I’ve written a bit here over the years about nutrition research and my own general journey with weight management, but I realized I’ve only really referred in passing to the people who I read when I want to catch up on the field. I figured this was a pretty good time to do a post on that.
- For all things vegan: Anyone who followed my old old blog knows that I actually spent several years as a vegan. I eventually gave it up, but I still like to read up what’s going on in the world of plant based nutrition. Ginny Messina (aka the Vegan RD) is a registered dietitian who is a vegan primarily for ethical reasons. As such, she uses her dietitian training to help vegans be as healthy as possible, while also helping lead the charge for veganism to be more evidenced based when they stray out of ethics and in to nutrition claims. She writes critiques of other vegans work if she feels they overstate the evidence, and she even coauthored a book called “Even Vegans Die“. Overall a pretty awesome example of someone who advocates for a particular diet while also adhering to evidence.
- For the ancestral health crowd: If you’re paleo or just interested in how our evolutionary history influences how we think about food, Stephan Guyenet is a must read. A neuroscientist who specializes in obesity related research, his research focus is on why we overeat and what we can do about it. His book The Hungry Brain is one of the most well balanced science based nutrition books I’ve ever read, and has received quite a bit of praise for being honest and evidence based.
- For deep dives in to the science: There are not many bloggers that I read that make me go “holy crap did this person dig deep in to this paper”, but CarbSane is one blogger who gets that reaction from me on nearly every post. She doesn’t just read papers and give you the gist, she posts tables, cites other literature, and is basically a blog equivalent of a nutritional biochemistry class. She is probably the person most responsible for making me aware of the problem of misreprecitation in nutrition science, because she has the patience, knowledge and wherewithal to figure out exactly what commonly cited papers do and do not say. Oh, and she’s lost over 100 lbs too, so she actually has a good eye for what is and isn’t useful for real people to know. For a taste of what she does, try her posts on the “Biggest Loser Regain Study” that made headlines.
- For weight management and health policy: There’s really a bit of a tie here, as I really like both Yoni Freedhoff’s Weighty Matters blog and Darya Rose’s Summer Tomato for this topic. Freedhoff is a Canadian MD who runs a weight loss center, and he blogs from the medical/health policy perspective. His book “The Diet Fix” covers evidence based ways of making any diet more effective, and he encourages people to take the approach (vegan, low carb, paleo, etc etc) that they enjoy the most. Darya Rose is a neuroscientist who also gives advice about how to make your “healthstyle” more practical and easier to stick to, and her book “The Foodist” is on the same topic. I like them because they both continuously emphasize that anything too difficult or complicated is ultimately going to be tough to maintain. It’s all about making things easier on yourself.
- For those in the greater New Hampshire area: Okay, this ones pretty region specific, but the Co-op News blog from the Hanover Co-op has a special place in my heart. An online version of a newsletter that’s been going since 1936, it features frequent posts from my (dietitian) cousin and my (incredible chef) uncle. It’s a great place to check out if you need advice on anything from using up summer vegetables to figuring out if macaroni and cheese is okay to eat. It also serves to remind me that I should invite myself over to their house more often. That food looks awesome.
Bonus round: if your looking for some one off reads, this week I read this takedown of the science in the vegan documentary “What the Health” and enjoyed it. I also liked this paper that reviewed the (now infamous) Ancel Keys “7 Countries Study” and shed some light on what the original study did and did not say.
Of course if you have a favorite resource, I’d love to hear it!