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The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  2,085 ratings  ·  145 reviews
The Art And Science Of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide To Making The Life-Saving Benefits Of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable And EnjoyableCarbohydrate restricted diets are commonly practiced but seldom taught. As a result, doctors, dietitians, nutritionists, and nurses may have strong opinions about low carbohydrate dieting, but in many if not most cases, the ...more
Paperback, 316 pages
Published May 19th 2011 by Beyond Obesity LLC
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Cherese Severson
Apr 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As a medical provider I was really resistant to this type of diet. As a person who struggles with obesity and food addiction I decided to try this anyway. It has changed my life. I appreciate all of the references, I did look up the studies on my own. You can't argue with the science or the results. ...more
Jun 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic, thorough, dense yet approachable overview to ketosis. It's written by doctors for doctors to tell their patients how to go very low carb, so it can be biomed oriented at times (as in naming many acronyms I haven't heard of), but the information is invaluable.

I have been "paleo" / low carb for five years, but never aimed to go into ketosis. I had many questions - how is athletic performance effected? What are the best fat sources for ketosis? Is all that animal fat *really* what I sh
May 11, 2012 added it
The most complete, cogent, assessment of the medical literature regarding low-carbohydrate diets I have ever read. Drs. Phinney and Volek are two of the world experts on the topic having done a vast majority of the research to date. The book not only explains the physiology and value of low carb diets, but also clearly shows the flaws in research that have led to the misconception that fat is bad for you and high carb diets are not.

I have known Dr. Phinney personally for many years and always t
Peter Jonsson
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
just found this book after trying a two week period on the keto diet. after reading half the book i realize that some of the suffering with regards to keto-adaptation does have natural causes and straightforward remedies. will try again when i get home from a current trip. this is really exciting the stuff which is happening in the body. also i love the tone and the language in the book. if you are trying keto right now make sure to read chapter 18...

***Now I've been on the diet for 3 months and
May 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book turned my years' learning at HSPH upside-down, along with the cherished Food Pyramid. It is well-written in a semi-scholarly semi-self-help fashion but without the usual nauseating advocacy through anecdotes. The main points are made through peer-reviewed published research. I can't judge its scientific merits (not being an expert in this field) nor know how its principle would apply to my individual situation, but I applaud its clear and concise education on various metabolic issues. ...more
Heidi Garrett
May 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: keto-way-of-life
This is the third (and probably the last) book I will read on keto adaptation. When I learned that research is pointing to chronic high glucose as the source of things like dementia, alzheimers, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc. I became very interested in the ketogenic way of life, i.e., converting your brain from being a "sugar burner" to being a "fat burner." The authors of this book have done studies on the keto way of life and are very knowledgable about its implementation. The first pa ...more
Sep 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Reading this book may literally save your life. It explains why low carb diets are good for general health, not just weight loss.
Jul 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food, low-carb-keto
Next to my Bible, the most important book I have. Refer back to it several times a week. If you're trying to be healthy, you MUST have this book! ...more
Nov 07, 2019 rated it liked it
This book is a starting point for most people, but I found some of what Volek focused on to be a bit out of line with some of the academic literature I read concurrently. Take, for instance, these two studies in Nature.

The first says the carbohydrate-insulin model as too simplistic, and the second says there is no evidence of increased metabolic activity on the ketogenic diet.



It's quite clear to me the main benefits
Nov 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read

I've chosen to give this book 5 solid stars because of the quality and amount of information presented. Fair warning, there is a lot of medical and scientific terms. It's easily decipherable with a basic understanding of medical terminology.

That said, I learned a lot more about biological markers and feel my understanding of nutritional ketosis has improved, even after countless hours of research I've done on my own.

I'd recommend this book to people who are interested in the scienc
Nov 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book was a bit of an eye opener for me. It makes a convincing case that the common recommendation for a low fat diet is not well supported by the science. This pretty much flips the traditional food pyramid on its head. For people, like me, who have developed an insulin resistance and type II diabetes, the low carbohydrate (higher fat) diet may be the better option.
Carol Bakker
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In addition to Dr. Atkin's Diet Revolution, this book by Volek and Phinney is one of the foundational sources of information on the low carb diet. It isn't the book I would put in a newbie's hand, but I felt I had to read it myself.

