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Staying Healthy With Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet & Nutritional Medicine.
by Elson M. Haas, M.D. 1992. Celestial Arts, P.O. Box 7123, Berkeley, CA 94707. Softcover. 1164 pp. with index. Illustrations. $24.95. ISBN 0-89087-481-6.

This book has to be the best twenty-five dollar deal available anywhere! Almost 1,200 pages of intensely-packaged micro-information on numerous aspects of nutrition and natural health. The author is a medical doctor with over twenty years experience in "integrated" medicine.

The book is divided into four parts -- "The Building Blocks," "Foods, Diet, and the Environment," "Building a Healthy Diet," and "Nutritional Application: Special Diets and Supplement Programs." In the first part, the author gives lucid, yet specific, explanations of various nutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, lipids (fats and oils), vitamins, minerals, and other "accessory" nutrients. Included in the second part on foods and diets and the environment, is detailed information on specific foods, a series of essays on a number of compelling, modern issues affecting food, nutrition, and the environment. The third part discusses various approaches and considerations in designing a healthy dietary regimen on an individualized basis.

In the fourth part, the author deals with various special diets and supplement programs for those with a wide range of "life-stage problems (e.g., adult women, menopause, pregnancy), performance enhancement programs (e.g., anti-aging, anti-stress skin enhancement, sexual vitality, cancer prevention, immune enhancement, cardiovascular disease prevention), medical treatment programs (e,g., weight loss or gain, yeast syndromes, allergies, PMS), and detoxification and healing programs (e.g., drug, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine detoxification).

One of the most intriguing and unique aspects of this book is a lengthy and specific questionnaire (68 pages long!) broken up into a number of sections based on different subjects and areas of the book. This, along with recipes, tips, charts, and tables, but mainly pages of interesting and detailed information, make this one of the most important mad unusual books published in the area of nutrition. Dr. Haas includes only a few pages on herbs, since they may offer various benefits in the area of detoxification, elimination, and anti-stress agents. Despite this drawback, this book offers a treasure-trove of nutritional information on and the health benefits of many conventional foods.

Article copyright American Botanical Council.