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.
- 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.