What Books Should I Read to Find Out More About the Ketogenic Diet?

We are continuing our look at FAQ’s for the Ketogenic Diet.

I get asked this question from time to time and I have to admit that I am VERY biased here.  This list is going to be a list of the books that I found helpful to me along my journey in roughly the order that I think would be most helpful.

Sugar is Bad

  1. Why We Get Fat – This book makes the case that it is insulin that drives weight gain instead of CICO.  I usually recommend it alongside the next book on the list as it makes the case of what we should remove from our diet in order to lose weight.  This was the second book Taubes wrote on the subject.  The first one, Good Calories, Bad Calories, makes the same case but with A LOT more science.  It was a pretty dense book so Taubes wrote Why We Get Fat to make the case in a simpler format.  So if you are a Dr or scientist (or nerd like me) go with Good Calories, Bad Calories but for the general layman, Why We Get Fat is fine.  He Also wrote The Case Against Sugar which has some of the more updated science in it but I haven’t read it yet so I can’t recommend it.

Honorable Mention: The very first book I read about sugar was Fat Chance by Lustig.  Great book that focuses more on the effects of fructose on the liver and how it affects weight gain.

Fat is Good

2.  The Big Fat Surprise – This book makes the case for what we should add to our diet, namely fat.  It also reads a bit like a detective novel where author Nina Tiecholz unravels the tangled web of bad science that led to fat being Public Enemy #1 for decades while everyone got fatter.  Might be the most engaging and entertaining book on this list as well as the most informative.

What are the Basics?

3.  The Ketogenic Bible – This spot on the list used to go to Jimmy Moore’s Keto Clarity but things move fast in this dietary world and I think The Ketogenic Bible surpasses Moore’s book in terms of clarity and science on the ketogenic diet.  It goes through everything from the basics through the science on to how the diet affects certain chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, etc.  If you are looking for something specifically on the ketogenic diet (as opposed to sugar and/or fat like the first 2 books on the list cover) you couldn’t do better than this.

Honorable Mention:  Another great book that covers this same ground is Keto by Craig and Maria Emmerich.  Again, heavy on the science but includes the Emmerich’s experiences of helping their hundreds of clients lose weight and regain their health with a ketogenic diet.

What About Vegetable Oils?

Deep Nutrition – This book is thick and covers A LOT of ground but I found its focus on vegetable oils uniquely interesting and informative.  Great info on how PUFAs destroy you from the inside out and lead to a host of metabolic problems.  In fact, if you are interested in nutrition in general instead of the ketogenic diet in particular, this would be the book to read first.

Honorable Mention: It’s hard to get in the States but the first book I read on the subject of PUFAs was Toxic Oil by David Gillespie.  In fact I read a lot of his books in those early days and couldn’t for the life of me tell you how I came across a series of books from an Australian before I found almost anyone else on this list.

What About Cancer?

5.  Tripping Over the Truth – This is a fascinating book that tells the story about how cancer research took a wrong turn and started treating cancer like a genetic disease instead of the metabolic disease it actually is.  If you or someone you know is fighting cancer, this is the book you want to read.

Honorable Mention: The Metabolic Approach to Cancer covers similar ground and if you are a science nerd with a hundred bucks to blow, Cancer as a Metabolic Disease is the Godfather of the current metabolic approaches to cancer phenomenon.

What About Alzheimer’s?

Grain Brain – Again, this was the first book I read on the subject that caught my attention and is more about how a low carb diet will improve overall brain health, not just help with Alzheimer’s but still a great resource if you want your brain to continue working into old age.

Honorable Mention – What if There Was a Cure tells the story of one woman’s fight to keep her husband from the devastating effects of early onset Alzheimers’s using a high fat diet.

What Do I Cook?

Any Cookbook by Maria Emmerich – She has written so many ketogenic cookbooks that there is too many to choose from.  I would just pick one and use it for a while, then get another.

Honorable Mention – Something I do is just Google the word ketogenic and add the ingredients I have in the house.  So Ketogenic Chicken recipes would get me at least a few things to think about.  Of course you can also check out the recipes I have on my page here.

I know I left out many great books from this list but it will at least get you started.  We are living in the “Golden Age of Keto” so there are new books coming out all the time.  Keep your eyes on this blog and I’ll let you know if I find anything interesting!

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