I began this audio book knowing roughly what to expect. I knew it wasn't a diet book per se, but that it aimed to be a thinking person's guide to the science behind carb reduction's benefits.
I am a skeptic by nature. I was predisposed to disrespect the book because it was written by a popular science writer as opposed to a PhD or endocrinologist. The first part annoyed me because the author lays out all kinds of anecdotes before attempting to explain the physiological mechanisms.
However, the longer the book went on, the more I could not deny its compelling argument. For myself, I decided to do an experiment on my own body and try the way of eating that Taubes espouses. I'll see for myself if I get leaner and what the diet does to my LDL/HDL numbers. But I consider it a rather long-term experiment, because I'm merely reducing sugars and simple carbs, not eliminating them.
Here are some additional comments:
1. The narrator pronounces "causal" wrong somewhere in the first third of the book. He repeats the error, saying "casual" instead of "causal," which is kind of funny because it has a rather opposite meaning in this context. I almost poked my eye out over the fact that no one caught this mistake. Towards the end he does it again... he says "casualty" instead of "causality"... I was on the plane listening and I think I said something out loud like, "whaaa???" causing my neighbor to look at me funny.
2. Also towards the end, the author just nonchalantly mentions that if you use coffee, diet soda or other artificial sweetners, you may miss the benefits of carb reduction. What? You can't just throw that in there and not tell us why. I'm just sayin'.
I'm not all the way through the book but am very intrigued by what I have heard so far. My background is in Exercise Science so this goes against the conventional wisdom I was taught. However, conventional wisdom on more than one occasion in history hasn't been very wise. This note is for the location of the accompanying reference guide. It's located just above the reviews underneath the Publishers Summary section. :-)
This seminal book, written by a scientist, about a troubled scientific field will be a life saver for many. Gary Taubes has dug out some wonderful nuggets of information about nutrition science and the discoveries around it and presented them to us in a 'consumable' way. It is an important book, because it's not just about getting weight issues under control, it's about getting health under control. In his book, Taubes points to the metabolic outcomes of carbohydrate consumption through historical data, current research and documented accepted science. And the findings show that this issue is not simply about fat accumulation. Other consequences such as heart disease, diabetes, etc. and even possibly brain degenerative diseases, and certain cancers may be the result of our love affair with refined and even unrefined carbohydrates. This information may shock some, and many will reject it as unbelievable. But the science in this field has been so uneven and badly done for so long, that this is understandable. I have long looked for coherent scientific explanations for the increase in obesity and illness. Taubes spent seven years researching the research (and the established science) and that was exactly what was needed to begin to put a respectable face on the science of nutrition. My hope is that this book will inspire many more researchers and nutritionists to begin to look at this complex issue with new eyes. Hopefully they will continue to help define the diseases we have acquired using very good science as a basis for treatment regimes and prevention models that work. I am grateful for this book and for the courage of Gary Taubes. The low-fat, higher carbohydrate model is a bit like a religion for some, and there can be anger and resentment (even ridicule) when one's belief system/religion is challenged. Kudos and blessings to Mr. Taubes.
This book changed my life and and my family's. I had heard of low carb diets but, like most close-minded people, I thought they were bad for your health. This book explains how wrong I was and provides scientific evidence to back it up. This is not a diet book (there is a sample diet plan in the back, though) but once you understand how carbs influence fat you really don't need a diet plan. I eat all I want, I'm never hungry, and I've never been healthier in my life. Any doubts you have will be assuaged - Taubes explains what your body will go through and what the ultimate result will be. It is amazing how many misconceptions I had about diets and weight loss.
If I had to write my review in 20 words or less it read like this:-
You are what you eat, the quality of carbs impact our health, facts are everywhere but sometimes an author puts them together that just makes sense.
I knew I had to change my eating habits - yes, I'm overweight and would like to lose weight but I wanted to stop the continuous eating and the amounts I was eating. I couldn't understand the constant need to put food in my mouth - sugary food, cakes, biscuits, sweets etc. Gary Taubes explains very clearly (albeit repetitively!) that what I am eating is slowly but surely destroying me and all I can look forward to as I get older is diabetes, heart disease and obesity. It's not going to be easy to change my eating habits but in order to get well and stay well I have to - it's not about the scales or my clothes fitting me, it's about living and feeling well. I now have the clarity and understanding that I was missing before and it's thanks to this book.
i started listening to why we get fat and it open up my eyes to what we should be eating. But it is not a weight lost book. Its an information book on why are are getting fat. It opened up my eyes. I hope it will open up others eyes and doctors eyes as well. 5 stars from me. Please people get this book!!!!
Gary Taubes' book explains the biology and science of food and the human body. He cites observational and scientific studies to support his conclusion that most of the guidelines and advice we have receive about diet, excercise, and good health are most likely incorrect. The book will challenge what you've heard before, and what you probably believe. This book convinced me that many of the heart-healthy diet messages I've received and believed over my entire lifetime (I'm in my early 40s) is absolutely wrong. And Taubes did this by using facts, not suppositions and notions. However, this is not a diet book, nor does it prescribe Atkins, South Beach, etc. It simply explains the biological effects of carbohydrates, protein, and fat on the human body. I've researched new lifetime approaches to eating and consulted with my physician. As a result, I am effortlessly becoming leaner. I've lost 10 pounds in about 5 weeks without being hungry or exercising. My bloodwork just came in the other day, and everything is reading just fine. Read (or listen) and you'll come away enlightened.
I was literally weeping while reading this book. It described every single attempt I've ever made to lose weight, and then explained why it failed. Also, because if my mother had this information 30 years ago she may never had been obese, and may still be alive today.
It’s been two years since I started Carb restriction and life has changed dramatically for the best, first Atkins and Yudkin, now Taubes. Well explained and researched. A must in your library if you decide to take this path, I was hoping to find more about the Sugar Lobby, perhaps future publications will reveal the big lie.