I realize how sensationalistic this sounds, but we are in trouble folks! Believe me, I wish I were exaggerating. The fact remains that over the course of the past 50 years our collective health has deteriorated by epidemic proportions. It’s been such a slow road of degradation that many have not noticed, and the majority seem unconcerned. Our staggering increase in mortality due to instances of obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, metabolic and autoimmune disorders are now an undeniable statistical fact. It’s time we face up to the fact that our “sedentary lifestyles” have little to do with it.
Well, first and foremost, we must identify the cause. At first, this sounds like a daunting task, but with a little investigation, the conclusion to this quandary becomes blatantly obvious. The culprit is the globally spreading prevalence of the “Standard American Diet” and the factions that continue to perpetuate its acceptance as a “Standard.” Whether for profit, or simply out of ignorance, there is an ever expanding list of (non)-trustworthy organizations that continue to contribute to this spiral of mortality.From Government regulations designed to aid industry (at the detriment of public health) , to the local institutions that continue to miseducate students by adopting curriculum that teach doctors, nurses and dietitians dogmatic information based on misguided science. This statistical up-tick in all-cause mortality is currently overwhelming nearly every civilized country on the planet.
I could go on and on theorizing as to why we have fallen upon such a degenerative state of health, but this is a topic about which entire books have been written. Which actually brings me back to my point. I know, you’re probably asking yourself …
When you begin your travels down this nutritional rabbit hole you will likely discover revelations that will both shock and bewilder you. You will trip over truths that will enlighten you to real-world solutions. Then finally, you will want to share your new found knowledge with the ones you love. You will face resistance, disbelief and likely frustration when you realize that most people do not take kindly to being told that they were wrong. Sometimes the simple sharing of an article found on the internet will just not suffice.
What follows is a list of publications that are each thorough in content and ripe with references from experts, medical professionals and the most current in research science. I’ve broken this list into categories to help you hone in on your specific topic of interest.
For The History Buff:
The truth has been out there for centuries. In 1863 William Banting published his Letter On Corpulence Addressed To The Public identifying excessive sugar and refined carbohydrates as the culprit in obesity. His philosophies resurfaced in 1965 as an underground movement in the “Air Force Diet.” While Ancel Keys was busying himself falsifying data and selling the US government on his low-fat = high carb + fear fat Diet Heart Hypothesis, there was a man across the pond in the UK (John Yudkin) who had furthered Banting’s work in an attempt to warn the world that sugar was Pure, White And Deadly in 1972.
The deeper you dig, the more obvious it becomes, our troubles began right around the time the US Government implemented the Dietary Guidelines for America. The demonization of healthy dietary fats started to take hold, added sugars/refined carbohydrates became dominant and it has been all down hill from there.
Fat Chance by Dr. Robert Lustig, The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubes (both New York Times best sellers), Death By Food Pyramid by Denise Minger, The Obesity Epidemic by Zoë Harcombe, and Salt, Sugar, Fat by Micheal Moss all provide a thorough and detailed accounting of our global dietary decline.
Widely considered the definitive book on this topic (were you to only choose one), I recommend international favorite The Big Fat Surprise, published in 2014, written by celebrated investigative science writer Nina Teicholz. Also a New York Times Best Selling effort.
Which Path Should I Take?
When embarking on the adventure of recapturing your health, there is nothing more important than understanding why we eat the way we eat, as well as how to actually implement a therapeutic dietary plan to promote healing and the reversal of disease. Touted by many as the “Keto Bible”, The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living by Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney set the gold standard by which all other dietary books should be measured. In fact, the writings and research contained within this publication often serve as definitive reference material for doctors, research scientists and clinicians around the world.
