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Low-Carb Science IS Mainstream--Will Our Culture Ever Catch Up?,
This review is from: The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable (Paperback)
What do you get when you bring together two of most brilliant minds examining the science supporting carbohydrate restriction and its beneficial impact on weight and health? It's a dream team collaboration like nothing else that's ever been seen in the low-carb community and something that has been sorely needed to cut through the continued nonsense that still persists in our culture regarding low-carb diets despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. For Dr. Jeff Volek from The University of Connecticut and the legendary Dr. Stephen Phinney, this has actually been a personal passion of theirs for many years to share what they've seen first-hand in the study participants they have observed as well as in their own personal experimentations using a high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb diet. They are both already co-authors of the New York Times bestselling book The New Atkins For A New You released in 2010 which was geared more specifically to the general public updating the Atkins Nutritional Approach to fit more within the 21st Century.
But both Dr. Volek and Dr. Phinney realize in order for a patient to be successful at implementing a healthy low-carbohydrate lifestyle change into their own daily routine, they first need a competent and educated healthcare professional who is willing to learn, understand and embrace the basic principles that make this incredible way of eating so amazingly effective as a therapeutic means for treating obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and a whole myriad of diseases. That's why they decided to write a brand new book about it in 2011 that does just that. It's called The Art And Science Of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide To Making The Life-Saving Benefits Of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable And Enjoyable and is arguably the most important low-carb book releasing this year!
The purpose of this book is really about three main things: giving the reader the proper historical perspective about low-carb diets, explaining why low-carb diets work the way they do in the body, and then showing actual clinical application of how low-carb diets can be used to treat patients. For the healthcare professional, the information contained within the pages of this invaluable 300-page book could radically revolutionize and transform the way they interact with patients transitioning from a pharmaceutically-based to a nutritionally-based mindset for treating chronic health issues such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and more. For the educated layperson, learning more about high-fat, low-carb diets from these top research investigators will bring about changes in their own weight and health that will then have a positive impact on their friends, family, and even their physicians. Then this book can become an outstanding book to be given to the interested healthcare professional who wants to learn more about why people get better eating a diet that includes saturated fat and is devoid of starchy and sugary carbohydrates. It's a life cycle that I'm sure both Dr. Volek and Dr. Phinney would love to see happen as this book is read, re-read, passed along, and highly recommended for people who are frustrated by the failure of the low-fat diet, something they address right away in the Introduction in their "Five Discords" section.
While obesity and diabetes has gotten increasingly worse and worse with the strong recommendations of a high-carb, low-fat diet, the evidence coming out in the world of science in recent years reveals there is no longer any controversy about low-carb diets-they "have now been resolved" as the authors put it. Now the grunt work of taking the proven science to the masses is the tricky part. It is all predicated on convincing the public that a low-fat diet is not healthy because it is too high in carbohydrate, educating why controlling the hormone insulin by restricting carbohydrates will eliminate hunger and burn stored body fat, revealing the fact that there is no scientific evidence tying saturated fat in the diet to heart disease risk, sharing the truth about what really raises saturated fat in the body (carbohydrates!), and reminding people that there is no such thing as a "one-size-fits all message" when it comes to a healthy lifestyle as the government, media and all the so-called health "experts" would have us believe. Dr. Volek and Dr. Phinney are using this book to "speak up" by releasing The Art And Science Of Low Carbohydrate Living.
The authors have taken every measure possible to insure the low-carb principles they share in this book will stand the test of time. It's why a low carbohydrate approach is considered a lifestyle change that's permanent and lasting-not just a diet. They have done this by examining three primary keys to making that happen: Safety, Individual Specificity, and Sustainability.
