I interviewed Bonnie Taub-Dix, MA, RD, author of Read It Before You Eat It: How to Decode Food Labels and Make the Healthiest Choice Every Time, for my Managing Sweets series. She is a nationally recognized nutrition expert with many years of experience (click here for her impressive bio). During our interview she told me about her book and sent me a copy.
“It’s about time!” is all I have to say about this book. Since the FDA got involved in regulating nutrient labeling in 1990, the nutrition label has become even more complex.
The first half of this book provides readers with the history of labeling, what claims really mean, tricky terms, whether organic is worth it, the different food rating systems, and how to shop with different health conditions in mind.
The second half of the book takes readers on a tour of the grocery store. Taub-Dix provides tips and insights on how to choose the best produce, protein sources, fats, grains, snacks, and beverages. She helps clear up the confusion so consumers know exactly what they are buying — and which choices to make. Each chapter has “fast facts” which help summarize the key points.
The book also has a nice appendix with seasonal produce and information on which food additives are safe and which ones to avoid (or consume less).
Having worked with food labeling and nutrition claims, I know how complex they can be. I often see people make mistakes with their food purchases — buying something they think is healthy but really isn’t. Read It Before You Eat It does an excellent job of summarizing the key information people need to know.
While the food label can be confusing, it’s also incredibly helpful. Once you understand what all the terms mean (and don’t mean), it’s easier to make the best decisions for you and your family. This book is a great addition to any family’s bookshelf.