Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday #90: "Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It" by Gary Taubes

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Dear kids,

Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It is pretty darn controversial. Still, most of what the great Gary Taubes says is true. Though I’m unsure where I stand on the whole vegetarian versus low-carb/Paleo debate, I feel quite certain that blood sugar spikes are a bad thing. Read the book closely and draw your own conclusions.

My Summary:

  • Taubes argues that excess calories aren’t what make us gain weight, and that low-fat diets definitely don’t help us lose it. In short: the calorie theory is bunk—garbage science.
  • Taubes cites an early ‘90s collection of National Institutes of Health studies that showed that even while dieting, people often gain weight and lose muscle. Exercise doesn’t work either; it simply makes us want to eat more.
  • Our bodies, not our calorie intake, regulate our weight. Otherwise the couple of extra calories per day that lead to a yearly weight gain would almost guarantee we were all overweight.
  • The energy we spend and consume are dependent variables; one affects the other.
  • Of course, the type of food also matters. Carbs release much more insulin than protein or fat, and insulin is the fat-storing hormone.
  • Meat was the preferred calorie source in prehistoric times.
  • On a comprehensive analysis of 229 hunter-gatherer populations from 2000: “When averaged all together, these hunter-gatherer populations consumed about two-thirds of their total calories from animal foods and one-third from plants.”



Get the entire recommended reading list at Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday.


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