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Medical Bookshelf

Women Urged to Watch Diets

December 26, 1985|ROSELLE LEWIS

A Guide to Good Nutrition by Myron Winick MD (Berkeley Books: $3.50).

Myron Winick, director of a nutrition center at Columbia University and author of books and articles on the subject, is persuasive in asking women to take heed of their eating habits.

Concurring with Freud, he believes that anatomy is destiny. Because of menstruation, women require twice as much iron as men, while every third woman suffers from some kind of nutritional deficiency. The juggling act is how to eat enough food, high in zinc, iron and calcium, while at the same time practicing weight watching when faced with the typical American diet of fats, sugars and calories.

Model Menus

Separate chapters, devoid of jargon and interestingly written, detail nutritional needs for every physiological turning point. Discussions of the female child, adolescent girl, the pregnant and nursing mother and the "mature years" woman are followed by model menus.

Though stressing balanced, four-square meals a day, Winick doesn't rule out occasional forays into McDonald's or Burger King, particularly for an adolescent, who should be in charge of her own eating habits. He also praises ethnic restaurants, whose pasta, rice or beans make for "complex carbohydrates."

As for the older woman, Winick stresses good nutrition, rather than the general use of vitamin-and-mineral supplements, which aren't necessarily "life extenders."

Proper Food

Though proper food can't overcome all disease, it can, in addition to establishing a basically healthy body, alleviate some symptoms of alcoholism, anemia, arthritis and gall bladder disease.

Despite his sound advice, Winick seems to be writing for the woman of yesteryear, who stayed at home, nursed her baby, had time for peanut butter snacks in the late afternoon, fixed liver at least once a week and brewed up thick soups of "high nutritional density."

Alas, the woman who hits the freeways early in the day, instead of punching down the dough for seven-grain bread, is going to be hard-pressed cooking up meals based on tofu, turnip greens, brewer's yeast and--for Pete's sake--canned mackerel.

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