[Download] Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It By Gary Taubes

Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It

By: Gary Taubes
Narrated by: Mike Chamberlain
Length: 7 hours
Release date: Dec 28, 2010
Rating: 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (279 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)
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An eye-opening, myth-shattering examination of what makes us fat, from acclaimed science writer Gary Taubes.

In his New York Times best seller, Good Calories, Bad Calories, Taubes argued that our diet's overemphasis on certain kinds of carbohydrates-not fats and not simply excess calories-has led directly to the obesity epidemic we face today. The result of thorough research, keen insight, and unassailable common sense, Good Calories, Bad Calories immediately stirred controversy and acclaim among academics, journalists, and writers alike. Michael Pollan heralded it as "a vitally important book, destined to change the way we think about food."

Building upon this critical work in Good Calories, Bad Calories and presenting fresh evidence for his claim, Taubes now revisits the urgent question of what's making us fat-and how we can change-in this exciting new book. Persuasive, straightforward, and practical, Why We Get Fat makes Taubes's crucial argument newly accessible to a wider audience.

Taubes reveals the bad nutritional science of the last century, none more damaging or misguided than the "calories-in, calories-out" model of why we get fat, and the good science that has been ignored, especially regarding insulin's regulation of our fat tissue. He also answers the most persistent questions: Why are some people thin and others fat? What roles do exercise and genetics play in our weight? What foods should we eat, and what foods should we avoid?

Packed with essential information and concluding with an easy-to-follow diet, Why We Get Fat is an invaluable key in our understanding of an international epidemic and a guide to what each of us can do about it.


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70 Responses to “[Download] Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It By Gary Taubes”

  1. Rey Lucik

    Intriguing, technical, easy to follow
    There are a lot of books about how to lose weight. But losing weight is not a reason you might want to read this book. The things I like about this book is that it talks about “WHY” we get fat. It’s not all about how much we eat and not about how much we exercise. Obesity is caused by fat regulation disorders. And, the cause of the disorder is carbohydrate we consume over time. This book takes you down the the deeper level of what carbohydrate do to our fat and muscle cells.
    It sounds too technical for most people, isn’t it? But it’s not. The authors, for most parts, use common medical terms that we heard when we do annual check-up such as cholesterol or tri-glyceride. By the way, if you’d like to know why “tri-glyceride” is call “tri-glyceride”, you have to read this book.
    I really like the narrator of this book too. His voice an tone keep my engaged throughout the book.–Teerawat Issariyakul

  2. Melany Yeast

    I don’t want to be fat
    This is a great book that presents the reason why we get fat and then provides the solution.

    This is not magic potion, it will require will power and a change of lifestyle, however – IT WORKS.

  3. Nicolette Womac

    I’m losing a pound a week for 6 weeks now…
    Need I say more?

    This guy knows his stuff. He has done a ton of research, but he presents it in a very orderly fashion, so you can follow easily. It shifts your paradigm and it makes perfect sense. The concepts you learn are easy to translate to others around you and they work.

    Though you get a lot of data, it is well written and well read. Especially the narrator did an excellent job, making this research data sound nice to listen to. So thanks for that Mike.

    This book is a basic cornerstone of all the knowledge a person can acumulate during life. It touches on a thing every person on this planet has to deal with every day of their life: food!

    Why do some foods make us fat and others don’t? And it’s not what you think!

  4. Charlie Viator

    Excellent listen, learned a lot from this.
    This book is one I recommend to anyone who is interested in the science of obesity. Many commonly held ideas are scrutinized and the world is turned on on its head.
    Cause and effect are shown to have been misinterpreted for the last 50 years, and suddenly things start making sense.
    It contains a lot of research, anecdotes and references to studies and I think I’ll need to give it a second listen before I understand it fully, but that’s something I’ll enjoy doing.

  5. Josie Snowman

    If you’re of this mindset, it’s great.
    What did you like best about Why We Get Fat? What did you like least?

  6. robistar

    The Best
    Having listened to this book twice, I must commend Gary Taubes on his impeccable research as well as the easy style of his book. I find Mike Chamberlain, the narrator, to have an excellent presentation as well, like a familiar voice reading to you.

