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Syndrome X: The Complete Nutritional Program to Prevent and Reverse Insulin Resistance Paperback – December 1, 2000

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Syndrome X: The Complete Nutritional Program to Prevent and Reverse Insulin Resistance + The Insulin-Resistance Diet--Revised and Updated: How to Turn Off Your Body's Fat-Making Machine + The Glycemic-Load Diet: A powerful new program for losing weight and reversing insulin resistance
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1st edition (December 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471398586
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471398585
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #347,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

If you're aging prematurely, getting fatter, feeling sluggish, and watching your blood pressure and cholesterol sneak upwards, you may have "Syndrome X," claim the authors, who say that up to 60 million North Americans have it. "Syndrome X is primarily a nutritional disease caused by eating the wrong foods," they write. The mysterious-sounding "Syndrome X" refers to a group of health problems including insulin resistance ("the inability to properly deal with dietary carbohydrates such as sugars"), plus at least one additional problem, such as abnormal blood fats (elevated cholesterol or triglycerides), overweight, and/or high blood pressure. Insulin resistance is "a diet-caused hormonal logjam that interferes with your body's ability to efficiently burn the food you eat." According to the authors, you probably have this problem, and if you do, eating processed carbohydrates are the root of it. Pastries, pastas, breakfast cereals, soft drinks--these refined carbos are the enemy. The book warns you that you probably suffer from insulin resistance (please get a blood test instead of relying on the admittedly unscientific questionnaire in the book, which makes everyone suspect who eats cereal or drinks fruit juice). Then the authors jump on the high-protein, low carb bandwagon. You can eat three eggs for breakfast, roast duck for lunch, and salmon for dinner, and snack on chicken slices.

It seems odd that if the problem is refined carbs that the solution is high protein and low carbs. The authors admit that most unrefined, or complex, carbohydrates do not have the excessive glucose- and insulin-stimulating effect of refined carbs, so why not recommend high-quality, unrefined carbohydrates (which are preferred over high-protein diets by the American Dietetic Association)? Consumers can't tell the difference, the authors say. So rather than educate them to the difference, let them eat meat. Go figure. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Syndrome X is a metabolic disorder that interferes with the body's ability to use insulin to move glucose into cells. It causes insulin resistance or diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension and results in obesity and heart disease. Stanford University researcher Reaven and his coauthors clearly explain what the syndrome is; its impact on the body, especially the heart and circulatory system, is well described. Reaven describes his reasonable six-step program of diagnosis, diet, weight loss, physical activity, healthy lifestyle habits, and medical intervention for control of the disease. An excellent book on a disease that is becoming more common in the American population. Challem, a columnist for Natural Health, and coauthors Burt Berkson, M.D., and health journalist Melissa Diane Smith, call Syndrome X a nutritional disease, caused by a diet high in refined carbohydrates, that can be treated through nutrition and exercise. They falsely imply that most people over age 35 are physically and mentally sluggish owing to this syndrome and warn against using drugs for hypertension, cholesterol, and diabetes. Their recommended diet program is high in protein, with moderate carbohydrate intake. Supplements such as chromium, zinc, and alpha lipoic acid are recommended. Unfortunately, the authors' scare tactics are unnecessary, and the medical information is faulty. Not recommended; get Reaven's book instead.
-Janet M. Schneider, James A. Haley Veterans Hosp., Tampa, FL
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

I found this book very informative, packed with research to back up its ideas.
Robert Sager
Plus, this is the only book that explains how vitamin, mineral, and herbal supplements can help in the prevention of syndrome X. This book will save lives.
Linda Knittel, MA
This book has helped me to finally understand the whole high-protein, low-carbohydrate way of life.
Nicole Brechka

