** 2016 UPDATE: I was SO WRONG about this book. See the critical review here. ***
Remember that Top 5 Diet Books post I wrote back in July? All those books can take a HUGE step backward. I now have a new favorite nutrition book.
Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes is a stellar piece of research. For me, this book connects all the dots between the evolutionary nutrition model, my own experiences, and a hundred years of medical studies. Good Calories, Bad Calories tells the story of how we came to believe many myths surrounding nutrition today and what the actual research says. He makes a strong case that the field of nutrition has been politicized and negligent since the 1950s. Without giving too much away, he makes the strongest case against carbohydrates and the current state of public health that I have ever read.
I love this book. When I finished reading the 460 pages, I started re-reading portions over again. However, unless you are a nutrition geek like me, I don’t know how accessible this book will be for you. I tore through it like a middle schooler reading a new Harry Potter novel. Some topics covered in the book include:
- The Fat Cholesterol hypothesis
- How obesity causes overeating and not the other way around.
- Insulin’s role in stored body fat.
- The connection between Alzheimer’s Disease and Carbohydrates.
- Why caloric restriction fails.
- A LOT MORE.
When I finished reading the book, I wondered how Taubes’ amazing research could be communicated to the average person. If the book was dumbed down it wouldn’t have worked. For me, the answer is that this book will inspire many nutrition posts in the next year. Many of the concepts that I found to be the most interesting will be expanded and discussed on this blog.
Dec 24, 2009 — 10:41 pm
Taubes is writing a shorter version of GC,BC for non-nutrition geeks. Don’t know when it is scheduled for publication.
Taubes did not deal two important health issues, omega-6 fatty acids and gut microbiota.
Dec 26, 2009 — 7:43 pm
I gave in and bought it last week. I’ll be starting it this week.
Apr 18, 2010 — 10:31 am
I think this is a great book for reference and does make an excellent case in debunking the myths surrounding the causes of heart disease. The problem I have is it seems to take the author to much time to make specific points in a reasonable amount of time, which for me, makes it difficult to continue reading without boredom creeping in. I know its just me because I don’t read books a lot, I prefer DVD’s.
I have “FAt Head” reserved from my local library.
I’m beginning to believe that a porthouse steak is actually better for a person then say, a bowl of Cherrios. The problem is, this is the only book that makes such a claim that Im aware of, and there are numerous well known doctors out there That constantly recommend avoidly saturated fats religiously and advize more grain consumption.
Apr 18, 2010 — 10:43 am
Taubes will be releasing a shorter more user friendly version of GCBC.
Digging into GCBC, you will find more researchers that make the same claims.
The Primal Blueprint is a great book that is much easier to read than GCBC with more concrete advice.
Apr 18, 2010 — 12:36 pm
Okay thanks. But here is another question for you. If early man adhered to a paleo diet, which obviously he did for the most part, since refined carb foods didn’t exist. Then his diet must have included not only red meat and vegetables but whole grains as well. So mixing it up might not be as bad as Taubes seems to suggest.
What do you think?
Apr 18, 2010 — 6:12 pm
I don’t think there were many grains 10,000 years ago. No farming = no grains.