Book Review: BioDiet by David G Harper PhD

I was able to interview David G Harper about his new book, BioDiet last week, (You can check out that interview here) and he was gracious enough to send me a copy of his book to review.  Now that I’ve gotten a chance to read through it, I can tell you what I think about it.

Great Book for the Basics

If you are in need of a book you can hand to someone who doesn’t really know much about the ketogenic diet and just needs to get the basics down, this would be a great book for that.  It clocks in at just over 200 pages plus a few appendices with several of the things that make dense subject more understandable like pictures, graphs, and cut ins that go over certain topics in more detail.

While the book refers to the “BioDiet“, that is really just the author’s name for a nutrient dense ketogenic diet full of real food and high in animal fats. So just know that I will probably use BioDiet and Ketogenic Diet interchangeably in this review.

The Reason for the Book

The first thing the author does, and it is something I wish more authors did, was go over some of the health care costs that are staring us in the face as a nation.  Things like the fact that obesity related health care costs are estimated at around $210 Billion dollars per year and that number is only going up.  Or the fact that job absenteeism adds another $4.3 Billion to the cost each year.  For all the personal reasons someone should want to improve their health, the biggest reason should be the fact that if we don’t make a change as a nation we not be able to be a nation too much longer.

The Science

The next section walks through the science behind the diet.  Dr Harper walks through the science from different angles, first looking at how our diet changed over time with the advent of agriculture and then looking at how a low carb diet was “rediscovered” over and over through the years by people like Banting and Atkins.  Then of course we looked at how incorrect science was put forth that moved our nation towards a more plant based diet with disastrous results for our health.

Considerable time is spent looking at how eating a BioDiet will change your body by looking at the biochemistry of digestion and nutrient absorption, then we look at how the diet affects chronic diseases.  We look at how the reduced inflammation of a low carb diet will improve things like heart disease and arthritis and then how the lower blood sugar levels improve rates of glycation throughout the body.

Dr Harper also details the kinds who should NOT use a ketogenic diet for health such as people with Carnitine deficiency, beta-oxidation defects, pryuvate carboxylase deficiency, carriers of the ApoE4 gene and those talking SGLT2 Inhibitors.  These exceptions are almost never talked about in any of ths books I’ve read on the subjects.

How to Succeed on the BioDiet

The next section is how to succeed on the diet.  There is a 6 week plan with some sample meals and some quick how-tos. There is also a recommendation to take MCT oil to speed up the body’s creation of ketones.  For the record, I’ve never really used MCT oil and have never found it necessary.

There is also tips on how to handle the common issues with the diet like plateaus, not enough water or salt and how to think about alcohol.  The appendices also give some nutritional info on certain foods, what to do about sweeteners and how to read nutritional labels.

Final Thoughts

Overall, it’s a good book for beginners.  If you’ve been doing this a while I doubt you will glean any new information but if you know someone that is interested in this way of eating, this would be a fantastic book to give them.

Don’t miss a post! Click here to sign up for our daily email!

Need more info about the ketogenic diet? How about a great support group? Join our Ketogenic Facebook support group!

Book Review: The Keto Reset Diet by Mark Sisson and Brad Kearns

After I had Brad Kearns on the podcast a few weeks ago, he was nice enough to send me a copy of his new book he co-authored with Mark Sisson, The Keto Reset Diet to review.  This is a great book to give to someone who is new to the Ketogenic Diet and would just like to learn the basics and get started in this new way of eating.

Probably the easiest comparison to make is to Keto Clarity by Jimmy Moore.  Both are entry level books that do a good job of explaining everything you need to know about the diet to get started but The Keto Rest Diet goes a little farther in a few places that need to be highlighted.

Where both books do a great job of explaining the benefits of ketosis, The Keto Reset Diet gives more of the science that has been brought to bear on the topic.  This is probably because in the 3 years since Jimmy’s book was released, there has been a LOT more research done on the topic so there is just a lot more to share with the reader.

Another area this book shines is there is a step-by-step plan for getting into ketosis.  Instead of just listing the acceptable foods and telling us to limit carbs and increase saturated fat, this book has a 21 day process designed to make the transition easier.  Each step explains what you need to do and the obstacles or pitfalls you need to look out for with strategies for overcoming them.  This is another reason why I think this would be a great book for newbies to this new diet.

