The seemingly neverending list of low-carb and health books that I’ve added to my own personal library continues to grow with all the brand new and classics that I’ve gotten my hands on in recent months. Today, I’m privileged to feature my own personal take on 18 books and 2 DVDs that may warrant your attention.
One of the things that is most frustrating for people dealing with weight and health issues is that they don’t feel like their primary care physician truly understands their problem. If only doctors and other medical professionals could go through all the experiences of trying to lose weight, deal with declining health, and attempt to eat as healthy as they want us to, then maybe people would feel more confident and inspired to do those things for themselves. That’s exactly what Dr. Robert K. Su has done. After years of toiling with high-carb, low-fat diets and struggling to figure out why his patients weren’t losing weight and getting healthier eating that way, Dr. Su went on his own personal low-carb journey that led him to shed the pounds, greatly improve his health, and have an epiphany about why so many of his patients had such a difficult time with these issues over the years. His research showed him it was the carbohydrates they were eating that were quite literally KILLING them. While most people erroneously think that your body somehow needs carbs to function, Dr. Su outlines brilliantly in his book that this is a bald face lie. The body actually needs fat and some protein, but there is absolutely no dietary requirement for the body to consume carbs. Carbohydrates Can Kill is an eye-opening book for anyone who is still caught up in decades-old thinking that fat is the enemy and carbs are your friend. Flip those two around and you’ll see what Dr. Su sees–low-carb will work for you, too!
One of the leading voices of what is commonly known as “primal nutrition” or the low-carb Paleo way of eating in American today is Mark Sisson. A former triathlete who has committed his life to helping people learn the truth about diet and exercise, Sisson has built up quite a following at his uber-popular “Mark’s Daily Apple” blog . After years of researching the “blueprint” for living healthier than you ever thought possible, he came up with some great basic laws for doing it right: eat lots of plants and animals, avoid poisonous things, move frequently at a slow pace, lift heavy things, sprint once in a while, get adequate sleep, play, get adequate sunlight, avoid stupid mistakes, and use your brain. Addressing some rather controversial health issues like the carbohydrate/insulin connection to obesity and disease, the cholesterol/heart health scam and the idiocy of statin drugs, why inflammation is the real culprit in heart disease and how taking omega-3 fatty acids can help cure it, and how ketone bodies are the “fourth fuel,” just to name a few. Lots of testimonials, helpful tips, and recipes fill up the pages of one of the most well-written books on healthy low-carb living in a long time! Kudos Mark!
If you’re walking around breathing in air and eating food, then the odds are you have heavy metal poisoning. No, not from all those years of listening to old AC/DC and KISS records, but from toxins brought on by lead, mercury, and a handful of other substances that have worked their way into your body unbeknownst to you. The health complications from these metals are numerous: heart disease, cancer, hypertension, mental illness, hyperlipidemia, accelerated aging, fibromyalgia, and more than you could even imagine. So what do you do to remove these harmful substances from your body? It’s called chelation therapy and it is a rather controversial yet highly-effective means for extracting these toxins out to improve those health problems associated with the heavy metals. The best part is oral chelation therapy is inexpensive and results begin happening after just a few treatments. Find out all the details about how chelation is the perfect companion to livin’ la vida low-carb (even Dr. Atkins wrote about it in his book Atkins Health Revolution ) and will elevate your health to the best it can be!
I wish everyone who still fears eating fat because they think it will somehow make them fat, clog their arteries and harm their health in any way would read this classic book by Dr. Mary Enig and Sally Fallon from the Weston A. Price Foundation. It is the definitive book on high-fat eating for health that arms you with the science behind why vegetables oils are killing you and saturated fats like butter and coconut oil are actually extremely healthy. Eat Fat Lose Fat focuses primarily on coconut fats in combination with other fat sources to provide the maximum health benefits. Tons of research, real-life recipes, and recovery from years of unhealthy high-carb, low-fat eating are the highlight of this definitive book on eating fat for weight loss and better healthy than you ever thought possible.
