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Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health | [Gary Taubes]

Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health

For decades we have been taught that fat is bad for us, carbohydrates better, and that the key to a healthy weight is eating less and exercising more. Yet despite this advice, we have seen unprecedented epidemics of obesity and diabetes. Taubes argues that the problem lies in refined carbohydrates, like white flour, easily digested starches, and sugars, and that the key to good health is the kind of calories we take in, not the number.
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Publisher's Summary

For decades we have been taught that fat is bad for us, carbohydrates better, and that the key to a healthy weight is eating less and exercising more. Yet despite this advice, we have seen unprecedented epidemics of obesity and diabetes. Taubes argues that the problem lies in refined carbohydrates, like white flour, easily digested starches, and sugars, and that the key to good health is the kind of calories we take in, not the number. In this groundbreaking book, award-winning science writer Gary Taubes shows us that almost everything we believe about the nature of a healthy diet is wrong.

©2007, 2008 Gary Taubes (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“Easily the most important book on diet and health to be published in the past one hundred years. It is clear, fast-paced, and exciting to read, rigorous, authoritative, and a beacon of hope for all those who struggle with problems of weight regulation and general health." (Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize–winning author)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (337 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Mary Palm Coast, FL, United States 02-05-12
    Mary Palm Coast, FL, United States 02-05-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Science, science, and more (fascinating) science."
    Any additional comments?

    There are two versions, one written with all the science (this one) and one written with just the principles laid out. I was afraid this longer version might be dry, but he draws all the scientific studies before in a masterful explanation. I was looking forward to the conclusions but sorry when it was over.

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nataliya United States 10-24-11
    Nataliya United States 10-24-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Good, though tough to get through."

    There really isn't a better resource out there for all the science that supports low carb way of life. The problem is that when you put all that science in to one book, that book becomes quite a task. It took me a few months to get through it in audio format, it probably would have taken a year to get through in hard copy.
    That being said, it's still the best book to learn all you want to learn about overweight and health and micronutrients and how you can't trust the food pyramid in your decision making process in regards to your nutrition.

    30 of 31 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Columbia, MD, United States 08-27-12
    John Columbia, MD, United States 08-27-12
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    "Bold Explanation of Real Dietary Advice"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. It is a life-altering listen. The book is quite large, and this is the reason I decided to purchase the audio book. I would recommend this to a friend as it explains in detail about scientific nutritional information that affects not only the individual reading/listening but everyone on this planet.


    What other book might you compare Good Calories, Bad Calories to and why?

    Why We Get Fat is a condensed version of GCBC. However, GCBC expands on that information and gives even more credence to the carbohydrate hypothesis claim. It also expands on the notion that the diseases of civilization all stem from diet, specifically in direct causal relationship to dietary carbohydrate intake.


    What does Mike Chamberlain bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His tone keeps the listener interested throughout. This is extremely tough to do when detailing scientific studies and nutritional science.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Yes. The fact that heart attacks, type II diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, gout, obesity and much more can be prevented solely by changing diet. The huge amount of evidence suggests the carbohydrate hypothesis is on the right track.Furthermore, other major unscientific claims are debunked:1)Cholesterol is a GOOD thing.2)Saturated fat is one of the most important nutrients you can ever ingest and should never be limited.3)Salt should not be limited.4)Exercise is not good for losing weight and can in fact have the opposite affect.5)Limiting food intake is not a good method for losing weight.Other interesting points the book makes:1)A lot of cause for infertility may be due to diet.2)Insulin resistance and future weight issues are determined in the womb.3)Nicotine affects fatty acid flow from the adipose tissue, which in essence is the hunger depressant associated with use. Once individuals quit smoking, they typically gain weight due to the re-regulation of fatty acid flow.4)A large portion of cancers are potentially due to diet alone. Therefore, they can be prevented. 5)It is hypothesized that rather than being a behavioral issue, anorexia and other eating disorders may be more biological than anything else.


    Any additional comments?

    A must read for everyone.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Brown Alberta, Canada 04-29-12
    L. Brown Alberta, Canada 04-29-12
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    "What's with the "squeaks" in the audio download?"
    What did you like best about Good Calories, Bad Calories? What did you like least?

