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The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable Paperback – May 19, 2011
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About the Author
Jeff Volek is a dietitian-scientist who has spent 15 years studying diet and exercise effects on health and performance. He has held an academic position at Ball State University and is currently an associate professor at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Volek has contributed to 3 books, 2 patents, and over 200 papers. He received his dietetic training at Michigan State University and Penrose St Francis Hospital and his PhD in Exercise Physiology from Penn State University.
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Don't listen to the naysayers! Oh, the only reason I gave this four not five stars is because canola oil is mentioned as part of the good oils...no no no - new research says that Canola oil (or rape seed oil as it is called) is rancid stuff and coconut oil is hardly mentioned at all and should be. I make coffee every morning with a tab of butter and a tab of coconut oil and blend with my "Smart Stick" - a little cinnamon, a couple of tabs of chia seeds - amazing treat. The book was published in 2010 so it makes sense that the current research on oils is not included. Other than that - wonderful...another low carb bible to add to my library. Love low carb/keto living...thanks for well researched information gentlemen.
As a person who is fascinated with this subject and who eagerly devoured both of Gary Taubes' books, this one offers yet a deeper and more clinical examination of the science of low carbohydrate eating from two doctors who have been immersed in this field for 30 years. This is most definitely NOT a book for the casual reader interested in following a low carb diet. Rather, this is a book that will be understood and appreciated by someone who has a great deal of personal interest in learning more about this subject and who enjoys the deeply scientific explanations and discussion, and additionally, a person who has already done a fair bit of reading on this subject. This book is most definitely targeted at someone with a scientific and medical background, specifically doctors, and there are things that I had to read a few times to fully comprehend and absorb, but if you have the inclination and interest, this is a very rewarding and enlightening discussion that is quite unique in the current low carb literature. One would be hard pressed to deny the absolutely overwhelming and glaring evidence arguing for low carb diets when the vast body of proof is presented as compellingly and clearly is it is here. Low carb's undeniable superiority as a way of eating is nothing short of amazing to read about in all its historic and fascinating glory. My own personal observation and experience (also success) with eating low carb left me with vaguely formed ideas and I was self-identified as perhaps a "carb sensitive" person, and yet I couldn't put it all together in terms of how it ultimately affected me until I read this book, which discusses this subject at great length. Carb sensitivity is apparently a matter of degree within each individual, and I now understand the hows and whys of its effects on me as related to my own independent observations over the years. It's now clear why a low carb diet works so superbly and easily for me (when nothing else works) and why it has so vastly improved my health in myriad ways.
Another important discussion was that of individual variability, which explains why not every diet works for everyone equally, why some don't gain weight on a high carb diet and why some can lose weight equally well on various types of diets. One shoe obviously does not fit all, and for some, only one shoe fits!
Despite my own success with weight loss and good health eating low carb, I still had this nagging worry about fats in particular, especially in light of the deafening chorus of low carb detractors out there who railed endlessly about the dangers of fat. My insecurity about this aspect of low carb eating has now been entirely put to rest because of how fully the authors explain the body's use of fat in all its aspects. This alone make this book a valuable asset.
As it was when I was reading the two Taubes books, I continue to be dismayed and disgusted by the narrow mindedness and yes, dishonesty of the general scientific/nutrition community. The word "sheeple" comes to mind, but it's even more than that. It's about politics, money, influence peddling as well. It is nothing short of amazing how so many of us lay folks out in the trenches can quite clearly see all the evidence for what it is and relate it to our own experiences, and as a result we draw such a different conclusion from the so-called "experts" with regard to the merits of low carb eating. Many, maybe even most of the diet gurus continue to march down that same old highway chanting their tired mantra of low fat/high carb/grains are great, all while totally ignoring or at least remaining oblivious to decades of increasing obesity rates that are the result of their recommendations. Do they never connect any dots or examine the evidence? In the popular media, it is a continual frustration to hear them continue to hawk diets full of the very foods that keep their patients overweight, increasingly diabetic and unhealthy. Virtually everything I come across that is not written within the low carb framework is jam packed with misinformation and downright untruths, proclaiming as desirable, healthy and effective the very approaches and strategies that were long ago shown to be just the opposite. Old habits and beliefs die hard, apparently.
So if you have already done a fair bit of reading on this subject and thirst for a deeper, more thorough knowledge and understanding of the history and actual body mechanics of low carb nutrition, then this is definitely a book you will want to read and enjoy. In addition, it provides you with a huge new database of ammunition with which to make your own case and defense of low carb nutrition! Overall a very fascinating, enlightening, comprehensive and well presented discussion that delves deeper than anything I have yet to come across in this field. Despite the rather high cost of this book, it is well worth owning.
Free advice - before you even consider starting a Ketogenic diet consult this book. Pay close attention to "Atkins Flu".
Drs. Finney and Volek do not address fermented foods nor probiotics. They do not seem to directly address insomnia that some folks on Ketogenic diets get. Fermented foods and probiotic supplements seem to help with diarrhea and to some degree with sleeplessness. Melatonin also seems to help. Doubtless they have not encountered the problems that I saw, but they are not expected to be perfect. They are, however, highly competent.
One thing is clear - one must be persistent with Ketogenic diets. The ketogenic state is quite fragile. You can ruin it with one "lapse" into carbohydrates. You may require weeks to restore the ketogenic state of ketosis. The authors both discuss this in great detail.
You cannot go wrong purchasing this book if you wish to use a Ketogenic diet. Their companion book for athletes over laps this book but offers specific information that may benefit those who wish to exercise while ketogenic dieting.