When I first heard about this book, I had such high hopes that it could contribute something useful to the diet and health of overweight and obese people who are looking to shed fat and restore their health close to the level natural bodybuilding champion, pastor, and author Ron Williams has achieved. Unfortunately, the “Biblical principles” (and I’m a Christian, so I believe there are such practical life lessons to be learned from the Bible) he shares about in this book regarding diet are nothing more than the same old calories in, calories out, high-carb, low-fat diet and cardio exercise to lose weight concepts we’ve heard ad nauseam for the past several decades with abysmal results on obesity and disease. Williams does do a great job pointing out many of the physical and spiritual barriers to weight loss that people encounter and I do believe it is important to address these conditions first and foremost before beginning on any diet routine. And he makes an excellent case for Christians to take their desire to burn fat and get healthy to God so He can help guide them and strengthen them in their efforts (something I myself experienced back in 2004 when I shed 180 pounds). But my major point of disagreement with Faith & Fat Loss is how Williams blatantly disregards the growing body of new scientific evidence pointing to the tremendous weight and health benefits of carbohydrate restriction. Sure, he recommends eating a protein with your carbohydrates to allegedly slow the spike in your blood sugar, but Williams is stuck on the archaic notion that your body somehow needs carbohydrate for energy and health and that’s just not true. Any basic look at the metabolic pathway by first-year medical students in their biochemistry class shows that a process called gluconeogenesis (where the liver creates glucose/carbs for energy in the body from the protein consumed) provides all the carbohydrates that someone needs to have the energy and healthy nutrition they need. I can appreciate and respect the accomplishments that Pastor Ron Williams has made in his own life physically and spiritually, but he’s assuming that his low-fat, high-carb nutritional plan is the ONLY right way to get healthy and fit. But when evidence to the contrary exists not just anecdotally in people like me, but deeply rooted in the science of our time, I would think God would want people to find which plan will work best for them. Wouldn’t you agree Pastor Williams?
If you haven’t read Nina Planck’s groundbreaking first book Real Food: What To Eat and Why, then you owe it to yourself to grab yourself a copy of that instant health classic and absorb all the education about what real food actually is. In this sequel of sorts, Planck wanted to direct her attention to a place near and dear to her heart–babies and the mommies who have them. While writing and doing book tours for Real Food, she got pregnant and was traveling around the country when people kept asking her, “What are you eating for a healthy pregnancy?” It invariably happened everywhere she went, so Planck decided it was a topic worthy of another book. But don’t think this book encourages new moms to stuff the mouths of their little ones with all the traditional baby foods that you see lined up for miles on store shelves–that’s NOT real baby food. Try healthy meats, fish, eggs and other fat-filled foods that are designed to make babies grow and develop properly in those essential early years. At the same time, Planck addresses exactly what the mother should be eating during the pregnancy that may actually shock some people (hint: it ain’t junk food!) who are unaware that getting pregnant doesn’t give women license to eat whatever they want without consequences. Conventional myths about the proper fertility diet to create a strong, healthy and happy baby are addressed directly in this book and it makes a perfect gift for new moms-to-be and baby showers.
Too many diets fail because you get all excited early on, see some results on the scale, then you lose your enthusiasm, the weight loss stops, and you get so frustrated by it all that you go back to your old way of eating that made you fat to begin with. It’s a vicious cycle too many Americans have found themselves wrapped up in over the years and it’s time to find a way to “conquer” the keys to success for long-term weight loss and maintenance. That’s what bestselling author Wendy Chant has done in this follow-up book to Crack the Fat-Loss Code. She wanted to give readers of her first book the essential support they needed to keep the momentum going on their way to creating the lifelong mindset about keeping the fat off of their bodies for good. A big fan of carb-cycling as a means for revving up your metabolism and producing the most effective fat loss, Chant provides eight weeks of step-by-step instructions about what to eat, how to exercise, and explaining why you are doing what you are doing. I liked her out-of-the-box thinking regarding ways to be highly successful, including surprising your body with hypercaloric meals from time to time to break the routine, eat MORE omega-3 fats, eat adequate protein, and drink lots of water. But there are some areas of disagreement like her suggestion to do cardio on an empty stomach first thing in the morning, eat oatmeal as a starchy carbohydrate, and the insistence on consuming egg whites and low-fat sources of protein. All in all, though, this is one of the more intriguing new health books on the market today and may be just the thing somebody needs to Conquer the Fat-Loss Code once and for all in their own life!
