When it comes to nutritional information, Americans are inundated with news and advice that seems to change as quickly and as often as the wind.
Should we eat lots of carbohydrates or not? How much protein is too much? Are canned foods good for us? And just which of the leafy greens, and how much of them should we eat to prevent certain cancers and other disease?
To put the public at ease, the American Dietetic Association is out with a new edition of its bible on everything about eating healthy: the "American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, 2nd Edition."
The "Complete Food and Nutrition Guide" is billed as a reference book that offers realistic advice on achieving overall wellness. The book is designed to take the guesswork out of interpreting much of the nutritional information found in magazines and newspapers.
Roberta Larson Duyff, the author of the book, visits The Early Show to highlight useful information on illness prevention and health stabilization.
She says in its 640 pages, readers will find solutions, basic information and future insight on everyday eating dilemmas, no matter what the lifestyle or specific need. Readers will find the latest healthy eating guidelines, foods and strategies for good health and nutritional advice for every age and stage of life. The reader of the book will also find information on weight control, heart-healthy eating, supermarket shopping, eating out, food safety, vegetarian eating, sports nutrition and tips for convenience and good taste.
In each of the book's 24 chapters, there are sidebar notes in the form of quizzes and factual information for readers to assess their own nutritional knowledge.
Duyff says we're reading about functional foods all the time. Functional foods are foods and beverages with special health benefits beyond basic nutrition.
Duyff believes that sometimes fresh foods aren't enough of a good thing for the body. For example, the book tells you canned tomatoes are actually a better source than fresh tomatoes for lycopene, which reduces the risk of prostate cancer.
Vitamins are being treated differently in the medical field, according to Duyff, so this 2nd edition of the guide spends time on the role of supplements in the diet.
She says the guide can assist the entire family in their health maintenance because it provides insight that could prove useful in a doctor's office. The guide empowers to the consumer with specifics so they can inquire, challenge and better understand professional advice on health and nutrition.
Duyff also says the guide was written in a way that it has a shelf life which will allow it to be of use for more than just a few years.
Copyright 2002 CBS. All rights reserved.