The best low-carb book in print

I’m going to tell you about the best low-carb book I’ve ever read. In fact, it’s exactly the book I wish I had written myself.  And I’ll tell you why I didn’t in a bit, but first I want to clear up a few misconceptions I may have spread in my last post.

I get feedback on the posts I write from three sources.  First, MD looks at them and tones them down if I’ve gone off on some sort of political tangent or if I’ve scattered in a bit of too colorful language.  After she gives me the go, I put the posts up and wait to see what the commenters have to say.  The third source for feedback is my friends, some MDs and/or PhDs and some not, who pick up the phone and call me.

MD okayed what I wrote. The readers who commented seemed to realize what I was trying to say.  But the phone calls were a different story.

One friend called to say she had been low-carbing since Jan 1, and when she read my post she became so depressed she almost quit.  “How can you tell people it’s hard,” she said.  “It’s the easiest thing I’ve ever done. I can eat till I’m full.  I’m losing weight; I’m losing the water I’ve been retaining; I feel great.  What a downer that post was.”

I heard different versions of that rant from three other people.  They all wanted to know why I would be idiotic enough to put up such a post right at the time everyone was trying to commit or recommit to losing weight.  Depressing was a word everyone used.

I guess I got off easy with the written comments on the blog.

I didn’t really mean for the post to be a downer.  Really.  I wanted to tell people who might be struggling to lose that MD and I fall prey to all the same problems.  We gained weight over the holidays.  We are back on the straight and narrow.  I was trying to say that we were right in there with everyone else working away to reestablish our own thinner selves.  (In fact, we’ve made great progress in the week or so we’ve been on the plan.)  I just wanted people to be aware that long-term weight loss requires effort and constant vigilance.  And to view the process as a life change and not a quick one-time fix. My goal was to get people to recommit seriously, not to depress them.

Obesity is a medical problem caused by a damaged metabolism, which is why one person, without the damage, can eat the same foods without gaining weight that pack the pounds on someone else.  Once you realize you have the underlying problem that leads to obesity, you simply have to recognize that you have to deal with it for the long term.

Let’s look at it in terms of another medical problem: high blood pressure.  For argument’s sake, let’s ignore the fact that about 80 percent of cases of high blood pressure can be reversed with a low-carb diet, and let’s just assume that the case we’re talking about is responsive only to high blood pressure medication.  If you were the patient with the high blood pressure, and I gave you a pill that brought your blood pressure down to normal, you would consider the medication effective.  Would you then say, Hey, my blood pressure is normal, yippee! now I can quit taking the medicine?   I doubt it.  You would say, Great, the medicine is working.  Furthermore, if you quit taking the medicine and your blood pressure went back up to what it was before you started taking the medicine, would you say the medicine didn’t work?

Of course not.  Your high blood pressure was kept in check with the medicine, and your BP, not surprisingly, went back up when you quit taking the medicine.  The medicine itself was effective.

Same thing with dieting.  If you have an obesity problem that responds to a low-carb diet and you lose to your target weight, then go back to your old way of eating and gain your weight back, it isn’t the low-carb diet’s fault.  You have a problem that responds to a low-carb diet, and you pretty much have to stick with a low-carb diet (although not in nearly as extreme a structure as when you are trying to lose) for the long haul.

Having said all that, I can tell you that in my experience there is nothing that helps people lose weight more quickly and with less deprivation than a good quality, whole food low-carbohydrate diet.  You don’t have to be hungry.  You can eat rich, delicious foods, you’ll get rid of heartburn, drop your blood pressure, ditch excess fluid, and feel remarkably better.  You’ve just got to hang in there until you lose what you need to lose (which process you can speed along if desired with a little Metabosol), then you can loosen up and start adding some of the foods you’ve been foregoing.  And continue to eat them in moderation on maintenance.

Virtually all the studies in the medical literature show that at worst the low-carbohydrate diet equals the low-fat diet in all parameters and at best completely leaves it in the dust.  As far as I’m concerned, there is no faster, safer, more delicious way to lose weight. Hell, a study was just presented recently showing that women who did low-carb just two days a week lost almost twice as much weight as women following a calorically-restricted Mediterranean diet daily.  So, to be clear: Is weight loss tough?  Sure.  Is it easier when you cut the carbs? Absolutely! Low carb rocks!

Which brings me to the book that started this post.  In my opinion, The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living is simply the best how-to book on low-carb dieting ever written.  As I wrote above, it is the book I wish MD and I had written.

The reason we didn’t write it is because a) some of this information wasn’t available when we last wrote a book (much of it is now available thanks to the work of Drs. Volek and Phinney), and b) no mainstream publisher would pay an author for this book.  If a mainstream publisher would buy it, the editor would force the authors to change it.  What do I mean by that?

All books fall into different genres, as they’re called in publishing.  One genre is diet/nutrition books.  So if you come to a publisher offering a diet/nutrition book, it gets pigeonholed into that genre and has to conform structurally to that genre’s standardized format.  Editors of mainstream publishing houses believe that the great mass of readers of nutritional books are not very bright and so have to be served real scientific information in small, small bites and not very many of them at that.  So the genre formula for a diet book is to have the actual diet regimen way up front because these editors don’t believe the readers of these books are smart enough or patient enough to wade through the explanations of why a particular diet works in order to get to the plan.  They want the plan up front within the first couple of chapters so people can get started without really having to read the book.  They also want a ton of recipes and meal plans to fill up the last half of the book.  Squeezed in between the plan and the recipe section is where they want to meat of book cubbyholed, and, in their view, with as little science as possible.

MD and I fought this structure tooth and toenail with Protein Power and ended up beating our editor down by agreeing to write a summary of each chapter called The Bottom Line that explained what each chapter said in non-scientific terms.  (Fortunately, we’ve been able to use this strategy in most of our books.) We worked well with our first editor, but we ended up in the hands of another editor when the paperback came out.  Editor Number Two hated all the stuff on the Paleolithic diet and the data from the ancient Egyptians.  This info was the first time in the popular press that the pre- verses post-agricultural diet was used as an argument for low-carb dieting.  And she wanted to ditch it from the book.  We went postal on her, so she ended up agreeing to leave it but only if we buried it in the very back of the book as an Epilogue.  That was one of the chapters of the book I wrote, and I thought it was pretty exciting information.  So, apparently did many others. But not this editor.  Sadly, she is not unusual.  Most want to conform to the genre.

Drs. Volek and Phinney self-published their book, and, as a consequence, could write it however the flip they wanted.  It is extremely well written and suffers none of the usual flaws of a self published book.  And it lays out the rationale for a low-carb diet as the treatment of obesity and other related disorders in a linear fashion instead of adhering to the typical diet book format.

As I finished writing the above paragraph, I clicked over and checked for comments on my latest post and found one with the following line:

This low-carb world can be a lonely place if one needs a navigator…

I can think of no better navigators than the authors of this book. Both of them have done a large part of the hardcore research on low-carb dieting that is in the medical literature today.  Go to PubMed and enter Volek JS or Phinney SD in the search window, hit ‘Search,’ and you will be rewarded with more peer-reviewed scientific papers on low-carb dieting than you will have time to read.  Many of the experiments described in these papers are explained in easy to understand language in their book.

Disclosure: Both Dr. Volek and Dr. Phinney are friends and colleagues of mine.  But they did not send me a copy of their book for review.  I purchased it from Amazon and paid the full price of $29.95 (it is now $19.95).  I bought it months ago and carried it with me all over Europe and on a half dozen other trips since but didn’t have time to even crack it until I was on the last leg back from our holiday trek.  It sounds cliché, but I couldn’t put it down.  I read and annotated the entire book over the course of two long flights.  Virtually anything anyone could want to know about the science behind low-carbohydrate dieting can be found in this book.

I’ll give you just one example.  It is common knowledge among many nutritionist, doctors and journalists that saturated fats are bad for us.  Most believe eating saturated fats leads to higher levels of saturated fats in the blood, which they inevitably describe as ‘artery-clogging saturated fat’.  Drs. Volek and Phinney, who certainly don’t believe this nonsense, understand adaptation to a low-carbohydrate diet changes the way the human body metabolizes different fats.  Eating more fat on a low-carbohydrate diet speeds up the burning of fat in general and saturated fat in particular.

There are only three things the body can do with saturated fat from the diet (or saturated fat made from dietary carbohydrate — and, yes, the body can and does make saturated fat from dietary carbohydrate).  It can burn them, store them, or convert them to a mono-unsaturated fat.  When people go on low-carbohydrate diets, they reduce their insulin levels, which in turn allows fat to escape from the fat cells to become the body’s primary fuel.

But what happens when a person increases saturated fat intake as part of a low-carbohydrate diet?  Drs. V & P knew that saturated fat burning would increase, but would enough burn to offset the extra amount of saturated fat coming in as part of a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet?

To find out, they put 20 subjects on a low-carbohydrate diet for 12 weeks and another 20 subjects on a low-fat, high-carbohydrate weight loss diet for the same length of time.  The subjects in the low-carb group consumed three times the saturated fat per day (36 g vs 12 g) as did those in the low-fat group.  The blood from the subjects in both groups was then tested to determine total triglyceride level and specific fatty acid composition.

What did the good docs find?

In the serum samples done at baseline and again after 12 weeks, serum triglycerides  in the low fat group went from 187 to 151 mg per 100 ml, a tidy 19% reduction.  But in the low carb group, the before and after values were 211 and 104, a whopping 51% fall.  Both visually (just looking at the numbers) and statistically, the low carbohydrate group had a much greater (better) reduction in serum triglycerides.

The above should come as no surprise, because everyone knows that a low-carb diet reduces triglyceride levels.  But what about the amount of saturated fat in the blood?

As a proportion of the total, the low carb group had 33% saturates [saturated fatty acids] at baseline and 29% after 12 weeks, whereas the low fat group started at 30 and ended at 29%.  So after 12 weeks of dieting, the proportion of saturated fats in the blood triglycerides was the same for both groups despite the fact that the low carb group was eating three times as many grams per day of saturated fat in their diet.

But there’s more.  Because the low carb group ended up with blood triglycerides of 104 mg per 100 ml compared to the low fat group’s 151, they actually had about 30% less total triglycerides circulating in their serum.  So although the two groups had similar relative proportions of saturates, this means that the absolute serum content of saturates in the low-carb group was 30% lower than the low fat diet group.  So what we found, in a nutshell, is that despite a higher intake of saturated fat, the proportionate blood level of saturated fats did not increase, and their absolute levels fell dramatically with the low carbohydrate diet.

The bottom line on this point is that when our metabolism adapts to a low carbohydrate diet, saturated fats become a preferred fuel for the body, and their levels in blood and tissue triglyceride pools actually drops.

To summarize, a three times higher intake of saturated fats leads to a 30% drop in saturated fats in the blood of those following a low-carb diet as compared to those following a low-fat, high-carb diet.

Which means, of course, that if you want to decrease the artery-clogging saturated fats (should that be what you want to call them) in your blood, a low-fat, high-carb diet, the very diet almost every health care professional recommends for the job, isn’t the way to do it.  All you have to do is simply follow a low-carb diet.

The description of what happens to saturated fats in the blood during a low carb diet took two pages out of a 300 page book, so you can imagine how much content the entire book contains.

There is so much invaluable information in this book that I’m having to fight back the impulse to quote the whole thing.  You’ll learn

why you need more sodium on a low-carb diet and why the sodium prevents lean tissue loss,
why you need to increase fat intake during maintenance,
why a low-carb diet decreases inflammation,
why the low-carb, high-fat diet improves gall bladder function,
why excess carbohydrate converts to saturated fat and how,
what all the lipid parameters mean and how they’re affected by a low-carb diet,
and what the Paleolithic evidence tells us about diet.