What do you get when you mix a biochemist, an internist, and a diabetes-focused medical writer to collaborate on a book about low-carb eating? Well, you would think it would be a winning synergy of talent for writing a solid low-carb book. Unfortunately, that’s not exactly what happened with The Four Corners Diet. It was a nice idea at the time to try to look at the scientific data about livin’ la vida low-carb prior to 1996 (and there wasn’t nearly as much evidence in the research world then like there is now), but much of the information included in this 2004 book release is already outdated by the advancements made in studies by researchers on subjects like the health benefits of consuming saturated fat, why fiber isn’t as important as once thought, and much more over the past 5-6 years. Maybe an updated version of the book is in order to include this vital information. Nevertheless, the “four corners” of this diet include low-carb eating, “heart-healthy” monounsaturated fat (I put that descriptive phrase in quotation marks because the veracity is in doubt), fiber, and pharmafoods (nutrient-dense foods with added benefits like yogurt, veggies, and fruits). I applaud the authors for attempting to make the idea of low-carb living more palatable for people who still seem to fear fat despite all the studies showing it is not as harmful to health as most people have been told. But replacing healthy saturated fats (like butter) with questionable monounsaturated fats (like canola oil) is not helpful to those people who need to replace the carbohydrates in their diet with their new fuel source–healthy and delicious saturated fats. Coconut oil, full-fat meats and cheeses, cream, and more are all an essential part of a healthy low-carb diet and omitting these from your low-carb lifestyle will set you up to stumble and fall. I think the authors were on the right track with the promotion of foods with added health benefits because the probiotics and phytonutrients you consume in these foods are as essential to health as low-carb eating. Overall, the book is not bad, per se, but it certainly could use a sorely-needed update.
Unga bunga! Me Tarzan. You Jane. How we eat? Meat yummy. Fat yummy too. Fish sometimes yummy. I eat few plants, berries, and nuts. No worry about calories. And run real fast from hungry predators from time to time, too. That is, in a nutshell, what Paleolithic living was like thousands of years ago when grocery stores and gyms didn’t even exist. And author Nora Gedgaudas uses humor, science-based facts, and sometimes common sense to debunk many of the myths we have been told about weight and health control in the 21st Century. She shares quite heavily throughout the book on the benefits of consuming fat for burning stored body fat while allowing your body to function at the highest level possible. In our bassackwards world of high-carb, low-fat eating, Gedgaudas notes that our early ancestors understood healthy nutrition and exercise much better than we do and we could learn a lot from our primal predecessors. Quoting and referencing some of the biggest names is the world of healthy high-fat, low-carb nutrition research and education–Eades, Enig, Fallon, Schwarzbein, Stefansson, Cordain, Mercola, Gannon, Pollan, Ravnskov, Taubes, Shai, Sears–this is yet another book to complement your healthy lifestyle change away from the conventional wisdom of our day back to the diet we were meant to be eating all along. My only criticism of the book has absolutely nothing to do with the content inside the pages–but the front cover is so dark and drab it makes the book look like it was published in caveman times. Perhaps that was by design to match the theme of the book, but it could pose a marketing nightmare promoting this book. Just get it and you’ll be glad you did!
You can tell whether a book is good or not by how many people are still buying it ten years after it was first published and this classic book from Sally Fallon is one such example. This 600+ page magnum opus is one of the most definitive books on healthy eating you’ll ever read in your entire life. Even the late great low-carb diet guru himself Dr. Robert C. Atkins said Fallon was “so right on target” with what she wrote about such timely nutritional subjects as fats, protein, carbohydrates, milk, vitamins, and more that he felt “a little guilty for taking her ideas.” But she was on to something big back in 1999 when Nourishing Traditions first published and not much has changed about that message in the years since. Primarily a healthy cookbook chock full of some truly amazing recipes, it’s so much more than that. It is an indictment on the mistaken notion that you need to cut out saturated fats from your diet, replace them with polyunsaturated vegetable oils, consume large amounts of “healthy” whole grains, and buy into the scam that modern food production is not harming your health. Fallon brilliantly shoots all of these myths about healthy eating down rather easily with margin notes beside each of the recipes to reassure you that there is a better way. And it ain’t low-fat! Don’t allow this oldie but goodie to be excluded from your health book library!
The gig is up on the whole cholesterol/heart-health hypothesis that claims high cholesterol levels in the body lead to clogged arteries, cardiovascular disease, and eventually death from a heart attack or stroke. We’ve been misled to believe consuming foods with saturated fat and cholesterol in them will kill us and so we dutifully avoid eating them somehow thinking we’re “healthier.” But the fact remains we are just as obese and diseased as ever before in the history of the world, so there must be a disconnect between what the theories claim and reality. Like Gary Taubes shared in his 2007 diet and health masterpiece Good Calories, Bad Calories, Dr. Malcolm Kendrick has stepped up to the plate explaining why high cholesterol isn’t the main cause of heart disease, how a high-fat diet full of foods like butter, red meat, and coconut oil do not negatively impact blood lipids, and why the alleged benefits of taking statin drugs are so miniscule that people shouldn’t be forking out billions of dollars annually to take them especially in light of the known adverse side effects such as CoQ10 depletion. And that’s just for starters! If you wanna better understand what the REAL cause of heart disease is (inflammation brought on by excessive carbohydrate consumption) and not what the pharmaceutical companies want you to believe about it, then you really need to get this book. It will save you a lot of heartache–LITERALLY!