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

150 of 154 people found the following review helpful By Pixelgraph on August 5, 2002
Format: Paperback
I have been on this diet for three weeks and have lost 6lbs. Recently diagnosed with PCOS, I have been researching insulin-resistance with a fervor. "Syndrome X" does an excellent job of explaining insulin-resistance and its causes. However the eating plan outlined in the book is too hard to follow. The advice to avoid high-glycemic foods is sound, but after three weeks I was finding this increasingly difficult. This is not a lifestyle that I could live with forever.
I just read the book, "The Insulin-Resistance Diet: How to Turn Off Your Body's Fat-Making Machine". This book is more current than "Syndrome X" and provides an eating plan more congruent with the typical American lifestyle. The book explains how to balance carbohydrates (even high-glycemic carbs such as sugar and pasta) with protein to avoid insulin spikes, promote weight loss, and avoid disease. I started the new eating plan yesterday and my energy has greatly increased. On our evening walk last night, my husband commented that I had much more energy than I used to. I think that energy was a result of allowing myself the small serving of carbohydrates with dinner (1/2 cup of pasta and 1oz of chocolate) that I had been denying myself on the "Syndrome X" plan.
The "Syndrome X" eating plan is difficult to follow but effective. I do not know how effective the plan outlined in "The Insulin-Resistance Diet" is but I will write a review of it in a few weeks and cite my progress.
UPDATE: "The Insulin-Resistance Diet" did not work for me. As difficult as the "Syndrom X" diet is to stick to, it is really the only diet that shown me good results. Therefore I have upgraded my rating from 3 stars to 4 stars. I suppose that diets are supposed to be hard, otherwise everyone would be thin...
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70 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Classic Movie Mom on December 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
At 38 years old, I was 55 pounds overweight with high blood pressure, sleep apnea, aching knees, and high triglycerides when my doctor informed me that I was insulin-resistant--bordering on diabetes. She told me to read this book. I have tried diets and exercises for the past 13 years, and nothing has worked for me. I read Syndrome X, followed it religiously (including the supplements) and I have lost 45 pounds in 5 months! I'm OFF my blood pressure medication, and I returned my CPAP (sleep apnea) machine! I am a strong believer in the theories presented in this book. I was never hungry, and I have felt great! I recommend this book to anyone with enough will power to follow it's instructions.
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101 of 105 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
I checked out several X-Syndrome books from the library, and THIS is the one that helped me. Helped me lose 31 pounds so far -- and I only started 6 weeks ago. I've seen reviewers say it's impossible to stick to -- Well, yeh, if you're trying to follow the actual menu for severe symptoms. Follow their rule of thumb instead. No more than 4 carb-dense foods per day, balance with protein and a bit of fat.
Take it easy people. 1/3 of your calories from protein, the rest from good carbs and good fats. how hard is that. I'm not following any strict plan, yet my energy has increased 1,000 fold, I've lost a little under a pound a day AND I'M NOT STARVING!! I eat more than I did on an 1,800 calorie-a-day diet, I feel good, I have energy, and the weight is falling off of me.
I know the weight loss will slow down before long, but this is an eating plan I can live with.
I don't understand what the other reviewers found so difficult. The Reaven book had an eating plan that was impossible to follow and never even tells you how to figure out what percentage of your caloric intake is from proteins or carbs. What the hell, tell us to stick to a percentage and don't tell us how to figure that percentage. Well, that's easy! NOT! Foods listed in the Reaven book might be available in California, but not in Ohio. Hell, grocers hadn't even heard of items I had on a list from Reaven's book.
With this book, you can start your plan immediately -- use a couple of the recipes and go from there.
Lighten up people -- it's an eating plan, not a religion that doesn't allow you to vary one thing. It's working like magic for me. I wouldn't give up how good I feel for anything.
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62 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Michael A Zeligs, M.D. on March 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
At last we have a book that explains some of the mystery behind middle-age. Syndrome X is the first book to present the new science explaining mid-life weight gain, rising cholesterol levels, and dropping energy levels. Yes, your middle-age metabolism is different and these changes have more to do with your diet and nutrition than your age! Syndrome X will help you put together a plan to overcome resistance to your own insulin. This is more than an abstract concept, it is the essence behind the current epidemic of obesity, high blood pressure and adult-onset diabetes. Author's Challem, Berkson, and Smith are to be commended. They have written an easy to understand book which provides a common sense plan for overcoming Syndrome X. Most importantly they cut through the current rhetoric and teach you how to treat yourself with a healthy diet. Everyone should read this book and take a copy to their doctor.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 26, 2003
Format: Paperback
I have seen this book in stores for a long time. Today I finally decided to sit down and read it. Suffice to say, I was quite surprised how logical and well written it is.
As a critical care physician, heart disease has always been a major interest. I have followed for several years the gradual paradigm shift among some of my more open minded colleagues away from the simplistic "cholesterol is the villain" attitude. Syndrome X or insulin resistance more and more seems to be the underlying problem not only in most patients with CAD, but also type II diabetes, and in my opinion, obesity. And to the specific point of "bad LDL" particle size (type B), it seems that there is evidence that high triglycerides, the product of course of the usual high carb/low fat diet may be related to this probelm.
The advice in this book may be hard to follow for many "bad carb" addicts, but with 2/3 of the population now obese, type II diabetes showing up in children as young as twelve, and cardiac disease a major killer beyond epidemic proportions, this is THE diet for most people.
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