Eating Lean Is Pretty Mean

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The Big FAT Surprise:  Why Butter, Meat & Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet by Nina Teicholz, Simon and Schuster, 2014.

Let me say that I hope Teicholz makes a ton of money from this book.  She deserves that, having spent the past nine years doing the research for the 337 pages of text plus 100+ pages of notes that comprise this book.  And the message is:  Whatever you think you know about what current research tells us constitutes healthy eating, you’re almost certainly wrong.  If you go back and actually look at the original data for the studies that have been so influential in our dietary thinking over the past few decades, as Teicholz has done, you’ll find that they don’t actually say what it’s been said that they say.

So, for example, take a look at the so-called “Mediterranean Diet,” beloved in song and story.  What does it consist of?  Lots of vegetables, lots of whole grains, fish, and the very occasional serving of red meat.  The fat of choice is olive oil, gallons of it.

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The Truth About Sugar

 

PictureSweet Poison:  Why Sugar Makes Us Fat by David Gillespie, Penguin Books, 2008. Link is to the book’s page on the author’s website. Some parts of this website are subscription only.

You’ll find quite a few books about food and nutrition as this book blog continues.  (I’m reading a book titled The Big Fat Surprise:  Why Butter,  Meat & Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet; it should show up soon.)  David Gillespie is the most accessible writer I’ve found on the subject of the evils of sugar.  Robert Lustig’s Fat Chance and Gary Taubes’ Why We Get Fat: and What to Do About It are both good resources but very dense.  You have to be pretty interested in the subject already in order to be motivated to plow through them.  Gillespie, on the other hand, is funny, smart, and brief, and he plentifully illustrates his ideas from his own experience.  I have to admit that I did a little skipping in the chapter “Biochemistry 101,” but he does an admirable job of explaining the actual processes by which our bodies transform food into energy.

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