Alexandra Heminsley | Contributing Writer | Saturday, 2 January 2016

5 Healthy Eating Books To Help You Quit Sugar And Eat More Veg

5 Healthy Eating Books To Help You Quit Sugar And Eat More Veg

The Debrief: Ignore the big hitters and look to these actually useful books to help you eat better this year

Determined to kick the cheesy chips this year? Me too. Here's a few books that might help...

First Bite: How We Learn To Eat - Bee Wilson

This book is the single most useful thing you can read if you feel you want to address your diet in 2016. There however are no recipes. Instead, it’s a look at why we eat what we do. Examining the crap we eat because it comforts us, to the instinctive decisions we make when ill, it deconstructs what we thought we knew about flavour, diet and hunger. Packed with fascinating studies, from babies choosing their own dinner to why soup feels more filling when you use a spoon, it will transform the decisions you make for yourself, from being able to say ‘no’ when you're full to developing a taste for that which you thought you hated. All without needing to use a coy snap of a kilner jar or a sweatshirt that says you love kale.

4th Estate, £12.99

Always Hungry? - David Ludwig 

Dr Ludwig is an undeniably eminent professor and endocrinologist, a sensation for his writing in the New York Times, and has a proposal that makes a lot of sense - he believes that eating low fat, or the wrong sorts of fat is what is causing obesity and that calorie counting is a waste of time. Sadly this book - while no doubt full of wisdom, makes for a dry read. It’s written in classic American self-help prose, and the meal plans are unillustrated descriptions of ‘steel cut oats’ which ‘can be eaten cold’. There are useful facts to be gleaned in here, but sadly packaging and tone simply reinforce everyone’s darkest nightmares about January dieting.

Orion Books, £20

FIVE - Rachel De Thample 

Named after the number of fruit & veg portions we’re all chasing per day, this is less about allergy and weight loss than simply getting our daily vitamins in. And it’s worth the cover price for two pages alone: a ridiculously useful, fully comprehensive and sometimes surprising (lentils?!) list of what actually makes one portion. What follows are largely but not exclusively veggie recipes. A lot of the breakfasts are full of sugar and fruit, and the recipes aren’t quite as luscious as Anna Jones’s two gorgeous vegetarian books, but on the whole these are sensible ideas for rebooting your nutrition rather than merely losing weight.

Ebury Press, £14.99

I Quit Sugar: Simplicious - Sarah Wilson 

Sarah Wilson is the queen of quitting sugar - New York Times bestseller, TV star in Australia and creator of the eight week plan that has got so many sugar-free. But she doesn’t want to scare you! Which might be why she uses exclamation marks and emoji so much! Or why the book looks like like a tween’s scrapbook! That aside, there is really useful stuff here - particularly regarding how to get your kitchen sorted if you’re planning to change your diet. The pages on storing, freezing, bulk making things and generally making life hangover/temptation proof are invaluable - and there are some great, filling recipes too. This is a huge hardback, and it does feel a bit like joining a cult, but it is far less sanctimonious, better informed and more tasty than many other offerings out there.

Macmillan, £20

Cook Nourish Glow - Amelia Freer 

Easily the most stylish of the bunch, Amelia Freer has already gained cult status for working her magic on Sam Smith, James Corden and Boy George - as well as various fashion types. Her previous book was light on recipes, high on advice about things like grass fed meat, but this one has many more actual meals - and tasty ones too. Gorgeously shot, genuinely delicious and achievable menus are in abundance here. It’s all quite glam, so don’t expect to spend the same at the supermarket as you would buying pitta and hummous, but there’s no denying there is meat, flavour and a sense of a occasion to lots of these recipes.

Penguin, £20

 You might also be interested in:

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How Many Of The Country's Favourite Books Have You Read?

'Room' And 5 Other Books To Read Before The Films Come Out

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Tags: Food, Food Glorious Food, books, Health