And this list is just scratching the surface.  As I read this book, I kept marking parts that I needed to use for this blog.  In going back through, I would have to practically reprint the whole thing to give you just the important parts because the entire book is a gem.

Unlike most traditional diet books, The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living doesn’t contain a lengthy section on how to execute a low carb diet.  There are plenty of books out there – some written by MD and me – that do that.  The book does have about 10 pages of the authors’ favorite recipes for low-carb foods and a seven day meal plan incorporating many of these recipes. (Another disclosure:  The authors recommend Protein Power as a good book on low-carb dieting, but I would have written this review the same had they never mentioned our book.)

The strength of this book isn’t in its meal plans and recipes, although those are delicious, it is in the wealth of information about all aspects of low-carb dieting.  If you have a question, almost any question, about any facet of low-carbohdyrate dieting, this book will have the answer.  And the answer will grounded in science, and in many cases from work done by these two scientists on the front lines of low-carbohydrate research.

As far as I am concerned, if you are planning on going on a low-carb diet and can afford only one book, make The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living that one book.  If you are a long time low-carber, this is the one essential reference book you should have on your shelf.

If you are getting going on a low-carb diet the first part of this year, grab this book before you do another thing.  Once you see the world of benefits that will accrue to you from following such a diet, you will probably be able to overcome any depression that may have been inflicted on you from my last post.  So don’t hold off, grab a copy of this book today.  You will be very glad you did.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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216 thoughts on “The best low-carb book in print

  1. Ha Ha! I have this book. Thanks for the review–I look forward to reading it. Soon. I’ve been on LCHF since last April and have not the teensiest bit of doubt that it is the healthiest (and easiest to stick to) eating plan hands down, even if one’s metabolism is not broken but especially if it is. Nonetheless, I’m a science geek and can’t seem to get enough of the science behind it, (which is why I enjoy your blog) so will certainly enjoy this book. I wish just a few of the medical professionals and nutritionists out there who are still mired in “conventional wisdom” and think saturated fats are “arteryclogging” would read it, too. Unfortunately, they already think they know it all and don’t have any need to investigate further.

    • Margaretrc:
      Boy ain’t that the truth. I recently got YELLED AT by my neighbor (a registered nurse) about my idiocy in not having oatmeal every morning and about being dopey enough to eat cheese, after my poor dad died of a stroke and heart disease. Sniff…

      Even the Mayo Clinic website promotes a low-fat diet. What happened to the scientific mind that doctors are supposed to have?

      • Joanie,

        I agree with you. I had dinner with friends last night who asked me details about low-carb diets and why they work. They were concerned with an artible on WebMD describing ketosis as a dangerous state and advising the public low carb can cause kidney failure. Whis is so much misinformation on credible websites?

      • Oatmeal? Hmmm. Let’s think this through. The evidence is that small dense LDL particles are the ones that lodge in vessel walls. sdLDL result from the LDLs that got filled with lots of triglycerides made from sugars in the liver and have less cholesterol in them. Put differently, the artery-clogging sdLDL have insufficient cholesterol in them to keep them large and buoyant. So what, then, would be the worst food to eat? Something with a high glycemic index that impedes absorption of LDL-filling cholesterol…..something like …. oatmeal!!!

        • Murray,
          I just listened to a masterful podcast with none other than the master of lipids, Chris Masterjohn. It’s at Chirs Kresser’s site and iTunes. Rather than quote it I just want you to hear it. He talks about how the small particles get made even smaller over time as various fractions are removed. My virtual eyes were wide open hearing this. Oatmeal should be illegal. Possession of it should merit a life sentence.

      • I found that by far the hardest part of a low carb diet is the social aspect: everybody, especially those who do not have much background knowledge, think you are crazy.

        • I agree. People think my husband and I are the ones who are misinformed when we say we don’t eat grains, beans, and much dairy. They laugh when we refer to the Paleo/primal way of living as if it’s a fad or something, but they don’t have a clue about what it is. Well, what to expect when CW says to eat grains and low-fat.

      • this is unbelievable! how could you NOT eat oatmeal every morning!
        everybody around me thinks i am crazy or going mental now! but they are all fools! I don’t even want to get started about the Mayo Clinic, where is that world heading now :/

    • Given your interests I HIGHLY recommend “Good Calories, Bad Calories” for a complete scientific dismantling of the current high carb dogma.

      • If you are recommending Taubes’ book to Dr Eades, you are a little late. He recommended the book to everyone back in July 2007.

        GCBC was a trailblazing book, and is great for an historical perspective, but a lot has happened since Taubes wrote it. This new book by Phinney and Volek has a ton of important research to draw on–research that hadn’t been performed when GCBC was written.

  2. One comment about the toughness of a low-carb diet, especially during holidays.

    For someone to say low-carb is easy is completely misleading. I enjoy low-carb, I’ve experienced the results, and try to stick to it strictly from Monday-Friday while enjoying other foods on weekends. When someone mentions it’s “easy,” they don’t take into account personal preferences. To me, sitting down with a group of friends, and having our wives make us a big pasta dish is a very enjoyable time, and the pasta dish sure tastes good and is definitely a part of the entire experience. There’s something to be said in enjoying moments like that, and it’s not exactly easy or convenient to be the one asking for a completely different dinner from the rest. This type of scenario is what makes it the toughest for me to consistently implement. Not to mention, I just enjoy a side of fries every couple weeks!

    The other difficulty beyond this is prep time. It seems to me most of the low-carb “cookbook” meals have extensive prep time. In our day in age of quicker and more accessible meals, this also makes it different for people.

    I guess my point is the issue is not the taste or portion of the food, a lot of times the pain of low-carb is simply situational or the prep time. Thanks for the new resolution to post more Doc!

    • I’m just starting my LCHF diet and I found this website that has tons of recipes…and most of the them are easy and don’t require a lot of prep time: Pick your protein and then there are lists of recipes…I’ve made about 6-7 so far and I am in love. Pork-fried “rice”? Yes please! (cauliflower substitutes as the rice and this one takes a little bit of prep…but worth it!)

    • I so agree. A diet is not “easy” when it means giving up the foods you like. It’s a tradeoff. I look better, but life is a little less enjoyable. For some people it’s a lot less enjoyable, so much so that it’s not worth it for them to lose the flab.

      The other misleading statement is “You can eat until you’re full.” The Houston Chronicle’s Leon Hale had a column years ago on his Cabbage and Buttermilk diet. “You never get hungry! You can eat as much as you want! As long as it’s cabbage and buttermilk.”

    • One of our weekend staples is meatballs ina tomato sauce with pasta. I leave out the pasta and have raw mushrooms instead. The toamto sauce is a carton of chopped tomatoes and Basil from the supermarket – preparation time minmal yummy time enormous, and I make the meatballs myself so I don’t get all the preservatives and nonsense in them!

  3. Question – we have good friends who are going Vegan and are just sold-out to it. Can someone point me to one thorough article that might prove LCHF is much more beneficial vs. vegan?

    • Most vegans end up getting health problems after an initial honeymoon phase where they get excellent results (especially the high plant food / raw vegan diets). This is usually around the 6 month mark, but could be longer.
      I found an huge number of vegans writing about their health problems and looked a typical deficiencies that causes these.

      Denise Minger has done a number of posts that challenge the data in “Forks over knives” and “The China study”

      • Julianne, It was interesting to read about autophagy on your site as that might explain the amazing sense of lightness and energy when I tried a high fat, high plant raw vegan diet for a few days. If only it would last :(

    • There is information out there about how difficult it is for a lot of people to convert beta carotene (plant precursor for vitamin A) into real vitamin A, the Rotterdam Study which shows (at least indirectly) that vitamin K1 from plants is far less effective for cardiac health than vitamin K2 from animal foods, and the common knowledge that you cannot get B12 from plants at all. But I’m afraid you’ve got an uphill battle if your friends are sold on this already. Someone needs to write *the* definitive book outlining what’s lacking in the vegan diet and why it is less healthy than an omnivorous diet, the “health benefits” coming early in the transition and mostly from dropping omnivorous junk food–but I don’t have the background for people to take me seriously, and most others who’d be in a position to write the book don’t want to touch the politics with a ten-foot pole.

      (By “politics” I mean “the entire health community will turn against them for pronouncing the heresy that plant foods are not a magical, anti-obesity health panacea.” Veganism has taken the foothold that it has in our national consciousness *because* the belief was first seeded that you can have no good health at all without fruit or vegetables, and especially in very large amounts.)

    • Oh and when I say a book should be written, I’ve read Lierre Keith’s book (The Vegetarian Myth) and it is awesome, but a lot of people dismiss it because she gets emotional and talks about politics–neither of which is a problem for me, since I largely share her politics and I don’t think logic works well in isolation. (Nazi Germany, for example, was a thoroughly cold, logical, rational regime, if you accepted their logical premises in the first place.) But someone needs to put together something more like a reader-friendly science textbook with lots of airtight references. And if I really wanted to be a booger, I’d wish it could be written by a seven-foot-tall musclehead who hates cream pies.

      • Nazi Germany was not rational, but psychopathic. To the psychopaths, literally everything is a purely practical matter. There is nothing rational about them.

        (A book was written about this aspect of the Nazis, called Political Ponerology, from Greek meaning “study of evil.”)

        • Hysterically prejudiced much, or do you just play one on the interwebs? It is not even SLIGHTLY *rational* to declare an entire people “psychopathic.”

          EVERY single human being (except those actually diagnosably psychopathic, which the nation of Germany most certainly is not and never has been!) is making decisions and taking actions on the basis of *reasons and rationales* (not necessarily the same things!) that make sense from their point of view. The fact that others may not like or support those *reasons and rationales* does not make them insane.

          The British had *reasons and rationales* to try to exterminate the Boers (men, women, and children) — the Brits invented concentration camps, yah might not know! The Soviets had *reasons and rationales* to starve to death 40+-million Kulaks and others. (The damned American govt had *reasons and rationales* for letting them do it — and for rounding up “white Russians” who had escaped the Soviet purges *to America* and sending them back to the Soviets for torture and death.)

          As long as you view history through the prism of hysteria and prejudice, you will never understand what moves people – or ‘a people’ to make decisions and take actions — because you’ll be trying to solve the WRONG problem! Dismaying, it is, purely dismaying.

          • Ah. So you’re also hysterically prejudiced? Do you actually believe with Jeffrey that an entire NATION was (can be) psychopathological? How about the Germans who were NOT Nazis? (How about the GERMAN jews — were they ALSO psychopaths?! They were Germans, weren’t they?)

            Are you envisioning a single entity that was “Germany” and believing that entity was crazy? Or are you just glossing-over the reality that a nation consists of a million-plus people with many various levels of mental health or “un-health”; and so you believe they’re all insane?!

            There is a HUGE difference between a reasoned, fact-based determination that the path a country chose — for *reasons and rationales* that caused that path to seem like the right, or even only, path those people could choose — and a hysterical leap to judgement that millions of people are mentally ill. (Do you even understand the difference between the words: *reasons and rationales*? Do you understand the point I’m making by carefully choosing them both? I’m guessing you do not.)

            (Or, I could just answer gracelessly, like you:
            Let me get this straight: you’re saying every single one of the millions of Germans are/were psychopaths?)

            How does your (and Jeffrey’s) ‘leap to judgement’ (of an entire nation, millions of people) differ from (some) people’s hysterical prejudice against, say, fat in the diet? Or belief in the ‘deadly influence of cholesterol’ on morbidity/mortality? If you cannot be precise and careful in your word choices, then you cannot be accurate in what you say or write. (Do you ‘get’ that the FDA and USDA are NOT monolithic entities, but are actually groups of *people* who are acting on their beliefs — both right and wrong — and are therefore having some good and some bad effects on the world?! IF we could ‘pack the panel’ with low-carbers, instead of lipophobes, then the decisions and choices of those “entities” would be entirely different, would they not?!