  7. Derrick Lanterman

    all you need is the last chapter.
    this is a very long, explaining the science of not eating carbs. The last chapter summed this book up and could have easily been 3 hours shorter. it is well written and has great points but it was too long for a very short message. i will save you time. dont eat carbs. eat meat and fat and you will live your leanest life. the end.

  8. Shea Tashman

    excellent
    Must read for any food consumer and health conscious individual. Clear and detailed analysis of eating well and a lifetime of health.

  9. Felix Kingma

    Mar ’11 385#, read book, Nov ’11 300# and losing
    The headline of this review is true. I’m currently just under 300 lbs and still dropping. Its amazing to see the effects of following the nutritional plan in the pdf. I’m now reading Good Calories, Bad Calories and am a convert. I’m an Engineer by school and job and I love his scientific approach and that he can back it all up in GC,BC with evidence.

    If you want to lose weight, read this book and follow the advice. It really is that simple.

  10. Mary G

    excellent book that debunks myth about weight
    Where does Why We Get Fat rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

  11. Elvis Jacocks

    More truth about weight loss than in any diet book
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

  12. Damian Brinlee

    An interesting factual reference to eating
    If I had to write my review in 20 words or less it read like this:-
    You are what you eat, the quality of carbs impact our health, facts are everywhere but sometimes an author puts them together that just makes sense.

    Enjoy!

  13. Stephanie

    Scientific. Interesting.
    I found this an interesting read despite the heaviness of scientific data presented. Lots of good information to ponder. But be warned, it’s big on meat as seemingly a cure to the issue of obesity. Gary appears to be a proponent of the Atkins diet and similar ways of eating.

    He was pretty convincing, though. And this is coming from a 20+ year vegetarian. Afterwards, I read In Defense of Food, which gives another perspective entirely, however, and I found great benefit in having read them both—as I felt I got a well-rounded view of today’s science and perspectives on diet. In the end, my leanings are more toward that of Pollan’s (In Defense of Food), but this is a very good and worthy read for that sense of well-roundedness.

  14. Jeffrey B.

    Not a Diet Book
    Gary Taubes’ book explains the biology and science of food and the human body. He cites observational and scientific studies to support his conclusion that most of the guidelines and advice we have receive about diet, excercise, and good health are most likely incorrect. The book will challenge what you’ve heard before, and what you probably believe. This book convinced me that many of the heart-healthy diet messages I’ve received and believed over my entire lifetime (I’m in my early 40s) is absolutely wrong. And Taubes did this by using facts, not suppositions and notions. However, this is not a diet book, nor does it prescribe Atkins, South Beach, etc. It simply explains the biological effects of carbohydrates, protein, and fat on the human body. I’ve researched new lifetime approaches to eating and consulted with my physician. As a result, I am effortlessly becoming leaner. I’ve lost 10 pounds in about 5 weeks without being hungry or exercising. My bloodwork just came in the other day, and everything is reading just fine. Read (or listen) and you’ll come away enlightened.

  15. Luis Raybould

    This book changed my life.
    I was literally weeping while reading this book. It described every single attempt I’ve ever made to lose weight, and then explained why it failed. Also, because if my mother had this information 30 years ago she may never had been obese, and may still be alive today.

  16. Antonetta C.

    It came in the nick of time
    This book came in the nick of time for me. In order to fix my cholesterol I was put on the wrong diet, and started gaining weight, increasing my risk of heart disease. Hopefully I can now control it correctly.

    One irritating problem with this book: the narrator replaces “causal” with “casual” and “causality” with “casualty”. It would be amusing if it wasn’t so obviously wrong. -1 star for these repeated errors. Apart from that I think this book is great.

  17. Randy Strawbridge

    Worth the read, but flawed
    Any additional comments?

