on 16 April 2007
There are three macronutrients in our diet, fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Only two are essential and carbohydrates isn't one of them.
It was mostly the sincerity of Dr. Groves' previous two books that prompted me to order his latest one, sight unseen and not a review in sight.
I was not disappointed.
For those unacquainted with the truth in matters of human nutrition, the contents of Natural Health And Weight Loss will raise some eyebrows.
Yes, Groves is right, if there are any culprits to be found in our nutrients, macro- or micro-, it is the carbohydrates.Notably the refined ones but also an excess of complex starches.
The roots of this book can be found in his 1999 publication Eat Fat And Get Thin but even starchy origins can bring about a veritable treasure, in this case a very practical book. The chapters are arranged in logical fashion and the pages contain a wealth of information and only few bits of clutter.
The subject matter of this is low carbohydrate dieting. Many books have been written on this, starting with Banting's original classic Letter Of Corpulence to Atkins and other imitations. Like the author, I was inspired by British physician Richard Mackarness whose book Eat Fat And Grow Slim was published some 50 years ago. Written for the average blokes and sheilas (whom Mackarness called Mr. and Mrs. Fatten-Easily), it remains a classic. Dr. Groves attempted to go a step further, I believe. He educates the reader on the complex subject matter and demands a measure of concentration from those who are not well schooled in life science subjects. Yet, lazy couch potatoes and recliner pumpkins may skip the science and use the book as a manual.
Practicing meticulous attention to detail, Dr. Groves leaves no stone unturned in presenting evidence for what he espouses as the diet that will keep humans healthy. Rightly he emphasizes the crucial importance of the little known fact that it is FATS that are our most valuable foods and that the correct diet is not high protein but high fat, moderate protein and low carbohydrate . To the uninitiated, this book undoubtedly flies in the face of current wisdom. The self-appointed guardians of our health (who themselves have had precious little training in nutrition)keep presenting us with the same old faulty diet pyramids in the mistaken belief that adherence will contribute to the good health of society.
Well, as they say, the proof is in the pudding (which is not on Dr. Groves' list of preferred foods) and the verdict is in: The low carb way of eating works!
Once the reader gets into the 15th chapter (s)he will be aware that there is nothing strange about eating high fat, low carb fare. After all, humans evolved on it. A list of diseases is given that appear to have their origin in the consumption of excess carbohydrates and the subject of insulin and glucose excess and the resultant malfunctions are well covered. Groves goes into the limited usefulness of the Glycaemic Index and he provides information for diabetics.
On the basis of the astonishing amount of good information contained in 350 odd pages alone, this book deserves to be read by the Fatten-Easy crowd as well as those just curious.
on 19 February 2007
As a definitive guide to why low-fat, low-calorie dieting is harmful to your health - and low cholesterol levels are dangerous - this book flies in the face of the modern received 'wisdom' about 'healthy eating'. Yet it all makes sense - and Barry Groves picks to pieces the research that our Western health ideals have been based on.
I was amazed at how solid the theory is behind this book, and how the arguments for a natural low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet that our ancestors would have eaten, with not a refined grain product in sight (and certainly not bright pink fizzy pop, God forbid) - are perfectly feasible and well put forward.
Groves is not promoting thinness, but finding a natural weight through a natural diet - one which, he says, you'll find impossible to be either overweight or underweight on. To our brainwashed 'low fat' thinking, it is quite difficult to get your head around the suggestion of your meals consisting 70% fat, but once you put it into practice, you can find out for yourself how it works.
The diet industry and the processed food manufacturers are really hurting our health - it's time to take some control back and eat properly. I thoroughly recommend reading this - at least just to be informed of some of the myths out there, even if you decide you want to continue eating the way you do.
on 23 April 2007
This is a great book for not only those looking to lose weight, but anyone who wants to know what really constitutes a healthy diet (and no that does not mean low fat rabbit food!).
Groves goes through several areas of research on things like Cholesterol theory, the bodies preferred source of energy, evolution and diet. Each one is thoroughly explained and all references are listed at the end of the book.
I did have a copy of the author's earlier work "Eat Fat Get Thin" but this is far more detailed and extensive.
If you are looking to lose weight, get healthier or both buy this book. The real key to the authors suggested way of eating is that it is so enjoyable - you will be eating real food that is both satisfying and delicious. It sounds too good to be true but it all works around the idea of eating what we were designed to eat.
