Nourishing 19th century Americans : the dietary advice in cookery books
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Before the United States established its dietary guidelines and before the discovery of the chemistry of nutrition, authors of nineteenth-century cookery books based their opinions of a healthy lifestyle primarily on their own experiences. The most influential American authors of cookery books dealt with cooking for the home according to their understanding of health and nutrition, evident in the advice that they provided and in the nutritional content of their recipes. The cookery books represent shifts in the prescribed American diet before and during the dissemination of professional knowledge about the nutrients in foods. By tracing the changes of selected recurring recipes, I evaluate how meals from the early to late 1800s represent the basic tenets of a healthy lifestyle in terms of food choices at that time.