Also included is several pages of high quality and full color photos of the recipes listed in the book which is something I wish more books like this did.  Recipes are nice but I always prefer to have a pic of what the finished product should look like.  All in all, a great book to pick up if you are new to keto or if you have a friend or family member that is curious about this way of eating.

To get one from Amazon today, just click here!

Don’t miss a post! Click here to sign up for our daily email!

Need more info about the ketogenic diet? How about a great support group? Join our Ketogenic Facebook support group!

Book Review: Back Mechanic by Stuart McGill

A few weeks ago, I interviewed Dr Stuart McGill about his expertise in fixing back pain.  That podcast interview will not be up for a few weeks but he sent me a copy of his new book Back Mechanic to see what he is doing in the field.  Typically when this happens, I will put the review of the book and the podcast interview up on the same week but I was so excited about this book that I wanted to get this review out as quickly as possible so you could learn what was in it.

As for a general review, I can tell you this. If you have back pain, this is the book you need to buy.  Dr McGill has spent a lifetime learning all about the back, how it works and most importantly, how to fix it and his expertise is on every page of this book.  I have read several books on bio-mechanics in general and back maintenance specifically and not a single thing I’ve ever read comes even close to the depth of information in this book.  But beyond just information, this is a book that walks you through exactly how to diagnose your problem (not all back pain is the same!) and some simple exercises you can do to alleviate the pain.  Don’t have back pain?  This is still a great book as it shows you some simple exercises you can do every day to keep a healthy back strong and fit.

There are several aspects of this book that set it apart from other books in the field.  First of all, you get a log in to a Vimeo account that contains several videos pertaining to the different sections of the book.  If Dr McGill suggests an exercise in the book, there is a video walking you through exactly what to do to get that exercise right.  I found the videos on the healthy back exercises to be particularly helpful and have now incorporated these exercises in my normal exercise routine.

Secondly, the book has many beautifully hand-drawn pictures showing you exactly what is going on inside your body when you complete a certain movement.  You can see how your spine is put together, how it moves, the nerves that run through it and how it all works and moves within the rest of your body.  When an exercise or movement is discussed, there is a hand-drawn picture showing you exactly what it should look like.  The artist for this book deserves a great deal of credit.

As for the intellectual content, this book is a treasure trove.  There is a section exploding the common myths and misconceptions concerning back health.  For instance, when my son hurt his back, he was told that the problem was his tight hamstrings and he spent  years stretching out his hammies trying to alleviate the back pain.  One of the myths discussed in this book is how tight hamstrings is usually a symptom of back pain, not a cause and as you alleviate the back pain, the hamstrings loosen.  Turns out my son had it backwards all these years.

There is also a chapter on simple exercises you can do to diagnose what type of back pain you have and how to approach different sources of back pain.  Different causes of back pain require different therapies and the problem most people run into is a “one therapy fits all” approach from most Drs which can lead to frustration when you learn that something worked for someone else but not for you.  It’s probably not your fault, you just didn’t get the right diagnosis for your particular type of back pain.  Also Dr McGill talks about how quickly many doctors want to operate and how that is often a bad idea.  Most of the benefit from surgery comes not from the surgery but from the weeks of rest you get after the surgery so Dr McGill suggests “Virtual Surgery” where you pretend you had the surgery and just get the rest.  That idea alone really jumped off the page at me because of how deeply convinced I am that the human body can repair almost anything wrong with it if we just give it the rest and nutrition it needs and stop doing things that hurt it.  I honestly didn’t expect that idea to show up in a book about back mechanics.

The last part I want to talk about is the exercises for a healthy back.  I listen to the Joe Rogan podcast a lot and he has said many times how important it is to him to do exercises for a healthy back every day, he often compares it to brushing your teeth.  But I’ve never heard him say what exercises he is doing!  I’m still not sure what Joe is doing but the exercises in this book are simple to do and are now a part of what I do right after I stretch and before I do anything with weights on my workout days.  I love the fact that I have a clear plan to follow for a healthy back now.

Not to repeat myself but if you have a bad back, you need this book.  If you have a good back, you can still benefit from this book and I would recommend you pick up a copy today.  You can get your copy from Amazon by clicking here!

