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From the NYT on dieting

No to Pseudoscientific Diets! Yes to Less Stress About Food!
By Judith Newman

Join me, won’t you, in the diet book drinking game. Here’s how it works: Every time you read the following words, you down a shot of tequila. Ready?

Green smoothie
Humanely raised

Usually, by the time I’m on Page 10 I’m ready to take off all my clothes and lick the necks of strangers — and I don’t even live in Florida. So for your safety, and my own, I’ve mixed traditional diet books with some that are half memoir and half instruction, offering a sprinkle of inspiration. Let me take two Advil and begin.

As a title it’s quite a mouthful, but DRESSING ON THE SIDE: (And Other Diet Myths Debunked): 11 Science-Based Ways to Eat More, Stress Less, and Feel Great About Your Body (Grand Central, $26) is simple and pragmatic. The nutritionist Jaclyn London thinks better (not perfect) health depends on eliminating your “self-shaming” and “cognitive distortions about your own abilities” — meaning she wants us to stop mooning over everyone else’s Instagram pages and focus on achieving our personal best. There are common-sense distinctions here between fact and fiction, and simple-to-understand nutritional workarounds for all sorts of real-life situations. So: Yes to amping up the vegetables and fruits, and yes to drinking more water, for many reasons. No to detoxing, a pseudoscience word that means nothing. Your liver and kidneys are detoxing as we speak, with no help from kale.
The title of this book should really be “Stop It. Stop It Right Now.” That powdered collagen I’m mixing into water? It’s doing pretty much nothing. Coconut oil smells good, but doesn’t actually burn belly fat. Sorry. And sorry, Tom Brady, food can’t change the pH of your blood. But how about drinking apple cider vinegar? Oops: It’s neither antibacterial nor an appetite suppressant. Well, it is, in the sense that you’ve just set your esophagus on fire, but otherwise, no.

London also points out that even if something is true, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should do it. For example, there are numerous studies indicating that intermittent fasting (going from eight to 24 hours without eating anything, sometimes several days a week) may in fact put you in a state of ketosis, where fat is used for energy instead of sugar in the form of glucose. But the other thing low blood sugar does is fuzz your vision (not ideal if you read a lot), prevent you from focusing at work and mess with your ability to exercise. I have fasted. Probably you have too. Here’s the SparkNotes revelation: You feel bad; then you feel really really good; then you want to die; then you Hoover up whatever’s in the refrigerator.