          • No. It is semantically correct to say something like “Nazi Germany was psychopathic” even though not every citizen was a psychopath. It is equivalent to me saying something like “America is fighting in the mid-east,” even though I personally am not wielding an M16, or “Our economy is in a recession,” even though I am not personally unemployed. You are not being precise and careful in your word choices, Elenor, you are simply showing a lack of knowledge on how language works.

          • On the contrary, I am a technical editor by profession and I am being *precisely careful* in my word choices.

            Do you believe a non-living entity (“Germany”) can have a mental disorder? (Or, for that matter, can have a brain that could have a mental disorder?) It is semantically correct — if a bit idiotic — to say: “I judge the actions Nazi Germany took, had they been performed by a single human being, to be actions that would lead me to conclude that perhaps that human being was “psychopathic” (and even that word is carelessness, if one if trying to accurately describe a mental disorder…).

            “America is fighting …” (‘in way too many places where it does not belong’) is a description of *political* (and thus, military) action, not a “mental” condition. (The “mental condition” were one possible for a country, would have to be a split personality, because there is not a “united {wince} mental state” about it. So, would you support saying “America is suffering a split personality disorder and is therefore fighting blah blah blah”?! *I* would not!)

            “Our economy is in a recession” is a description of an economic status — and a country CAN have a economic status. It cannot have a mental disorder!

            It is NEVER correct — semantically or otherwise — to say something like “Nazi Germany was psychopathic.” It’s just carelessness. (Or, as I wrote above, hysterical prejudice…)

    • You might try the Fat Head DVD. It’s funny, entertaining, and he hits many of the high points in the science behind lc eating. In my experience, though, if they’re convinced they’re right, then no book, DVD, or good friend is likely to change their minds. Be warned, too, that there are places where he goes on a bit about how bad some vegan meals taste. If they’re as touchy as my vegetarian friends were….
      Proceed with caution. ‘-)

    • taylor, I know some people who do a Raw vegan diet and are in amazing shape. I doubt if ‘regular’ veganism is a good diet as you can still eat all kinds of processed food which most vegans do end up doing! I think this question of whether LCHF is better than Raw vegan is better experienced for oneself. In general it seems that the Raw Vegan gurus prefer a high fat approach. The LCHF gurus agree on the high fat component but disagree about the protein content (Moderate or High).

    • Read Dr. Loren Cordian’s brand new book, “The Paleo Answer”. It talks about that in detail. Another good one one is “The Vegetarian Myth”.

      I am a nutritionist, and believe that vegetarianism/veganism is not a healthy way to go, neither is it species appropriate.

      Good luck with stopping your friends from making a potentially huge mistake. However, do not destroy yourself in the process of trying to educate them… even I have had to limit my clientele to omnivores.

  4. Hi Dr M:

    I bought A&S as soon as it came out for Kindle. It is awesome.

    As for your previous post – let me say we didn’t gain any weight in my house. We lost 2 lbs, actually.

    We did this by planning. We planned ahead to have a traditional German-style holiday. We made a goose with pan juices thickened with a pinch of xanthan for a smooth rich sauce. We ate steamed red cabbage and mashed kohlrabi with lots of butter. We had cheese as the dessert course, with a 1 oz glass of kirsh decorated with gold dust.

    The next day we had goose leftovers and a dessert of 1/4 c. raspberries in sabayon.

    This is the kind of “diet food” I want to be on! And yet it is also a 100% traditional European Christmas. Now we understand why North Germans & Scandinavians are in general so thin.

  5. Low carb is easy if one can wrap one’s mind around the science of how bad carbs are for one and go from there. So what if we live in a high carb world. I, for one, don’t find it enjoyable to suffer the ills and problems I used to on carbs just to please my friends and enjoy the atmosphere. To me that’s like a heroin addict knowing that heroin is bad for them and giving it up much of the time but relapsing because that ‘high’ is just oh so good…

    • Comparing a carb to heroin is insanity. The better comparison would be a carb to bourbon whiskey. Clearly having 1 bourbon drink a week (or enjoying 1 night a week eating the normal carb heavy American dinner) is not going to be what kills you. But when you cross over into excess, or even the average consumption, that’s when problems occur.

      • Are you saying everything in moderation is okay? Yeah, it won’t kill you, but it sure screws with you body. I’ve been living low carb for 15 years and when I stray, I pay – dearly!

  6. “Editor Number Two hated all the stuff on the Paleolithic diet and the data from the ancient Egyptians. This info was the first time in the popular press that the pre- verses post-agricultural diet was used as an argument for low-carb dieting. And she wanted to ditch it from the book. We went postal on her, so she ended up agreeing to leave it but only if we buried it in the very back of the book as an Epilogue.”

    I bought the hardcover of the original PP, and I was fascinated by the Egyptian stuff. Then I bought the mass-market version to send to a friend in Australia, and I was sorry to see that information missing from the first chapter. I thought it differentiated it from other diet books.

    So you see, not all editors are as brain-dead as your second editor was. (I’m a freelance editor, although I’m semi-retired now.)

  7. I agree with Cate. Quitting smoking is hard. Starting/running a business is hard. Raising multiple kids alone is hard (I assume). Avoiding the typical carb junk in a diet, yet eating delicious, filling LC meals is easy.

    A good way to avoid social situation issues is to fill up before going so that you aren’t tempted to snack on carby-food. Beyond that, I found, ‘no thanks, I’m watching my diet’ to suffice just fine. As long as you aren’t preachy, not many people will dare counter that statement, as there are few who couldn’t stand to shed a few pounds themselves.

  8. I really enjoyed reading that book. Lately, I’ve been recommending “Art and Science”, “Wheatbelly”, and “Good calories, bad calories”. I suggest people read them in that order. I think by the time someone reads these three, there is no turning back to eating “carbage”.

    • Excellent comment Katie, I think A&S would be a little hard to understand as a first read. How about The Diabetes Solution, Wheat Belly, Protein Power, GCBC then save the best to last A& S.

  9. While reading the previous post, I thought I must have been a lucky oddball. Low-carb is dead easy. I can’t think of anything difficult or time-consuming about it–it’s baked goods, potatoes, lasagna, rice and desserts that take a lot of prep time. Then you have all that sugar to burn off.

    The book sounds great–I’ll order a copy.

  10. I think I understood what you were trying to get at in the previous post. The temptation to go off the low carb diet, even though it is working, is more of a psychological and social phenomenom than anything else. I get tired of always eating different than everyone else, even when I am thinner and have more energy than my fat friends and relatives! You start thinking (rightly or wrongly) that other people are judging you and imagining that you believe you are better than them, because you won’t eat the junk they do. After a while, it wears on you.

    • i agree with your thought

      “You start thinking (rightly or wrongly) that other people are judging you and imagining that you believe you are better than them, because you won’t eat the junk they do. After a while, it wears on you.”

      it can be very hard as this is also a form of peer pressure…of a different substance. i have to tell myself (if i can have self control) that maybe they feel jealous that i can abstain or maybe that they feel guilty about eating it and want someone else to join them so they don’t feel guilty anymore. right now, for me, it’s not that i totally wouldn’t mind munching down on a carb (going through withdrawls) but i don’t like getting into good food bad food debates, especially to close-minded individuals.

  11. BTW, as a professional proofreader, I find the copyeditor’s suggestions for major surgery on your books over the line. Thomas Sowell suggests authors buy a stamp that reads “STET.”

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I never read menu plans or recipes in science books. They may be good recipes, but their presence makes the book seem like an odd hybrid.

  12. “One friend called to say she had been low-carbing since Jan 1, and when she read my post she became so depressed she almost quit.”

    Being fat is hard. Eating healthy is hard. Pick your hard.

    • BRAVO! Well said! I think being fat and tired, or counting points or calories is a lot harder than eating plenty of fat and avoiding the obvious. I’ve been doing it for the better part of the last 40 years and it’s a lot easier than going to the doctor or refilling prescriptions.

  13. Regarding the study Dr. Eades cited at the beginning of the post, how did the researchers tease apart the effects of low-carbing from the starvation levels of calories (650) study subjects ate on those days?

  14. Now I so TERRIBLY want this book. I wonder if my library carries it. There’s probably a waiting list if they do. Alas. But I’ll probably keep it out and run up fees like I’ve been doing with Mark Sisson’s first Primal Blueprint Cookbook this past week, so I might as well just pay for the derned thing.

    • Purchase a copy of Robb Wolf’s “Paleo Solution”. It’s all in there. This is way too detailed a question to answer in a comment… maybe Dr. Eades will address it in future blog post?

      I can attest to this. When I eat carbs (especially grain based carbs), I am stiff and sore in the mornings and some old injuries rear their ugly heads. Within 4 days of low carb, I am bounding out of bed, and those old aches are a memory.

      Dr. Al Sears (not Barry Sears), has also written some good stuff on this topic.

  15. I wholeheartedly agree! great book, just finished it. A treasure trove of info. Although I think dairy is a problem (read Paleo Answer), you can get enough fat form animal sources and coconut oil.

    • Response to PlaeoDentist who wrote “I think dairy is a problem” — google ‘devil in the milk’ and read about Type 1 and Type 2 cows. This is very very very (x 8 million verys) key.

  16. can’t wait to see the T. Colin Campbell review on this one, ha ha. (He wrote a long, nonsensical review of their “New Atkins” book on Amazon that’s still collecting comments.)

  17. Hello Dr. Eades,

    I enjoyed your review of the Phinney/Volek book, which I own and have read.

    Your mention of a “damaged metabolism” prompts me to ask a question, especially because I know that you are familiar with Michael Rose’s theory of how the tissues age by means of an evolutionarily selected change of genetic expression that essentially walks backward in ancestral time (having listened to your lecture at the AHS).

    After having been exposed to Rose’s views I have tended to reject the notion of “damage” resulting from a modern diet (with the exception of the pancreas as regards hyperglycemia and probably fetal programming) in favor of the natural (albeit genetically individual) aging process as the explanation for carbohydrate intolerance.

    Possibly I am taking your use of the term “damage” too literally, but I am curious what your thoughts are regarding the cause of carbohydrate intolerance, including its general tendency to increase with age.

    P.S. I also own and have read several of your books, and have enjoyed them much. Ditto your blogs.

  18. Hi Michael, nice to see you post again.

    If you would allow me to share my thoughts on the subject of low carb and weight maintenance. I’m just rewording what you wrote basically.

    Do you know of insulin and adipocytes proliferation? It’s what we see in diabetics type 1 who inject insulin in the same spot for years. The condition is called lipodystrophy. Basically, insulin stimulates adipocytes proliferation (an increase in the number of fat cells) and this effect is permanent. Insulin doesn’t just make fat cells bigger, it also makes more fat cells. It takes years to develop but once it’s there, that’s it for that, we’re permanently fatter.

    We can infer a few things from this and low carb. Since we believe carbs->insulin->bigger fat cells, if the above is also true, we should also believe carbs->insulin->bigger fat tissue. Low carb doesn’t make insulin drop below normal, it just returns it back to normal. But this new “normal” is fatter than it was before insulin did its dirty deed on our fat tissue so our new normal weight is heavier than it used to be. If we want to get rid of the new fat tissue, we have to create a negative pressure. Simply cutting carbs doesn’t cut it. We have to do more than that. Exercise might work, but we didn’t need that when our fat tissue was smaller. Starvation is out of the question and I don’t think it would work for that anyway.

    And since we can’t create a negative pressure just by cutting carbs, we can’t create a permanent effect, like what happened with carbs and insulin for so many years. The best we can create with low carb is a temporary effect that lasts only while we’re low carbing. If low carb could somehow remove all those new fat cells, then we could do low carb for a while, then quit and remain leaner for years. Until the carbs and insulin did their dirty work over time again of course. Then we’re back to low carb, and round we go again.