  18. Terrell Sincebaugh

    Much more than a simple diet book.
    This seminal book, written by a scientist, about a troubled scientific field will be a life saver for many. Gary Taubes has dug out some wonderful nuggets of information about nutrition science and the discoveries around it and presented them to us in a ‘consumable’ way. It is an important book, because it’s not just about getting weight issues under control, it’s about getting health under control. In his book, Taubes points to the metabolic outcomes of carbohydrate consumption through historical data, current research and documented accepted science. And the findings show that this issue is not simply about fat accumulation. Other consequences such as heart disease, diabetes, etc. and even possibly brain degenerative diseases, and certain cancers may be the result of our love affair with refined and even unrefined carbohydrates. This information may shock some, and many will reject it as unbelievable. But the science in this field has been so uneven and badly done for so long, that this is understandable. I have long looked for coherent scientific explanations for the increase in obesity and illness. Taubes spent seven years researching the research (and the established science) and that was exactly what was needed to begin to put a respectable face on the science of nutrition. My hope is that this book will inspire many more researchers and nutritionists to begin to look at this complex issue with new eyes. Hopefully they will continue to help define the diseases we have acquired using very good science as a basis for treatment regimes and prevention models that work. I am grateful for this book and for the courage of Gary Taubes. The low-fat, higher carbohydrate model is a bit like a religion for some, and there can be anger and resentment (even ridicule) when one’s belief system/religion is challenged. Kudos and blessings to Mr. Taubes.

  19. Kathy F.

    224 lbs to 174 pounds
    In 6 months. Reached my goal weight on August 1st, 2016. that was a beautiful morning for me. Body fat was 21.2%. it’s now 14.2%. It is November 5th, and holding steady. It is a total reboot of how you think about food. It is my chosen lifestyle. This morning I weighed 170.2. I am 5′ 10″ 43 year old man. I’m a truck driver who has yo-yo dieted as long as I can remember. Also read or listen to Craig Beck book “blood glucose diet” it’s a great prequel to this book.

  20. Ehtel Bullington

    The answer is a low-carb diet
    The first half of the book is about what doesn’t make us fat. If you’re interested in scientific studies, it’s useful information. If not, it’s like plowing through a textbook. Finally, the second half gets to the point, which is sugars and carbohydrates make us fat. It’s a little more than that like the fruits that are grown today are much sweeter and less nutritious. Even when we try to eat healthily by consuming more fruits and vegetables, we may be consuming more sugar. Then we’re perplexed why we’re getting fat yet still feeling hungry.

  21. Violet Schingeck

    Finally, A Science Book that Deal with Facts
    What did you love best about Why We Get Fat?

  22. Louisa K.

    Saved My Life!!!
    About 3 months ago, I weighed 206 lbs. Now I’m 186. I try to tell my friends and coworkers that they don’t need the carbs, but they won’t listen. All I can do is continue to follow the rules in this book and SHOW them what a low carb diet can do.

    It helps to listen to the book more than once especially when I get the cravings for sweets.

  23. Williams Castillio

    Very Compelling
    I’m not all the way through the book but am very intrigued by what I have heard so far. My background is in Exercise Science so this goes against the conventional wisdom I was taught. However, conventional wisdom on more than one occasion in history hasn’t been very wise. This note is for the location of the accompanying reference guide. It’s located just above the reviews underneath the Publishers Summary section. 🙂

  24. Richard Lumb

    1 word: brilliant
    although in the beginning it felt whacky since it’s going against the common teaching of a good diet. it just shows how badly we’ve been brainwashed, however this book has a lot of heart (‘hard equations and rational thinking’ – 30 rock, tv show) in it.

    personally i don’t need to lose weight, but i USED TO have a chunky fat in stomach which i’ve lost most of it since i limit the amount of carb consumption.

  25. Omega Oppliger

    The Bible For Those Who Want The Truth
    Taubes has made quite a stir with this and its more technical predecessor “Good Calories, Bad Calories” but he’s not going away. Instead his arguments and logic only get stronger.

    This book is perfectly accessible as it lacks the excruciating detail of “Good Calories” but still contains the meat of the information (no pun intended).

    It is not a diet book, and Taubes is not selling a diet plan. And he’s not a research scientist or a doctor with some academic dog in the fight. He’s a renowned science writer with a history of credibility. He presents the history of how we came to the place where we’re at now – an epidemic of obesity compounded by some very, very bad advice from the highest ranks of the medical community.

  26. Wyatt Konty

    Wake up!! Carb lovers…
    It’s been two years since I started Carb restriction and life has changed dramatically for the best, first Atkins and Yudkin, now Taubes. Well explained and researched. A must in your library if you decide to take this path, I was hoping to find more about the Sugar Lobby, perhaps future publications will reveal the big lie.