In general, all of the books contained within the collage graphic below are intensive variations on the same universal truth. The underlining theme of which is Dietary fat does not make you fat, cut the carbs, moderate your protein and eat healthy dietary fats to satiety. Any of the following books will set you on the right path (depending on your goals) and all will lead you towards recovery from sugar addiction and the reversal of poor metabolic health. Here are some of the most popular offerings:
The Real Meal Revolution by Dr. Timothy Noakes, Always Hungry? by Dr. David Ludwig, Why We Get Fat And What To Do About It by Gary Taubes, Eat Fat, Get Thin by Dr. Mark Hyman, The New Atkins For A New You by Dr. Eric Westman, The Wahls Protocol by Dr. Terry Wahls, Keto Clarity by Jimmy Moore and Dr. Eric Westman, Wheat Belly Total Health by Dr. William Davis, Keto-Adapted by Maria Emmerich, The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson, Low Carb, High Fat Food Revolution by Dr. Andreas Eentfeldt, The Pioppi Diet by Dr. Aseem Malhotra and Donal O’Neill, What The Fat? by Prof. Grant Scofield, Dr. Caryn Zinn and Craig Rodger, Food Rules: A Doctor’s Guide To Healthy Eating byDr. Catherine Shanahan, The Harcombe Diet by Zoë Harcombe, The Paleo Cure by Chris Kresser, Fat For Fuel by Dr. Joseph Mercola, Wired To Eat by Robb Wolf, Tools Of The Titans by Tim Ferriss, The Rosedale Diet by Dr. Ron Rosedale, The Bulletproof Diet by Dave Asprey, The 7 Principles Of Fat Burning by Dr. Eric Berg DC, The Banting Pocket Guide by Professor Timothy Noakes, Bernadine Douglas & Bridgette Alan and lastly, the updated version of Robb Wolf’s book The Paleo Solution, The Original Human Diet, Protein Power by Drs. Micheal and Mary Eades, Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit by Drew Manning and Brad Pierce, Deep Nutrition by Dr. Catherine Shanahan, and Bring Back The Fat by Christine Cronau just to name a few.
Were you to choose only one, my personal favorite is The Obesity Code written by Canadian Nephrologist Dr. Jason Fung. As the proprietor of Intensive Dietary Management in Toronto, Dr. Fung is a clinician that has real-world experience and an uncanny talent for cutting through the BS. He “tells it like it is” in an entertaining way that makes it easy for non-scientific minded laymen to really grasp an understanding. This book is perfect for sharing and provides an excellent introduction to the LCHF/Ketogenic lifestyle.
Intermittent Fasting: A Natural Progression
Once you’ve embraced the low-carb healthy-fat lifestyle, you will likely discover that you are no longer ravenously hungry. Because your metabolism is undergoing a healing process, you will eventually become tuned in to your bodies needs and find that the traditional “3 meals a day” is no longer a necessity for you. The Complete Guide To Fasting, co-authored by Dr. Jason Fung and international best-selling author Jimmy Moore provides several complete strategies for implementing an intermittent fasting protocol that is perfect for your individual metabolic needs. Yo u will find that utilizing these strategies can not only accelerate your weight loss, but improve your energy, your cognitive function as well as your metabolic and cellular health.
The Definitive “Show Me The Science” Resource:
Principia Ketogenica: Low Carbohydrate And Ketogenic Diets – Compendium Of Science Literature On The Benefits by A Simmonds contains 319 pages of important science and studies related to low-carb, high-fat diets, with hundreds of research papers and scholarly journal articles from over the past century, summarized and fully referenced. Though available in hardcover, the e-book provides active links to pertinent studies and abstracts. There are no recipes, testimonials, or popular articles. This book is current up to 2014, perhaps the greatest collection of relevant nutrition science available to date.