    What I liked best about Good Calories, Bad Calories is the content of the book. Broadly researched, no skimping and great analysis of the material covered. I don't have to agree with everything to say that. What I liked the least about the audio book are the distracting "squeaks" that occur in the audio at irregular intervals. It seems to be a fault unique to this audio book as the two books I have downloaded since do not contain it. It is annoying enough that I would not keep purchasing audio books if this is a common problem. When Audible gets this problem rectified I will re-download this book . . . I have already downloaded it twice in different formats and the problem persists.


    What about Mike Chamberlain’s performance did you like?

    Mike Chamberlain narrates at a pace and with voicing that keeps my interest even through somewhat technical "dry" material. If you can do that, you have to be better than some of my profs were. . . but I can't be to critical of them either, as keeping a receptive audience is no small achievement.


    Could you see Good Calories, Bad Calories being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Not applicable


    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Plano, Texas 03-16-12
    Mark Plano, Texas 03-16-12 Member Since 2005
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    "This changed the way I look at food!"

    The information in this book was completely new to me. The things that we take for granted about food are not true (or at least unproven). This book was an exhaustive look at food and health, in particular the diseases of civilization. Very interesting stuff, but it is exhausting to listen to. The amount I learned made up for the excessive explanation and evidence... On the other hand i am not sure I would have been convinced with less evidence.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    william naples, FL, United States 04-28-12
    william naples, FL, United States 04-28-12 Member Since 2011
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    "No other way to say it- The truth about FAT"
    What did you love best about Good Calories, Bad Calories?

    Extremely well researched book. It took 5 years to write and it shows. Debunks the diet myths. Killer focus on carbs and insulin as the culprit. Backup with historical and demographic and anthropological data.
    The science of fat metabolism is clarified. the compilation of sugar as the culprit is extensive. Long precise and detailed. A must read for anyone who plans to eat for the foreseeable future.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Good Calories, Bad Calories?

    Lab data about mice is particularly telling. Studies of other societies who contact the Western diet disease. MUSt read!


    Have you listened to any of Mike Chamberlain’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Most of it was great.


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tee Clemson 01-07-13
    Tee Clemson 01-07-13 Member Since 2013

    My 2 hour round trip commute daily is made tolerable only by audio books.

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    "Excellent Book revealing how dogma trumps evidence"
    If you could sum up Good Calories, Bad Calories in three words, what would they be?

    Bad science revealed.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Good Calories, Bad Calories?

    How a large, often sited, study ignored their actual findings in favor of the accepted dogma which their findings contradicted.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda BERKELEY, CA, United States 07-10-13
    Amanda BERKELEY, CA, United States 07-10-13
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    "Excellent scientific journalism"
    What made the experience of listening to Good Calories, Bad Calories the most enjoyable?

    Gary Taubes opens up a controversial subject, but backs up his arguments with extraordinarily interesting research.


    What other book might you compare Good Calories, Bad Calories to and why?

    I have not read another book like it... the closest I can think of is Jonathan Bailor's "Smarter Science of Slim".


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The experiment where Steffanson (sp?) eats only meat for a year, while all of his labs and bodily functions are analyzed.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It inspired me to try out the low carb lifestyle, which has resulted in the best blood glucose control of my life (I have type 1 diabetes).


    Any additional comments?

    Even if you don't agree or have any interest in low carb diets, this book is absolutely fascinating. I'm usually quite skeptical of fad diets and the like, but Taubes focuses predominantly on peer-reviewed, well-planned research studies. He also interviews numerous people with various science backgrounds to form an extremely persuasive argument.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Millersville, MD, United States 06-09-13
    Amazon Customer Millersville, MD, United States 06-09-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Fantastic"

    Nicely read by Chamberlain, but the real brilliance of this book is the quality and depth of the research described in the book. This is probably the best and most important book that I have ever read or listened to.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arthur MEMPHIS, TN, United States 08-06-12
    Arthur MEMPHIS, TN, United States 08-06-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Glad this book was on audio"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Good Calories, Bad Calories to be better than the print version?

    Yes, because it is very long and I doubt I would have finished it if I was reading it.


    What other book might you compare Good Calories, Bad Calories to and why?

    I don't know of anther book that gives an exhaustive study of diet research.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    n.a.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    May me change the way I eat.


    Any additional comments?

    A must listen for anyone with weight problems who thinks the way to lose way is to cut calories.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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