Winning Nutrition Books: Good Gifts for Good Health

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Each year brings a holiday season filled with athletes searching for the “perfect gift” for a friend, relative or teammate. To make your shopping easier, I’m sharing a list of winning book suggestions for active people. You can buy many of the books (plus others) at, or—websites that specialize in reputable food, nutrition and weight management books written by registered dietitians and other health professionals.

The American Dietetic Association's Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, 3rd Edition (2006)
By Roberta Duyff, RD
For 656 pages of clear-cut food facts and eating advice, this nutrition bible is a good bet! This reputable resource separates fads from facts and answers questions from apples to zucchini, allergies to vegetarian diets.

What to Eat: An Aisle-by-Aisle Guide to Savvy Food Choices and Good Eating
by Marion Nestle, PhD
For people who feel lost in the grocery store, this guide provides an eye-opening tour through the produce, dairy, meat, fish, bread and ”center aisles” of the supermarket. The highly respected author provides the information confused athletes need to make intelligent food choices.

Vegetarian Sports Nutrition
by Enette Larson-Meyer, RD
Every day, more and more athletes are choosing a plant-based training diet. This book will help your favorite vegetarian enjoy optimal nutrition and top performance.

Practical Sports Nutrition
by Louise Burke, PhD
Written by internationally known and highly respected Australian sports dietitian Louise Burke, this 656-page textbook is geared for upper-level college and graduate students. But, it’s easy to read and practical, and could easily become “the bible” for the serious athlete who really wants to delve into the science of sports nutrition.

Nutrient Timing: The Future of Sports Nutrition
by John Ivy and Robert Portman
Written by two respected exercise physiologists, this book is perfect for athletes who are serious about weight training and want to take their sports diet to the next level. They'll learn the importance of what and when to eat to optimize muscles. Scientific but understandable.

Nancy Clark's Food Guide for Marathoners and The Cyclist's Food Guide: Fueling for the Distance
by Nancy Clark RD
If you have friends who are novice cyclists or runners and are venturing into the world of endurance exercise (for example, participating in a Team In Training marathon program or the AIDS ride), these books can help them enjoy the training, eat for the long haul--and, if desired, lose body fat along the way. Perfect gifts for training groups; bulk discounts at

The College Student's Guide to Eating Well on Campus
by Ann Litt RD
Litt's how-to food guide can help student-athletes navigate campus food and consume adequate protein despite being vegetarian, fuel properly for sports even when traveling, and survive exams with energy to spare. It's the perfect going-away gift for college freshmen.

Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family and Your Child's Weight: Helping without Harming
by Ellyn Satter RD
Ellyn Satter RD is the expert on child feeding—and how to end the family feuds over eat-your-peas, no-dessert-until-you-eat-your-dinner and other such controversial topics. If you and your spouse are struggling to manage your children's food intake and weight, these books are a must!

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