This book changed my life. I listened twice. That was one month ago. Since then I have lost 15 pounds without doing anything differently except following the premise of this book. My wife is pissed at my success because she has been busting her butt in exercise classes and has only dropped 8 pounds. So there you go.
I really liked this book. One of the most compelling and telling facts that I took away from it is that the people who create processed foods, in general, actively shy away from consuming them in their own diet. The history of processed foods is well told here. The moral of the story: try not to eat foods that require chemists, engineers and lawyers to produce. You'll be happier and live longer.
Sorry, Stephen King. This is the scariest book I've read all year. If half of the stuff the author discusses in this book is true, the ramifications are global in scope. If dwarf wheat truly is unfit for human consumption, then what do we do? Do we stop feeding the world's populations of undernourished? If people start eating right, what will happen to our grain-based economy? Can we afford to make this change? Will we save enough in medical bills to afford to eat better? And is there enough "good" food to go around? I've started my wheat-free trial. But I shudder to think what will happen if the FDA takes this book's findings seriously.
For many people, a diet with an "inverted pyramid" focused on vegetables, fruits and whole grains is de rigueur. I'm not sure this book will push these people far from that "inverted pyramid". However, for certain classes of these healthy eaters, this book seems to have some well-documented items to think about. High triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol are one class of people the author singles out as potentially having to make dietary changes. Sugar is named as the driving factor behind the triglycerides. The key for the author is the inflammatory effects of weight and sugar on the body. The author cites multiple studies that describe high triglycerides and low HDL as a dangerous condition. His recipe is cut the sugar and preprocessed foods, monitor progress with a number of specific tests, and consider the potential of specific supplements. The author considers this condition more dangerous than high LDL cholesterol yet many doctors would view this type of patient with ambivalence all else being equal. If this describes you and your doctor is not concerned, you may want to read the book and consider making some changes. Another group of folks are folks who consume an imbalance of Omega 6s versus Omega 3 fats. Lots of folks with an under control LDL have some degree of ambivalence with regard to fats. This book tells those folks to pay more attention to the type of fats they consume and considers Omega6 versus Omega 3 to be pretty highly inflammatory. Again this class of person should read the book, read the citations, and think about taking action (which is spelled out in dietary recommendations, tests, and potential supplements).
For healthy eaters who try to manage their health by understanding the impact of diet on the body this book is highly recommended. This book will challenge many preconceptions you might have about the importance of cholesterol and will challenge you to think more deeply about the impact of sugar and inflammation on health. It will also recommend that you study different types of cholesterol than is customary right now. It will give you a list of specific tests that will help you gauge inflammation in your body. It will also recommend a list of supplements that may be effective depending upon your particular situation.
For unhealthy eaters, this book is also highly recommended as it puts a focus on sugar (and processed foods) not so much on fats and cholesterol. While the book is somewhat controversial in that it worries far less on the impact of cholesterol on health, for most folks I know who have unhealthy diets... sugar is their real problem. I believe a focus on sugar... reducing the dependence that many have on sugar is a surer first step to a healthy life than a focus on cholesterol reduction. Not a doctor, not an unhealthy eater... but I believe this book is a must read for these folks.