  27. Jessenia M.

    why is this book so fat?
    while I like the information in the book, the way it’s presented is horrible. I had to wait until chapter 13 (this audio version) until the author discussed the reasons and the explanation. Until then it was all about ‘why this doesn’t/didn’t work’ or ‘what we keep getting wrong’. the reasons why we get fat are given to you only from chapter 13. There’s also a lot of repetition, and referring back to the beginning. If the organization of the content had been better, it could have been avoided; or the book could have been 30-40% shorter. If you tell me I am doing something wrong, I prefer to know why and how to fix it at the moment. I don’t need 13 chapters of more examples what doesn’t work either.
    One other thing I didn’t like is that the author said in the last chapter that “this is not a diet book because it’s not a diet we’re discussing” only to follow that with “it’s about how to avoid (eating) carbohydrates”. If that’s not a diet topic (i.e. what to eat or not), I don’t know what is. The fact the he doesn’t understand that diet is more than restrictions is not good. (at least a definition what he considers ‘a diet’ would be nice).
    the second half of the book is all you need to go through in terms of the information presented as ‘why we get fat’.

  28. Omer R.

    Bad government dietary guidelines why!
    I’m going to start this review by saying that Why We Get Fat is the second best book on the subject. The best is Good Calories, Bad Calories by the same author, but it is three times the length.

    The US government has provided dietary guidelines for almost 50 years. Following those guidelines is the main cause of the increasing obesity and Type 2 diabetes epidemics in our country.

    Government dietary studies are almost entirely bad science leading to incorrect conclusions. In, fact, eating high cholesterol foods does not increase your body’s cholesterol or cause blood vessel blockages, salt does no increase blood pressure, healthy diet does not include large amounts of cereal products, dietary fats are do not cause health issues, etc.

    The ideal diet is a low carbohydrate, high protein and moderate fat diet.

    Most importantly, when government makes a scientific finding we should ignore it. Government does not do good science; it does political science.

    Highly recommended.

  29. Marceline Dacey

    Changed My Life
    So far i’m down 13 pounds in just over a week. Losing weight when you don’t have to starve yourself makes all the difference in the world. I guess I won’t know for awhile if their are any side effects from eating a high fat diet, but I know what the side effects of being over weight are and i’m sick of it. If you were like me, eating a low fat and not getting results, you owe it to yourself to check out this book.

  30. Agatha Duchene

    What Professionals Failed To Tell Me…
    If you could sum up Why We Get Fat in three words, what would they be?

  31. Miguelina Dennehy

    It worked for me!
    I lost 20 pounds in two months following Gary’s recommendations. I feel great and most of my ills are gone. My BMI is currently 25.9 down from 29.2 People say I look 10 years younger other more than that. Great book! Thanks!

  32. NatNat

    Should have been 50% shorter
    I almost gave up on it after a very long time of the book going around in circles before making a point.
    The “no-carb” point is good, albeit not new. The book is clearly well researched. But man is it long! Unreasonably so.

  33. Hope Vanabel

    zzzzz
    took til chapter 12 to get to the point. I hate that. it was as if I was visiting an elderly person at a nursing home who’s family never comes to visit. you ask them how their day was and they start from when they were born and don’t stop til 90 years later. it felt it took 90 years to finish the book! he could’ve intertwined the history with today’s content and it would’ve been more interesting than to hear all of the outdated materials for 2 hours. The irrelevant facts are only interesting when compared side by side to updated studies. It was painful until chapter 12.

  34. Tamesha Statham

    Excellent book
    good content. neat narration. holds your attention till the end despite so much statistics and endocrinology.
    Must listen.

  35. Walter Reppell

    Excellent read!
    This is one of the most basic, informative, enlightening books I have ever read on the topic of weight and weigh loss. An excellent presentation.

  36. Tanner Bilka

    Start at Chapter 13
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

  37. Stacia Warsme

    too long winded…
    i struggled to finish this book.. till chapter 13 it was all about why we are fat on and on..it sounded as if theres no solution at all…

  38. Rolf Cotey

    Overrated but interesting nonetheless
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

  39. Marhta Seliski

    Thought provoking look at the theory of fatness
    What did you love best about Why We Get Fat?