Don’t miss a post! Click here to sign up for our daily email!

Need more info about the ketogenic diet? How about a great support group? Join our Ketogenic Facebook support group!

Book Review: Back Mechanic by Stuart McGill

Book Review: Fat Head Kids by Tom Naughton

When you first get a little curious about the LCHF way of eating, there are a few documenteries you are very quickly told to watch. Probably the first one I ever saw was Fed Up with Katie Couric and while I really enjoyed it because it did a great job of laying the issues with sugar, it didn’t do a very good job of offering the solution, namely to eat more fat.

The first one I ever saw that did a really good job of laying out both the  problem and the solution was Fat Head by Tom Naughton.  Not only was it informative but Tom was very careful to present the information in a very entertaining way.  He has a background in comedy so that served him well.  I’ve included the documentary below if you would like to watch it, it is definitely time well spent.

 

As entertaining and informative as it was, I have often thought that there needed to be a way to dumb down the info even more.  Not that people are idiots or anything but sometimes you just need to go really slow because the idea that “heart healthy grains” are bad and saturated fat is good can be such a mind-blowing concept that you just need to make it as basic as you possibly can.

That’s why I was really excited when a new book showed up in my mailbox promising to do just that.  That book is Fat Head Kids also by Tom Naughton and it does exactly what it promises, namely makes the big idea of what a healthy diet is and how our bodies respond to food and explains in a way that a kid could understand it.

The author uses a metaphor of the human body as the spaceship Nautilus throughout to explain what happens when we eat food.  The Nautilus is designed to work most efficiently with a certain kind of fuel (fat) and while it can process other types of fuel (carbs) it doesn’t really prefer that fuel as it causes several issues with the engine and other internal processes within the ship.

The book also explains that in recent years we have changed our fuel supply.  We have gone from eating a lot of meat, eggs and other sources of fat and protein to eating a lot of processed grains and sugar.  It’s this new type of fuel (called FUD in the book) that is causing our bodies to put on weight and get bigger over time.

This is a great book to give to a kid (Probably as young as 10 through teenage years although I’m 40-something and found a great read) who is interested in how the body works, especially if it a kid that has been struggling with their weight.  I can attest that the worse possible time in life to be overweight is when you are in school surrounded by other kids because kids can be cruel to anyone but especially the fat kids.  It would have been nice if someone had explained to me why I was overweight and what I could do about it 30 years ago.

Hopefully someday this book will be turned into a short film like Fat Head was (I have it on good authority that is the plan) bit for now, pick up a copy of Fat Head Kids by clicking here and checking it out for yourself.

Don’t miss a post! Click here to sign up for our daily email!

Need more info about the ketogenic diet? How about a great support group? Join our Ketogenic Facebook support group!

Book Review: The Low Carb Dietitian’s Guide to Health and Beauty by Franziska Spritzler

Book Review: The Low Carb Dietitian’s Guide to Health and Beauty by Franziska Spritzler

After my interview with Franziska Spritzler, she was kind enough to send me a copy of her book , The Low Carb Dietitian’s Guide to Health and Beauty.  I wanted to review it for you guys because I am always on the lookout for books that adequately explain why we eat the way we do and can help people fill in the holes on any info they might not know.

The first thing she does is quickly walk us through her story on how she wanted to take back control of her health through food.  After a short detour through veganism that left her with low energy and irritability she realized that her blood glucose levels were just out of control.  Either she had pre-diabetes or a rare form of Type I diabetes that doesn’t show itself until late in life.  Knowing she had to get her blood sugar levels under control, she began to do research into a low carbohydrate way of eating and discovered it was exactly what she needed to regain her health.

After seeing the huge changes that happened in her own body, she began to study the science behind LCHF which eventually led to her website and then to this book.  Franziska is one more n=1 experiment that shows the power of a low carb diet to fix almost anything wrong with your health but especially issues related to blood sugar like diabetes.

Moving through the book, she does a great job of covering all the information someone new to this diet would need to know before starting and walks the reader through the whole process.  She explains what to eat, how to decide if LCHF is right for you and does an excellent job of answering any questions the reader might have before “taking the plunge” into LCHF.