Is it true you can get all the fitness you need in just 12 minutes a WEEK? Well, according to physician and personal training expert Dr. Doug McGuff, the answer is an unequivocal YES! Using a science-based “slow” lifting method in conjunction with a carbohydrate-restricted nutritional approach will increase your muscle size, improve flexibility in your body, build up strong bone density, and manage chronic pain issues. Oh yeah, you’ll also burn a lot of stored body fat, rev up your metabolism, lower your cholesterol, improve your insulin sensitivity, and give your heart a fighting chance in a world where heart disease is becoming the #1 killer! Dr. McGuff is not your typical medical professional because he insists that much of what we’ve been taught about health and fitness is 100% dead wrong. That’s okay because he arms you with precisely what you need to do to eat properly with healthy low-carb nutrition along with some excellent photographs and illustrations of the intense 12-minute weekly workout. If you do this as he describes in the book, then it’s all the exercise you’ll need for the entire week so you are free to spend your valuable time on activities YOU want to do–not hours on end at the gym. Fans of Fred Hahn’s Slow Burn Fitness Revolution will LOVE this book.
Who doesn’t like a good barbecue cookbook, right? Two of the best in the business at coming up with new recipes for your grill and writing them down in some outstanding publications are the BBQ Queens themselves– Karen Adler and Judith Fertig! Their latest offering includes a whopping 300 new recipes to choose from. They provide some excellent tips on improving your grilling experience, including adding a “smoked” flavor to your foods, demonstrating such techniques as leaf-wrapping and stir-grilling, and explaining the benefits of using certain rubs while cooking up your favorite low-carb meats on the grill. While this book is not explicitly full of low-carb recipes, the majority of them are VERY low-carb friendly or can be adapted to livin’ la vida low-carb easily. I love trying out new recipes and this cookbook gives you plenty to work with!
Can simply drinking tea lead to weight loss? This must be some fad diet potion of sorts, right? Well, no. This book is actually referring to the tea you know and love without any additives or enhancements at all. It turns out tea contains three pretty amazing ingredients that are useful towards promoting weight loss: caffeine, L-theanine, and EGCG. The combination of these three work in harmony to reduce your appetite, burn stored body fat, and get your metabolism running high. Of course, we’re not talking about the kind of tea I grew up with living in the South where it’s so sweet if you ran out of syrup you could pour it over your pancakes! But the author Mark “Dr. Tea” Ukra suggests using natural sugar alternatives such as stevia or agave to prevent the weight loss benefits of drinking tea from being negated by the sugar. There are even food recipes in the book utilizing tea as an ingredient. Wicked! And if you have concerns over the caffeine content found in tea, then you’ll be pleased to know how to easily eliminate over 90% of it while still maintaining the integrity of the taste you know and love from consuming tea. My favorite aspect of this book is that it can be used in conjunction with whatever diet and health plan you have chosen to follow. So, low-fat, low-carb, Mediterranean, and all diets in between, don’t you think it’s time you started drinking more tea?
There are those who believe the food manufacturers in America are in a conspiracy to keep Americans addicted to the foods they eat so they’ll continue to be consumers for years and decades to come. And to some degree that is probably happening without any sort of organized plot, according to authors Hank Cardello and Doug Garr. I first heard about Stuffed on Dr. Mike Eades’ blog where he noted that the author makes some rather eye-opening comments about the marketing of certain foods and how that determines what most people end up buying. While former food marketing executive Cardello is no personal fan of the low-carb lifestyle, I give him credit for identifying some of the underlying issues at work with how information about food is distributed to the public and why there are better ways to do it to prevent obesity and disease from continuing on a crash course for total disaster in the coming years unless something is done about it. A personal health crisis suffered by Cardello has motivated him to be more pro-active in encouraging healthier food choices being advertised to consumers–although we still have a long ways to go to turn this ship around! Don’t think you’re being influenced subtly by your favorite restaurant, grocery store, or corner convenience store? Read this book and it will be like turning on a light in that dark room you’ve been walking around in your whole life!