    The above explains why we gain back the weight so easily when we quit low carb, and why low carb has to be kept up to see its effect. To use your blood pressure analogy, imagine an underlying medical condition that caused high blood pressure. If you only treated the BP, it’d be like going low carb, you’d only be treating part of the problem. And stopping this treatment would bring BP right back up. But if you treated the medical condition instead, you’d get rid of the BP as well. Of course, we’d be smarter this time around and we’d try to avoid that medical condition in the future. So in our case with low carb, it would become a preventative measure to avoid growing new fat cells again after we’d worked to get rid of them.

    You said 80% get rid of high BP on low carb. What of the other 20%? Maybe they got something that low carb can’t fix, and this prevents BP from dropping back to normal. Now what if it was also true for weight loss? What if low carb doesn’t work for a few of us because there’s an underlying medical condition that just keeps us fat? Anyway, it might be worthwhile to look into this if you haven’t already.

    But back on the problem of adipocytes proliferation. I don’t want to sound like a pill salesman but have you heard of Adipotide (Prohibitin-Targeting Peptide 1)? Basically, it’s a drug that targets a cell receptor of the blood vessels supplying white adipocytes and causes those blood vessels to commit suicide. Once those blood vessels die, adipocytes die of starvation and fat tissue is reduced permanently. That’s the permanent effect we’re looking for. It’s the only drug I know of that does this. Every other anti-obesity drug doesn’t have a permanent effect, you have to keep taking them to benefit. Another effect of this reduction is reduced insulin resistance. That’s a good thing, isn’t it. Human trials are about to begin. Anyway, just a heads up.

    Keep posting. I always enjoy reading your blog.

    • @Martin. Love your response. After years and years of injecting insulin, yet low carbing about 80% of that time, I have extra weight that refuses to shift. I’m now on an insulin pump, but for me I’ve finally found what works for me – keeping my total daily insulin under a certain number. I can’t tell you how hard that is because it does mean semi-starvation for me. It may not for others.

      Low-carbing in this low-fat obsessed society is definitely socially isolating. How many times will you get invited back when you eat beforehand (as someone suggested) and don’t touch food someone else has lovingly prepared? Or when people know you do low carb and it’s difficult for them to accommodate? Or you’re in a restaurant with friends and eye-rolling waiters, when you’re trying to find a single lower carb thing on the menu. If one could pick one’s friends on the basis of low carb, that would be great, but it’s not how things work.

      It’s the.same kind of isolation that people with food allergies, lactose intolerance and celiac feel, and for some, not adhering its life-threatening.

      For me and low carb, It’s a trade-off. I’d rather be a tad less rigid and still have a life than sit at home because my friends don’t serve low-carb or eat out at low carb places. It’s not every night of the week, but every couple of weeks, I’m invited somewhere and I just go with the flow because I hate that feeling of isolation, or bringing attention to myself in a way that doesn’t fit in or is insulting to the host.

      But the weight loss thing is a real chore when you have Type 1 diabetes and are saturated with insulin 24/7 in a way that doesn’t yet completely mimic natural insulin production. That low carb is the best way to go, is a no brainer

      • I am a cyclist, but I have struggled with my weight my whole life. Everyone in my family has some type of problem with insulin, diabetes, heart disease, etc. In order to lose weight and get fit for racing season, I went low carb–my coach is extremely against this, but she does not understand the problems with insulin and how insulin works. She has never read anything about it. Most cyclists are extremely fit and do not have insulin issues, so their dietary needs are clearly different from my own, and yet I am asked to go on a diet that is similar to a very fit male’s diet, not a diet for my own needs. I am doing this in part to show her and everyone else who is very tunnel-visioned with regards to fat consumption, etc., that it is possible to do well as a cyclist and not eat carbohydrates. I will not miss carbohydrate crashing during long rides, that’s for sure!

  19. You sold me on the book. Just ordered my copy. Probably the first book I’ve bought over the internet for about 8 years (I usually use the library but I can’t see them getting this one any time soon). You should be getting a commission from those guys.

  20. Phinney and Volek targeted their book towards healthcare providers such as physicians, so it’s somewhat technical and clinical. Both have Ph.D.s and Phinney is also an M.D.

    I posted my full review of the book at and rated it four stars instead of five, only because it was a little pricey at $29 (US). I’m glad to see the price coming down so more people will benefit from these doctors’ wisdom.

    Smart nutrition- and fitness-minded folks will benefit from a reading. But for a more consumer-oriented book, I recommend the authors’ “The New Atkins for a New You” or Taubes’ “Why We Get Fat.”

    Dr. Eric Westman co-wrote “The New Atkins” book with Phinney and Volek. I bet there’s a good story as to why he wasn’t on the “Art and Science” team.


  21. You sold me on the book too…

    Just bought the paperback AND kindle versions (had an amazon gift cert., why not? :D)

    Up to chapter 5 so far… After reading about the role of salt in a low-carb diet, I did an experiment last night, put 1/2tsp of salt in a glass with some sparkling water. I’ve never actually consumed extra salt, and I mean NEVER… Felt different, mostly better I think. I always feel dehydrated in the morning (usually dealing with very, very, very dry air here on the east coast in the winter) but this time I’m not hopelessly thirsty, and I’m down a pound from yesterday for what it’s worth.

  22. Isn’t part of the benefit of low carb derived from staying on it long enough to be mostly in a ketogenic state? Once I reached Ketosis it became dead easy to stay on a low carb diet. For me it wasn’t about being on a diet anyway, but changing my diet. And I think the cooking bit is a whole lot easier than a high carb diet any day. And I like to cook.
    It just seems to me that trying to low carb for 4 or 5 days a week is going to be tough to do and the cravings for carbs would just never leave.
    Bought the book, thanks so much for the heads up. It’s great so far.

  23. I plan to buy the book. I need the support.

    I don’t have a problem eating low carb, what I have a problem with is still having a weight problem, in spite of it. I know I’m healthier, but I’m still fat.
    Maybe I need to reread the 6 week solution.

    • Maybe “Good Calories, Bad calories” has some insight for you. (Rest assured that I hawk the protein power books on other sites. I’m not trying to sell anything.) If not that, then perhaps “Wheat belly”. When you say “healthier”, are you losing weight/fat? There may be another metabolic derangement involved in your case in addition to the carbohydrate issue. Do you still eat any fruit? Fruit was a sticking point for me in terms of both appetite and weight.

  24. I just bought the Kindle version, thanks! One thing that’s nice about the Kindle version of books is that you can annotate, highlight, and make notes about things, sync and share them as you choose, as well as view them on the Kindle website. Not to give you even more things to do to distract you from blogging, but I would follow you in a second there as well.

  25. For what it’s worth, I didn’t find your last post depressing. It was more realistic and sensible, which is why I’ve always liked your and MD’s approach to low-carb. I find a lot of people exaggerate how easy LC is, because from where I’m standing, the world still runs on carbs and LC is seen as a weight-loss diet or a picky diet rather than something you follow for legitimate health reasons. It’s still far easier to get, say, lactose-free and gluten-free and vegetarian, even vegan foods but you still tend to get a lot of disapproving looks (and/or utter confusion) if you ask for a LC meal (and a lot of the time, it’s simply impossible to get a LC alternative if you’re eating away from home). It’s like making an alcoholic live in a brewery and offering him drinks, pretty much.

    Protein Power is still the best and most comprehensive LC book I’ve ever read, and the most practical. The publishers’ “keep it simple, stupid” attitude makes me furious, because I would not have been informed enough to start LC or stick to it had I read any other book (it was the paleo/biological aspect that finally convinced me to ditch vegetarianism and excess carbs). It’s the book I recommend to everyone wanting to find out about LC because I still haven’t read a single one that combines the theory, science and the practice as well as it does. Other books either gloss over the biology and don’t even tell you how LC does what it does, don’t give clear enough instructions on food amounts (especially protein amounts–which is pretty damn crucial if you are a metabolically challenged female) or just repeat case histories and studies ad nauseam (most Scandinavian LCHF books do this) but don’t really give you many practical instructions on what to eat. Whereas it’s all there in Protein Power–the history, the science, the practice, all in an easy-to-understand package enough to satisfy even the more critical and nerdy readers.

    I’m going to have to read this Volek/Phinney book. Definitely looks like a good read.

  26. I appreciated your New Year’s blog, reminding us that losing weight, even by eating low carb, is not easy, and requires constant due diligence. There are many other factors involved, human behaviors like over-eating when too stressed or too tired from the failure to get enough sleep, etc., etc. These habits are established early, and don’t just disapear entirely because you are eating low carb. It takes dedication and resolve to put it all together.

    Your blog is educational and inspiring – thanks!

  27. The title of your post says it all. This is a fantastic book. I’ve recommended it over and over again for our registered dietitians and personal trainers at LifeTime WeightLoss because the book does such a great job of dispelling myths about low-carb diets. I think that oftentimes, having a reasonable conversation with someone who is not a low-carber requires not just a basic knowledge of why to eat low-carb, but also having good answers to the dumb objections that still float around from old-fashioned, low-fat advocates. I’m looking forward to hearing Jeff speak during the Low Carb Cruise in May.

  28. Dear Dr. Eades, I’m sure I speak for a lot of people when I say it’s so good to read your blog again. The post you did before this on the difficulty of maintaining weight loss contained some very necessary information that people need to hear. I think people who are having great success on low-carb don’t understand that it does not work equally well for all people and that other health conditions can make it harder for some people to lose or maintain. I experienced everything low-carb is supposed to do for you the first time I did the diet, but then gained it all back because I wasn’t informed about it at that time about all its health benefits and went off it after a year. Lost all the weight again, but now, despite adhering to it, all the weight has come back. I know, everybody will have their theory as to what I should be doing differently, but all I can say is that despite being on bio-identical HRT, taking Armour, Iodoral and selenium for my thyroid, using a secretagogue my doctor was sure would help, faithfully following the 6-Week Cure (but stopping the shakes after the six weeks were up), using melantonin to sleep better, consuming on average 50g of carbs daily, doing moderate weight training, and having labs that show good markers of relevant factors (Vit D level, low triglycerides, high HDL, ok FBG, etc.), I’m still fat. The most these interventions have accomplished is stabilizing my weight and stopping the incessant gain. I’m not asking for everybody to make more suggestions about what I need to be trying to lose weight, but I want to point out that once one’s metabolism has been damaged, it appears it may not be fixable for all people. I don’t know if I will unravel the mystery of why my body is so resistant to yielding up its fat stores, but something’s wrong and I–with the help of a doctor in the know about these things–can’t fix it. I’m grateful to Jimmy Moore that he’s been so public about his own struggles; I suspect there are a number of us who don’t have the longlasting success that some maybe do, and it’s going to be up to scientists like the authors whose book is reviewed to convince the medical community that it’s not laziness, gluttony, and weak will that cause some people to fatten and resist weight loss. It’s underlying hormonal interactions all through the body and it can be really complex to heal from metabolic dysfunction if you’ve acquired it. I plan to continue to restrict carbs because of the health benefits, but I’m becoming resigned to the strong possibility that weight loss may not be in my cards.

  29. I totally agree with your review of this book. I bought it as soon as it was available and devoured it in one night. I’ve been researching low carb diets for many years, and I was amazed at the amount of new information I learned in that book. I also highly recommend it.

  30. Contrary to your phone feedback, I found your last post a refreshing personal admission that you are not perfect.

    Low-carb eating IS easy when you are fully immersed in it. Once you indulge (like I did during the holidays), it can be hard to get back on the wagon. I appreciated your admission that you experience the same thing. Thanks for being real.

  31. II’ve recently read this book, and found that it was a very positive addition to my library… (I bought the Kindle Edition).
    IIt effectively collated in a single source most things that I had learned through a year of low carbing – as well as a few things that I hadn’t been aware of yet.

    It also opened up a few questions that has me wanting to do more research…

    Their definition of Nutritional Ketosis puts blood keytone levels between 0.5 and 5.0 mmol.

