Dec 23, 2011

must have book "good calories bad calories" (first impressions)

(old post from ehcafe, july 2009)

I am half way through an amazing book. I wanted to give few first impressions here. I'll be writing more posts on it soon.
"Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes.
Gary Taubes is a senior writer in Science Magazine. He's the only journalist so far who won the best scientific writer award in the US 3 times. I heard an interview with him a while ago and have been waiting for his book.
He spent 5 years reviewing the scientific evidence for the past 150 years on heart attacks, obesity, far, carbs, and certain diseases.
He comes up with an interesting conclusion that reinforces what I've read in several places so far:
1- Fat and cholesterole are NOT harmful. they are actually very evolutionary-suitable for our bodies.
2- Carbs, especially simple ones (sugar, rice, and white flour) are extremely evil because they mess up our hormones by constantly affecting insulin. Keep in mind that these food substances became prelevant only in the last few hundred years! (rice might be an exception in certain gepgraphies)
3- According to research, Carbs are definitely the main cause of: Diabetes, Obesity, and Heart Attacks
4- There's a strong evidence (not conclusive yet though) that Carbs are also the main cause of Cancer and Alzeheimer!
The funny thing, this books shows very clearly that the evils of Carbs (or at least that it causes obesity) have been known for a very long time (e.g. the arabic proverb eating bread brodens shoulders). He shows that the whole cholesterole-hypothesis really dates only back to the 1950s until now, and that it's based on weak evidence that was pushed up because US and Europe were having what seemed like a heart-attack epidemic and they had to do something. Cholesterole was easily measurable and so it provided and easy and clear "recommendation" albeit a wrong one. (reminds of an Einestein quote: for every complicated problem there's a nice simple solution that is wrong).
hope you like the book like I do. My wife and I are rethinking our whole diet - what we should feed the children, etc. very tough. we'll see where we get.

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