She also has a large section of recipes that the reader can use to get started.  I know that was one of the more difficult things for me to wrap my head around was exactly what I could cook.  I needed someone to give me ideas in those early days and walk me through how to think about a dinner that contained no sugar or grains.

There is also a section on how different LCHF foods affect your beauty as well which I found interesting because I don’t think I’ve ever seen a a LCHF book that talks about how you can use this way of eating to improve how you look.  So you learn how avocados can reduce UV damage to the skin or how cinnamon can reduce inflammation and the Advanced Glycation End products that can lead to wrinkles.  I think there could be an entire book just on this topic alone.

This is a great book for someone that is looking for a lot of information on the LCHF diet or has questions about this way of eating.  Special care is taken to answer all the obvious questions and objections and walk the reader through exactly what they need to know and do to start repairing their health and losing weight with a LCHF diet.

To get your copy of the Low Carb Dietitian’s Guide to Health and Beauty, click here!

Don’t miss a post! Click here to sign up for our daily email!

Need more info about the ketogenic diet? How about a great support group? Join our Ketogenic Facebook support group!

I Love Me More Than Sugar Review

I interviewed Barry Friedman this week on the podcast and he was nice enough to send me a copy of his book, I Love Me More Than Sugar.

I Love Me More Than Sugar is an interesting book because it is clear it was written by a man who is an entertainer and communicator first before he started cutting the sugar out of his diet.  As a 4 time World Juggling Champion with multiple TED talks under his belt, he knows how to tell a story and keep an audience engaged and that really shines through in this book.  It is entertaining through out and has a lot more humor than you would expect in a book about the dangers of sugar.

But it is not some fluff piece with no heft to it.  Barry takes us through the history of sugar consumption and production to how its use has increased to the present day.  Then we learn exactly the different types of sugar are and how they affect the body.  Friedman has a solid grasp on how it is our hormones, primarily insulin, that drive weight gain and that is the massive increase in sugar consumption that has caused this obesity epidemic.  He also goes into the role fiber plays in blunting an insulin response and how to increase leptin sensitivity in order to not feel hungry all the time.  In all the books I read on this subject, I have always felt that this is the heart of the matter so I’m very aware of how the author treats the subject.  Barry knows his science and because he is an entertainer, none of it is the dry science of other books but instead we get jokes, stories and everything we need to know presented in huorous ways that keep our attention and make sure we understand the big ideas he is presenting.

But perhaps the best part of the book isn’t all the info about sugar.  I think most of us realize how bad sugar is.  Where this book shines is a comprehensive step-by-step process to actually get the sugar out of your life.  Barry takes you through his 30 Days Sugar Free program and gives you to education and inspiration you need to be successful on your weight loss journey.

To get your copy of I Love Me More Than Sugar, click here.

To check out the online version of the 30 Days Sugar Free program, click here.

Don’t miss a post! Click here to sign up for our daily email!

Need more info about the ketogenic diet? How about a great support group? Join our Ketogenic Facebook support group!

 

Book Review: How to Eat Paleo (When You Don’t Live in a Cave)

A few weeks ago, I was able to interview Cynthia Spivey for the podcast and she was kind enough to send me a copy of her book, How to Eat Paleo (When You Don’t Live in a Cave).

I’ve read a ton of books on health and diet And I have to say, I’ve never seen one quite like this.  Usually books on this subject are either lengthy tomes with a lot of science or mostly just collections of recipes. This book is a little different in that it walks you through the basics of the diet and then answers the most commonly asked questions about this way of eating.

But where this book absolutely shines is the beautiful handdrawn typography throughout the book with quotes and other information that supports the overall narrative of the book. The splashes of color brighten up the book and serve to hold the reader’s interest from beginning to end. The Illustrator Joya Groves adds so much to the book that I can’t imagine the book without her work.

If you are looking for a beginners handbook to eating Paleo that you can read in an afternoon, this is book you need to buy. It is easy read but very informative and relies less on the science on more on the “how to” parts of the diet.

Get your copy of How to Eat Paleo from Amazon by clicking here!

Don’t miss a post! Click here to sign up for our daily email!

Need more info about the ketogenic diet? How about a great support group? Join our Ketogenic Facebook support group!