    With my initial goals, I’ve been able to tolerate more carbs than their targets (generally 80-100g/day)…. A random test of blood keytone levels gave a reading of 0.2 mmol.
    They reference that a lc/hf that isn’t to the point of Nutritional Ketosis may not reap the long term benefits.

    This has me questioning if I’m on the right path for long term success…

  32. Thanks, Mike, for another great post. I did not find any problems with your previous post. I’ve always thought that adopting carbohydrate restriction is not particularly easy at first but when the body is truly adjusted to handle the different composition of the diet (to me that may have happened only after 3 months), then it doesn’t seem that difficult and, at least for me, it became almost second nature. I would by lying if I said that it was easy the first time I did it (more than 10 yrs ago), or if I say that it is easy every time I re-commit to it after, say… too much indulgences during the holidays!

    I’m excited about reading V&P’s book because of the science part, but I have to say that since I started carbohydrate restriction, my true navigator ha always been “Protein Power” and “Protein Power LIfePlan”. I always siad that some of the things you and MD wrote there were ahead of your time (the papers weren’t out there confirming your hypotheses. When you wrote about cholesterol, for example, and without using the same words, I read between the lines that you were suggesting that the decrease in the HMG-CoA reductase as a result of a decrease in insulin, could be the reason why cholesterol gets regulated under low-carbohydrate and not under low-fat consumption. A paper showing precisely that (in mice) came a few years later.

    I wish editors would be better educated than they are now. I know that it is the bottom line an the numbers of books sold what matter when publishing books. It is sad that the common practice is that editors ‘think that most people aren’t smart enough to understand’, so instead of educating them (us), they just choose to keep us in the ‘dumbness’. A few years back, I had an idea for a book, even outlined the chapters and the important things I wanted to cover. It would be impossible for me to publish that because, as you mentioned one time or another when talking about your own experience writing books, I wouldn’t have a ‘platform’. My expertise (and my degrees and research for that matter) is in a field different to nutrition, even though I understand the science behind it with high proficiency.

    I’ve always doubted the ‘platform’ argument because there is so much trash out there publish by people with the ‘right platform’. I wonder if Tom Naughton would run into the same problems; he understands the science behind the metabolic effects of low-carbohydrate diets but he is not a scientist, nor has publish papers in any of the most commonly read nutrition journals, yet he is more effective explaining the issue than some ‘experts’. I guess self-publishing would be an alternative for those who understand the science and can explain it even without being directly involved in a single experiment but can dissect the data as proficiently as an expert in the field.

    • Hey Gabe

      Good to hear from you. Thanks for the kind words about PP and the PPLP. Those were the outgrowth of a lot of years in practice taking care of a multitude of patients with insulin-related disorders. We were basically writing about our own hands-on clinical research. Now there is a ton of medical research – much of it done by Volek and Phinney – confirming what we witnessed in our practice.

      If we were to write another book today, we would self publish. Dealing with the mainstream publishers is a real pain.

      • Mike, I would love to learn more about the usual flaws of a self-published book. I know… it wouldn’t be a nutrition-oriented post, necessarily, but your insight into that would be so valuable!

  33. “One friend called to say she had been low-carbing since Jan 1, and when she read my post she became so depressed she almost quit. “How can you tell people it’s hard,” she said. “It’s the easiest thing I’ve ever done. I can eat till I’m full. I’m losing weight; I’m losing the water I’ve been retaining; I feel great. What a downer that post was.””

    Please tell her that this is not a downer. It’s truth we need to hear. It is hard. Yes, it’s a filling diet, but I like sugar. I’ve been doing this for seven months and 80 pounds. When I started I started with the idea that if I just exercised enough I could eat anything I wanted. Why did I have that silly notion? Because I spent my life being told by everyone including doctors that if I just got off my big butt I could lose the weight. I specifically recall a doctor telling me “just 30 minutes three times a week.” I exercise at least an hour a day and most weekdays I do two- and I mean real exercise, lifting weights and swimming not just puttering around the yard or something. If I don’t watch what I eat it makes no difference at all. They lie and they demoralize us when they make it sound easy. They demoralize us when they don’t face facts with us and explain this is a life long commitment. That can’t be said enough in my view- a life long commitment. As I have moved along in this thing, my journey, I began counting calories, again because I was told it was as simple as calories in/calories out. It’s not. Yet another lie that wasted my time and made me feel like a failure when even after two hours a day and counting all week I lost maybe one pound. You never mind those phone calls, Doc, you politely tell those friends that someone has to come clean with the fat people of the world. Someone has to be the bearer of the truth. You got to understand this is harder than quitting smoking for me. I quit cigarettes and never looked back, but sugar? Sugar is like heroine. Except it’s legal and no one gets in trouble for advertising it to me. I couldn’t agree with Ananta more it’s exactly like “making an alcoholic live in a brewery and offering him drinks, pretty much.” I look forward to the loss of cravings but right now I’m struggling. I get a craving and before I know it I’m face down in a pile of Three Muskateers rappers and cake pop sticks and I have a headache and a stomach ache and then comes the vow not to do it again the next day but the battle always starts over. The elephant’s in charge right now.

    Point your friends in the direction of the new studies showing how bad veganism is for the environment and the field critters. I was vegan for over a year. It put an extra hundred pounds on me but I was in it totally for compassion reasons. I’m still against factory farming as it exists in the US, but veganism is not the way to go. I hesitate to put up a bunch of links and set off the good Doc’s spam alarms so I’ll just pass this one on and say purchase them a copy of “Meat: A Benign Extravagance.” Don’t go at it from a nutrition perspective to start with because veganism is often an emotional decision in response to abuse of animals and workers. Explain to them instead that veganism is not the best way to respond to the abuse in the industry. It may also help to remind them that they can’t support farmers who do it right if they totally abstain from the market and those farmers need our support. Good luck and may the force be with you.

    Now, if y’all will excuse me, I seem to have a book purchase to make.

  34. Glad you are posting again (more)!
    I will say that in France holiday eating is low-carb but makes us gain weight all the same (maybe not as much?). Must be the bread: we eat tons of oysters, foie gras, smoked salmon, capon with stuffing (all meat–no bread) or perhaps it’s the chocolate. Also, perhaps we should not underestimate the “winter effect” where the body chooses to store fat no matter what the calories eaten—like squirrels. I read of a study where squirrels were given a diet constant in calories but in winter they gained weight on it, in summer they lost. It would appear that it had something to do with light…IN any case, it is theorized that all animals are the same: winter is stocking and sleeping time! As soon as there is more sun, we slim down! (Maybe not after 50?)
    In any case, thanks for the review of the book. And your post did not depress me.

    • PS my husband and I are vigilant low-carbers most of the time and it has paid off. We are in our late 40s and have lost weight–gradually–and are able to maintain it thanks to being vigilant during the week and not so much on the weekend. It is exceptional if one looks at other persons our age! But it is a way of life to adapt–period!

  35. Dear Dr. Eades,
    I didn’t find your previous post depressing at all ~ I found it to be inspiring. And while I could not agree more that LC eating is easier than any other “diet” (and we all know, it’s not a diet anyway) I think having any structure at all to your daily nutrition can be difficult. Nutritional structure or “dieting” if you will, requires planning, effort, time and focus. Then add on top of that the constant messages from everywhere ~ our doctors included ~ that we should consume more grains, that we’re meant to eat only plant matter(anyone seen Forks Over Knives?!), well it all just becomes overwhelming. So it is hard. And hearing you of all people acknowledge it, well that just makes me feel proud that I can do it and inspires me to be even more viligent in my choices.

    So you keep rockin’ the LC message Dr. Eades. I predict that many years from now future generations will look back and laugh at our culture for not understanding that sugar and grains were literally killing us. And people like Robert Atkins, Gary Taubes and you and your wife will be held up as trailblazers – speaking the truth to a society that wouldn’t listen.


  36. Reflecting on this:

    “This low-carb world can be a lonely place if one needs a navigator…”

    If I have to choose the most difficult part for me on a low-carb diet is, perhaps, the planning. When there is not a lot of time to cook (for those with very active and busy lives), planning seems to work very well; ‘invest time to save time’. But no amount of careful planning would work without a true ‘navigator’ in the way of a good low-carb cook book that could offer simple, yet tasty recipes. The good news is that what seems to be too much planning at the beginning, becomes easier as it gets incorporated into the weekly routine.

    I have found these ‘navigators’ in the following books:

    “The Low Carb Comfort Food Cook Book” by Mike and MD (which now has some stained pages marking the recipes I make the most),

    “The Low Carb Cook Book: : The Complete Guide to the Healthy Low-Carbohydrate Lifestyle ” and “Living Low-Carb: The Complete Guide to Long Term Low-Carb Dieting”, by Fran McCoullough, and

    “The Low Carb Baking and Dessert Cookbook” by Ursula Solom.

    The best thing is that after a while, we end up tweaking the recipes and experimenting with other ingredients that are not carbohydrate in nature, which in the long run makes this a lifestyle in the true sense of the word.

  37. Printed up the post.

    Bought the book.

    Read the post and showered . . . and Struggled to mentally compose as gracious a response as Dr. M to someone that knows him well enough to be able to call and say, ““It’s the easiest thing I’ve ever done. I can eat till I’m full. I’m losing weight; I’m losing the water I’ve been retaining; I feel great.” . . . and then ‘she almost quit’ because his last post was so ‘depressing.’

    I’m missing something. How can someone who is experiencing total success threaten to quit because an expert says the going isn’t always easy?

    I’m Trying to be careful Dr. E because this is your friend and apparently other ‘friends’ inferred that you were ‘idiotic’ and ‘depressing’ . . . I say you were ‘real’ . . . there is a learning curve and mastery is hard to come by as our bodies are aging/changing constantly.

    So, this was a ‘friend?’

  38. Thank you Dr. E. For Christmas, a good friend gave me Bob Ferguson’s Fast/Carb Slow Carb diet plan. I was depressed after reading it and seeing the emphasis on portion size and supposedly being able to eat everything you love and lose weight. Ha! I felt the same way when I read the Dukan diet–low carb AND low fat. (What do you eat?) I was a long time sucessful Atkins dieter that fell off the plan, then picked up your 30 day low carb solution and began again. I know it works, just need the help of a navigator like you! Keep it up.

  39. I didn’t find the last post depressing either. Heck, I get a bounce in my step when I see that you have a new post no matter what you say in it!

    It occurred to me, reading your post and the comments, however, that low-carb is difficult to promote because I think to do it successfully, you need to have a basic understanding of the science and the complications the formerly-obese body might face. And as Ananta said, you’ll know the frustrations of living in a world “running on carbs”, and my personal “favorite”: trying not to be nostalgic for the feel-good food moments. How can my sweet Grandma’s coffee cake be bad for me???

    Going low-carb is more about scales falling from the eyes. Maybe humans find it easier to put blinders on.

  40. I LOVE THIS BOOK! Even though the authors say that they wrote it geared toward the medical professional, it is a VERY easy read. The tone of what they say and how they say it is very elegant and understandable. Their style is remarkable. It is clear that their goal is to inform, not to impress with a string of big words and technical jargon. The feeling I was left with at the conclusion was . . . I AM SOOOO GLAD THAT I’M LOW CARB AND NOW I UNDERSTAND WHY! If I weren’t low carb, I would certainly want to at least try it after reading this book!

    • How can it be aimed at medical professionals if it is easy to read and without jargon? 😉 (I’m an MD, I can make fun of our foreign language)

  41. Thanks for the book recommendation Mike. My girlfriend is Japanese, and a fitness model – and I would love to buy her a Japanese book on the reasons for why low carb / paleo is the healthiest diet. She eats cakes at starbucks most days, chocolates for breakfast – and still has an absolutely flawless body. But I’m worried about her health as she gets older, since her mother has diabetes.

