The cover of “Should I Eat This?” is a composite of two hamburgers: one healthful (right); the other not so much. / Photos by J.D. Vivian

If you have to ask yourself “Should I eat this?” before biting into something, then the answer is most likely “no.” But the answer isn’t always that cut-and-dry.

Consumer Reports (CR) has released its Expanded Third Edition of the book by that name: Should I Eat This? The cost is $10.99 plus $3.50 shipping and handling (total: $14.49). Or buy a one-year subscription to the monthly magazine for $20, and Should I Eat This? is included; so is the new annual CR Buying Guide 2018.


The nine-chapter, 220-page Should I Eat This? is subtitled Simple ways to know what to eat and what to avoid.

Among the one-word chapter titles: “Start” (Chapter 1), “Protect” (5), “Live” (8) and “Enjoy” (9). Because most of us like to enjoy eating, even if what we consume is bad for us, let’s start with the final chapter, No. 9.

Dietary advice for sports fans

If you watch sports and tend to gorge while doing so, then this chapter is a must-read. “Eat before the game,” the book advises. “Skipping breakfast and lunch to save calories isn’t a great idea.”

More sage advice: Select first from the veggie platter and, if you must eat high-calorie foods such as chicken wings and pizza, opt for small portions. If you want a dip, salsa contains only one-fifth the calories of guacamole or hummus.

Beginning on page 196 are four “better-for-you Super Bowl recipes for a crowd.” Of course, all these recipes can be prepared before any game, regardless of the sport. (Editor’s note: Before preparing the Kale Waldorf Salad, you might want to ask guests whether, during a big game, they actually want to “feast” on dinosaur kale.)

Have a digestive problem? Here’s help

Chapter 6, “Heal,” provides helpful advice on “treating common digestive complaints.” They include constipation, heartburn, gas and bloating.

The “Bloating” section in “Heal” includes information for those who might be gluten-intolerant: “You only need to avoid the protein gluten — found in wheat … and other grains — if you have celiac disease, which affects only about 1 percent of people.” Avoiding gluten, if you don’t need to, might result in your missing out “on “high-fiber foods that can help tame stomach problems,” the book warns. If you’re unsure, see a doctor.

The book ends with the answer to “Should I eat this?”: “Don’t overeat. If you are full, the answer … is no.”

Along the way to that revelation lies a variety of helpful advice. This book is well worth a read.

How to order Should I Eat This? Visit this website for the order form: consumerreports.buysub.com/microsite/index/load/id/36/?___store=default. Or call 800-500-9760 (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-11 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m.) and provide the following numbers: IP7CSIET, S9977.