Sorting Through The Dogma:
Sliding a bit deeper down the rabbit hole, you will likely discover that the conventional wisdom held sacred by so many is really only mythological pseudo-science mixed in with a few “old wives tales”. Theories that the masses accept as gospel are often not based on real science at all. What follows is a list of several of the most common nutritional myths and the books that address these topics utilizing real science with references to actual peer reviewed studies and meta-analysis:
Myth #1“A Plant Based Diet Is Optimal For Your Health”
You’ve undoubtedly heard of the vegan or vegetarian diets and their claims that a plant based diet is optimal for heart health. The propaganda for these deprivation diets are often fueled by PETA and other animal rights organizations. They are famous for manufacturing and manipulating scientific studies in an effort to legitimize a plant/grain based way of eating, claiming to be heart healthy and humane. The truth of the matter is: it’s dangerous. Dr. Stephen Gundry and Lierre Keith have tackled this topic in great detail, The Plant Paradox and The Vegetarian Myth both offer insight into the true science of these meat-phobic fads and shed some light on the sustainability and long term effects of carbohydrate dominant way of eating. Another interesting take on this same topic, Meat: A Love Story. Pasture To Plate, A Search For The Perfect Meal by Suzanne Bourchette takes a less scientific, but equally impactful approach. Another great edition to your nutritional arsenal that is rich in humor and abundant in information debunking the vegetarian/vegan mindset is Eat The Yolks by Liz Wolf. This book’s directive is aimed more towards the masses and is an easy read for the scientific layman.
Myth #2 “Exercise Is An Effective Method for Weight Loss”
“Your good intentions have been stolen” and Vinnie Tortorich wants to help you get them back. This Hollywood insider and fitness trainer to the stars has been sharing his insights with Hollywood’s elite for more than 30 years. In Fitness Confidential, Vinnie shares the inspiring story of how he beat leukemia by eliminating sugars and grains from his diet. He also has many insightful tips that completely dispel the myth that sustainable weight loss is a product of relentless exercise.
Myth #3“Carbs Are Necessary For Athletic Performance “
It has been long believed that carbohydrates are necessary to fuel the high-performance athlete. Drs’ Phinney and Volek open the “playing field” to additional options. In The Art And Science Of Low Carbohydrate Performance, you will learn of the science behind achieving optimal athletic performance while utilizing a fat burning metabolism as opposed to the traditional high protein, high carb “bro-science” philosophies that often float about the gymnasium.
Myth #4“All Calories are the Same”
Of course calories matter, but not in the way that you think. The oversimplified “Calories in, Calories out” model for weight loss has plagued modern “common knowledge” for far too long. In The Poor Misunderstood Calorie by Dr. William Lagakos and Good Calories, Bad Calories by Science Writer Gary Taubes the dive down the rabbit hole goes deep. Both of these books provide an essential exercise in unlearning and rethinking. The Taubes offering caused much debate amongst the medical community and continues to be a best seller of forward thinking nutritional publications.
Myth #5“ Heart Healthy Grains”
Many in mainstream society fail to make the connection that grains are sugar and convert to glucose in our blood. Over the course of history, these “not so heart healthy grains” have become increasingly more refined and therefore more detrimental to our collective global health. Both Dr. William Davis and Dr. David Purlmutter have written excellent books chronicling the many ways that grains have infiltrated our lives. Both Wheat Belly and Grain Brain will set you on the path towards metabolic health by eliminating grains and refined carbohydrates from your diet. Dr. Purlmutter, an informed neurologist, focuses heavily on the mechanisms in which grains detour healthy cognitive function and gut health. Dr. Davis’s Wheat Belly program has rendered sales of more than 1 million copies, which is unprecedented in the world of nutrition.
Myth #6“Artery Clogging Saturated Fats”
One of the most dangerous of the myths plaguing modern society today is the misguided obsession with high cholesterol, and thesubsequent over-prescribing of statin drugs as a treatment. Derived in the 1950s from the Diet/Heart Hypothesis that Ancel Keys sold America based on fabricated science, this obsession with lipids as a marker for disease continues in earnest to this day (unfortunately, to the detriment of public health). Fat and Cholesterol Don’t Cause Heart Attacks, authored in a combined effort between Drs’ Paul Rosch, Zoë Harcombe and Malcolm Kendrick, The Great Cholesterol Myth by Dr. Jonny Bowden and Cardiologist Dr. Stephen Sinatra, Cholesterol Clarity by Jimmy Moore and Dr. Eric Westman and The Great Cholesterol Con written by Dr. Malcolm Kendrick each communicate a different spin and a detailed accounting of what cholesterol is and how it works in our bodies. All coming to similar conclusions. Any one of these books will change the way you think about heart disease forever.
