- Hardcover: 640 pages
- Publisher: Vermilion; New edition edition (5 Aug. 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0091891418
- Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 24.3 x 5.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 114 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 298,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Diet Delusion: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on Diet, Weight Loss and Disease Hardcover – 5 Aug 2004
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"...easily the most important book on diet and health to be published in the past one hundred years. It is clear, fast-paced and exciting to read, rigorous, authoritative... If Taubes were a scientist rather than a gifted, resourceful science journalist, he would deserve and receive the Nobel Prize in Medicine" -- Richard Rhodes, winner of the Pulitzer Prize
"Read this, and you'll be astonished at the shaky foundations of dietary medicine and health advice...First off, I was struck by how little science does know, what we take for established fact if often partial truth at best. Conjectures are, apparently, made on imperfect research...compelling reading" -- Sue Baker, Publishing News
Where mainstream nutritional science has demonised dietary fat for 50 years, hundreds of millions of dollars of research have failed to prove that eating a low-fat diet will help you live longer. Nutrition and obesity scientists have struggled to make sense of the paradox that obesity has become an epidemic, that diabetes rates have soared and the incidence of heart disease has not declined despite the fact that society is more diet and health aware today than generations ago. "The Diet Delusion" is an in-depth, scientific, groundbreaking examination of what actually happens in your body as a result of what you eat, rather than what the diet industry might have you believe happens and is essential reading for anyone trying to decide which diet - low-fat or low-carbohydrate - is truly the healthy diet. For years we have been deluded by the dieting industry. Now it's time to find out the truth.See all Product description
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I have read Gary Taubs other book "Why we get fat" and wanted to know more about the background to the "carbohydrate hypothesis" and why dietary advice in the UK for people with high cholesterol and obesity is as it is (that is to go on a low fat high carbohydrate diet, and/or take statins).
My reason for needing more information was initiated by being told by my doctor that, as a woman aged 60, I am at a raised risk of heart disease because I have high "cholesterol" and am over weight. The reason I am overweight is that I was told in 2002 I needed to go on a high fiber diet. The problem is that fiber comes with starch and so I have put a lot of weight on. So it did not make sense to me to increase the proportion of carbohydrates in my diet in order to loose weight.
These two books opened my eyes to the lack of science behind the current national guidelines. Historically the subject seems to have been crippled by dogma verging on religious ideology rather than science. Having read both books I would highly recommend them as a well researched overview of the field. My Taubes does sometimes come over as having a bee in his bonnet, but considering what he has uncovered it is little surprise. Having read the history behind how national nutritional guidelines are formed I now have little confidence in them. The sad thing is that there is only scant scientific evidence to support the "carbohydrate hypothesis" of obesity. However, the evidence such as it is seems more compelling than used to support the current advice. This advice is being given to us via our overworked GPS who wonder why their patients fail to loose weight using the current advice (the latter statement is based on what my GP said to me when I indicated that I was not keen to have to swallow pills for the remainder of my life for a disease I do not have and may never have.)
Maybe the people who make up these national nutritional guidelines should read these books and think more critically about the scientific validity of the advice they are providing,
Prior to this time, diets & dieting was not considered at all as all contemporary photos will attest. All people of the period were slim with nary an ounce of fat bodies to be seen in any photos. It is only with the advent of the 1950s that the phenomena of obesity started to rear its head to become the epidemic that it is now.
It is not merely weight which is a cancer but its attendant maladies such as heart attacks, diabetes & high blood pressure. In spite of all the best medicine advice, levels of morbid obesity are increasing steadily.
Why did this situation arise? Lack of exercise, incorrect eating, over eating, indolence or an alien virus?
Or possibly none of the above?
Gary Taubes contends that it is the generally accepted medical diet that is gradually killing the world. He sets out with meticulous gusto to examine all the crucial decisions taken to arrive at the current state of affairs. The smoking gun points at certain scientists in the USA who conflated similarity with causation with the culprit being fat. The US government in its haste to apportion blame for a rising tide of heart problems appointed a Commission which without sufficient scientific advice pinned the blame on the consumption of fat. Branded as the villain, carbohydrate was identified as the knight in shining armour which would trounce the villain.
But it was not to be! Rates of obesity rose & with it all its attendant maladies.
The initial scientific test in the 1860s arose because an undertaker in London by the name of William Banting was, despite his best endeavors, increasing in girth. Eventually in desperation he approached his doctor, a Dr. William Harvey who, having a scientific bent, used Banting as a guinea pig. The upshot was that a fatty diet was proved to result in weight loss.
As a South African, I found the findings of a doctor in Natal in the 1920s who was initially in practice in the rural Zululand where obesity, diabetes or high blood pressure was unknown. On relocating to the Addington Hospital in Durban the opposite applied. These ailments were rampant. Ultimately all that he could do was to attribute the difference to their diet.
A final aspect that struck a chord with me was the nature of cholesterol where HDL & LDL are the main protagonists. Even though LDL has been cast as the villains in the cholesterol saga, this is not true. It is rather type of HDL which is more fatal. In a large measure, the existing tests are meaningless. What a revelation!
This is not a book for a casual read but rather for those who have a penchant for the in-depth details of all the main players in the dieting game. Rather dip in & out of relevant sections as information is required rather than reading it like a novel from cover to cover.
This book is long overdue as it studiously treads its scientific path to neutralise all the landmines strewn in its way.
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But just to let you know, I could sum up the entre message of this book in a sentence: avoid carbohydrates (especially sugar, white...Read more