    Her English is very good, but it’s far too slow for her reading scientific level English. Do you know of any good books translated into Japanese? I searched Amazon Japan – and Taubes’ and your books don’t seem to be in Japanese.


    • Unfortunately I don’t know of any low-carb books in Japanese. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any, I just don’t know of them if there are. Wish I could of more help. You could always read to her aloud.

    • Do what I did to fill-in my late husband on this topic: I read the book(so) out loud to him. (While he was driving us wherever.) You probably do the driving so, instead, you could schedule some “us” time with her. (Women LOVE that! {wink}) Sit on the couch and read her a chapter at a time — that gives you the chance to discuss the science and how to implement it, too!

      Double points for you: spending time with her AND educating her on something you care about! Whoo hoo!

  42. This is the book I recommend to everyone. I love it! And when I had questions on what foods to take on a multi-day, long-distance cycling trip, Jimmy Moore put me in touch with Steve Phinney (he did research with cyclists) and Steve wrote me a long, detailed email about his suggestions. What a great guy whose motives are clearly to help people, not personal gain.
    “The Art and Science…” was the book that finally convinced my partner (who saw the benefits that I had reaped after 12 years of low-carbing, but didn’t think it would be necessary for him), a retired physician, to go “low-carb.” He is an experienced cyclist, and found that he had more energy than he has ever had, never “hit the wall,” and didn’t feel the need to snack at every SAG stop. He also lost 40 pounds in 5 months that had stubbornly refused to budge even with all of his physical activity when he ate his normal, high-carb diet. (Actually, he used to eat whatever he wanted, carbs, fat, etc. and used to be successful using exercise to manage his weight. But in the last few years, he found he couldn’t take off the weight anymore. Low-carb did it). Point of information – We will be 59 and 70 respectively in March.

  43. Dear Dr Eades,

    I am posting my comment to let you know that your previous post, “Resolving to Diet in 2012” was wonderfully encouraging to me and firmed up my resolve to re-commit in 2012 and beyond. I am also a nutritionist who promotes a paleo style diet to my clients. That post will profoundly affect how I deal with them as well.

    As far as people dumping on you with comments such as, “How can you tell people it’s hard,”“It’s the easiest thing I’ve ever done. I can eat till I’m full. I’m losing weight; I’m losing the water I’ve been retaining; I feel great. What a downer that post was.” I have only one comment. THOSE PEOPLE ARE SO FORTUNATE.

    Most of my clients have a terrible time adapting to a low carb diet in the beginning. In the first week, they are NOT coming and telling me that this is easy. They are definitely not telling me how great they feel. What I hear goes more along the lines of, “My head feels like it’s going to explode, I have ZERO energy and my food cravings are off the chart, I’m so bitchy… can’t I please have a slice of bread… PLEASE!!!!”

    So, these nay-sayers who are putting you down for being real need a big kick in their self centred pants. They need to realize how lucky they are to be able to adapt easily to a low carb diet, and that most people struggle terribly to overcome the cravings and to try and avoid these foods in a carb saturated society. Some suffer daily for weeks on end with headaches, low energy, mood swings and more.

    I myself am one of the more fortunate ones. I can be a carb pig over the holidays, and then flip the low carb switch and go rabid low carb paleo in an instant. I’m fortunate and I know it. For someone to only be a few days (less than 2 weeks) into a low carb diet and to then wax righteous to someone such as yourself is a testament to newbie myopia. These people need to stay with it for a few months, a few birthday parties, a few barbecues and then come back and tell us all how “easy” low carbing can be in a carb glutted society. Even better, wait until the weight loss stops or slows… then tell us how easy it is and how much you love it. I apologize, I don’t mean to cut up one that you consider a friend.

    Nothing worth pursuing is easy, and stubbornly sticking to a low carb natural diet in a carb glutted, processed food, ignorant society is nothing short of heroic.

    Please continue to tell us the truth about nutrition. I for one will print your last post, as well as the links to the older posts. These will keep me and my clients moving forward over the rough spots in 2012!

    Best regards,

    • Barb,

      Have you suggested to those patients who are having terrible carb cravings to up their fat intake? I do not mean to presume here but speak from personal experience. I tried low carb low fat and had to white knuckle it through many, many days before the cravings eased. After I read Good Calories Bad Calories I gave Atkins another look and dived right into the high fat, moderate protein, low carb plan. Bingo! The cravings were gone! The feeling terrible aka the “Atkins Flu” is somewhat unavoidable as our bodies have to make more and different enzymes to break down fat and protein rather than cabs but even this can be helped by drinking broth and if your patients like avocados – a half a day plus drinking lot of water as a low carb diet means the body gets rid of a lot of fluid that first week!
      I am thrilled to see a lc nutritionist! I hope more people follow your lead!
      Every person’s body is different and some people reap the rewards sooner than other but for those who are patient the rewards in terms of health, energy and freedowm from cravings are well worth it! In your practice you might consider starting a mentoring program – matching patients that have been successful to new patients, just a thought…

  44. Just a short comment. The post about you and MD getting back after your experiment, and the pictures, were just what I needed to get back on track.

    Thank you, and I am getting this book. Already ordered.


  45. Here’s a book for would be vegans:
    Beyond Broccoli, Creating a Biologically Balanced Diet When a Vegetarian Diet Doesn’t Work
    by Susan Schenck
    She wrote the definitive book on the raw food, vegan diet, The Live Food Factor – and then discovered that it didn’t work for her. She did a lot of research and soul searching before starting to eat meat, and writing Beyond Broccoli. Her editor is an acquaintance of mine and he told me how they agonized over the book.

  46. Find Schenck’s book on Amazon – the reviews are interesting. She did have some hateful comments by hard core vegans, so my friend, the editor, gave me a copy of the book to read and review, but by the time I got around the checking on Amazon, there seemed to be plenty of good reviews already.

  47. A new year’s wish of mine is that MD loosen the noose a bit.

    Didn’t think post was a downer – just a little kick-in-the-butt for many who pigged-out over the holidays. Think critics are over-thinking it.

    Also have to commend you on your graciousness to friends Volek and Phinney.

  48. Next paycheck (Sunday), I buy this book!

    I just started reading your blog and after reading this entry I had to read the last one, too. I have been saying all along exactly what you said–you cannot expect lasting results from any diet unless you stick to it rigidly. On Monday, I told my sister I was starting a LC diet. All of my family does it on and off. Her response was, “Studies have shown that people who go on low carb diets cannot handle it and quickly go back and gain all of their weight back and then some, so therefore, it is an unhealthy diet and it is better to eat moderately.” I did not reply because she is very stubborn and will not listen to me. However, your previous post was the perfect answer to her response. Her mistake is that our metabolisms have already been damaged and that damage will not be changed by eating “moderately.” You have to repair the metabolism, and it’s not easy, but it’s the only way to have real results before you can go back to eating in a way that is slightly closer to what she considers moderate.

    Perhaps I am more skeptical about everything than others because I am a scientist and I live with doubts about my own research and everyone else’s, but I liked your post a lot because of its honesty. LC is *not* a cure all or a quick fix. LC IS HARD. The first few days really kicked my butt. I am on day 5 now and I finally feel ok, but I am still terrified that I will break down and eat a pizza. I do not like cooking every day, that is difficult for me, too. Being truthful and up front about this stuff is a way to prepare people for what is to come–life is not easy and glossing over stuff will make those who trip feel even worse.

  49. I didn’t find your last post depressing at all, I found it empowering. We don’t fail when we fall down, we fail when we don’t get back up.

    I teach 12th grade. Every year I make my biology students evaluate a diet book. Every student who read Protein Power loved it and really liked the Paleo informatin. I have to tell you though that there favorite part was The Bottom Line at the end of every chapter. Most of them highlighted these sections, and asked me why every book doesn’t do something like it.

    • Dr. Lynott, it’s great that you teach your class to evaluate a diet book. I wonder if I had read Protein Power when I was in high school if I would have still become bulimic and anorexic–I thought the only way to lose weight was to starve myself and that I was fat because I ate too much. Had I read something scientific that explained weight gain/loss so well, I probably would have chosen a different path. The current education system seems to proclaim that they teach students choices, but they really don’t! It’s high carb or high carb.

  50. Rather than Lierre Keith’s book, I’d point any would-be vegans to her Peak Moment interview on YouTube. More impact.

    Or, tell them about me. 15 years vegetarian, including 3 vegan. What did I get out of it? Obese, depressed and vitamin B12 deficient. A long decline ending up with 18 months on anti-depressants and weekly trips to the therapist to talk about my emotional issues with food.

    5 months low carb high fat*, I’m 70lb lighter and I feel amazing, better than I can remember feeling, pretty much ever before. I commented on an earlier post of Dr Eades’ and he told me I’d feel a surge of energy. He was right- more than just energy though- stability. I feel *good*. And emotional issues with food? What emotional issues with food? Take out the carbs and I stop needing to stuff my face, that’s the end of it.

    With veg*nism, I’ve been there, done that, got the metabolic disorder. It pains me to see people go down that route now. I have half a thought to write a book about how eating meat again has transformed me inside and out. Oh dear, I appear to have become a low carb proselytiser!

    *plus two months calorie counting to begin with, before I fell down the low carb rabbit hole :)

    PS I bought Protein Power a few months back and noticed the Epilogue. I thought that stuff was fascinating. I do however know people who don’t care or want to know WHY it works, they just want to lose weight, now. This uber-geek right here enjoys the gaining of new information- the fall down the rabbit hole- as much as the loss of fat. Your efforts are not in vain!

  51. Thanks for the book tip. It’s good that the book is available in Kindle format for a very reduced price. I down loaded it right away.

    Keep on keeping on!!

  52. Just downloaded this book and half way through all I can say is just WOW!

    Thanks a bunch for the information and steering me right about statins.

  53. I bought the book after hearing Dr. Phinney on Jimmy Moore podcast.

    I never had a lipid profile done for baseline but my triglycerides were 75 two days after Christmas. My only indulgences were a small chunk of homemade pumpkin pie, sans crust, and some errant soggy croutons that escaped my attention in a salad. I keep away from wheat totally most days. It is just to tempting to go overboard. Last summer I bought some graham crackers to make a pie, and ended up eating the whole box. Ditto for some whole wheat bagels. I cannot eat wheat without binging. Since I got this book, and really understanding what a well regulated low carb diet is, I have lost 4 inches off my waist without effort or hunger. Thanks for recommending this book. I still have a tattered paperback of your original book, and have admired you both for many years. One thing I think for those of us to acknowledge is weight control as we move into our 60s is a whole new animal, compared to the effortlessness of our 40s.

      • Hi Dr. Mike, Could you (or any readers who know) please elaborate on why it is a lot different, and harder to lose on a LC diet for folks in their 60’s. I’ve been trying desperately to get my mom on the LC diet because I’m concerned for her health. I don’t get to see her often, and when I do she has gained more weight.

        ANYthing you can share would be very much appreciated!

        • What I can say is from experience. Mother’s don’t listen to their babies about nutrition. My fiancee is almost 40, an MD with fellowships in forensics and neuropathology, and Director of the NYU Center in Aging and her mom won’t listen to her about something as basic as lactose in chocolate milk.

      • How wonderful to have a reply. Thank you so much. I just now made an appointment to see an endocrinologist since I have no idea if I have an underlying problem. Also glad to know more posts are coming!

  54. Thank you for the book recommendation. I thought your chapter in Protein Power on paleo was the best part. All that cheery diet plan stuff didn’t seem like your voice. I find this way of eating very easy to adhere to but the weight loss is not miraculous. I think I am going to have to reduce calories drastically as well. I am stuck at just a tad over my calculated ideal weight range. Stubborn belly fat, too.

  55. Dr. Mike,
    you may want to update your Metabosol web page. It still has the “we’re out of it” messages from your close-out special last year.