Dr. Volek and Dr. Phinney have over a half-century of research/clinical experience with low-carb diets using them on a variety of study participants/patients and they are "confident that a well-formulated low carbohydrate diet offers improved low-term health and well-being" for people who struggle on high-carb diets. Therefore, the safety question hasn't really been an issue because it's just not a relevant factor. Plus, the whole idea of "carbohydrate intolerance" is something that's rarely if ever discussed by mainstream conventional wisdom but it is arguably the biggest reason why people turn to low-carb diets to help them when everything else they've ever tried has failed. If there was a genuine problem over the safety of low-carb diets, wouldn't we be hearing about people experiencing these complications? That ain't happening.
Another concept that rarely gets any attention is the fact we are not robotic machines that operate in the same way. Humans are indeed unique, especially when it comes to how they respond to the foods they consume. The authors point out that anyone with obesity, metabolic syndrome, and/or diabetes already have carbohydrate intolerance and would be best fitted for a low-carb diet change. Otherwise, doing a low-fat diet is like "forcing a square peg into a round hole." Even more interesting is the observation that even if a low-fat diet is working for you now, your tolerance level for carbohydrates will inevitably get worse and worse as you age-so eventually pretty much everyone will need to start livin' la vida low-carb! This is why Dr. Volek and Dr. Phinney state that the Dietary Guidelines from the USDA need to have "a separate path from the `high-carb, low-fat' mantra."
As for the sustainability of a low-carb lifestyle change, the authors note that this is a "complex" issue that serves as the basis for why they wrote this book to begin with. The "casual approach" (as they describe it) to eating low-carb is what gets most people who try to do it in trouble and puts them on the inevitable if not predictable pathway to failure. You can't just cut your carbohydrates and expect to be eating what Dr. Volek and Dr. Phinney would define as a low-carb diet. They detail all that is involved with creating a "well-formulated low carbohydrate diet" that will last for a lifetime within the pages of this book. As they put it, "This topic is clearly more deserving of a book than a sound bite."
Some would say that a book about low-carb diets from a couple of low-carb researchers seems self-serving since they obviously have a vested interest in promoting a nutritional plan they've committed their careers to. But the authors address this by asking a simple yet poignant question:
"What is the proper response when three decades of debate about carbohydrate restriction have been largely one-sided and driven more by cultural bias than science?"
Indeed. And that's precisely what Dr. Volek and Dr. Phinney have done with The Art And Science Of Low Carbohydrate Living making a solid case for low-carb diets just as a defense attorney would argue a case before a judge and jury. The evidence is presented with appropriate citations of key scientific studies. Plus, the authors call on three key witnesses for special guest chapters to further embolden their arguments: Dr. Eric Kossoff to share how ketogenic diets are used in controlling seizures and other brain health issues, Jacqueline Eberstein who has experience working with patients using carbohydrate-restriction alongside the late, great Dr. Robert C. Atkins in his complementary medicine clinic in New York City for three decades, and me (Jimmy Moore) providing the unique perspective as a patient who discovered and thrived (losing 180 pounds and coming off of three prescription medications) on a low-carb diet despite the objections of those in the healthcare profession. By the time you make your way through this informative and practical book, you'll realize as the authors so succinctly state in their closing argument that "it just feels right" to be eating low-carb. The verdict? NOT GUILTY!
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Showing 1-10 of 15 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 12, 2011 9:39:08 PM PDT
Excellent review, Jimmy. Much appreciated.
Posted on Aug 28, 2011 9:50:54 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 15, 2011 8:13:41 AM PDT
JM's review is comprehensive, detailed, accurate. Just finished the book. It answered all my questions, gave me insights and the roadmap I need to stay well after a 40 pound weight loss on PROTEIN POWER. I've been stalled but now I know why, and know what to do to re-ignite fat burning.