Myth #7 “High Sodium Diets Are Bad for Your Health”
How many times have you heard that “salt gives you high-blood pressure“? In much the same way that many “blame the butter for what the bread did,” the same can be said of inditing salt for what the sugar has done. Sodium is a vital electrolyte that is essential for life. Dr. James DiNicolantonio goes into great detail as to the mechanisms of sodium and other vital electrolytes in our bodies ecosystem, as well as the abnormalities that can arise upon deficiency. The Salt Fix is essential reading for anyone that remains fearful of salt and is still leary of its contribution to high blood pressure and heart disease.
Myth #8 “Your Genetics Determine Your Destiny”
You can’t blame all of your medical troubles on a bad genetic hand. Sure, genetics are always a factor, but, in many cases, you have the power to either express these genes (or more importantly not express these genes) by controlling their environment. Every time you pick up a fork or spoon, you have the power to control that environment with your dietary intake. Between the covers of Ketogenic Diet And Metabolic Therapies, Susan Masino Ph.D. has collected and compiled an enormous amount of research in an effort to provide dietary therapies designed to combat and adjunct many of the most common maladies plaguing society to date. This particular publication is written for the science minded individual and provides a deep dive into treating for root cause. This is the book you want to share with your doctor.
Myth #9 “Doctors Are The Ultimate Authority On Nutrition”
Poor nutrition is the root cause of most metabolic illnesses. Few General Practitioners, Pharmacists or even Specialists have been trained to any extent in nutrition. The fact is, most medical schools offer less than 20hrs of nutritional training in their curriculum. This brings up a sad truth: If you never address the root cause of a problem, it’s unlikely that a medication (designed to mask or alleviate a symptom) will be effective in regards to actual healing. In UnDoctored, Dr. William Davis empowers you to shift control of your treatment into your own hands, providing root cause treatment for many of the most common metabolic an autoimmune diseases. In Doctoring Data, Dr. Malcolm Kendrick further equips you to sort out medical advice and differentiate it from medical nonsense.
It takes an enormous amount of character for many doctors to admit that they have been wrong. All too often pride and pharmaceutical money are obstacles to integrity. When Professor Tim Noakes discovered that his beliefs were misguided, he set out to set the record straight and is still in the process of doing so. In both Challenging Beliefs and The Quiet Maverick, Michael Vlismas, Daryl Ilbury and Dr. Noakes chronicle these revelations and the tribulations that followed. A folk hero to many, Professor Noakes continues to be a driving force behind altering the misconceptions of dogmatic nutritional advice and forever changing the way people think about proper nutrition and how it should be formulated and implemented.
Over the last 5 decades, the ritualistic global overconsumption of added sugars and refined carbohydrates has yielded a world-wide epidemic of insulin resistance. Diabetes and metabolic syndrome have hitched their wagon to obesity and rendered “Standard Medical Advice” useless as a combatant. An unfortunate majority still believe type 2 diabetes to be a “progressive and irreversible” disease. This is an emphatic untruth! Steps can be taken to reverse insulin resistance and to stop the progression of diabetes in its tracks. Any one of the following publications can set you on the path to controlling your blood sugar, and in many cases, discontinuing exogenous medications and treatments.
The Noakes Foundation of South Africa published an excellent collection of insights into the treatment of type 2 diabetes earlier this year. The Authors include: Professor Tim Noakes; Ivor Cummins, Dr. Robert Cywes, Dr. Jason Fung, Dr. Jeff Gerber, Mike Gibbs, Dr. Zoë Harcombe, Dr. Ian Lake, Lars-Erik Litsfeldt, Nina Teicholz, Dr. David Unwin, Dr. Neville Wellington, Jen Whitington (‘Fixing Dad’), Dr. Caryn Zinn and Dr. Malcolm Kendrick. Diabetes Unpacked provides an excellent introduction into the science behind diabetes management and reversal.
