- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Hudson Street Press; 1 edition (December 29, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1594630852
- ISBN-13: 978-1594630859
- Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,425,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Why Women Need Fat: How "Healthy" Food Makes Us Gain Excess Weight and the Surprising Solution to Lo sing It Forever Hardcover – December 29, 2011
About the Author
William D. Lassek, MD, is a former assistant Surgeon General and currently assistant professor in the department of epidemiology at the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh.
Steven J.C. Gaulin, PhD, is professor of anthropology at the University of California at Santa Barbara and the editor in chief of Evolution and Human Behavior. Visit whywomenneedfat.com.
Top customer reviews
Although it is pitched as a diet book, the authors' expertise is not in the area of nutrition. They are a psychological anthropologist and an epidemiologist. They address an aspect of weight gain that is unique to women, the normal weight gain that is related to fertility and child-bearing, which no other book I've read on diet or exercise discusses or explains.
This book grabbed me right from the start with a example of how a woman had gained weight during her lifetime because this theoretical everywoman gained weight exactly as I had! Their theories of why women are thin when they are young and why they gain weight as they age are not the same old tropes about diet but fascinating new research about why women's hips and waists are thin when they are young and expand as they age.
Their explanation of the different types of fatty acids (Omega 3s and 6s) is the clearest explanation I have ever read.
The diet recommendations portion was too conceptual. It seemed tacked on in order to turn this from a book that would languish on the Anthropology aisle to a best seller in the Diet section. The authors had not supervised anyone on this kind of diet nor could they document any results with women following their recommendations. Further research shows that the studies just don't back up what they advise. Even so, I felt the information helped me to evaluate some of the new diet research for myself.
I found the thread they follow throughout the book of looking back not to our caveman foremothers but simply back one generation to how our grandmothers ate be inspiring and do-able. I think they make an excellent case that processed foods should be avoided and non-processed fats of both animal and vegetable origin should be included.
Since reading the book I've avoided processed foods, started adding whole milk into my diet, and completely nixed the vegetable oils except for olive and coconut oil. I've been phasing the corn oil and shortening out anyway, but now I'm more conscientious about looking for these oils in processed foods, which I had not really thought about as a source of oil before. I don't think that I will lose weight necessarily, but I think it is a healthier and more satisfying way to eat and I'm seeing how it feels for me. I have to say that after so many years of eating low-fat, it's a little weird to have full-fat milk or a real pound cake with two sticks of butter. It's surprising how ingrained those diet habits have become.
I'm also taking fish oil supplements, which I have done before and is one of the few supplements I have felt makes a difference. The research they presented convinced me to stick with this.
The authors recommend canola oil, but despite the fat breakdown backing up their recommendation, I think they need to look at how this oil is so highly processed and their own recommendations to avoid oils that involve industrialized extraction techniques.
Every woman should read this book. I think we need to accept that weight gain over time is healthy for us and our children. I hope it helps us to stop being so obsessed with seeking to always look like 18 year-olds.