The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable was published in 2011; anyone having trouble with low-carb lifestyle or that has questions should read this book.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2012 7:07:04 AM PST
Marvin Israel says:
Just to supply a little bit of perspective to this discussion of nutrition, a year ago I lost 44 lbs after two knee replacements and two bouts of clostridium difficile. Since then I have maintained that weight loss eating a low fat, mostly vegetarian diet containing lots and lots of "carbs." These carbs come from brown rice, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, various beans (kidney, garbanzos, black-eyed peas, etc.). When I eat meat it is either turkey breast or very lean, grass-fed beef. My lipids, triglycerides and glucose are all good. I'm 74, healthy, lift weights, and get up to 95% of maximum heart rate doing cardio intervals. As the saying goes, there is more than one way to skin a cat.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2012 7:23:28 AM PST
Oh there's no doubt that health improvements can be seen when you improve the quality of the food you consume from highly-processed carbohydrates and junk food to the ones like you mentioned. But I would argue that the improvements you saw were because you reduced the overall carbohydrate load on your body and that even further benefits would come from further restriction as the authors of this book call for. I'm not sure what "good" lipids, triglycerides and blood sugar are, but I'd be delighted to see your specific numbers. Maybe high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb living would make them even better. CONGRATS on finding what works for you, Marvin.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2012 11:23:40 AM PST
Marvin Israel says:
Be glad to supply my "numbers." Total cholesterol 138, LDL 83, Triglycerides 141, glucose 84. I should clarify that prior to my weight loss the only "junk food" I ate was two York Mint Patties daily, a bottle of beer or a double martini 4X weekly, an occasional dish of ice cream. I've been eating whole grains for the last 35 years, baking my own bread and preparing all my food from scratch
I read Gary Taube's Why We Get Fat book cover to cover and was so enthusiastic about it that I got my best friend to buy it and read it, but when I calmed down and started looking into the actual research which supposedly supported his way of eating (I was particularly struck by his breakfasts consisting of bacon, eggs, and sausage which for my physiology would have been a recipe for a heart attack or stroke) a renowned scientist doing research in insulin wrote that Taubes didn't know what he was talking about vis-a-vis insulin, and since Taube's take on insulin formed the essence of his dietary theory, I decided to lean more to the Ornish/Essylston dietary approach but without going whole hog (as it were) to the fanatical zero fat, all vegan diet which, frankly, would make the rest of my life not worth living. :)
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2012 12:53:25 PM PST
These numbers are a bit concerning:
Your HDL good cholesterol is not listed but it appears the level is well below 50...not good. Ideally you want HDL above 50 and the best way to get it there is by consuming more fat, especially saturated fat.
Your triglycerides at 141 are also elevated and indicative of consuming too many carbohydrates. Trigs should be under 100 and dropping carbs below 50g daily will get you there.
LDL and total cholesterol is meaningless without context. How many of your LDL particles are the small, dense and dangerous kind vs. the large, fluffy kind you want? We don't know because you didn't have an NMR Lipoprofile test run. That would be interesting.
The latest research by this book's author Dr. Jeff Volek shows that it is the HDL/triglyceride ratio that is most indicative of heart health risks. If you HDL is 25, then that's a 6-1 ratio--ideally needs to be 2-1 or better.
On a positive note, your fasting BG is excellent! Don't discount Taubes completely. He's certainly on to something here. Volek and Phinney have made the scientific case in this book, but I'd love to see what has convinced you of your approach. Email me more info at livinlowcarbman at charter dot net. Thank you sir!
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 24, 2012 2:04:35 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 24, 2012 2:42:08 PM PST
I. IndieCDs says:
When reading Marvin's comments I could not help but think of my own experience. I agree with him to a point but only to a point. In the summer of 2009 my wife and I began eating according to Joel
Fuhrman's recommendations in his book Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss, Revised Edition. I had already lost some weight and found Dr. Fuhrman's nutrient-density approach to make a lot of sense especially in view of what I had previously read about calorie restriction. To make a long story short, I lost a total of 40 pounds and my wife lost 45 and for the most part we have kept it off for over 2 years. However, my wife never reached her target weight and she continues to be plagued with elevated systolic blood pressure. So something is missing.
