Review: Eat This Not That

Eat This Not That: Thousands of Simple Food Swaps That Can Save You 10, 20, 30 Pounds—or More!Eat This Not That
by David Zinczenko

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Eat This, Not That / 1-59486-854-9

I picked this book up because I thought it looked interesting. It's always useful to look at restaurant items, because I live in an area that doesn't require nutritional data on menus, so it's anyone's guess, really, the different between THIS Sonic burger and THAT Sonic burger.

In that regard - comparing restaurant items - the book does pretty well. The math is fuzzy at times, particularly with anything containing sauces, but veterans of the food wars will already know to watch out for sauces because they introduce a lot of unknown variables into a dish. As a general rule of thumb, therefore, the maths are fine. Unfortunately, most of the restaurant items are 1-to-1 comparisons - eat one of the three items on the left INSTEAD of one of the three items on the right. If you don't want the items on the right anyway, then you're not really saving or learning anything; the items on the left are merely "comparable", and not necessarily the "best" the restaurant has to offer (where "best" is defined by your personal dietary needs).

Much of the book feels like filler, particularly the grocery section. Unless you've got a pressing need to make your grocery list out ahead of time, to the last item, you'll be better served by just making the comparisons at the store yourself - you won't remember what you read in this book, and it's likely you won't be able to quickly look things up on the fly in the supermarket.

Overall, this is a nice little book if you do a lot of dining out for whatever reason, and don't have access to menu nutritional data, but do take this with a grain of salt, if you take it at all. If, on the other hand, you're a veteran of the food wars, you probably won't get much use out of this - you likely aren't dining out much at all, and the grocery data you can parse on your own.

~ Ana Mardoll

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