Dr. Joseph Kraft was a pioneer in averting the looming metabolic distruction of diabetes. He discovered the earliest laboratory diagnosis for the disease in the 1970’s. In Diabetes Epidemic & You, he tried to warn the world – but the world wasn’t ready to listen. His research and methods are still touted as the gold standard. Though his tireless research was underappreciated during his lifetime, his work will continue to save lives for many decades to come.
Few doctors are as beloved as Dr. Richard Bernstein. His national best selling book is likely responsible for the prolonging of 10s of thousands of lives. Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution sets forth a step by step, intensive implementation program that details the procedures for controlling your blood glucose levels. Were you to purchase only one book on the topic of diabetes management, this would be the one.
Dr. Keith Runyan and Ellen Davis take the ketogenic diet approach to diabetes management in both of these offerings. The Ketogenic Diet For Type 1 Diabetics and Conquer Type 2 Diabetes With A Ketogenic Diet take a nutritional approach specifically tailored for the intricacies of each of the two very different types of diabetic affliction. Much of the research behind these two publications are provided by the resources gathered in the previously mentioned books. Ellen Davis has a unique talent for breaking down complicated scientific concepts and making them easily understandable for the laymen and those who are recently diagnosed.
#11 Alzheimer’s Disease
It is believed by many in the medical and research communities that Alzheimer’s Disease is in fact the third form of diabetes. Just as type two diabetics have issues with insulin resistance and glucose metabolism, it has been discovered that some forms of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are the result of insulin resistance and an inability to metabolize glucose to fuel the brain.
Dr. Mary Newport stumbled upon some revolutionary truths while caring for her husband with Alzheimer’s disease. Her discoveries sparked the flame of an immense amount of research into the mechanisms of glucose and ketone metabolism as it pertains to cognitive function in the Alzheimer brain. In Alzheimer’s Disease, What If There Was A Cure?, Dr. Newport chronicles these ground breaking discoveries that eventually lead Alzheimer’s Disease research into the right direction for the new millennium.
In Brain Maker, Neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter takes a deep dive into the relationship between the microbiome and brain health. Along with Kristin Loberg, Dr. Perlmutter connects the dots between careful attention to gut health and improved cognitive function.
There are few things people fear more than neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. Not only does it ultimately cut lives short, it effectively steals who the person ‘is’ long before they die. Traditional treatment methods have been lackluster at best, but there is hope. The Alzheimer’s Antidote is a scientifically sound method of nutrition and lifestyle which combats Alzheimer’s disease at a molecular level. Amy Berger is thorough and concise with her presentation of this very complex malady. If you or someone you know suffers from this horrible affliction, this book is “essential reading.”
Originally trained in the science of physics, world renowned Neurosurgeon Dr. Larry McLeary also provides some excellent insights into the relationship between nutrition and cognitive function, the gut and brain connection in both The Brain Trust Program and in his weight management offering Feed Your Brain, Lose Your Belly.
As research into the causation and treatment of cancer progresses, it is becoming increasingly obvious that proper nutrition can be an effective adjunct to traditional cancer treatments in many forms of cancer.
Much of the most progressive research into the methodologies and treatment of cancer have been conducted by Dr. Thomas Seyfried. The collection of research that he reveals in Cancer As A Metabolic Disease sets the standard for the rest of the world to follow. His research provides the foundation for many of the most important publications on this topic.
On the topic of cancer, it’s impossible to know too much. If cancer is effecting your life, wouldn’t you want to learn about it from every possible angle? The discovery that certain types of cancer cells thrive on glucose has brought to light a whole new world of therapeutic possibilities. Tripping Over The Truth by Travis Christofferson, The Metabolic Approach To Cancer by Dr. Nasha Winters and Jessica Higgins Kelly and Fight Cancer With A Ketogenic Diet by Ellen Davis each take a unique approach to explaining the many mechanisms of cancer and the essential, as well as adjunct therapies that one can employ to combat this complicated disease.