I was convinced that Dr. Fuhrman had everything right and that in time she would attain the results we were striving for. Then I read Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health (Vintage) not knowing up front that it was going to be a book that supported a high-fat low-carb way of eating. Now I had to reconsider what really was the best course. I would like to say at this point that either way of eating can work for some persons. I think that I could succeed with either way and make either a lifelong practice. However, for some persons that will not be the case. Even Gary Taubes makes this statement in Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It (Vintage) "Any diet can be made healthy or at least healthier-from vegan to meat-heavy-if the high-glycemic-index carbohydrates and sugars are removed, or reduced significantly." And I firmly agree with that but I also agree that for some [including my wife] a low-carb high-fat diet may be what works best. [Time will tell.]
Now I would like to list some of my blood test results:
In December of 2010 after eating a mostly vegan diet with occasional seafood and meat and no refined foods but eating a lot of fruit, salad, oatmeal, etc. for a period of 16 months my numbers were as follows: Total cholesterol=156; HDL=54; LDL=92; Triglycerides=51; fasting blood sugar=99
Now, a lot of folks would say that those are good numbers so why do anything to jeopardize them [I'll get to that in a minute]. A year later in December of 2011 my numbers changed a bit after eating low-carb high-fat diet for only 2 months. This was the results: Total cholesterol=141 (down 15 points); HDL=60 (up 6 points); LDL=75 (down 17 points); Triglycerides=30 (down an amazing 21 points or 41%); fasting blood sugar=90 (down 9 points)
So all my numbers were better! Yeah I was surprised too. My HDL to total cholesterol ratio improved from 2.9 to 2.4 (I think I got that right?)
I would not have changed my diet if it wasn't for the fact that my wife still hadn't found a solution to her blood pressure problems. In order to encourage her to try something that might help her, I will do it myself right along with her. So now we are going to get even more serious about sticking with the low-carb high-fat diet. Eating all the saturated fat I care to improved my numbers and I have never eaten so much fat in my life. Saturated fat is NOT the problem. The problem is refined carbs, etc.
I agree with Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Man that many of these cholesterol numbers are indeed meaningless especially after reading Ignore the Awkward.: How the Cholesterol Myths Are Kept Alive However thank you Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Man for pointing out the value of triglyceride to HDL ratio importance. I found on another web site that 2 or less is considered ideal, 4 is high and 6 is much too high. Correct me if I am wrong: you would take triglycerides divided by HDL to get the ratio? If so mine went from .95 to .50 The web page I found this info on also said "people with the highest ratio of triglycerides to HDL -- the "good" cholesterol -- had 16 times the risk of heart attack as those with the lowest ratio of triglycerides to HDL in the study of 340 heart attack patients and 340 of their healthy, same age counterparts."
[The webpage was at your medical detective dot com]
Something else I meant to mention:
Doctor Fuhrman also wrote Fasting and Eating for Health: A Medical Doctor's Program for Conquering Disease and in it he talks about the benefits of going into ketosis while fasting. He says that doing so pretty much will correct anyone's blood pressure problem. Problem is that in order to do a water fast for an extended time you need a doctor's supervision and you need to be off your feet. This is not possible for my wife. Interestingly, a super low-carb high-fat diet [less than 20 carbs a day] also puts the body into a state of ketosis, burning fat instead of sugar for energy. Sounds really promising to me. I only hope I can just get my wife to give it her all.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 15, 2012 12:47:47 PM PST
Oh, Marvin, I applaud your efforts but, honestly, I would not be happy with your lipid levels. As Jimmy pointed out, your HDL is quite low and I would absolutely want my triglycerides well below 100. The most practical way to accomplish both of these things would be to incorporate more animal products into your diet . . . more specifically, more animal fats. Saturated fats do not clog your arteries.
Posted on Mar 30, 2012 6:08:35 PM PDT
Tony L™ says:
Love your corny videos, Jimmy! And this review tells me enough that this book isn't more low-carb fluff that was rushed out shortly before Dr. Atkin's death.
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2012 8:00:34 PM PDT
M. Jacobs says:
AMen Jimmy Moore. As always your comments are well searched and timely. Anyone can lose weight on any diet but sustaining it and one that gives appetite control, that's the ticket.