I have personally read loads of books on nutrition, diet and the like and I can't recommend this book highly enough - buy it you won't regret it.
on 15 October 2009
I've read and heard many variations on the whole dieting/exercise conundrum over the years, but until now, those that I attempted never worked for many reasons. I was introduced to Barry Groves other book, 'Trick and Treat' by my brother-in-law who was a bodybuilder living with his parents. He never allowed his parents to cook his meals. He would always prepare them himself and they usually consisted of protein and veg and carbs, all boiled, steamed or grilled!
When I met him last, he was frying up some streaky bacon and eggs which until recently would have been the biggest No-No ever! He then introduced me to 'Trick and Treat' which details at length the reasons, the research and the beliefs as to why a diet high in fat, fair in protein and low to almost no carbs can help prevent diseases of civilization such as Cancer, Diabetes, short-sightedness and so on. It turns out that by eating this way for health, also has the added benefit of keeping you slim and trim.
Now this book, 'Natural Health and Weight loss', covers a lot of ground that 'Trick and Treat' does, only it is an ever so slightly easier read. If you want the solid facts and research references get 'Trick and Treat' if you want the guts of the subject in an informative easy style get 'Natural Health and Weight loss' if you're like me you'll buy one of them, change your diet, marvel at the resultant weight loss and you'll buy the other to reinforce your knowledge of the subject. Either way, your looking at a brand new start to your life. I know, because I'm only a few (lighter) paces in front of you.
Buy it, follow it, you won't look back I assure you.
on 26 April 2009
Dr Barry Groves (whose PhD is in Nutritional Science) has written a fine book in the tradition of Dr Richard MacKarness's book "Eat Fat & grow thin". It's accurate, completely backed by hard science and sweeps away all the nonsense pedalled by dieticians you read in magazines, newspapers and bump into in your GP's surgery.
I don't think that it's an exaggeration to say that it could not only change your life (and body!), but could well save your life.
The book is not just packed with the science that substantiates his views, but it is easy to read, enjoyable and the sort of book you come back. I've read it 3 times so far.
When I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes I saw the dietician in our GP practice. I knew straightaway from previous reading that the high-carb & low-fat diet she was telling me about was nonsense. The body just converts carbohydrate (and the sugar-packed fruit we're supposed to eat) into glucose. Up goes your blood-glucose level. Exactly what you don't need.
Having used the Atkin Diet for weight loss (successfully) I find Groves' approach gentler but equally valid and successful.
There are really only two words to say about this book: buy it.
on 15 March 2009
I'm not normally given to writing reviews but this book has been a real eye-opener both for me and my husband. The information it contains is well written and makes a great deal of sense. My husband is diabetic and we have tried numerous diets to help him control his blood sugar but here we seem to have found the answer. It did take a leap of faith at first as it goes against the standard advice on diet that has been peddled now for many years but, having taken the plunge we neither of us regret it and are both feeling better than we have done for a long time!
I would highly recommend this book and also those by Charles Clark for more high protein recipes. An added bonus is they are both written by Brits - so recipes are in English rather than American measures - a very welcome change!
on 20 November 2007
This is an excellent book which seems to be contrary to all the information being pumped at us by commercial bodies and by commercially sponsored bodies. You begin to realise in life - not with cynicism but with maturity that you have to read beyond the commercial message- companies want to sell products- manufactured foods, companies want to sell drugs -the question is do you want to consume them?
If you want a healthy active life freed from the diseases of 'western' living this book has most- if not all of the answers!
If you are sold on many of todays messages try to read with an open mind - the book strongly suggests that commercial interests /journalistic headlines obscure the real messages from current research.
on 24 June 2007
Having read "The Great Cholesterol Con" by Malcolm Kendrick in early 2007 and learnt that I no longer needed to worry about cholesterol, I began to eat "normally" again - which included chocolates, cookies, everything. After then putting on 3kg in about 3 months, I realized this could not continue, but was loth to go back on to a low-fat diet. I needed guidance and inspiration! And found it in early May this year, after having read some of the articles on Barry Groves' website, in the form of this book.
