Back in the saddle – with a big book note
January 19, 2011
I’ve been scolded repeatedly over the last month or so about the unconscionable neglect of my blog. What can I tell you? Well, I’m back now!
Not that I’ve been waiting for an excuse to blog. There has been a lot to say, just hadn’t gotten around to saying it. However, the big impetus for me has been the release of the most anticipated book on nutrition in the last couple of years. I’ve posted regularly on the work of Gary Taubes, author of Good Calories, Bad Calories. At the risk of repeating myself, GC, BC was a turning point for me in that it opened my eyes to a completely new way of looking at diet and nutrition, and did so in a thorough and convincing way. While the book was not a diet book (no recopies there) I changed my diet to adhere to the general principles laid out in the book (eating meats and leafy vegetables until satisfied, eliminating sugars and starches, limiting fruit, etc.) and lost 20 pounds without any additional changes (i.e. no exercise).
While I still recommend GC, BC, it is admittedly a challenge to take on. It’s over 600 very densely-packed pages with lots of biology, biochemistry and medical terminology. Of all those to whom I’ve recommended the book, only a handful (3?) have reported they actually read it. Given it was so important and influential, Gary (we’re on a first-name basis, these days) got repeated requests for a ‘readers-digest’ version of GC, BC that more people would actually read.
In December, the much anticipated condensed release of the last ten years of Gary’s work was published:
|Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It (Borzoi Books)
The much-anticipated condensed version of the groundbreaking work begun almost ten years ago with his New York Times "Big Fat Lie" article and the epic "Good Calories, Bad Calories."
For all the times I’ve recommended GC, BC, replace that recommendation with Why We Get Fat. Not only is the book much more condensed and simplified, it also has the benefit of the previous three years since GC, BC was published. The message is essentially the same – just re-emphasized:
- The principal driver of fat storage is chronic insulin elevation and chronic insulin elevation is driven by consumption easily-digestible carbohydrates
- The presumption ‘calories-in, calories-out’ is the principle explanation of why we get fat is an over-simplification and says nothing about a causal relationship between what we eat and why we get fat
That’s enough for this post as I plan to have a series of posts on this book planned. It’s that important.
More very soon.