The Big Fat Surprise Book Review

The Big Fat Surprise Book Review

Few books on nutrition have affected me emotionally as much as Nina Teicholz’ Big Fat Surprise.  I certainly wasn’t expecting it to, after all I have read probably 100 books on nutrition and none of them caused me to feel flashes of anger so powerful that I had to walk away from the book for a few minutes to catch my breath.  Before I say what triggered that, let’s get into what the book is about.

Big Fat Surprise is an investigative work detailing how the idea that saturated fats cause heart disease and how the removal of saturated fat from our diet has led to the obesity epidemic and (ironically) an increase in heart disease and other metabolic diseases.  It is the story of how one man named Ancel Keys decided to devote his life to pushing this idea, disregarding all evidence to the contrary and doing really bad science in order to support his pet theory.

The book lays out the case that Keys essentially started out with the idea that saturated fat causes heart disease and tailored everything he did is defense of that idea.  Instead of doing what scientists are supposed to do, namely starting with a hypothesis and working to disprove it, he did everything he could to show he was right, even in the face of growing evidence that he was dead wrong.

This all happened in 2 phases.  At first he would conduct studies like his 7 Country Study that showed a correlation between the amount of saturated fat eaten by a particular country and the rate of heart disease.  What we didn’t find out until years late was that he actually collected data on over 20 countries and only reported the information that supported his idea and threw out the rest.  When all data is included there is no clear correlation between saturated fat and heart disease.

The second phase was perhaps the most troubling and what caused the emotional reactions I had.  Keys would then use his out-sized influence in the field of nutrition to essentially black-ball anyone who disagreed with his hypothesis.  So for decades the clear message in the nutrition science world was that if you didn’t whole-heartedly endorse and support the idea that saturated fat caused heart disease you would have your funding cut, tenure revoked, and be dis-invited to all the big conferences in their field.  So for the latter half of the 20th Century no one could pursue any other idea in the nutrition world so people like Dr Yudkin who clearly outlined the problems with sugar were ignored.

What caused me to get so mad about the information in this book was remembering the role it played in my childhood.  My grandparents had probably never heard of Dr Keys but his ideas directly influenced how they ate.  Lots of “heart-healthy” grains, Country Crock instead of butter, Miracle Whip instead of Mayo, and plenty of low fat foods that were high in sugar.  The end result was a grandfather that I adored dying from a heart attack when I was way too young and a grandmother that died from high blood pressure a few years later.

It was clear after reading this book that if Dr Keys had just been a scientist instead of a power-crazed publicity hound, I might have had a few more years with my grandparents and I know that story has repeated itself across this nation and the entire world countless times over the last 60 years.  Thankfully, the truth has gotten out now and we know how badly Dr Keys got it all wrong.

My one problem with this book is where in years past whenever someone would ask me what book they needed to read to learn how to lose weight, my answer was always Gary Taubes’ Why We Get Fat but now I have to talk about both Taubes and Tiecholz because I honestly don’t know which book is more powerful for affecting someone’s health.

To get a copy of this book for yourself, click here.

Don’t miss a post! Click here to sign up for our daily email!

Need more info about the ketogenic diet? How about a great support group? Join our Ketogenic Facebook support group!

The Complete Guide to Fasting Review

The Complete Guide to Fasting Review

The Complete Guide to Fasting Review

I got my hands on an advance copy of The Complete Guide to Fasting by Jimmy Moore and Dr Fung a few weeks ago and was so impressed with it, I felt like I needed to write a review.  I also got to interview Jimmy Moore about the book here and I’ve done chapter by chapter reviews on my Instagram.  You can find them by searching for the hashtag #FungFasting on IG right now.

Tons of data and charts!
Tons of data and charts!

This book is not like other books I’ve read on Fasting for multiple reason.  First of all, it’s more like a textbook on fasting in that it is not just personal anecdotes, (although those are included) it has actual data from the clinical experience of Dr Fung and his practice.  Secondly, it’s not just a book about fasting, but rather a book about what a good diet is and how fasting fits into that diet as one piece of a larger picture of overall health.

Stories from people who have done it!
Stories from people who have done it!

