Anyone who stays on top of weight-loss trends has likely heard of the ketogenic diet, a highly restrictive plan that promises fast results—and is not without controversy. For this feature, we spoke with publishers who are releasing books on the low-carb regimen that aim to satisfy the appetites of keto fans while remaining mindful of its detractors.

On the other side of the menu, a number of forthcoming titles take a more forgiving approach to food. We look at these books, too, which allow for imperfection and reassure readers that the world won’t end if they stress eat every once in awhile.

We also talk with authors who, from different angles, take on the fear that surrounds health care. Sana Goldberg, author of How to Be a Patient, explains why it’s so important to advocate for oneself in the medical sphere. In Am I Dying?!, Christopher Kelly and Marc Eisenberg reassure readers that they probably aren’t. And 100 years after the flu pandemic claimed the lives of tens of millions of people, Jeremy Brown, in Influenza, explores how far medicine has come in the prevention and treatment of the disease—and how far it has yet to go.

Daniel Lefferts is a writer in New York.

Below, more on the subject of health and fitness books.

Entering Ketosis: Health and Fitness Books 2018–2019
Publishers are tackling the keto diet in all its low-carb complexity.

Diets for Mere Mortals: Health and Fitness Books 2018–2019
The path to health need not be paved with suffering.

The Medicine Maze: PW talks with Sana Goldberg
In ‘How to Be a Patient,’ Goldberg offers advice on advocating for oneself and getting the best care possible.

Hypochondria Unplugged: PW talks with Christopher Kelly and Marc Eisenberg
Kelly and Eisenberg explain why so many patients ask ‘Am I Dying?!’

Enemas, Whiskey, and Bloodletting: PW talks with Jeremy Brown
In ‘Influenza,’ Brown explores how far medicine has come in the prevention and treatment of the disease—and how far it has yet to go.