  56. Dr, i just came across this study which seems to suggest benefits of consuming mono fats instead of sat fats, at least for athletes, though i was under the impression it was the other way around. I’d love your take on it, even if brief:

    Differential effects of dietary intake of palmitic acid and oleic acid on oxygen consumption during and after exercise.

    Børsheim E, Kien CL, Pearl WM.

    Our previous studies suggest that diets varying in palmitic acid (PA) and oleic acid (OA) content may affect energy expenditure and fat oxidation differentially. We hypothesized that, compared with a high-OA diet, a high-PA diet would lead to lower oxygen consumption during exercise and lower excess postexercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). Adults were randomized to 1 of 2 liquid diets (28 days): HI PA (fat, 40% of energy; PA, 16.8%; OA, 16.4%) (n = 10) or HI OA (fat, 40%; PA, 1.7%; OA, 31.4%) (n = 9). On day 29, the rates of oxygen consumption (V o(2)) and carbon dioxide production were measured during and for 270 minutes after 80 minutes of cycling (60% V o(2 peak)). There was no group difference (HI OA vs HI PA, mean +/- SEM) in fat-free mass (53.8 +/- 4.7 vs 56.9 +/- 3.0 kg), V o(2 peak) (40.7 +/- 2.3 vs 36.6 +/- 3.2 mL/kg per minute), and work during exercise (101 +/- 12 vs 101 +/- 10 W). V o(2) (L/min) during exercise (1.99 +/- 0.22 vs 1.85 +/- 0.19) was significantly different (P = .05) only when corrected for fat-free mass, with which it significantly correlated (r = 0.86; P < .001). During 60 to 270 minutes postexercise, the average EPOC was 9.7% +/- 4.9% of preexercise V o(2) in OA, whereas there was no EPOC present in PA (P = .06 between diets). In conclusion, a high-PA diet appears to lower V o(2) during and after exercise compared with a high-OA diet.

  57. Hi Dr. Eades. I have not read the book, but will add it my (long) list. Perhaps my husband is an anomaly (Our low-carb doctor says he is.) He has been on LCHF for almost two years. About one year ago I upped the fat intake (lots of bacon) His HDL has hardly budged, and triglycerides are still over 300. No grains. His genotype is odd (E2/E4). Apparently, he is both carb and fat sensitive. What we are trying now is smaller protein/ fat portions and larger vegetable portions. He also has CAD. What are your thoughts on this?

  58. I will have to join in the chorus stating that I found your previous post empowering and not at all depressing. Any major change can be hard, and even after being on a low carb diet for a long time, there can be times it is difficult to maintain. It is good to be reminded that was broken cannot completely be restored, and it is also good to be reminded that other people have the same difficulties. We live in a carb saturated society and the pressures to consume carbs can at times be overwhelming for all but the most determined. Thank you for reminding us to pick ourselves back up and keep on track.

    I’m very much looking forward to reading that book.

  59. I am currently moving toward a high protein diet. I was told by a naturopath that high protein diets create a highly acidic system and is bad for the kidney. Is this offset somehow in the current versions of a high protein diet?

    • A high-protein diet is typically a high-fat diet more than a high-protein diet. The current versions of these diets aren’t much different than the previous ones. Your naturopath is wrong. The idea that protein damages kidneys is a myth, which, unfortunately, too many otherwise knowledgeable people still believe in.

      • Why is it that so many health professionals, including a good friend of mine who has his PhD. in nursing (and is very overweight), try to scare me out of a low carb diet because of the amount of protein and the CERTAIN overuse of the kidneys? And, if that does not scare me away, they try to convince me that it is a “boomerang” diet–I won’t be able to stick to it and I will eventually gain all of the weight back and then some, which is even less healthy than had I just done a more “balanced” diet (ie, high in carbs).? What can I say to convince them that their beliefs are wrong? Why do they even believe these things?

      • Thanks Doc!. I also noticed below that one person got indigestion from eating fats. Is that at all related to an acid build up? And would enzymes help until the system rights itself?

      • From everything I’ve read, if you have healthy kidneys, it’s not an issue. If you have established kidney disease, this may be another matter. After 34 years of Type 1 diabetes, and a small amount if protein spilling, I have actually improved those numbers over the last couole of years with more lower carb, higher protein and higher fat, and keeping blood sugar under much tighter control.

  60. Hi
    I just have a question regarding eating too much fat. This week I’ve been eating more calorie dense meals and rich in fat and these last two days I’m suffering from indigestion. I attribute it to probably eating too much for my body (Im 5’6 and 143 lbs). I hear that fat aggravates indigestion so I’m left with eating carby things that don’t upset it.
    I don’t understand, if fat is good for you, why am i getting indigestion? As a side note, I do consume dairy products (less milk as I am lactose intolerant) and the meals I speak of had whipping cream as a base for soup and a sauce.

    • @ecks. My husband is lactose intolerant, diagnosed by endoscopy. He can’t touch anything diary at all, or he gets horrid indigestion. Sound familiar? Try the same meal without the cream. If it works, substitute coconut cream (don’t know what you are cooking), or some other lactose-free but low-carb substitute, if sauce is necessary. We are much more used to eating in Australia without added sauces or gravy, so this isn’t much of a problem, but it can further restrict menu options in different cuisines.

  61. @Martin. Love your response. After years and years of injecting insulin, yet low carbing about 80% of that time, I have extra weight that refuses to shift. I’m now on an insulin pump, but for me I’ve finally found what works for me – keeping my total daily insulin under a certain number. I can’t tell you how hard that is because it does mean semi-starvation for me. It may not for others. It’s incredibly difficult to sustain for me.

    Low-carbing in this low-fat obsessed society is definitely socially isolating. How many times will you get invited back when you eat beforehand (as someone suggested) and don’t touch food someone else has lovingly prepared? Or when people know you do low carb and it’s difficult for them to accommodate? Or you’re in a restaurant with friends and eye-rolling waiters, when you’re trying to find a single lower carb thing on the menu. If one could pick one’s friends on the basis of low carb, that would be great, but it’s not how things work.

    It’s the.same kind of isolation that some people with food allergies, lactose intolerance and celiac etc feel, and for some, not adhering is life-threatening.

    For me and low carb, it’s a trade-off. I’d rather be a tad less rigid and still have a life than sit at home because my friends don’t serve low-carb or eat out at low carb places. It’s not every night of the week, but every couple of weeks, I’m invited somewhere and I just go with the flow, rather more gently, because I hate that feeling of isolation, or bringing attention to myself in a way that doesn’t fit in or is insulting to the host.

    Everyone’s comfort zone is different.

    But the weight loss thing is a real chore when you have Type 1 diabetes, have gained weight over the years, and are saturated with insulin 24/7 in a way that doesn’t yet completely mimic natural insulin production. We are testament to insulin being hunger and fat-promoting. So are those with Tyoe 2, for the same reasons that start many years before diagnosis. That low carb is the best way to go, is a no brainer! Reduction of insulin is the secret, whether artificial or natural!

    If you can do that 95% of the time, surely you’re already better off than if you did nothing!

    If you are finding it difficult to switch to low carb, then it’s not necessarily an all or nothing thing. Start slowly by replacing one meal a day, then two, and so on. There will be benefits right from the start.

    This is really the point I’m trying to make. Everyone is different. We have different levels of self-control, different motivations, different physical limitations, different cooking skills, different finances, different social situations, different psychological blocks and/or tools at our disposal and so on. If you can quantify your obstacles, you have a starting point to knowing what you individually have to do to move forward to a healthier way of eating.

    I hope this fits with whar Dr M was trying to say. There is no doubt that it IS difficult for some and easier for others. The approach and road to low carb is not going to be the same for everyone.

  62. I didn’t find your post “Resolving to diet in 2012” at all depressing. Quite to the contrary. It was comforting and encouraging to read that you and MD are in this battle of the bulge thing right along with a lot of the rest of us. It was good to be reminded that something is “broken” — a concept from Peter’s “Hyperlipid” that I find helpful. It was good to be reminded that this “broken” thing is chronic — what is IS — and the best way to manage it is ongoing diligence to low carb.

    I had “geared up” in the final days of December, pulling together all my inspirational reading — the original Atkins books, your Protein Power books, Barry Groves’s books, Gary Taubes’s books — to get back on track. Your post couldn’t have been more timely. Thanks!

  63. Good to see you posting on your blogs more often. After you started using twitter, you gradually reduced posting in your blogs.

    Now I see more blog posts from you again. I always feel great to read your blog posts. It is so simple for a layman like me.

    Thanks for your service. BTW, I bought Art of Science of Low Carb living after reading this blog post and I am reading now in Kindle (for PC).


    Venkat Ramamoorthy

    • The blogs are great. I understood the science in the PP books, at least I understood that insulting causes fat storage. I think you are saying that your books did not contain enough studies to get the attention of the healthcare professionals. What better proof do they need than the thousands of us who regained our health through low carbon living?

      I highly recommend getting ebooks. It is so easy to make notes, highlights etc. Pick up the Kindle, look at notes or key in a term and its there in a flash back from the cloud. And they are half price or less.

  64. That’s funny-I just read Protein Power, and the Egypt chapter was the most interesting part of the book, and also the portion that distinguished it from other LC “diet” books. And I wondered why it was stuck in an appendix! Plus, the remainder of the book was not well-edited. In an early chapter, there’s a reference to the Egypt info that appears to assume the reader has already read that section – presumably a remnant of the earlier edition. I was confused (huh? What’s Egypt got to do with it?) until i reached the end of the book.

    Your editor was not only wrongheaded, but sloppy.

  65. As an overweight tech writer who is living low-carb and working his way through the seminal books on this subject, I think your story about the response to your previous post underscores something important for you as well as for your audience: “Writing, like healthy lifestyle change, is hard work. Often we find ourselves humbled just when we think we’re doing well.”

    You may have come across as depressing, a downer, etc… Roll with it and move on. If people read you, they’ll know that it’s not in character for you to come off like that.

    Roll with it and move on. That’s the same advice I’d give someone striving to adopt a low carb lifestyle who slips up one day. :)

    Thanks for all your hard work and your willingness to share what you’ve learned.

  66. I know you are not answering individual comments anymore, but I wanted to put out a question. It seems that a number of people I have spoken to have concerns that going low carb for a long time will:
    a) cause or exacerbate insulin resistance, or perhaps simply not restore insulin sensitivity
    b) cease to work for weight loss after a while

    And these same people are finding that after a period of low carb, that increasing carbs (with healthy things like roots and tubers) a little:
    a) promotes faster weight loss
    b) helps restore insulin sensitivity

    And that furthermore, spiking the carbs once or twice a week stimulates leptin sensitivity.

    Curious about this because I’m experiencing the beneficial parts of moderate increased carbs (still under 100 grams for me) and occasional spikes, but I don’t buy it that staying low carb could harm one’s ability to restore insulin sensitivity.

  67. I’ve skimmed the book and really like it! I can’t wait until I have time to read it in full. One thing I didn’t see much of is a discussion of maintenance and weight. I am at my (pretty much) ideal weight and just want to stay where I am. I am so used to keeping calories AND carbs in check, and I just want more assurance that it is okay to not worry about calories for maintenance!!

    It seems to good to be true, you know?

    Also, I am a quite small woman (115 pounds) and can eat quite a bit of meat and fat without feeling stuffed. I could easily eat 2500 calories of just meat and fat in a day and not be stuffed.

    My question is, will I really not gain weight if I eat this much?


  68. Maybe you should buy Dr. Mike’s book. It might even be in your local library. He has meal plans in there. If you don’t want to do that, it’s really as simple as eating meat/eggs/fish and vegetables that grow above the ground. If that’s all you did, you would be doing it right.

