4

votes

Did Taubes book have a positive change on your life?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created July 20, 2011 at 6:02 AM

Did Taubes book have a positive change on your life? Is there anything you have had to tweak to fit your own style?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 22, 2011
at 09:05 AM

I also loved his quote on Dr. Oz, "If you just eat what "they" say you shouldn't, you'll be alright."

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 21, 2011
at 12:49 PM

@Eric, yeah I like to think that with age I've somewhat mediated that habit..but the call is still there. I have no problem trying something for fear of recovering or going back to some prior state. I enjoy the confidence or whatever, but unfortunately its led me to do some dumb shit;) Oh well, only here once I suppose.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on July 21, 2011
at 05:48 AM

Ben, Glad you liked the question. I often take things to an extreme so I can relate for sure. :-)

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on July 20, 2011
at 08:59 PM

Yep. I had a doctor who was mortified that I was eating low-carb, and the first time I did it, in 2003 or so, she managed to talk me out of it, since I had no ammo, as you put it, Carl. My second time around in 2007, Taubes's book reassured me -- deeply, and over my doctor's alarmed objections -- that I was on solid ground, and four years into this journey, I'm so thankful.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on July 20, 2011
at 04:57 PM

I was one of the ones who had no idea, and he handled it in such detail, building the case with evidence and more evidence - I felt like was gripped in a fantastic mystery novel. Of course, if you already knew that stuff it wouldn't have nearly the impact.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on July 20, 2011
at 04:56 PM

I thought it was very useful to do the low-to-zero carb thing, at least for a while. If I hadn't started with GCBC I probably would have never gone through the cold-turkey stage but instead would have waffled around never knowing how much was really enough. As I add them in now I feel I have the tools - and the shifted body - to handle it intelligently... GCBC was also my first solid exposure to the history of grains and sugars and the cholesterol myths, so it was quite an eye opener!

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on July 20, 2011
at 01:44 PM

Balance is relative. I'm glad *you* are in balance, but that doesn't make *your optimal diet* "balanced" any more or less than mine. For me a balanced diet contains all food groups: ruminants, fish, fowl, eggs, and pork. :-)

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on July 20, 2011
at 01:39 PM

I don't think anyone else has ever done that so thoroughly. That's why it's such an important book.

5437163ddf70d4532f196bfb4333753e

(3614)

on July 20, 2011
at 01:09 PM

I came here to pretty much say the same thing. I came across his work after going Primal/Paleo and his analysis of the "data" hardened my resolve.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on July 20, 2011
at 11:42 AM

Great overview of the impact of eggs that is worth reading here: http://recomp.com/blogma/2010/04/the-incredible-egg/

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 20, 2011
at 11:01 AM

which one? GCBC or his newer one?

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9 Answers

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Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on July 20, 2011
at 06:32 AM

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.

5
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 20, 2011
at 11:13 AM

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.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on July 21, 2011
at 05:48 AM

Ben, Glad you liked the question. I often take things to an extreme so I can relate for sure. :-)

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 21, 2011
at 12:49 PM

@Eric, yeah I like to think that with age I've somewhat mediated that habit..but the call is still there. I have no problem trying something for fear of recovering or going back to some prior state. I enjoy the confidence or whatever, but unfortunately its led me to do some dumb shit;) Oh well, only here once I suppose.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on July 20, 2011
at 04:56 PM

I thought it was very useful to do the low-to-zero carb thing, at least for a while. If I hadn't started with GCBC I probably would have never gone through the cold-turkey stage but instead would have waffled around never knowing how much was really enough. As I add them in now I feel I have the tools - and the shifted body - to handle it intelligently... GCBC was also my first solid exposure to the history of grains and sugars and the cholesterol myths, so it was quite an eye opener!

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on July 20, 2011
at 01:44 PM

Balance is relative. I'm glad *you* are in balance, but that doesn't make *your optimal diet* "balanced" any more or less than mine. For me a balanced diet contains all food groups: ruminants, fish, fowl, eggs, and pork. :-)

4
Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on July 20, 2011
at 06:47 AM

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.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on July 20, 2011
at 01:39 PM

I don't think anyone else has ever done that so thoroughly. That's why it's such an important book.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on July 20, 2011
at 04:57 PM

I was one of the ones who had no idea, and he handled it in such detail, building the case with evidence and more evidence - I felt like was gripped in a fantastic mystery novel. Of course, if you already knew that stuff it wouldn't have nearly the impact.

3
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on July 20, 2011
at 01:54 PM

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.

3
Ef9f83cb4e1826261a44c173f733789e

on July 20, 2011
at 11:56 AM

His work didn't change me as much as reenforce the change I already adapted, plus he's given me plenty of ammo to help justify the choice.

5437163ddf70d4532f196bfb4333753e

(3614)

on July 20, 2011
at 01:09 PM

I came here to pretty much say the same thing. I came across his work after going Primal/Paleo and his analysis of the "data" hardened my resolve.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on July 20, 2011
at 08:59 PM

Yep. I had a doctor who was mortified that I was eating low-carb, and the first time I did it, in 2003 or so, she managed to talk me out of it, since I had no ammo, as you put it, Carl. My second time around in 2007, Taubes's book reassured me -- deeply, and over my doctor's alarmed objections -- that I was on solid ground, and four years into this journey, I'm so thankful.

3
27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on July 20, 2011
at 11:16 AM

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.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on July 20, 2011
at 11:42 AM

Great overview of the impact of eggs that is worth reading here: http://recomp.com/blogma/2010/04/the-incredible-egg/

3
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on July 20, 2011
at 06:47 AM

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.

2
B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

on July 20, 2011
at 12:59 PM

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.

2
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 20, 2011
at 06:30 AM

YES!....As a recovering vegetarian he taught me not to fear meat in doses above condiment level.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 22, 2011
at 09:05 AM

I also loved his quote on Dr. Oz, "If you just eat what "they" say you shouldn't, you'll be alright."

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