This book is an autobiographical tale that’s almost too unbelievable to be true! Think about a child falling into a coal mine and surviving, playing linebacker in high school football at just 135 pounds, getting stung by a stingray trying to save two Marines from drowning, winning his first one-mile relay race as a fill-in anchor, being electrocuted and then having a stroke two months later at the age of 34, getting run over by a bulldozer and survived, playing basketball actively until age 69, parring the very first hole he ever played on a golf course, living most of his life with a broken leg, and winning 12 medals in the Senior Olympics at the age of 58–virtually impossible that so much could happen to one man, but that’s what Marion Urichich claims is his life’s story. Now in his 80s, Urichich has refused to slow down from his adventurous life and seeks to help people understand how to live life to the fullest and remain happy and healthy through all the aches and pains of life. An avid natural cures and homeopathic health advocate, he has written what is arguably the most extraordinary story of carpe diem you will ever read!
I don’t know how you can be an “accidental” medical writer, but authors Cyndy Kryer and Brain Bass share with you their experiences landing in this unique field of work from very different backgrounds. Freelance medical writing is growing by leaps and bounds, so finding out the mistakes that others have made along the way will make your journey less bumpy and more enjoyable as you glean from the lessons that both Kryder and Bass have learned along the way. When you’re learning a new craft or career path, then it’s beneficial to speak with those who have gone before you to gain a better grasp for what is to come. Reading this book is like having an apprentice relationship with the authors and finding out all their “secrets” in one-on-one conversations. From firsthand stories of the challenges they faced entering this profession, the authors guide you by the hand to educate you on what it takes to be a medical writing genius! And don’t miss the invaluable resources in the back of the book that anyone interested in this field won’t be able to live without.
On the heels of sharing her personal story of beginning a medical writing career in The Accidental Medical Writer, author Cyndy Kryder wanted to provide a resource for writers analyzing research studies, medical information, and technical terms that can sometimes be hard to follow or understand. The title of this book–NUDE MICE–is one such example meaning specially bred rodents that are missing their thymus glands which causes them to have no hair or fur on their bodies. As an amateur layperson reading scientific studies about low-carbohydrate diets often, I found Kryder’s book to be an invaluable resource. While some of the terminology used in research and medicine is easy to figure out (i.e. neo means new), others are not so simple (i.e. dacty which refers to bodily digits like fingers or toes). I’ll be keeping this book handy whenever I’m pouring over a new study to blog about in the future and I’m thankful for the time that Kryder paid to make this book as thorough and entertaining to read and use as possible (a minor miracle considering the subject matter!). You’ll get all the prefixes, suffixes, root words, combination of terms, acronyms, abbreviations, and writing tips galore to make your medical writing as perfect as it can possibly be. Whether you are a medical writer or just interested in comprehending the latest research studies that come out, NUDE MICE is a book you don’t want to live without!
And now the two amazing low-carb DVDS:
By now, if you don’t know how damaging sugar is to your health, then you’re simply playing with fire. And certified nutrition educator Mary Toscano explains in very clear language how eliminating sugar and foods that turn to sugar in your body from your diet to give you vibrant health quite easily. Getting back to the basics of living healthy is what helped Mary lose weight and greatly improve her health personally. But most people are dealing with such unhealthy issues as obesity, diabetes, and abnormal blood sugar control that are all tied to sugar’s role in all of this. Getting your blood sugar instability in check by reducing your carbohydrate intake, eating whole foods, and putting your body back into balance again will normalize your weight and health and put you on the path to feeling energized, optimistic, and healthier than ever before! In just over an hour of viewing time, you’ll feel a soothing calm come over you hearing Mary’s voice reassure you that you will conquer your sugar addiction and rise triumphant over it–permanently!
If it’s a fatty food, then it must be harmful to your health, right? Isn’t that what we’ve been told our entire lives from all those so-called health “experts?” Yep, it sure is–but what if they’ve all been completely wrong about fat? Well, Mary Toscano explains in this just over one-hour DVD that low-fat and fat-free eating is NOT the way to go if you are looking to lose weight and be healthy. You NEED good healthy fats in your diet and Toscano walks you through the benefits of consuming foods with omega-3 fatty acids and even saturated fats like coconuts which are chock full of medium-chain triglycerides. Through the useful graph presentations and and cute pickin’ and grinnin’ original songs from the guitar-playing Dan Barnett, this DVD will arm you with the facts about fats that you’ll never hear from the mainstream medical establishment.
That’s it for my reviews for now! Keep in mind I’m constantly looking for new and classic diet, health, and nutrition resources to check out and review for you, but feel free to send me your suggestions anytime at email@example.com. If the book or DVD is compelling enough, I’ll even ask the author or producer to come on my podcast show for an interview. THANK YOU for being a part of the low-carb community.