We know we need to eat well. But knowing exactly how to eat well is where things get tricky. With that in mind, we asked eight nutrition professionals for their number one book recommendation. Add something healthy to your bookshelf with one of these picks.

Disease-Proof: The Remarkable Truth About What Makes Us Well by David L. Katz, M.D.

The Expert: Jackie Keller, nutrition and health expert, and founding director of Los Angeles-based health food company NutriFit. Keller also has an online show, "Food Exposed: What's On Your Plate?"

The Recommendation: "Dr. Katz is one of the few internationally recognized experts in the area of wellness, human health, and the sustainability of our planet. The book is an honest overview of what we can do to prevent disease, modify our genetic predispositions, and control our weight, and provides a set of skills for the everyday man or woman," Keller says.

(Note: Keller has also published her own book, Body After Baby: The Simple 30-Day Plan to Lose Your Baby Weight.)

Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats, by Sally Fallon

The Expert: Andrea Cox, RD, in-house nutritionist at Healthy.co.id, an online store selling health and nutrition products.

The Recommendation: "There are so many great books related to nutrition, it is hard to pick just one favorite! But looking back, I'd have to say this book really sparked my interest in nutrition before I was an RD [registered dietician] and is the one that I would always refer back to," says Cox.

In addition, "I love the subtitle because it truly does challenge traditional nutrition practices. I recommend it because Sally advocates for eating real food, and using food as medicine. She makes a well-informed, educated position for forgoing modern processed foods and eating as our ancestors did; this is the best lesson I learned from the book."

Nutritional Alignment®: Don’t Diet, ALIGN! by Helena Collins

The Expert: Helena Collins, fitness and health guru in Boston. (Yes, she is the author!)

The Recommendation: "My favorite nutrition book [is the one that] I had to write. After 30-plus years in the health and fitness field, I realized that every nutrition book I had ever read told me how to diet and deprive [myself], and ‘be perfect,’ but no one had ever taught me how to live: How to be healthy while still enjoying a cocktail or pizza or nachos."

She continues, "The book goes back to the basis of paying attention to what you eat, but does it in a practical way that participants can adapt to their own lifestyles by teaching them how many calories are necessary to sustain their ideal weight (or mass). The great part is that once you reach your goal, you’ve learned not only how to feed yourself but also how to indulge and live, and you never have to learn anything else ever again."

Nourishing Wisdom: A Mind-Body Approach to Nutrition and Well-Being, by Marc David

The Expert: Liza Baker, certified integrative nutrition health coach and kitchen coach in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The Recommendation: "This book is a bit untraditional, but extremely important," says Baker. "It brings into play 'primary foods'—all those other [non-food] aspects of life that nourish us (relationship, career, etc.)."

With regard to food, "The most important takeaway is to eat mindfully—not just thinking of what we eat, but also why we eat and how. This book is vital to my health coaching business, as I lead clients through an exploration of how and why the way that they show up at the table/in the kitchen reflects how they show up in their lives."

Teddy Tries a Veggie (Smartee Plate Book 1) by Jennifer Glockner

The Expert: Jennifer Glockner, RD, a dietitian in Los Angeles (and the author of this book!)

The Recommendation: "I created this nutrition e-book series for kids because I aspire to empower them to establish smart eating habits at a young age, and arm them with lifelong tools to prevent disease and promote wellness. Teddy Tries a Veggie, which is the first book in my series, is a finalist in the 7th Annual Taste Awards for Best Interactive e-book," Glockner says.

"The book contains unique, fun, innovative elements including fun facts, engaging questions, and a yummy recipe. Apple users can access a version on iTunes for additional enhanced features including touch-and-learn icons, pop-up fun facts, silly sound effects, and a drawing tool! The book encourages opening an important dialogue with kids while making the experience of reading a Smartee Plate book loads of fun for little ones."

Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It, by Gary Taubes

The Expert: Westin Childs, MD, an Arizona-based nutrition specialist at Restart Medicine, who focuses on preventative and lifestyle medicine.

The Recommendation: "I love this book because it uses studies [from] over the last 100 years to debunk common myths of nutritional science. It helps to explain why as a nation we are continually getting fatter and unhealthier, despite the healthy recommendations to 'eat less fat and exercise more,'" Childs says.

"The best lesson in the book by far is that the idea that eating fat makes you fat has been shown in the scientific literature not to be true. It's also not true that eating saturated fat leads to heart disease, like we used to believe."

Body Respect: What Conventional Health Books Get Wrong, Leave Out, and Just Plain Fail to Understand About Weight, by Linda Bacon, PhD and Lucy Aphramor, PhD, RD.

The Expert: Adina Fradkin, MS, RD, LDN, who runs a private practice in Annapolis, Maryland.

The Recommendation: "I recommend this book to everyone! It is such a wonderful reminder of why chronic dieting doesn't work and suggests a much more practical approach to taking care of our personal wellness and having realistic expectations for our bodies," Fradkin says.

"So many people spend years, even decades, following grueling, restrictive diets only to gain the weight back in a couple of years. This book reminds us that being healthy is not as dependent on our weight as we are taught to believe. My favorite lessons from this book are that taking care of our bodies comes down to much more than the number on a scale, and that being healthy is not about jumping from diet to diet, but rather about treating our bodies with respect and gratitude, no matter what they look like."

The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger

The Expert: Tina Salicco, B.A., B.Ed, Owner, Do Or Diet, The Diet Doc Toronto Division.

The Recommendation: While some experts read for advice to fuel their bodies, Salicco says she reads to energize her mind: "I would say that the best lesson from this book is 'love knows no boundaries and conquers all.' People should read it because I still can't get Claire and Henry (the main characters) out of my head. Amazingly written. Page turner. All around incredible. It hasn't so much changed me but I have been very curious about time travel ever since. …

"I do read often, daily actually, and I think I enjoy escaping but also bringing to light certain topics that make me inquire further. [Reading] keeps my brain working. Like all muscles, the brain needs to be worked to stay strong. Reading is exercise for my brain," she concludes.

Westin Childs, MD, reviewed this article.


Baker, Liza. Email interview, Dec. 23, 2015.

Childs, Westin, MD. Restart Medicine. Email interview, Dec. 23, 2015.

Collins, Helena. Life in Synergy. Email interview, Dec. 23, 2015.

Cox, Andrea RD. Healthy.co.id. Email interview, Dec. 23, 2015.

Fradkin, Adina, MS, RD, LDN. Email interview, Dec. 23, 2015.

Glockner, Jennifer, RD. Email interview, Dec. 23, 2015.

Keller, Jacki. NutriFit. Email interview, Dec. 23, 2015.

Salicco, Tina. The Diet Doc Toronto Division. Email interview, Dec. 23, 2015.