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

ISBN-10: 1400033462
ISBN-13: 9781400033461
Edition: 2008
Authors: Gary Taubes
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Description: In this groundbreaking book, the result of seven years of research in every science connected with the impact of nutrition on health, award-winning science writer Gary Taubes shows us that almost everything we believe about the nature of a healthy  More...

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Book details

List price: $17.00
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 9/23/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 640
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.25" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.694

In this groundbreaking book, the result of seven years of research in every science connected with the impact of nutrition on health, award-winning science writer Gary Taubes shows us that almost everything we believe about the nature of a healthy diet is wrong. 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 with more and more people acting on this advice, we have seen unprecedented epidemics of obesity and diabetes. Taubes argues persuasively that the problem lies in refined carbohydrates (white flour, sugar, easily digested starches) and sugars–via their dramatic and longterm effects on insulin, the hormone that regulates fat accumulation–and that the key to good health is thekindof calories we take in, not the number. There are good calories, and bad ones. Good Calories These are from foods without easily digestible carbohydrates and sugars. These foods can be eaten without restraint. Meat, fish, fowl, cheese, eggs, butter, and non-starchy vegetables. Bad Calories These are from foods that stimulate excessive insulin secretion and so make us fat and increase our risk of chronic disease—all refined and easily digestible carbohydrates and sugars. The key is not how much vitamins and minerals they contain, but how quickly they are digested. (So apple juice or even green vegetable juices are not necessarily any healthier than soda.) Bread and other baked goods, potatoes, yams, rice, pasta, cereal grains, corn, sugar (sucrose and high fructose corn syrup), ice cream, candy, soft drinks, fruit juices, bananas and other tropical fruits, and beer. Taubes traces how the common assumption that carbohydrates are fattening was abandoned in the 1960s when fat and cholesterol were blamed for heart disease and then –wrongly–were seen as the causes of a host of other maladies, including cancer. He shows us how these unproven hypotheses were emphatically embraced by authorities in nutrition, public health, and clinical medicine, in spite of how well-conceived clinical trials have consistently refuted them. He also documents the dietary trials of carbohydrate-restriction, which consistently show that the fewer carbohydrates we consume, the leaner we will be. With precise references to the most significant existing clinical studies, he convinces us that there is no compelling scientific evidence demonstrating that saturated fat and cholesterol cause heart disease, that salt causes high blood pressure, and that fiber is a necessary part of a healthy diet. Based on the evidence that does exist, he leads us to conclude that the only healthy way to lose weight and remain lean is to eat fewer carbohydrates or to change the type of the carbohydrates we do eat, and, for some of us, perhaps to eat virtually none at all. The 11 Critical Conclusions ofGood Calories, Bad Calories: 1. Dietary fat, whether saturated or not, does not cause heart disease. 2. Carbohydrates do, because of their effect on the hormone insulin. The more easily-digestible and refined the carbohydrates and the more fructose they contain, the greater the effect on our health, weight, and well-being. 3. Sugars—sucrose (table sugar) and high fructose corn syrup specifically—are particularly harmful. The glucose in these sugars raises insulin levels; the fructose they contain overloads the liver. 4. Refined carbohydrates, starches, and sugars are also the most likely dietary causes of cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, and the other common chronic diseases of modern times. 5. Obesity is a disorder of excess fat accumulation, not overeating and not sedentary behavior. 6. Consuming excess calories does not cause us to grow fatter any more than it causes a child to grow taller. 7

Gary Taubes is a journalist and author whose books on controversial science include Nobel Dreams and Bad Science, a New York Times notable book of the year. He is the only journalist to have won the National Association of Science Writer's prestigious Science-in-Society award three times.

Prologue: A Brief History of Banting
The Fat-Cholesterol Hypothesis
The Eisenhower Paradox
The Inadequacy of Lesser Evidence
Creation of Consensus
The Greater Good
The Carbohydrate Hypothesis
Diseases of Civilization
Diabetes and the Carbohydrate Hypothesis
Fiber
The Science of the Carbohydrate Hypothesis
Triglycerides and the Complications of Cholesterol
The Role of Insulin
The Significance of Diabetes
Sugar
Dementia, Cancer, and Aging
Obesity and the Regulation of Weight
The Mythology of Obesity
Hunger
Paradoxes
Conservation of Energy
Fattening Diets
Reducing Diets
Unconventional Diets
The Carbohydrate Hypothesis, I: Fat Metabolism
The Carbohydrate Hypothesis, II: Insulin
The Fattening Carbohydrate Disappears
The Carbohydrate Hypothesis, III: Hunger and Satiety
Epilogue
Afterword to the Anchor Edition
Notes
Bibliography
Acknowledgments
Index

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