Monday, October 3, 2011

Head to Head... The Complete Idiot's Guide to Total Nutrition Vs. Nutrition for Dummies

     There has always been certain product battles.  The most popular that I can think of is Coke Vs. Pepsi.  There is always a debate over which is better.  Today I have the opportunity to put two popular book series up against each other.  This comparison is between The Complete Idiot's Guide to Total Nutrition fourth edition and Nutrition for Dummies 4th edition.  I was sent both books to review.

     Lets start with Nutrition for Dummies.  This book is written by health reporter Carol Ann Rinzler.  The author has put together a comprehensive volume good for both occasional use and more detailed introduction to nutrition.  This book discusses vitamins, minerals, fat content, carbohydrates, and much more.  The book offers some practical ways to add more nutritious eating into everyday life.

     The book includes icons used throughout the book to make some specific points.  The icons are include:
  1. myth busters ~ separate the truth from the myths
  2. nutrition speak ~ definitions of the words used by nutrition experts
  3. official word ~ scientific studies, statistics, definitions, and recommendations
  4. technical stuff ~ clear, concise explanations of technical terms and processes
  5. tip ~ time and stress saving information
  6. warning ~ alerts you to nutritional pitfalls
     Some items in this book I like include the cheat sheet in the front of the book.  There is a break down of minerals, what you need, and when its too much.  There are many charts to help explain what is being shared.  I also like the food and drug interactions chart that helps you do see which drugs work better or worse with which foods.  One part I don't really like is where the author talks about food processing.  The author shares that food processing is a healthful part of your diet and that it upgrades the nutritional value of food.  I know that food processing is necessary in some cases, but i don't believe that it makes the food higher in nutritional value.  I could be wrong, but every think I have heard is to try and eat more natural versions and cut down on the processed foods.

     So the second book is The Complete Idiot's Guide to Total Nutrition.  This book is written by Joy Baueer, M.S., R.D., C.D.N.  This book guides you on how to shop for and prepare healthy foods and gives advise on how to get up and moving.  this book guides you on what you need in vitamins and minerals daily, gives information on fad diets and nutrition gimmicks, smart supermarket strategies, and a helpful Restaurant Survival Guide.

     This book also has some icons with little information sprinkled inside all over.
  1. Food for Thought ~ tips on eating and exercising for everyday
  2. Nutri-speak ~ definitions of food and exercise jargon
  3. Overrated-Undercooked ~ warnings to keep in mind
  4. Q & A ~ questions we all want answers too
     Some of what I really like in this book are charts and graphs.  This book balances nutrition and exercise.  There are many healthy recipes and healthy eating sample menus.  This book breaks down vitamins and minerals.  I also really like there are lots of mentions of pregnant women and what is healthy.  There is a whole chapter plus more dedicated to pregnant mommies.

     Based on my observations with these two books it is very hard to determine which book is better.  They both have some great information.  They can both be used as a reference guide or a book to read.  I would have to say that The Complete Idiot's Guide to Total Nutrition is my favorite by a slight bit.  The two contributing factors for me are that This book has so much more on pregnancy and since I am hoping that I will be pregnant soon I look for information around that.  I did not see any recipes in the first book either and if you know me at all you must know I don't cook.  Not that I wouldn't like to, but I am not good at it and I just never know what to do.

     If your interested in getting The Complete Idiots Guide to Total Nutrition or any other Idiots Guide then now is the time.  You can use the code CIGBlog11, this code is for 50% off of one order of regularly priced books from Idiots Guides.  This discount is good through October 31, 2011

I was provided both copies of the books for review purposes.  I was not compensated for this post.  All thoughts and opinions are my own. 


  1. I've always wondered about the differences in the two different books, (not particularly in nutrition, just in general.)
    Thanks for the comparison!

    I so need these! I like that it has a food and drug interactions chart that helps you do see which drugs work better or worse with which foods.