Making It Happen, One Household At A Time:
If I were to task myself with listing all of the Low Carb/LCHF/Banting/Paleo/Atkins/Ketogenic Cookbooks, I wouldn’t finish until halfway through the zombie apocalypse of 2020! In this category there are so many worthy mentions that inevitably I will fall short of listing your favorite. So, what I’ve done is listed my favorite and made a collage graphic of the top 8 sellers on Amazon. (I trust you can read the covers yourselves)
Honestly, I originally bought this book because of its cover. Turns out, it’s fantastic! Bacon & Butter, The Ultimate Ketogenic Cookbook by Celby Richoux has my two favorite ingredients (no, not bacon & butter) variety and ease! I challenge you to get bored with your eating plan while cooking up these recipes.
Any Cookbook from the likes of Domini Kemp, Patricia Daly, Maria Emmerich, Anna Vocino, Leahne Vogel or Martina Slajerova will be well worth your time and money. But most importantly, you can count on these cookbooks for delicious, healthy meals that have no hidden sugars or refined carbohydrates!
When Should We Start?
It’s never too early to start teaching your children about proper nutrition. Break the chain of nutritional confusion by educating your kids early and often. These books provide for an excellent starting point:
This hilarious kids book written by Tom Naughton and illustrated by his wife Chareva is a high quality children’s book that does not condescend to the young audience. There are colorful graphics and helpful characters (like Mr. Spot and Dr. Fishbones, the science officer and medical officer of the Nautilus space ship) who help make the subject of the book more comprehensible. The nutrition and food chemistry covered in Fat Head Kids is more comprehensive than anything you’d read in a typical New York Times editorial about obesity–or even many undergraduate nutrition textbooks.
The Noakes Foundation of South Africa, under the guidance of Professor Timothy Noakes, offer several helpful books that will provide you with strategies for raising healthy kids. Raising Superheroes and Super Food For Super Children are both essential reading for parents that seek to impart a healthy advantage for their children, creating healthy habits that can last a lifetime.
Now For My Favorite Part: The Up & Coming:
There are several new books from reputable authors coming out between now and the upcoming months. What follows is a list of these anticipated publications and their Amazon release dates:
RELEASE DATE: AUG 15, 2017
RELEASE DATE: SEPT 12, 2017
REALEASE DATE: SEPT 26, 2017
The Keto Reset Diet by Paleo pioneer Mark Sisson
RELEASE DATE: OCT 3, 2017
The Keto Cure by Dr. Adam Nally and Jimmy Moore
RELEASE DATE: NOV 21, 2017
Thyroid Healing by best selling author Anthony William
RELEASE DATE: NOV 7, 2017
As Of Yet, Untitled:
I list this as untitled only because Dr. Rangan Chatterjee has already changed the title twice, and it’s a long time between now and January. As it stands, his first book The Four Pillar Plan will be released in January of 2018 and is already available for pre-order on Amazon.
When the brilliant mind of a world class engineer and 18 years of clinical experience come together, people sit up and take note. The upcoming collaboration between Ivor Cummins and Denver’s Diet Doctor Dr. Jeffry Gerber is, as of yet untitled, but will undoubtedly be worth the wait.
When a nutritional luminary gets in trouble for giving advice on Social Media and seizes the opportunity to educate the world, the Timothy Noakes trial of 2016/2017 has been considered by many to be the “Nutritional” Trial of the Century. Health Journalist and proprietor of foodmed.com, Marika Sboros chronicled the daily drama of this influential event from its beginning to its conclusion. The story behind this perfect storm of nutritional politics is one of the most anticipated books of the year. Though the title has not been officially announced, I was told by the most reliable of sources that this will be released in mid November and will be entitled Lore of Nutrition: Challenging Conventional Dietary Guidelines.
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