One nice thing is that it gives you straight off some info about how to get started on the diet - which I did, as I was familiar with a lot of the science behind it from other sources - and have never looked back (admittedly, this was only a month ago, but still...)! So, I started having bacon and eggs for breakfast (I never became a vegetarian because I couldn't imagine life without bacon, so this is easy for me) and was AMAZED!!! I still find it amazing how long I can keep on going if I have two eggs scrambled with a dollop of double cream and grated Gouda (delish) for breakfast. If I eat this at say 8am, I am only just starting to feel a little peckish at 1pm - and I usually eat with my kids at about 2pm. And now, there's no snacking between breakfast and lunch - I'm simply not hungry! On a coffee and 2 slices of toast breakfast, I would be ravenous at 11am precisely, eat carbohydrates (a banana or bread or chocolate and cup after cup of coffee) and be starving again at lunchtime. I thought this was just my metabolism, but obviously not: I was simply putting the wrong fuel into my system! The only sugar fix I give myself in the morning now is a cup of coffee with 3g of sugar and milk - and that satisfies perfectly any cravings in that quarter.
I now have a lunch of, say, an omelette or fish or a piece of meat, with a salad or veggies, and again, that keeps me going till well into the evening. I then have something basic - cold meats or some cheese and just one slice of bread with raw veggies with my kids at about 7-8pm.
I used to have an early-afternoon low as well, which rendered me a complete brainless zombie between 1-3pm, and had always put this down to something which my body just "did". But now that I've changed the way I eat, I don't suffer from these afternoon lows in quite such an extreme manner. Generally, I'm able to just keep going through the entire day and don't have the extreme fluctuations in my energy levels that I used to have.
I read all the book - in fact, I'm now reading it a second time - in two days and got started immediately. The 60g of carbs a day diet is relatively easy to follow, although I have done some calculating here and there (with the nutritional info on a pack of choc-chip cookies, for example), weighing an individual cookie and then calculating how many carbs it had (12 in one cookie!!!). I have lost three kilos in one month, despite the fact that I haven't managed to stick to 60g of carbs a day religiously for the whole time. I now feel that I've got the hang of it and feel great. I had some queasiness at one point, but that passed. I also got extra info from Low-Carber Forums which put my mind at rest on that point. There are also lots of websites where you can get info about the carb content of foods, and I've found those helpful, too.
From what I've read about the Atkins diet, this is a "soft" version of it. You won't get the really dramatic fast weight loss of the first few weeks of Atkins, but you won't get "induction flu" either!!! There aren't loads of restrictions - you CAN eat carbohydrates in any form you wish - for example, you could eat five choc-chip cookies in one day and no other carbs - just so long as you stick to your 60grammes! So it means the decisions lie with you - if you DO crave something, you can have a small quantity - it's not off-limits or anything, but the best thing about this way of eating is that you don't feel hungry between meals and you don't get cravings! So the problem doesn't really arise!
Finally, the book is very well written, entertaining, informative (with proper academic references) and inspiring! My kids are also being converted to cooked breakfasts or omelettes for lunch and have commented that they feel fitter for it, too!
I can only recommend this book! It really will change your life!
on 28 September 2010
I bought this book as it sounded interesting.At 52 I had topped 13st (I weighed 11st full term when I was pregnant!) and really needed to lose weight.
After reading it I found that everything in the book made sense and the so called 'health' experts have got it so wrong.
I started this way of eating six months ago and have so far got down to 11st 6lb.The weight loss maybe slow but it is steady and I never feel hungry.If you knew me you would know that I was always hungry!
I have fried breakfasts,cream in my coffee,can snack on cheese,nuts and coconut etc.
I had thought I would miss cakes and sweets but when I do have them now I find them too sweet and do not enjoy them like I did.
This way of eating is very flexible,no calorie counting,watch what you eat but also have the things you enjoy.
Many people are very reluctant to read this book as it goes against all the current ways of thinking about healthy eating but the heath experts do not seem to really know what is good and there is lots of conflicting evidence etc.
I always imagiane what I would have been able to eat 20,000 years ago before the introduction of farming and cereal production,so basically meat,fish,eggs,nuts,some fruit.
It takes a bit of adjusting but is well worth the effort and I highly recommend this book.
on 13 June 2011
This book will overturn everything you've ever believed about health and weight loss, and includes recipes to help. The author and his wife are excellent examples of the low-carb, high fat way of life, having remained healthy and slim for the past 40 years by following it. The regime, if you can call it that, is simple and straightforward, and in my case, very much follows the way of eating I grew up with in the 40s and 50s. The book is very easy to read, and I thoroughly recommend it.