Sandra L. Woodruff, Author . Avery $16.95 (262p) ISBN 978-1-58333-195-8

Woodruff (The Good Carb Cookbook ; etc.) is a dietician and nutritionist who eschews the Atkins diet's controversial no-carbohydrate, high-fat, no-exercise-necessary diet for a healthier, more sustainable approach to keeping carbs in check. Urging readers to avoid refined sugars and flours, she suggests sensible portions of lean proteins, moderate whole grains, lots of vegetables and allows Atkins-forbidden but nutritious fruit, stressing the importance of exercise. She explains the benefits of low-carb diets, the carbohydrate-insulin connection, and demystifies terms like "ketosis" and "glycemic index." Woodruff's approach is more vegetarian-friendly and holistic than Atkins or Arthur Agastston's South Beach Diet. Unfortunately, after the introductory chapters, the pages quickly begin to fill with skim-only material, such as charts showing the calorie count of various low-carb foods, a "Good-Carb Life Plan Pyramid," and banal, beauty magazine weight-loss hints like "get plenty of rest," "exercise for an hour a day," and, of course, when dining out "pass up the bread basket." The book's second half is devoted to uninspired low-carb recipes: Portobello Pizzas, Chicken-Pesto Quesadillas and Microwave Egg Scramble. (June 7)

Forecast: Although Woodruff does offer an alternative to the two giants of low-carb eating (Atkins and South Beach), she is joining a very crowded marketplace. Total Health Care Partners published Beyond Atkins earlier this year, and Sterling will bring out Living the Low Carb Life in May.

Reviewed on: 04/26/2004
Release date: 06/01/2004
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