Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Diet Cults: The Surprising Fallacy at the Core of Nutrition Fads and a Guide to Healthy Eating for the Rest of Us Paperback – May 15, 2015
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
In this book, Fitzgerald takes aim at the long list of dietary approaches that claim to be the "One True Way" to eat healthily, arguing instead for what he calls "agnostic healthy eating." The key (which he has introduced in previous books) is a ranking of 10 categories of food, and the goal is simply that, wherever a food falls in that hierarchy, you should generally aim to have more of the foods that rank above it and less of the foods that rank below it. And you know what? I agree. You can quibble about some of the details, but this is not a bad description of the way I aim to eat. I'll eat anything, more or less, but always aiming to have more of the things at the top of the ladder than at the bottom. If you're a fellow dietary agnostic, the book is worth a read. --Alex Hutchinson"
A delicious read. I am always amazed at how much I learn from Matt Fitzgerald's books. Diet Cults dives into the human nature, psychology, and pleasure aspect of food. I devoured it. --Shalene Flanagan, Olympic Bronze Medalist"
About the Author
Matt Fitzgerald is an acclaimed endurance sports and nutrition writer and certified sports nutritionist. His most recent book, Iron War, was long-listed for the 2012 William Hill Sports Book of the Year, and he is the author of the best-selling Racing Weight. Fitzgerald is a columnist on Competitor.com and Active.com, and has contributed to Bicycling, Men’s Health, Triathlete, Men’s Journal, Outside, Runner’s World, Shape, Women’s Health and has ghostwritten for sports celebrities including Dean Karnazes and Kara Goucher.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
In my own case, I went vegan at age 17 after watching EARTHLINGS. I highly recommend people watch that movie so they can be conscientious of issues of animal suffering, but the trauma of my viewing experience blinded me to the devastation that was about to follow. After only one year of being vegan (and a mostly raw vegan at that), I was suffering from chronic indigestion, irritability, hair loss, emaciation, and acne, which I barely ever got in the thick of puberty. After switching to the McDougall Diet, a very low-fat vegan diet based on cooked starches, the acne persisted, and I now suffered from toothaches, constipation, and dry eyes. This madness continued for almost 3 years, and I always thought my health problems could be stopped by taking this or that supplement, or by tweaking my diet within the overall framework of veganism or "plant-based." Moreover, on those occasions when I did cheat on animal products, I would beat myself up about it, then vow to eat vegan harder and more diligently than ever before. This is the sort of disordered eating Matt Fitzgerald is trying to prevent.
One negative reviewer of this book stated that Fitzgerald owes Loren Cordain an apology since the top four foods in Fitzgerald’s “diet hierarchy,” vegetables, fruits, nuts/seeds, and high-quality meats, are essentially the Paleo Diet. Ignoring that there IS evidence of hunter-gatherers consuming grains and legumes (plus honey- another food foolishly banned by Cordain), and that hybridized, agricultural foods are extremely different from the wild foods consumed by hunter-gatherers, this misses the point entirely about what constitutes “diet cults.” They’re not about balance, inclusivity, moderation, or nuance. They’re about certain foods being monolithically good, others being monolithically bad. Even if Cordain himself is OK with a little cheating on the Paleo Diet, he still bears responsibility for the Puritans in his movement, due to his categorical demonization of grains, legumes, and dairy- portraying them as the root cause of everything from obesity to type II diabetes to heart disease to cancer to leaky gut and autoimmune disorders, and literal toxins even. Whenever you categorically demonize a food, people are naturally going to assume that the less they eat of it, the healthier they’re going to be, when that’s not necessarily the case.
In conclusion, here are my five biggest indicators someone is in a diet cult. If any of these apply to you, you need to read Fitzgerald’s book ASAP!
1. You think any health problems a person experiences on your diet are due to improperly following the diet, not the diet itself. Gaining weight, or feeling sluggish, cold, constipated, or nauseous on your low carb diet? Well, you’re just eating too much protein, not enough fat. It’s time to go ketogenic. Or you’re just not keto-adapted yet. Or you’re sneaking carbs.
2. You think it’s possible to eat unlimited calories on your diet and not get fat. Eat all of the butter and lard you want. You can’t store fat if you don’t spike your insulin!
3. You think your diet is “the natural human diet” or “the one true way.” As Fitzgerald explains, there is no “the” human diet. Indigenous diets varied wildly, but there were some overlaps. All included cooked foods, all included a mixture of plant and animal foods, and whenever a diet was heavily skewed in favor of one macronutrient, it seems to have been carbohydrates more commonly than fat or protein.
4. Your diet requires you to supplement. Nutritional supplements were not even around until the mid 1900s, so say you’re a vegan who has to supplement B12 simply to survive. That should really tell you something about how unnatural your diet is. Amazingly, some vegans will reconcile their supplementation with their belief that humans are natural herbivores, saying for example that in the olden days, people used to get B12 from “dirty” produce, and B12 deficiency is simply a result of sterile, modern fruits and vegetables.
5. You see people who don’t follow your diet as being "not merely in error, but in sin.” For example, a vegetarian will commonly see meat eaters as evil. It is true the factory farming system is highly unethical, but vegetarian hatred of meat eaters extends beyond that, because vegetarians will irrationally attack people such as Joel Salatin who produce meat in an ethically and environmentally responsible manner.
I have spent years telling anyone who will listen that food is fuel, not poison. There is no bad food; we need to recognize that some food is better fuel than others, but that doesn't mean you should never eat those " not great" fuel sources.
I am grateful Mr. Fitzgerald provides the citations to the research he used. Sadly, he's most likely preaching to the choir. I frequently hear intelligent people wax poetic about purely anecdotal evidence and decry empirical evidence as biased or irrelevant. Nothing but their own experiences will change their minds, and we seek out information that confirms our biases and we ignore what contradicts it.
Reading this book, l kept thinking, "This is just common sense." But, as a former boss of mine is fond of saying, "Common sense ain't so common."