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Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health Paperback – September 23, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
My own mother had her first heart attack when she was just 48 years old. In her seventies she was put on a statin for elevated cholesterol and became someone I barely recognized; argumentative, irritable, forgetful, poor coordination and very depressed. Nothing in my own medical care education lead me to blame any of that on statin drugs. What was even more puzzling was that she had never been one to eat fatty foods or things laden with cholesterol. But I never stopped to think about that. I did know she struggled with weight her entire life and hence was vigilant in eating things low-fat, as well as only using polyunsaturated oils for cooking. But it is also true she had a problem with carbohydrates - they always were the majority of her diet. I lost her to a heart attack in 1995.
Three years ago, as my own cholesterol nudged up a bit, but still within traditional normal range, I did not hesitate to comply with my doctor's suggestion to begin a statin (Lipitor). If anything, I felt I was getting ahead of the danger of losing my life as my mother had. But also like her, I struggle with my weight and like her I gravitate to carbohydrates. I was strictly avoiding all saturated fats and dietary cholesterol, cooking with the supposedly "healthy" polyunsaturated oils and always choosing fat-free or low-fat dairy products.Read more ›
(My copy was called 'The Diet Delusion' which is the UK and Australian etc. title of this book, I think.)
The author is incredibly intelligent and that this book took the author more than five years to write, shows. I've read few health books so intelligently written as this one.
I thought I was quite well educated about diet and the need to restrict refined carbohydrates (for good health and to stop weight gain) but I learned so much from reading this book.
This book is not a simple book offering practical advice and a diet sheet but a detailed analysis of why low calorie diets don't work and why restricted carbohydrate/high fat diets do.
The book explains that:
1. The 'calories in, calories out' mantra is a myth
2. 'A calorie is a calorie is a calorie' is a myth
3. The 'just eat less and do more exercise to lose weight' message seems to be logical but is actually wrong and unhelpful
4. Overweight and obese people often eat no more calories, or even less, than their thinner counterparts
5. Low calorie diets also reduce the amount of nutrients in the diet
6. It is a myth that the brain and CNS needs 120 - 130 grams of carbohydrate as fuel in order to function properly, as the body can use fat and protein equally as well, and these fuels are likely the mixture our brains have evolved to prefer.
7. Restricting calories with a low fat/high carb diet just makes you hungrier and more lethargic and slows your metabolic rate. Weight loss is only maintained if the patients stays on a semi-starvation diet forever, which is impossible for most people and also undesirable.Read more ›
I personally found reading the one-star reviews here interesting because there is not a single, negative review here that remotely suggests the reviewer actually read the material.
On to my own rating, here's what I think you should know when considering this purchase:
This is unlike any book you've ever read on the subject of diets. It is not a diet book. It is not a lifestyle book. It is not an advocacy book. It is a look at the science that has been ignored as our country has rolled toward the low-fat religion and what the consequences of this have been. It is a look at how and why overwhelming science and evidence was ignored.
Society has needed someone to do what Taubes did here -- to strip away what is popular, to dig into claims and recommendations, and see what the EVIDENCE shows us for claims on both sides of the diet argument. It will give you clarity where there has never been any, while explaining why it has been absent.
If you are looking for a book that lays out a diet plan and recipes and sample meals and such, this is not for you. This is a work of scientific journalism, not a diet plan.
On a final note, it is noteworthy that there have been no real rebuttals to this work whatsoever from the "experts" and "authorities" who have, because of politics and money and cowardice, advocated dietary guidelines that have driven our society into our miserable states of health and obesity.
That silence is shame.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fabulous book, a must read for anyone seriously interested in nutrition, health or weight loss. Every claim is backed by data. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Bonnie Leclerc
Well written and very informative, I learned a lot about calories. A calorie is NOT a calorie!Published 24 days ago by Robert Peralta
Taubes present the two conflicting hypoteses of calories restriction vs carbohydrate restriction, as the means to loose weight, in great detail- and the overconsumption of the same... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Gabor
Among other things, this book documents the history of confusion and disinformation about diet throughout the last century. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
This is a great read. It really makes you think be question long held beliefs on food and on nutrition.Published 2 months ago by Vanessa