  40. Vivan Magoun

    Extremely comprehensive and informative
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

  41. James

    one of the best!!!
    i started listening to why we get fat and it open up my eyes to what we should be eating. But it is not a weight lost book. Its an information book on why are are getting fat. It opened up my eyes. I hope it will open up others eyes and doctors eyes as well. 5 stars from me. Please people get this book!!!!

  42. Augustus Cutty

    Great book, written and read
    I just finished this book after just a few days, and since I started it I’ve changed to a low-carb diet. In just 4 days, I’ve lost about 5 pounds! This book isn’t a diet book per se, but it does give you reasons on why you should change your diet to be more healthy. Before reading this, I honestly didn’t know that the bread and pastries I so loved were what gave me my gut. Now I know and I’ve cut them out of my diet, and I’m already feeling MUCH better! Read it. Believe it. Follow it.

  43. Burma Beukema

    after reading this book
    all I want to do is buy 10+ copies to give it out to all my friends/relatives because it shatters the preconceived notions of what causes weight gain and thus what not to eat to be healthy

  44. Brad Kulkarni

    Get ready for a cliche.
    This book changed my life. I listened twice. That was one month ago. Since then I have lost 15 pounds without doing anything differently except following the premise of this book. My wife is pissed at my success because she has been busting her butt in exercise classes and has only dropped 8 pounds. So there you go.

  45. Todd Fonteboa

    Great info, easy to listen to.
    I enjoyed the balance between applicable information as well as the science behind the book. As someone who will most likely never find the time to read “Good Calories Bad Calories”, this brief but thorough book was just what I wanted.

  46. Jan

    Excellant topic
    This is almost a text book. The author sites research in detail and finally 2/3rds into the book reveals why the world is getting fatter. Highly recommend this book. Provides a great education.

  47. Louise

    Life Changing
    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

  48. Jim

    Good premise, weak arguments
    Where does Why We Get Fat rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

  49. Gerry Howat

    needed to get to the point
    This book could have been summed up in 1 hour. He also cited too many bibliographies throughout his narrative.

  50. Carla

    Life changing
    I don’t say that a book is life changing easily. I minored in nutrition in university and thought I was pretty knowledgeable. I will be the first to admit that this book pretty much teaches you the exact opposite of what you learn in university nutrition classes (or at least what I learned). As a generally skeptical person, I appreciated the science based explanations and the attention given to the conflicting research that exists. I thought that the arguments it made regarding insulin metabolism made a lot of sense and some of the descriptions seemed to really match my physiology (excessive appetite, fat around the waist, sugar crashes). I figured that since the experts don’t agree, I might as well try it out.

    I was AMAZED at the results. I quickly started dropping weight and feeling better when I cut out grains, increase fat intake, and cut down carbs in general. I dropped 15 lbs within 3 months and have been at my ideal weight ever since with very little effort. In total it’s been about 10 months.

    The only thing that I don’t like about this book is that it is so sure that low carb is the right way to eat for everyone. I have a hard time believing that, based on what I’ve observed in real life. However, what the book pushes is right for ME and I have completely changed my diet based on the information provided. I could not be more happy with the results and wish I’d been open to trying this years ago.

    Even if this doesn’t end up being right for you, if you struggle with extra body fat, I suggest that you read the book and learn about the approach. You can always try it out and if if doesn’t agree with your body, try something else.

  51. Boyce E.

    I’m torn
    So far I’m 10 chapters and 2+ hours deep into this book and The author has yet to reveal any sort of semblance of an answer to the title of this book….
    The author continues to drag past studies through the mud to the point of redundancy.

    It’s kind of interesting but not illuminating in the slightest

  52. LeeAnn

    Where is the attachment?
    This book is good, but several times he makes reference to an attachment with photos etc. from the print copy of the book. I wish we could get that here as a download!!

  53. Daisy Rupert

    Interesting, but a bit bloated and repetitive
    What this book achieves in 8 hours could just as easily have been done in 6. I found the numerous historical references interesting at first but after one or two I lose interest and would much rather move on to current science and studies. That said, most of the book is enjoyable and interesting and the narration is good enough.

  54. Derek

    Great piece of journalism / research
    Gary Taubes did a great public services for us all in this book. Fascinating read.

