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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 (470 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Mark Colbert, WA, United States 08-06-12
    Mark Colbert, WA, United States 08-06-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Very informative. I learned a lot about nutrition"
    Where does Good Calories, Bad Calories rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Close to the top I have listened to it twice.


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

    The Zone and Rx Zone by Dr Berry Sears Both very good books


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

    No


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

    No


    Any additional comments?

    Great book I highly recommend it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Onalee BROOKSVILLE, FL, United States 10-09-13
    Onalee BROOKSVILLE, FL, United States 10-09-13 Member Since 2015

    Avid fan of sci-fi and James Marsters, I use audio books to inspire me to exercise, taking them on morning walks. It's a perfect combo!

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    "A 'MUST READ' for everyone!!! Informative expose!!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Good Calories, Bad Calories to be better than the print version?

    For me, yes. I have both, actually, but the print version can get quite bogged down in the details which are important to show the research done, but not necessary to get the point across.


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

    Realizing that our government has been, and continues to, lead us in the wrong direction regarding our health.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Much too long and too much to digest for 'one sitting'.


    Any additional comments?

    THIS IS A MUST READ / MUST LISTEN for everyone, regardless of your health, weight, diet, etc. We have been given BAD ADVICE from doctors and our government for TOO LONG. Commonsense has been tossed aside. Low calorie diets are KILLING US!! This is a national epidemic ... perhaps worldwide, and no one has the stones to stand up and say, 'Hey! This isn't working!' Gary Taubes has the stones to say it and prove it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James CHALFONT, PA, United States 10-01-13
    James CHALFONT, PA, United States 10-01-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Fantastic scientific support of carb-restriction"

    This book is a fantastic compilation of nutrition and metabolism research over the past century. Many studies are cited and described for the layperson as well as for the scientifically minded. Let me begin as stating that I went into this as being very skeptical, and even being on the side of our current dogma (low fat, low calorie as a healthy diet). As a scientist, I was looking for a book that would describe the science behind the idea of carbohydrate restriction, and this book is it. While it's important to note that the hypothesis of carbohydrates causing many of the "diseases of civilization" including heart disease, obesity, and cancer, is not scientifically proven without a doubt, this book opened my eyes to the fact that dietary fat and cholesterol as a cause is ALSO not proven without a doubt.

    As a scientist in immunology, I find it appalling that the obesity and nutrition research field has gone down this path of biased interpretation. I understand it is frowned upon to challenge conventional wisdom, but when this dogma is so poorly supported, there should be someone out there to challenge it! Based on what the author has laid out, these two competing hypotheses on nutrition (low fat/calorie restriction vs. carbohydrate restriction) should have academic and industrial researchers on BOTH sides working on studies that can definitively support either one. My hope is that this book has woken up this field to really test this alternative hypothesis of carbohydrates (via insulin) as the cause of our obesity epidemic. Currently, the United States government is recommending to the public to semi-starve themselves and eat a higher percentage of carbohydrates in their "healthy balanced" diet. If this is wrong, think about how many lives were lost and how many diseases could have been prevented, not to mention the ridiculous burden on healthcare to treat all of these diseases. In addition, it would be nice to turn around the public perception of overweight and obese people being gluttons and sloths.

    In addition to the science, the history of how we got to where we are was fascinating. The role of WW2 on this science alone is something people really do not think about.

    Lastly, the audio was also very good. The reader changes his voice when he is quoting something to the point where I could tell when quotation marks were present in the book without actually seeing the print! Overall, this was very well done.

