishing Wisdom by Marc David.
posted by hansbrough at 6:55 AM on October 5, 2010

Have you read Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes yet?
posted by elsietheeel at 6:55 AM on October 5, 2010 [4 favorites]

Read Ruth Reichl's memoirs: "Tender at the Bone: Growing up at the Table"; "Comfort Me with Apples: More Adventures at the Table"; and "Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise." Wonderfully written, accessible and passionate about the role of food in her personal development.
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:08 AM on October 5, 2010

Geneen Roth has a few good books. also, "intuitive eating". also also, Susie Orbach.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:09 AM on October 5, 2010

Also on the subject of how food critics are made...Frank Bruni's "Born Round: A Story of Family, Food and a Ferocious Appetite."

Caveat: I haven't read this, but have read several essays by and interviews with Bruni about this book, and it sounds fascinating:

"How a man with a lifelong battle of the bulge landed the job as the restaurant critic for the New York Times, the most influential job in the food world, is only half the story (more like a third, really) in Frank Bruni's brave, brutally honest, often hilarious, and truly endearing memoir, Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-Time Eater.

Bruni struggled with over-eating since he was a boy growing up in a food-focused family in White Plains, NY. From adolescence through adulthood, Bruni was on the losing side of maintaining a healthy relationship with food, and eventually his inability to control his hunger--manifested in bulimia, convenience store binges, and bouts of sleep eating--defined his life. There aren't many books out there dealing with what it's like to be a man with an eating disorder. While Bruni's story is peppered with humor, his disgust at himself as he yo-yo's up to size 42 khakis at the Gap and endures years-long patches of celibacy leaves the reader aching in empathy."
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:12 AM on October 5, 2010

The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sissons. Any sort of book on paleo diet will give you non-mainstream ideas about diets and some of your future clients might ask you about this so you should be familiar with it.
posted by SouthCNorthNY at 7:19 AM on October 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If you haven't read it already, Diet for a Small Planet.
posted by Hanuman1960 at 7:31 AM on October 5, 2010

What kind of population will you be looking to work with in the future? Middle class adults/low income kids/hospital patients etc?

Nigel Slater's autobiographical Toast
Kenny Shopsin's book on how he runs his VERY idiosyncratic restaurant as his way of coping with life (he needs to cook his way to not get crazier) Eat me: The Food and Philosophy of Kenny Shopsin
Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma
posted by tangaroo at 7:46 AM on October 5, 2010

Breaking the Vicious Cycle. It's about the Specific Carbohydrate Diet that the author invented for her daughter who had an intestinal disease--I believe it was Crohn's. Thousands of people, including my brother, live with either Crohn's or Ulcerative Colitis, or a number of other intestinal diseases without any medication at all because they have successfully and fully adopted the SCD diet.
posted by dvrcthewrld at 8:01 AM on October 5, 2010

Gary Taubes, Michael Pollan, Marion Nestle, Andrew Weil.
posted by Aethelwer at 8:33 AM on October 5, 2010

Joel Fuhrman's Eat for Health.

If you read books that are critical of vegetarianism, you may also be interested in responses from people who studied vegetarian nutrition, like the vegan dietician.
posted by davar at 8:41 AM on October 5, 2010

The Obesity Myth, Paul Campos
posted by momus_window at 9:17 AM on October 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

Taubes and Campos are both fantastic suggestions. The Untold Story of Milk is another one that's really good- so much more than just milk covered, despite the title.
posted by Leta at 9:32 AM on October 5, 2010

Best answer: Euell Gibbons: Stalking the Wild Asparagus. Also this.
posted by neuron at 11:15 AM on October 5, 2010

I would think anything related to medicinal herbs. I have no titles. but we used to have one that Mrs. Jones swears cheaply cured various ailments.
posted by IndigoJones at 1:35 PM on October 5, 2010

Response by poster: Plenty of interesting stuff here to feed my mind, so to say. Thank you, everyone!

I've read some Pollan and just got Taubes approved by the prof (although with a bit of a "know thy enemy" vibe, heh). Also, I'm a vegetarian myself.

What kind of population will you be looking to work with in the future? Middle class adults/low income kids/hospital patients etc?

At the moment I find myself very interested in inpatient clinical nutrition, but I'm not excluding any options yet (it's only my 2nd year), one of them being having my own practice, in which case I'll need a broad understanding of just about every possible problem someone might approach me with.

Marking as best answers a few that immediately tickled my curiosity...
posted by sively at 1:55 PM on October 5, 2010

Lessons from the Fatosphere. Even if you don't agree with it (all), it's worth reading because it is a collection of pieces by everyday women of the sort you might come in contact with, and it will help you understand these potential clients better.

Child of mine: Feeding with love and good sense or anything else by Ellen Satyr.
posted by lollusc at 5:42 PM on October 5, 2010

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