  55. Warner Rviz

    Extremely informative
    Would you listen to Why We Get Fat again? Why?

  56. Donnetta Lupiani

    Convincing.. once Gary gets to the point
    Any additional comments?

  57. Yvonne La

    I’m glad I read (heard) it
    I began this audio book knowing roughly what to expect. I knew it wasn’t a diet book per se, but that it aimed to be a thinking person’s guide to the science behind carb reduction’s benefits.

    I am a skeptic by nature. I was predisposed to disrespect the book because it was written by a popular science writer as opposed to a PhD or endocrinologist. The first part annoyed me because the author lays out all kinds of anecdotes before attempting to explain the physiological mechanisms.

    However, the longer the book went on, the more I could not deny its compelling argument. For myself, I decided to do an experiment on my own body and try the way of eating that Taubes espouses. I’ll see for myself if I get leaner and what the diet does to my LDL/HDL numbers. But I consider it a rather long-term experiment, because I’m merely reducing sugars and simple carbs, not eliminating them.

    Here are some additional comments:

    1. The narrator pronounces “causal” wrong somewhere in the first third of the book. He repeats the error, saying “casual” instead of “causal,” which is kind of funny because it has a rather opposite meaning in this context. I almost poked my eye out over the fact that no one caught this mistake. Towards the end he does it again… he says “casualty” instead of “causality”… I was on the plane listening and I think I said something out loud like, “whaaa???” causing my neighbor to look at me funny.

    2. Also towards the end, the author just nonchalantly mentions that if you use coffee, diet soda or other artificial sweetners, you may miss the benefits of carb reduction. What? You can’t just throw that in there and not tell us why. I’m just sayin’.

  58. steve

    Helpful
    A first decided to listen to this book after hearing about such a great review and how that person said this book changed their life. I won’t go nearly that far but overall, I did find this book to be very helpful and hopefully, the tips and advice I got from this book, help me lose some weight.

  59. Victoria Kirsch

    Great research, compelling argument but
    But it took a quick and long leap to the Atkins-style diet. It needed much more on ketosis. It needs more to get me to his conclusion. But if you think the reason we are fat is calories in/calories out approach, you must listen to this.

  60. Marian Hanganu

    Life saving book
    Where does Why We Get Fat rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

  61. Kevin Crumpton

    Life changer
    This book changed my life and and my family’s. I had heard of low carb diets but, like most close-minded people, I thought they were bad for your health. This book explains how wrong I was and provides scientific evidence to back it up. This is not a diet book (there is a sample diet plan in the back, though) but once you understand how carbs influence fat you really don’t need a diet plan. I eat all I want, I’m never hungry, and I’ve never been healthier in my life. Any doubts you have will be assuaged – Taubes explains what your body will go through and what the ultimate result will be. It is amazing how many misconceptions I had about diets and weight loss.

  62. Billy C.

    Compelling, shatters nutritional “traditions”
    A well-documented, well researched systematic debunking of the common wisdom: “Eating fat makes you fat”. By the end of the book, you realize the jump from learning fat clogging arteries (which cause heart attacks and strokes) must be caused by dietary fat is just as nonsensical as if we believed “eating wrinkled food like prunes or rasins will make you age and wrinkle faster”. There is just no neurohormonal evidence behind the low fat craze, and our unrestricted carbs are creating the obesity epidemic we have today. Prepare to think of obesity as truly malnutrition, more common in the poor, and understand why. The audio format is excellent because you can’t skip any of the supporting evidence, you hear it all and it is very compelling.

  63. Alton Huegel

    Excessively long
    The book could be shortened to 1/5 the length and still get the same message out.
    Bad carbs make you fat.

  64. Myron Freitag

    Why did I waste my Credit on this?
    What disappointed you about Why We Get Fat?

