Frances Monson McCullough, Fran McCullough, , foreword by Barry Sears. . Scribner, $25 (384pp) ISBN 978-0-7432-2809-1

Since the 1970s, dieters have eliminated fat, yet over those years the obesity rate in America has increased 25%, explains McCullough (Low-Carb Cookbook). Demystifying concepts like HDL and LDL cholesterol, fish oil supplements, triglycerides, saturated, unsaturated, and trans fats, McCullough helps readers navigate the labyrinth of food selection. She builds on the work of Atkins, Dr. Melvin Anchell (Steak Lover's Diet), Gary Taubes, Dr. Mary Enig and the eye-opening 2001 Harvard Nurses' study (which showed no relationship between total fat consumption and heart disease). McCullough persuasively argues that highly processed foods are the worst to eat. We are still far from knowing the many mysteries of diet (soy is called into question), and while this book offers no comprehensive diet plan, it does advocate for moderation and traditional whole foods. Each "good" food—seafood, meats, coconut, eggs, butter and dairy products, avocado, walnuts—has a helpful Do's and Don'ts section. Recipes like Thai Seafood Chowder, Greek lemony Fried Potatoes (which uses olive oil), and Massaman Curry with Sweet Potatoes and Peanuts make it easy to incorporate good fats into a healthy diet. This book helps readers distinguish myth from reality in the search for better nutrition and weight loss. (Mar.)