Each chapter of the book goes into one specific benefit of fasting and how exactly it affects to body.  You will learn what fasting does to cause not only weight loss but how it will also help to lower blood sugar, reverse Type II Diabetes, lower cholesterol, improve heart health and lower your risk of a host of other maladies like cancer and Alzheimer’s.  Again, none of these benefits are conjecture or personal stories but rather backed up with data from large studies and Dr Fung’s  years of clinical experience.

Every chapter has tons of documentation and endnotes
Every chapter has tons of documentation and endnotes

If you are looking for a book that will not only inspire you to put the future of your health but also give you the steps you need to take to do it, this is the book for you.  It will be a powerful tool in the ongoing fight against obesity.

Just as a personal story here at the end of the review, those of you that follow my Weightloss Wednesday posts know that once I lost 150 lbs, I had a very difficult time getting the weight to continue to come off and spent pretty much the entire summer struggling to drop the next 10 lbs.  It wasn’t until I implemented an Intermittent Fasting regimen that the weight started to come off again.  The most surprising thing about starting IF wasn’t that the weight started coming off again, it was that it was happening with no hunger.  I figured I would be walking through my mornings with a grumbling stomach but that wasn’t the case.  Even on days when I started my day with fairly vigorous exercise, I didn’t feel hunger until it was time to break my fast around 2 PM.

If you would like to grab a copy of The Complete Guide to Fasting, you can find it Amazon here.  Thanks!

Don’t miss a post! Click here to sign up for our daily email!

Need more info about the ketogenic diet? How about a great support group? Join our Ketogenic Facebook support group!

Book Review: Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes

Book Review: Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes

Over the course of these last few years as I have studied everything I can get my hands on about how what we eat affect our bodies and what exactly is the most efficient way to lose weight and I’ve learned a lot.  I’ve learned about sugar and how it has almost single-handedly made America overweight by being in virtually every single processed food on our store shelves.  I’ve learned how bad science gave bad info to our doctors who in turn gave us bad advice on how to lose weight.  I’ve learned how cholesterol is mostly a good thing and pharmaceutical companies demonized cholesterol because they created statins that could influence cholesterol levels.  (There is a bad cholesterol called VLDL that comes from eating carbs but your doctor will never test for it.)

But as interesting as all this was, I learned about it from a bunch of different books and primary sources.  I had no idea that there was one book out there that brought all of this info together in one place so you could see how all these truths are intertwined and how they work together to influence our health, both individually and the collective health of a nation.  That book is Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes.

This book goes in to incredible detail, citing scientific study after study to make the case he is trying to build, namely that all our ideas about what a healthy diet is are just wrong and demonstrably so.  Taubes was kind enough to include the 10 main ideas he wants to make clear in his book so I’ve included them below in bold with my commentary afterwards.

1 . Dietary fat, whether saturated or not, is not a cause of obesity, heart disease, or any other chronic disease of civilization.

The story of fat is really the story of one man with an over-sized personality named Ansel Keys who did a huge study on heart disease and, when the findings of his study didn’t line up with his preconceived notion of what caused heart attacks, cooked the results and fooled a nation into believing there was a link between fat and heart disease.  Taubes reveals the flaws in his data and how decades of research since then has revealed no link between dietary fat and heart disease.

2. The problem is the carbohydrates in the diet, their effect on insulin secretion, and thus the hormonal regulation of homeostasis-the entire harmonic ensemble of the human body. The more easily digestible and refined the carbohydrates, the greater the effect on our health, weight, and well-being.

Simple carbs like grains, sugars and potatoes cause a blood sugar spike when we eat them, which causes an insulin spike.  Insulin is our body’s signal to store fat so if your insulin level is high, you will gain fat on your body and be unable to lose.  If you are eating the Standard American Diet with lots of supposedly healthy “whole grains”, healthy baked potatoes, and low fat foods that add sugar in the place of the fat, you insulin is perpetually elevated, which means you are always getting fatter.

3. Sugars-sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup specifically-are particularly harmful, probably because the combination of fructose and glucose simultaneously elevates insulin levels while overloading the liver with carbohydrates.

