Did Taubes book have a positive change on your life? Is there anything you have had to tweak to fit your own style?
There are a small number of books I can call "life changing", and in this decade Good Calories Bad Calories was that book for me. I think within a week I had gone from a crap diet to a (mostly) healthy and nourishing one. I think it was the right message at the right time - perhaps another book would have been equally impressive if I had read it instead.
But GCBC doesn't have a lot of what-to-eat details beyond 'fewer carbs more fat', which is how I ended up in the 'Paleo' camp (I put that in quotes because what that really means is constantly evolving).
If you're looking for recommendations, I do suggest "Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food" by Catherine Shanahan. That was a fantastic complement to GCBC. I had mentioned "Nourishing Traditions" earlier (since edited out) but while I think it's good it didn't wow me like Deep Nutrition did.
I can’t believe you asked this perfectly general question; yesterday I was walking my dog thinking “how can I frame this so that I can ask it on Paleohacks?” Aces.
I have a less stellar report. I should preface this by saying that before I read Taubes I was already steeped in 5 years of hardcore WAP eating/living so I was already way away from processed foods, knew the system was effed generally, questioned dogma, blah blah. But being WAP and all, although I had been avoiding grains for years, I did indeed eat my carbohydrates from starches, nuts, etc.
Then I read Taubes’ GCBC. Thoroughly. Cover to cover, dog eared, annotated; I studied the bastard. Maybe I’m just too easily swayed but I came out of that thing thinking carbohydrates were the devil – to be avoided if you wanted health. Keep in mind I was not overweight. In fact, I was prolly the leanest I’d ever been. Not big and muscley, but tight and fit.
I essentially stopped eating carbohydrates. I tried eating zero-plantmatter for over three months, read all these zerocarb websites. I went hardcore.
Thankfully after that I slowly of course began thinking “this is rather extreme, why the hell are you doing this?” and came back around to….BALANCE. Plants and animals. Nothing processed. Done.
So, in the final analysis: great book, his is a great contribution to general health-reporting. I unfortunately took the inch and went the mile.
I already knew that fat and salt don't cause heart disease. It was a well-written book, but that aspect didn't change my life. I did learn not to be so trusting of the purported "authorities", that was what was positive. Props to him for exposing the chicanery so thoroughly. I'm sure someone else has done it too, but I read it there first.
Definitely. Whatever the truth of Taubes' specific explanations for why low carb works, the difference for me between a high carb and low carb diet couldn't be more stark. On high carb/low fat I was constantly needing to eat to feel full and essentially never felt satisfied, even though I was eating vast quantities of (unrewarding) fibrous vegetables and fruit and lots of protein. On low carb/high fact, I instantly felt easily satisfied, despite (eventually) less fibre, less protein, fewer calories (indeed I had to make a conscious effort to eat enough, after I found myself sleepy, tired and cold from lack of food from lack of calories, despite not feeling hungry) and much less exercise.
I'm halfway through GCBC right now and it is helping me a lot because it explains how the conventional wisdom regarding cholesterol came to be and why it is wrong. I've had a hard time letting go of the cholesterol thing - I started eating paleo in January and to this day, I haven't eaten a real egg. I haven't been able to bring myself to throw out the egg whites and buy real eggs because I've had "high cholesterol" for a long time.
Simply said, throwing out the CW and replacing it with n=1 anecdotes doesn't work for me. GCBC does a good job of giving me the salient facts.
Like many others, I was already long-since practicing LC when that book came out. What it gave me was
(1) a deep understanding of why we are in this bizarre scientific climate,
(2) a better grasp on the mechanisms behind the flow of fatty acids in and out of fat cells,
(3) some very interesting leads on the effects of excess sugar or insulin on diseases and conditions not typically defined as metabolic, like cancer, Alzheimer's and ageing, and
(4) a conception of the role of calories in obesity that doesn't have causality backwards.
Absolutely. It was stuff I'd seen a million times before, but somehow it just clicked for me this time that this was it. This was the answer to why I was yet again obese. There aren't going to be any magic solutions. The science was there to explain why I had to bite the bullet and just accept that I can't have sugar, wheat AND health at the same time. You can't argue with the science.
What to expect for paleo newcomers? 6 Answers
Which Taubes book? 8 Answers