After 30 years of advice to eat low fat, the United States, followed closely by many other, mostly but not exclusively, industrialized nations, is witnessing an unprecedented epidemic increase in obesity and diabetes, to name just two. The cost of these developments to the individual and to society is enormous, and the projected cost for the future staggering. It is evident that the increase in obesity and diabetes is strongly related to faulty nutrition. Proper nutrition is probably the most effective and cost-effective prevention for these and many other diseases, including most cancers. It should be clear to anyone by now that proper nutrition involves much more than having three meals a day. The written media abound with nutritional advice and information. Many books promote often extremely controversial guidelines for weight loss and better health. Frequently, articles and books are based on unproven assumptions, anecdotal evidence, or single scientific studies that seem to point in one or the other direction. The reader who tries to make sense of it all tends to be utterly confused.

Yet, even though nutritional science is relatively young, it is a hard science and many aspects have been thoroughly researched. Our knowledge of other aspects, such as the functions and effects of many secondary phyto-chemicals, or the multiple interactions between many body chemicals during nutrition-related metabolism, is evolving continually. Nutritional science is an interdisciplinary endeavor based on chemistry, biology, physiology, and anatomy, which are often hard to understand and even harder to present in a condensed, easy to assimilate fashion.

So where can the interested layperson turn for information? Where do professionals dealing with nutritional questions, physicians, nurses, pharmacists, teachers, etc.—who often have little or no nutritional training—turn for easily accessible, reliable, up-to-date, and comprehensive information? Where can dietitians and nutritionists quickly look up scientifically sound and up-to-date information about a particular nutritional topic?

This is where the Pocket Atlas of Nutrition comes in. It provides well-presented basic knowledge and presents the state of the art of nutritional science today. Of course, it cannot provide the in-depth approach of textbooks of nutrition, nutritional medicine, and related fields. We are hoping, though, that the compact presentation of knowledge typical of Thieme's Pocket Atlas series will provide the reader with quick insights and a relatively easy to obtain overview. If the book raises in the reader a skeptical attitude toward quickly drawn conclusions, that was our intent.

Recent advances in molecular biology have allowed nutritional science to advance rapidly, and the information resulting from this research is increasingly complex. Yet, even most recent research findings have been included in these chapters, sometimes still marked as open questions.

Nutritional science remains a work in progress. In tune with the latest concerns about public health, this edition includes several new chapters on preventive nutrition and more emphasis has been placed on nutritional medicine.

Hans Konrad Biesalski Peter Grimm

Sigrid Junkermann (Translator)

As the translator and as a teacher of biology and nutrition, I found it an exciting endeavor to render this German book in English and adapt it to the American market. It made me research a number of topics, compare European with American conditions, deepen aspects of my knowledge, confirm and revise others, and overall gain a deeper insight into the state of the art and the present direction of nutritional science. I also wish to express my gratitude to Angelika Findgott of Thieme International for having found me and given me the opportunity to do this work, for being a great editor, collegial, wonderful, and fun to work with.

Sigrid Junkermann

The authors are glad to have secured the collaboration of Ms. Sigrid Junkermann for this English edition. She has not only produced an accurate translation of fine literary quality but has also, through her familiarity with American conditions and guidelines and her tireless commitment and dedication to the quality of the book, succeeded in adapting this edition optimally to the standard practice and terminology of English-speaking health care professionals.

We are grateful to the readers for suggestions and criticism, as well as for comments relating to the content.

Boost Your Metabolism and Burn Fat

Boost Your Metabolism and Burn Fat

Metabolism. There isn’t perhaps a more frequently used word in the weight loss (and weight gain) vocabulary than this. Indeed, it’s not uncommon to overhear people talking about their struggles or triumphs over the holiday bulge or love handles in terms of whether their metabolism is working, or not.

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