    In summary, I highly recommend this book. Personally, my wife and I have switched to a low-carb lifestyle recently, and even after three weeks, we feel great. We're not nearly as hungry as on our prior calorie-restricted diets, and we've already lost 10lbs each. The author's description on how the diet works really has motivated me to stick with it. Additionally, with my family history of heart disease and obesity, I hope to curtail any risk by sticking to this new dietary regiment. My hope is that these hypotheses are eventually tested in an appropriate scientific environment and then interpreted in an unbiased way. Finally, once the science is there, the public health machinery really needs to ramp up its efforts to turn this obesity epidemic around.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter ALLSTON, MA, United States 02-26-13
    Peter ALLSTON, MA, United States 02-26-13
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    "Good Scientific Review of Diet & Nutrition"

    Great book about actual scientific information behind diet and nutrition and how the body uses carbohydrates vs. fats. Very science and study heavy though, so can get a little dry. Would recommend going through Taube's other book first, "Why We Get Fat", and if you enjoy that check this one out.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Burt Napa, CA, United States 12-19-12
    Burt Napa, CA, United States 12-19-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Long and dry but full of info"
    What did you like best about Good Calories, Bad Calories? What did you like least?

    Not what expected. Lots of information on history of fat, calories, cholesterol, heart disease, etc. Good dissertation, but not for someone looking for practical steps to better nutrition. Couldn't get all the way through the book.


    Has Good Calories, Bad Calories turned you off from other books in this genre?

    no


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    no


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aperture Science 11-28-12

    Aperture Science

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    "You want facts, you got facts. So much info!"
    Where does Good Calories, Bad Calories rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best.


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

    I had ok to good knowledge on the subject, at least I thought I did....I was wrong. This has changed the way I look at eating and I feel like a small expert after I finished the book.


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

    Its not a easy ready but he does a A+ job at it.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    NO, you need to take it in chunks..it made my head spin. So many numbers and facts.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is all about details. Its not for everyone. Look for his other book if you want a good quick and friendly overview on the subject.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rikhard Espoo, Finland 11-19-12
    Rikhard Espoo, Finland 11-19-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Intrerresting but exhausting"

    20 hours of listening is a quite heavy experience. Still the book was interesting. Now I would like to hear if anyone has written an equally thorough book and come to a different conclusion about the nature of healthy diet.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sarah smiley 05-30-14
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    "Interesting, but reader is poor"
    What didn’t you like about Mike Chamberlain’s performance?

    The reader's voice was nice, however, his errors in pronunciation of words, both scientific and not, was very poor. It is hard to imagine that these were typos by the author given the scientific research provided in this book, however, it is possible that these are the authors mistakes. When listening I attributed these errors to the reader. For example, in a book claiming to be scientific, reading A-1-c (A one c) as A-I-c (A eye c) is unacceptable and calls into question the integrity of the author and the book. Also, using adopt instead of adapt is inappropriate.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    steve kearny, NJ, United States 09-28-12
    steve kearny, NJ, United States 09-28-12 Member Since 2010

    Addicted to Audible since 2009

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    "Good book bad book"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    yes I would in terms of health and dieting it was one of the best books I've read/listened to. Then again, much of it was dry and hard to keep up with.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Mike Chamberlain’s performances?

    Probably not. He really didn't excite me any and he made the book a little boring tho, that could have been due to the material itself.


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

    Yes as a documentary


    Any additional comments?

    This is was very educational listen, which I'd love to listed to again but at the same time, it was boring and hard to get through.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B. Bowman Texas 08-08-12
    B. Bowman Texas 08-08-12 Member Since 2006

    Substance over Fluff

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    "Very insightful, life-changing"
    Would you listen to Good Calories, Bad Calories again? Why?

    Yes. The simplicity with which the author sorts through the vast information and misinformation about food, diet and health and how those things interact makes me feel like I have had a veil pulled off my eyes.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I have always had a big sweet-tooth and the information in this book has made me look at my beloved sweets in a whole new light. That has been the most life-changing thing. I ACTUALLY ENJOY FOOD AND EATING MORE NOW THAT I HAVE READ THIS BOOK.


    Any additional comments?

    Keep listening. I know it is long, but some of the best information comes in the middle and latter part of the book. But the beginning is great too, so don't skip over it.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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