  65. Jeremy Tiffany

    One-note polemic undermines basic argument
    Taubes makes interesting and useful points in this book. However, he has the zeal of a believer, and this makes me suspicious. For example, not all of the studies he cites seem to be of the same caliber. And his criticism of the medical establishment seems suspect without a more sophisticated explanation as to the reasons why public health officials might have supported the low-fat diet.
    Most importantly, his casual dismissal of the importance of exercise and leafy green vegetables is rather bizarre. To lay out the evidence, as Taubes did in a recent New York Times essay, for the claim that sugar and refined carbohydrates are toxic is an important public service. However, to suggest that we all should give up all carbohydrates is bizarre. Such massive restrictions are essential for some epileptics, and perhaps some others who suffer from certain genetic predispositions yet to be studied; it is certainly not appropriate for us all. Giving up sugar and refined carbohydrates is more than enough for most people, if followed with reasonable strictness.
    Finally, Taubes claims that he cares about society, not about making moral judgements against individuals. Yet he fails to address three essential points: 1) our society is not set up for us–particularly the poor and the busy–to avoid carbohydrates, and so Taubes ends up championing a model of will-power not that different from the low-calorie diets he critiques.
    2) Taubes, it seems, could not care less about the social and environmental consequences of a high meat diet, and seems entirely uninterested in suggesting versions of a high-protein diet for vegetarians.
    3) It is not at all clear that hunter-gatherer societies in the 20th century eat/ate in the same ways as societies in earlier times. The blatant and suspect primitivist logic of the Paleo and other such diets makes them culturally rebarbative.

  66. Olin Goldey

    Great Book; Annoying Narrator Mispronunciations
    I think just about everyone would benefit from reading this book…it provides a needed perspective shift about what the scientific data really says about how we should eat. People could stop wasting a lot of misplaces time and effort, plus and throw off a lot of misplaced guilt if they read this book.

    Unfortunately, while the narrator is fine in many respects, he repeatedly mispronounces or mis-reads important words: the most glaring is that whenever Taubes discusses the importance of *causal* elements leading to an effect, the narrator speaks of “casual” elements. This total change of meaning is quite annoying.

  67. Ardath Tregan

    Changed my life
    As soon as I finished I bought an Adkins’s diet book and began avoiding carbohydrates.
    It worked wonderfully, I have lost around 10 pounds and the most amazing thing, I am eating more and feeling a lot better. So buy, and read the book. It is a miracle.

  68. Janett Q.

    Recommended to me by a dietitican….
    I went to a dietician at our (huge) healthcare system in our city. I wasn’t expecting too much, because I have been to a dietician before and got the message we all hear: watch your calories, eat low fat, switch to whole grains. The problem is: this has never worked for me, and I’ve been overweight my entire life. But this nutritional approach is so ingrained in my mind that the low-carbohydrate approach to eating always seemed ridiculous, outrageous (all that bacon!), and like just another fad diet. This book is beginning to really change my mind, and that is because I finally understand the science behind it. The book is challenging in some spots, and I will definitely give it another listen, but Gary Taubes uses science to make the case against carbs. Now that I am armed with my new knowledge, it easier for me to make appropriate food choices. Now, it’s not about starving myself by saving “points” up to have a slice of chocolate cake…. now that I understand what exactly happens in my body when I eat the slice of chocolate cake, it feels easier to just say “no thanks.” I have slowly been making changes in my diet after listening to this book, and I feel hopeful about the impact it will have on my health.

  69. Ty Zahri

    It’s worth listening to it and then taking action
    Here is a compelling argument for eliminating sugars and processed starches from our diet. The correlation between eating sugars/starches, the development of insulin resistance, obesity, and subsequent heart disease, is frightening. This book does go into the biochemistry of glucose and fructose metabolism, but it really isn’t necessary to understand each step of that process. Focus on the end result, and be very, very afraid.

    The real shock is in the author’s explanation of the disconnect between the scientific research and the established medical advice that we are given every day. “Calories in, calories out” has been the mantra for as long as I can remember, and it is still being touted in the recent HBO series “The Weight of the Nation” (May 2012). I had read the author’s essay on this series in Newsweek and decided to listen to his book. I was simply amazed… and when I cut out sugars/grains (just to see what would happen) I lost eight pounds in four weeks.

  70. Franklin Wasyliszyn

    Explains what happens in the body with carbs
    It’s the carbs that are causing illness. Not fat. And sometimes we need the details explaining why. Gary Taubes gives the details. There’s the big picture and history of carb / fat misunderstandings and reality. Then, the best part is when there is a detailed explanation of what happens when carbs and fat enter the body.

    It really helps people to change their behavior when they understand what happens when they eat food.

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