If Taubes is right we should all be very, very angry.
He makes two basic claims:
1. The calories-in, calories-out theory of fat regulation is entirelyIf Taubes is right we should all be very, very angry.
He makes two basic claims:
1. The calories-in, calories-out theory of fat regulation is entirely wrong. This is the reason why "eat less, exercise more" does not work. Instead, fat regulation is driven by insulin and insulin in turn is regulated by glucose. And what drives glucose? How many carbs we eat. In support of this claim, Tabues reviews roughly 200 years of medical wisdom, studies, and the science itself to show how circa the 1960s, our medical establishment ignored what everyone previously knew.
2. Saturated fat does not cause heart disease; our heart disease risk factors are again driven by how many carbs we eat. Taubes's discussion of saturated fat is briefer, yet he does touch on the history of how saturated fat became demonized as well as explaining how carbs influence our HDL and LDL.
Taubes, a journalist, tells a fascinating story. If he's right, our medical and government experts have essentially been running an uncontrolled experiment on the American population, one that has led to the death of millions and misery for millions more. (I think this experiment has even had Constitutional implications -- would the Democrats have demanded Obamacare as vociferously if Americans were not suffering from all these metabolic diseases?)
So, is Taubes right? I don't know. He certainly tells a very convincing story that has persuaded me. The low-carb/Paleo/Primal phenomenon -- which, as far as a I can tell, is a largely grassroots, bottom-up movement -- also makes me think he's on to something.
One other thing about this book: this is an introductory, undergraduate-level text. It reads quickly and easily, yet is appropriately sourced. For anyone who wants to delve deeper, Taubes has already written a graduate-level book, Good Calories, Bad Calories that runs over 600 pages, a substantial part of which is a bibliography....more
Lots of good and fascinating information, but not high on the readability index. Taubes is trying to overturn common wisdom so he builds his case veryLots of good and fascinating information, but not high on the readability index. Taubes is trying to overturn common wisdom so he builds his case very methodically, with lots of detail. Feel free to skim.
That said, if Taubes is correct, the public has been misled/lied to (depending on how generous you wanna be) by nutrition "experts" for oh, about the past 80 years. ...more
His recipe for brownies alone is worth the price of the book. They're really easy, but most people have been raised on mixes, so when you make the reaHis recipe for brownies alone is worth the price of the book. They're really easy, but most people have been raised on mixes, so when you make the real thing everyone reacts like you're a genius....more