Back in our developmental past, there was never a reason for our bodies to deal with fructose.  It was only easy to come by for the few months a year that fruit trees were ripe and ready to be harvested (or when the bees made honey) so our livers could just convert it to fat and store it for the coming winter.  Well now fructose is available year-round and our livers are just constantly converting it to fat and packing it away.  Combine that with the insulin response to the glucose half of sucrose discussed above and you have a double-whammy of fat producing agents every time you eat sugar.

4. Through their direct effect on insulin and blood sugar, refined carbohydrates, starches, and sugars are the dietary cause of coronary heart disease and diabetes. They are the most likely dietary causes of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and the other chronic diseases of civilization.

The links between sugar and these other diseases are damning.  I could spend blog post after blog post detailing how we are finding that sugar has its sweet little fingers in almost every major disease we are fighting as a country today.  And who knows, I might just do it because this is info every one needs to hear.  You can read the book for the details but the short story is this: Want to cancer-proof your body?  Stop eating sugar immediately.

5. Obesity is a disorder of excess fat accumulation, not overeating, and not sedentary behavior.

This was one of those revelations that almost had me in tears when I read it.  You see someone who is 400 lbs like I was and you automatically assume they are a fat, lazy slob.  I had a home repair business that kept me active, I was a volunteer youth pastor for about 20 years that kept me active and I had 4 kids that kept me active, and yet I was constantly getting bigger.  Fat is not the result of sloth or gluttony but the natural result of our body’s reaction to high blood sugar caused by eating carbs.

6. Consuming excess calories does not cause us to grow fatter, any more than it causes a child to grow taller. Expending more energy than we consume does not lead to long-term weight loss; it leads to hunger.

We are not simple machines where if you put x amount of calories in, you will get x amount of calories out in work or store it as fat.  Have you ever thought that to lose weight, you just need to eat less and exercise more?  It doesn’t work like that.  If you use more calories than you take in, you get hungry and you eat.  You might be able to use will-power to fight that urge for a while but eventually, you will give in and gain all that lost weight back.  This is what causes yo-yo dieting.  You need to change what you eat, not how much you eat.

7. Fattening and obesity are caused by an imbalance-a disequilibrium-in the hormonal regulation of adipose tissue and fat metabolism. Fat synthesis and storage exceed the mobilization of fat from the adipose tissue and its subsequent oxidation. We become leaner when the hormonal regulation of the fat tissue reverses this balance.

In short, fat accumulation is a hormonal issue, not a calorie issue.  If you want to lose weight, you need to concentrate on fixing your hormones, namely avoiding eating anything that will cause a strong insulin response.

8. Insulin is the primary regulator of fat storage. When insulin levels are elevated-either chronically or after a meal-we accumulate fat in our fat tissue. When insulin levels fall, we release fat from our fat tissue and use it for fuel.

I think I’ve covered this.  Want to lose weight and get healthier?  Blunt your insulin response to the foods you eat.

9. By stimulating insulin secretion, carbohydrates make us fat and ultimately cause obesity. The fewer carbohydrates we consume, the leaner we will be.

Again, I’ve covered this.  Eat less simple carbs.  No sugar, no grains, no potatoes.

10. By driving fat accumulation, carbohydrates also increase hunger and decrease the amount of energy we expend in metabolism and physical activity.

This is something else I’m probably going to write more on in a future blog post.  Eating carbs is not only bad for you because it causes an insulin response, but then it turns around and makes you hungrier so you eat more and lazier so you move less.  It’s a terrible cycle that is tough to get out of once you are in it.  Your only hope is to cut those carbs out of your life.  Eating a diet of primarily fats and protein will not only help you lose weight but give you more energy so you actually want to exercise.  I ride my bike 5 miles every day now and I remember a time that there is no way I would have had the energy to do that but now I get antsy when I just think about not doing it.  I have energy to burn.

These are the main points in Good Calories, Bad Calories but reading the book for yourself will educate you on not just the big ideas, but all the science behind each of these assertions.  There is just so much information in this book, I don’t feel like I got everything there was to get and anticipate re-reading this book in a few months.  Taubes also wrote another book called Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It that supposedly covers a lot of the same ground but in an easier to read and understand format.  I’ve got it downloaded on my tablet and as soon as I finish the book I’m reading now, I’m going to tackle that one.

What did you think?  Let me know in the comments, I love to hear from you and be sure to subscribe to my daily email to never miss a post.  Thanks!