This is a very science-y (I heard that word on a podcast) book written for medical providers. It took me 16 weeks to get through it, because I needed to read each page three times in a rested state before comprehending it.

What I Loved:
:: Chapter 18, Ten Clinical Pear
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nutrition
This book was recommended to me by my internist, because she put me on a ketogenic diet for three months. Clearly written and a balanced amount of science and narrative. Explains how low carb high fat diets work, and why you don't need to be frightened of eating higher fat and along low carbs. It's also relevant in explaining what poor studies look like, so helps you get better at identifying bad science. Helpful. but even more helpful is the very up to date Diet Doctor. com, which is the intern ...more
Oct 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed, health
I periodically like to read a book on nutrition. It is a subject that in general interests me, and I enjoy the science of nutrition. I find these books not only educational but motivating. They help me refocus on my personal goals. It helped that I began a low carb diet in March, so six months in I was ready for some more education. This book is supposedly more directed towards providing professionals, doctors and nutritionists, with what they need to guide their patients through a low carb diet ...more
Susan Hawthorne
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Terrific info that everyone should know! Simply adore this book. It explains all you need to know about low carb - do read it!!! Important info for your health!
Jun 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, 2018
Can be a bit technical but has some really good information.
Mai Moanes
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
A heavily researched book by physicians who seem to actually know what they're talking about..Really valuable if u r planning to stick to low-carb eating as a lifestyle.... ...more
Rene Axel
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent scientific explanation of exactly what's in the title. ...more
Harold King
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very amazing and useful book! I do my weight-reduction diet based on this book, and it makes me extremely good results. The low-carb diet (the "keto") is incredible effective! ...more
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Laid out in its best, this book explains whether you are thin, fit, or fat, the science behind our metabolisms is critical to know. The in-depth knowledge and reasoning behind the low-carb lifestyle is timelessly printed here.

However, a problem I have noticed with the low carb diet is that it falls under the category of fad diets. It does not reverse years of unhealthy eating patterns and a life time dysfunction towards food. People do not want a bigger perspective, have underlying foor addictio
Mar 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: health
My bet is that sometime soon, low carb / high fat diets will be accepted as mainstream healthy eating advice and that this is not a 'fad'. This book was pretty scientifically dense at times and was also very focused on the low carb diet impact on pretty severe pathogenic states such as people with diabetes type-2 and metabolic syndrome so at times I had to ask myself - how is this relevant to me?

However, the upshot is that there are a lot of pre-markers to these states, which are health indicat
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have started Keto diet about 2 months ago. Since then I have listened to a number of podcasts, read articles, watched YouTube videos and visited Reddit Keto community every single day. While they have provided a great insight, I wanted more detailed science background and this book is perfect for that.

It is easy to read but contains all information you need to know on how your body works and the science behind the Ketogenic diet. I found there are popular opinions on the web regarding the die
Sep 13, 2012 rated it liked it

I would never go this extreme. But has some nice tidbits, like:

"...not as long as the gallbladder gets regular signals to contract, coming in the form of cholecystokinin released by the upper small bowel in response to dietary fat. However, if the dietary fat intake is low, (under 30 grams per day) during rapid weight loss, the gallbladder doesn't get the signal to empty itself, and this cholesterol can build up and increase the risk of gallstone formation."

And don't forget how dehydrating insuf
Feb 23, 2017 rated it did not like it
I'm not convinced that following a very low carb diet is safe and healthy as a long-term dietary pattern. The research the author cites is interesting, but not necessarily convincing that it will have the health benefits it claims over the long run. I think healthy eating and a healthy relationship with food is to be found somewhere in the middle of the SAD and the LCHF extremes. Just look to the longest living populations around the world and you'll find people who eat pretty high carb diets (a ...more
Apr 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: diet
Quite technical but readable. Added some information to my Atkins data collection and reinforced my resolve to diet. It also made me feel chuffed that I knew the news was skewed for the past 40 years by big business and mass media. Talk about fake news...no wonder people believe Trump when he yells 'fake news' because we have all learned that money manipulates the media and we do get fake news. I remember the beating Dr. Atkins took in the 70's and I remember everyone telling me I was a fool to ...more
Oct 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing

This book lays out a sustainable plan of how to enjoy long term success on a low carb diet. They get into the emotional and religious connotations we associate with carbs and bread especially. They cite 140 studies to back up their claims and seem to do a fair job of pointing out possible flaws in the studies that deserve it, even if they agree with the authors point of view. This is a wonderful book, written as if it is talking to a fellow doctor, but very easy to follow for the uneducated fol
Arturo Mijangos
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, health, low-carb
I really enjoyed reading this book. I believe I enjoyed it because I was looking for this type of information. I was able to understand insulin resistance and the different metabolic pathways. There were only a few sections that I only skimmed, and other readers might find parts like that.
I gave it four stars not for content, but there were at least four sections in the book where the authors go into defending their work and putting other research down. I was not reading the book to understand a
Kristi L Clephane`
May 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is geared toward doctors and health providers, but I found it extremely interesting, with tons of resources and cited papers leaning toward (obviously) low carb living, the history of low carb dieting, and studies that were well done or flawed in terms of efficacy of low carb living.
I personally cannot wait to do my own experiment in low carb, after reading this book.
Bob Collins
Jul 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Written more for Doctors and nurses than for patients, this goes a bit deep into the research around the physiology of low-carb diets. Pretty good, but pretty deep. There is research and science behind the low carb diet recommendations.
Jan 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Very informative. Very technical, but for insulin resistance and carbohydrate intolerance information it was very helpful.
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32 likes · 1 comments
“Feeling Faint Issue: I’m happy losing weight with a low carbohydrate diet, but I’m always tired, get light headed when I stand up, and if I exercise for more than 10 minutes I feel like I’m going to pass out. Response: Congratulations on your weight loss success, and with just a small adjustment to your diet, you can say goodbye to your weakness and fatigue. The solution is salt…a bit more salt to be specific. This may sound like we’re crazy when many experts argue that we should all eat less salt, however these are the same experts who tell us that eating lots of carbohydrates and sugar is OK. But what they don’t tell you is that your body functions very differently when you are keto-adapted. When you restrict carbs for a week or two, your kidneys switch from retaining salt to rapidly excreting it, along with a fair amount of stored water. This salt and water loss explains why many people experience rapid weight loss in the first couple of weeks on a low carbohydrate diet. Ridding your body of this excess salt and water is a good thing, but only up to a point. After that, if you don’t replace some of the ongoing sodium excretion, the associated water loss can compromise your circulation The end result is lightheadedness when you stand up quickly or fatigue if you exercise enough to get ‘warmed up’. Other common side effects of carbohydrate restriction that go away with a pinch of added salt include headache and constipation; and over the long term it also helps the body maintain its muscles. The best solution is to include 1 or 2 cups of bouillon or broth in your daily schedule. This adds only 1-2 grams of sodium to your daily intake, and your ketoadapted metabolism insures that you pass it right on through within a matter of hours (allaying any fears you might have of salt buildup in your system). This rapid clearance also means that on days that you exercise, take one dose of broth or bouillon within the hour before you start.” 6 likes
“So let’s consider an alternative diet, say 1200 kcal consisting of 30% protein, 15% carbs (i.e., 180 kcal or 45 grams), and 55% fat. After a week or two of getting adapted (during which you may experience some of the fuel limitation symptoms discussed above), your serum ketones rise up in the range (1-2 millimolar) where they meet at least half of the brain’s fuel supply. Now if you go for that 5 mile run, almost all of your body’s muscle fuel comes from fat, leaving your dietary carb intake plus gluconeogenesis from protein to meet the minor fraction of your brain’s energy need not provided from ketones. And, oh yes, after your run while on the low carb diet, your ketone levels actually go up a bit (not dangerously so), further improving fuel flow to your brain. So what does this mean for the rest of us who are not compulsive runners? Well, this illustrates that the keto-adapted state allows your body more flexibility in meeting its critical organ energy needs than a ‘balanced’ but energy-restricted diet. And in particular, this also means that your brain is a “carbohydrate dependent organ” (as claimed by the USDA Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee as noted in Chapter 3) ONLY when you are eating a high carbohydrate diet. When carbohydrate is restricted as in the example above, your body’s appropriate production of ketones frees the brain from this supposed state of ‘carbohydrate dependency’. And because exercise stimulates ketone production, your brain’s fuel supply is better supported during and after intense exercise when on a low carbohydrate diet than when your carbohydrate intake is high (see below).” 4 likes
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