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Book Review: The Calorie Counter for Dummies

If you’ve ever thought you ordered the healthiest food pulling in to a fast-food drive-through or browsing the menu of your favorite restaurant to realize that you didn’t, then The Calorie Counter For Dummies is what you need.

The 436-page pocket size book is light and simple reading, written by two registered dietitians, Rossane Rust and Meri Rafetto.

And don’t brush-off the book just because you don’t need to lose weight. It’s for anyone who wants to make healthier food decisions, whether at home or out.

Part One, Healthy Eating 101, skims through eating healthy in general, losing weight, lowering cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, and eating for diabetes. It summarizes the dietary guidelines, and offers tips to practice them along with appropriate menu options.

What I like most about Part One is that it’s realistic. While promoting balance (in diet, exercise, and sleep), it admits that people will eat out, don’t always have time to make meals from scratch, and that no one can eat a perfect diet every day.

What a great reminder for many of us who can’t get rid of the guilt of screwing up one day!

Part Two, Restaurant Guide, lists the nutrition information for 150 restaurants. This book is resourceful! 390 pages of information on calories, fat, saturated fat, sodium, carbohydrates, fiber, and protein. Arby’s, Au Bon Pain, Auntie Anne’s, Baja Fresh, Bob Evans, Buffalo Wild Wings, California Pizza, Ruby Tuesday, Panda Express, Panera, P.F. Changes, Sheetz, and more are all there.

Part Three, Common Food Guide, lists the information for regular household items. This is perfect for home cooking or grocery shopping.

I like the size of the book, not too big and bulky but not too small that I can’t read the font. The tables are easy on the eye and the paper is of good quality. Another plus is the fiber information, which is not available in all calorie counting books. It’s time people start eating foods that are high in something, rather than low in everything!

The Calorie Counter for Dummies is $7.99 with a $3 mail-in rebate (check the back of the book). It’s a small investment for a walking nutrition encyclopedia.

No more guess work when eating out!


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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Farah January 24, 2010, 8:07 am

    Thanking you for the tip, next time i see this book, i will make sure i buy it. Speaking of counting calories, how many calories are in 5 tablespoons of cooked rice, and how many portions of crabs would that count

    • Nour El-Zibdeh, RD January 24, 2010, 8:34 am

      5 tablespoons of cooked rice is 1/3 cup, which is about 60 calories and one portion or “choice” of carbs.