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Carbophobia: The Scary Truth about America's Low-Carb Craze

34 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1590560860
ISBN-10: 1590560868
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Vegetarian nutrition specialist Greger dedicates this goal-oriented volume to discrediting the effectiveness and healthfulness of low-carbohydrate diets, especially the ubiquitous Atkins Diet. But the author, creator of, says his book is "not the Dr. Greger Diet versus the Dr. Atkins Diet. This is a century of medical science versus the Atkins diet." In fact, Greger cites hundreds of respectable resources that back up his theories; of the volume's 176 pages, 72 are filled with lists of references. The 104 remaining pages are generally reader-friendly and compelling, although readers might feel that they're stuck in the middle of a mud-slinging war instead of receiving helpful diet advice (for example, Greger points out that "on August 3, 2004, the legal department of the Atkins Corporation sent me a letter threatening to sue me for speaking out against the Atkins Diet on my website," and then spends a chapter refuting the corporation's claims). Still, this is an interesting counterpoint to a diet philosophy that has swept the nation, and it raises valid points that anyone concerned for their health may want to consider before committing to a low-carb existence. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Michael Greger, M.D., is a general practitioner, a founding member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, and an internationally recognized lecturer on nutrition and food safety issues. He was an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial and is the Chief Medical Investigator at Farm Sanctuary. Dr. Greger is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Agriculture and the Tufts University School of Medicine.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 162 pages
  • Publisher: Lantern Books (March 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590560868
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590560860
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #750,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A founding member and Fellow of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Michael Greger, MD, is a physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. He has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in the defense of Oprah Winfrey in the infamous "meat defamation" trial. He is a graduate of Cornell University School of Agriculture and Tufts University School of Medicine. Currently Dr. Greger serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at The Humane Society of the United States. Hundreds of his nutrition videos are freely available at, with new videos and articles uploaded every day. Keep an eye for his upcoming book How Not to Die.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Andreas V. on May 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
The truth is that nutrition science is not all that controversial if, like Dr. Greger, you review most (if not all) nutrition science articles published every year. By the way, all proceeds from sales of this book go to charity, so at least Dr. Greger does not have a financial interest in promoting his book. The overwhelming body of evidence shows that a diet that increases consumption of plant-based (whole) foods and reduces (or eliminates) animal-based and processed foods is healthiest. Dr. Greger does a masterful job at taking every point made by the Atkins Diet people and rebutting it completely. The book is well researched, well organized, and well written. Few people (including Dr. Greger) would argue that refined carbohydrates in the form of pastries, donuts, high fructose corn syrup, white bread, etc. are good for you. They are not. But carbohydrates found in whole foods (beans, tubers, vegetables, etc.) are the building block of human fuel. The ultimate question is whether you want your fuel to come from fat or from carbohydrates (we use very little protein for energy). Dr. Greger explains clearly why a high carbohydrate diet made up of whole foods is the cleaner and more healthful choice.
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30 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Headphone guy on January 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
Dr Greger has performed a true service with this book. Here we have an inexpensive, short, scientifically rigorous examination of low carb diets that anyone can easily access and understand when considering these diets. The Atkins brand may fade, yet as Greger observes, this terrible approach to nutrition has a way of coming back in different disguises. The beauty of Dr Greger's approach is that you can either read it in a few hours and walk away with a solid understanding of the issues with low carb, or you can use it as a springboard to future investigation on your own, as all his sources and research are documented in the huge end notes section.

Spend a couple hours with this book and you will be inoculated against future dangerous diet fads. Great book!
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33 of 43 people found the following review helpful By S. Litton on January 24, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anyone familiar with Dr.Greger knows he's on top of nutritional information and the most recent data available. That being said, his main focus of the book is the 'Atkins' diet though he makes it clear he is referring to all 'low carb' diets as the craze continues.

In a nutshell, a low carb diet often means eating more meat, less whole grains, fruit, and even some vegetables. The drop in fiber and nutrients coupled with the added stress to kidneys, an acidic body which robs us of calcium, and increasing (not decreasing) LDL levels, America has the wrong idea about dieting. Dr.Greger was so disturbed by all the misinformation, that he started a website [...] to debunk the lies coming from the Atkins organization. Though Dr.Atkins is now dead, his corporation continues to fight against the truth.

In the end, a full fat diet (meaning healthy fats as in avacados & nuts) along with whole grains and an array of vegetables and fruit, is the way to go. Our muscles need carbs to burn the fat! Don't cut out the good carbs! Sadly, thanks to Atkins and other 'low carb' diet promoters since Atkins, America seems to think all carbs are bad, when in fact it's the sugar and white flour and excess fat they should be cutting.

Dr.Atkins himself, who denied having high cholesterol, died of a heart attack with 30-40% arterial blockage.
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77 of 103 people found the following review helpful By Lucy Roberts on February 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
Dr. Greger is phenomenally clear in this book, which has transformed my diet. He cuts through all of the BS marketed about the apparent efficacy of high-protein, low-carb diets by putting forth REAL perspectives of the world's most respected researchers, physicians, dieticians, and nutritionists. Whether or not you have had doubts about the safety of Atkin's, you need to read this book to understand the shocking, disturbing reality of this fad diet. Furthermore, I had never before considered how human physiology is designed to process fiber and plant matter, not the massive amounts of protein. I have since adopted a healthy, moderate-protein diet and honestly have never felt better. This may be the most witty, informative book about diets, human health, and disease risks ever written. I sincerely urge you to read it, because it will only improve your well-being.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ted Tyler on February 22, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like the book; however, the title “Carbophobia” suggests a topic in which it is shown that a low-carb diet is not a good diet. Greger does do this, but his focus is too narrow. His attack is mainly on Atkins, and Atkins is a very easy target to destroy. I would like to have seen more time spent on others who maintain that “Saturated Fat and Cholesterol are good for you”. Additional emphasis should have been spent on the idea that not all carbs are the same. Slow-release carbs from veggies and beans do not have the same destructive effects as does sugar and HFCS. And finally, what really annoys me about my copy of Carbophobia is that the references are not footnoted in the body of the text. You have about 107 pages of text and about 58 pages of references. You can couple them together – but that is something that should have been done by the author and publisher. Clearly, an updated version of Carbophobia is needed (and would be appreciated).
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