  69. I wondered if someone could address the issue of a high fat diet making the liver more insulin resistant.

    I’ve now read this time and time again. While I’m a huge low-carb fan and have been mostly low-carb for many years, I do know that as someone with Type 1 diabetes (maybe that makes the deal different?), I need slightly more insulin and it’s slightly less effective, when my fat intake has been more in the previous days. I’ve seen this reported repeatedly. It’s altogether not the reason that the ADA wrongly recommends a low-fat diet, but the consumption of fat is still an issue when it contributes to insulin resistance. Not that I would ever consider a high-carb/low-fat diet. What do you think?

  70. Sooz, see

    Free full text is available. Apparently fat stimulates glucagon, and glucagon increases blood glucose, especially in type . Nondiabetics would just produce more insulin to cover the higher glucose levels. In type 2s, the fat might slow digestion enough so that it reduced, instead of increasing, blood glucose.

    However, many people with type 1 don’t produce a lot of glucagon, so different people may see different responses.

  71. Good to see you back posting! Notwithstanding how much I value your books, I too, felt this book to be the absolute best book written on low carb eating. I felt they did a bang up job of presenting the science in a way that appealed to the lay reader, and also made it easy enough for doctors to grasp :), while laying out in no uncertain terms the scientific cred of low carbohydrate eating. I am a big fan of Jeff Volek and felt this book corrected all the problems I had with the lack of scientific discussion in his previous books, The TNT Diet, and in the New Atkins. I’m especially pleased to see a decent discussion in this book on ketosis, which I was kind of aggravated was completely missing from New Atkins. Except for your excellent blog post on the metabolism of ketosis, I’m not sure anybody’s really done it justice in books written for the low-carb eater or their doctor. In my experience, most professionals don’t understand metabolic ketosis, and as with all the topics they covered in this book, the manner of their discussion will benefit the professional reader as well as the eating public.

    I was, however, disappointed with the way they blew off exercise as a “wellness” tool, especially given that Volek and Phinney are exercise physiologists. I suppose this was to disabuse the notion of caloric deficit, and studies do show that exercise alone doesn’t amount to much in terms of weight loss, BUT, this book is really about methods to correct metabolic derangement. Training effect on metabolic hormones and enzymes is well described, and I wished they would have had at it with the same respect they had for the intelligence of their reader on this topic as they did for other hormonal topics.

    While they do discuss that low-carb can mean different things to different people, and different things to the same person over time, their emphasis is really on a ketogenic diet, and becoming keto adapted. Volek has previously written about restricted carbohydrate eating with more flexible carb intake, but they keep it pretty low here. And this is a position that I think may confuse some readers looking to possibly limit their carbohydrate intake but not necessarily become keto adapted. But I’m sure a book titled The Art And Science of Ketosis…..well, you know.

    Most loved about this book is their attention to detail in how to get comfortable and feel well while getting keto-adapted, and what needs to be known in terms of protein, fat and caloric intake over time. Not having a command of these tools was the real pitfall of trying to supervise ketosis back in the day twenty years ago, when it was all hospital/physician supervised Medifast. We didn’t have these understandings then

    Dr. Mike, have you read George Bray’s latest? In JAMA, Jan 4, 2012, 307(1), 47-55. Effect of Dietary Protein Content on Weight Gain, Energy Expenditure, and Body Composition During Overeating. It’s a metabolic ward, over-feeding RCT. He takes a stab at some metabolic advantage issues. Would love your thoughts.

  72. Hi Gretchen, thanks for the link. Yes, I’ve read much of that and similar. The problem is that any kind of insulin resistance means more insulin, whether it’s produced naturally or injected. That defeats the purpose of losing weight. Believe me, I have a ton of experiments over several weeks in the past few years, and I suspect the only way to go if one has insulin dependent diabetes is not to go so high fat. What the cut-off is, I haven’t yet discovered. I’ve just done 3 solid weeks on VLC and managed to lose a whole 2lbs. Abysmal! On top of that, pesky morning slightly higher than normal blood glucose that refused to budge unless I doubled the insulin dose. It kind of defeated the purpose, which was to lower my insulin requirements, l which for my age and weight, is around 30-35u per day, with no functioning pancreas. Not bad from what I hear. I also think I wasn’t eating often enough, considering what some experts are saying. I ate under 1000 calories per day so weight loss is definitely NOT about calories, but I’ve known that for years. Oh well, back to the drawing board! I’ve got to find a happy medium where I’m eating and losing weight. It’s not happening at the moment.

  73. Sooz, This was the first paper I’d seen that said fat increases glucagon. The “traditional” view is that fat doesn’t increase either insulin or glucagon.

    If you’ve read a lot of similar articles, I’d appreciate the references.

    Whether or not a high-fat diet increases insulin resistance is controversial. And for type 1, the problem with a LC diet that increases protein instead of fat is that protein will also increase BG levels because it also increases glucagon.

    I’d use whatever it takes to lose the weight without worrying about IR and then when you’ve reached your goal, modify the diet so you need less insulin.

    Have you ever tried metformin? It helps some type 1s cut back on insulin.

  74. Gretchen, yes I’m aware that about 10% of fat and about 50% of protein (as carb equivalent) raises blood glucose, and I do need to compensate with insulin. Metformin and I go back 30 years – we really do hate each other. Can’t take it at all although I want to very much. It’s protective in so many ways and one of the best drugs, in my opinion. What I’ve been told (by people with letters after their names) is that (in their words) fat increases insulin resistance in the liver. I’ve also seen it reported. Papers? Wow, I’ll see if I can find some again. I’m not sure it’s all that controversial – I’ve heard it often enough now from people who have treated T1Ds for many years. I’ve also seen it for myself.

    The issue here is that I have no idea why my body wants to hold into the weight, no matter what I try. I do know that self reporting of diet is fraught with problems, but I know what I’ve tried. I’m not sure what I should be trying next – that’s the issue. My endo tells me not to worry about weight because I have a good A1c (he doesn’t buy my clothing). I’m at the top end of the overweight category and I’m so done with being here!

  75. Dr Mike,

    I am aware of the several comments over tons of posts you have made, about testimonies in the low carb community. They have been inspiring. I guess I will just have to admit that at first I was very skeptical of this. I have kept a close eye on everything you have posted I would say in the past 8 months. I suffer from GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) and the thought of eating more fat and ditching my conventional wisdom habits just made me fear a heart attack. About a year ago I was turned onto Gary Taubes through a friend while on tour in canada. (never anything but high carb foods in canada I.E. Poutine everywhere), I bought GCBC and why we get fat. As stated GCBC is a hard read, and in fact was for me. Not fully finished yet with it. To get to my point, I finally gave all of this a shot.

    I am 5’11 and was 275 lbs. I have always been a thick guy with a good amount of muscle mass up top and thick muscular legs. But a friend of mine turned me onto your twitter and I started following and reading the links you would post.I don’t know how I didn’t find you sooner hence the Taubes research I conducted. Since then I have lost about 35 to 40 lbs. I believe eating Higher fat and protein is now the perfect fit for me for life. I don’t know my blood work levels or results aka cholesterol levels, tryglicerides, etc. I have no health issues otherwise. At some point I will get this stuff looked at, but for now….35lbs lost and feeling great can’t be an indication of serious health problems. Ill take it.

    I just wanted to thank you in the midst of all these comments even though you see 500 comments on the regular. Just wanted you to know your research has helped a professional touring musician ( I tour the US, Canada, the UK, Mainland Europe ) gain some energy back and has changed the way I look at food now. I am still trying to constantly learn different types of meal ideas eating low carb. I indefinitely just ordered this book BTW so I imagine its going to help. So again thank you. And all of you who support this community.

    • Thanks for posting your story. I’m glad to hear the low-carb diet is working for you. Keep after it, and you should experience some significant positive changes over the next few months.

  76. Sooz, My question concerned references showing that fat increases glucagon, not references concerning fat and IR.

    Having letters after your name doesn’t always mean you understand it better than other people. Remember, it was MDs and PhDs and CDEs who said low-carb diets were harmful.

    • Having letters after your name only means that you were taught the conventional way, and still espouse what all the world-wide diabetes organisation still say – reduce fat. How that significantly reduces blood glucose (and I mean significantly), I’ll never know. We all know that’s nonsense. In the face of current research, they are beginning to sound more and more ridiculous!

      Most of these “lettered” people find it hard to change thinking. What they were taught was gospel, so don’t blame them.

      Glucagon is certainly produced by people with T1D, but the problem is that it is produced as as well as for non-T1Ds when blood glucose is low. Hence Glucagon injections (which makes the liver release stored glycogen) for lows which result in coma, or the person refuses to eat/drink to raise glucose.

      MY question was about fat and IR.

  77. March 3, 2012 will be my one year anniversary on Atkins. I have lost 36 lbs and 60 inches (at 51 years old and suffering from hypothyroidism I think that is not bad at all!). I find this food plan to be very doable. It does take planning but as I always made food for all my meals (I find my food taste better and is certainly cheaper than cafeterias and the like), it’s the same amount of time just different ingredients.
    What I find hard and this is tied to the fact that the rest of the world is following LF,HC is that it is impossible to find a low carb (no sugar) dessert when eating out except for fruit (maybe). Now, you know, and I know, that if LC,HF was the prevailing wisdom, the choices would be endless – no sugar cheesecake with a nut crust, no sugar egg custards, full fat but no sugar ice cream – well you get my point. In protest I now bring my dessert with me to the restaurant – this past Valentine’s Day I brought juicy strawberries dipped in sugar free 80% cocoa chocolate. These were enjoyed by my husband and the friends that joined us. So, I had a great LC meal of filet mignon, sea scallops, sautéed spinach and sautéed asparagus and then ended the meal with a lovely coffee with light cream and choc. covered strawberries -I would not trade that meal for all the pasta dinners in the world! I refuse to feel uncomfortable about bringing food into a restaurant – maybe if more of us did that then they would get the message.

  78. Sooz, please go spend some reading time on the website Stop the Thyroid Madness. You can be doing EVERY (single doggoned) thing exactly correctly — and if your thyroid is messed up you won’t lose an OUNCE! (Very frustrating!! Been there, can yah tell?!) And almost without fail, your “regular” doctor knows less about thyroid than s/he does about proper eating!

    The docs give the wrong test and then treat (or more usually refuse to treat!) on the basis of those labs (the heck with how you feel/what you weigh!); and even if they do *deign* to “treat” you — they’ll put you on Synthcrap! (which they call Synthroid), which helps some, but not most folks!

    Just as with learning about your diet? You have to learn about your thyroid (and adrenals). I used to blame my age, weight, and sedentary life for my aching back, stiff neck, sensitivity to light and noise, waking up feeling like someone had taken a bat to my kidneys, sore achilles tendon, and on and on… Then, I treated my adrenals? And it ALL went away!! (But, treated them with a doc who accepted the treatment protocols of Stop the Thyroid Madness. *I* had to tell him what I wanted, and bless him, he went along!)

    (I was later VERY disturbed when I sent someone else to him for thyroid treatment, because he had been quite willing to do what I asked. Apparently, instead of saying as I had: “I want to try this drug, in these rising doses, over this length of time — any objections?” she had just said: “I have a bad thyroid, treat me?” and he offered her Synthcrap! You have to know FOR YOURSELF what you want to try. Then the hard part if finding a doc who will go along!)

    • @Elenor. Yes, know the site. I am completely convinced that I have a thyroid and/or adrenal problem – certainly have all the symptoms of thyroid. Haha – yeah to your comment about doctors, thyroid and diet. But no test known to man shows up anything out of the ordinary. I did have anti-thyroid antibodies 20 years ago, but they never turned into anything and it was never treated because all thyroid function tests, scans and the like, including free T3&T4, were normal. I have my usual quarterly batch of blood tests to do in the next couple of days, which include thyroid, but I don’t expect they’ll find anything much. The hard part is finding a doc who will treat on symptoms without +ve labs and treat with the right meds. Alternative meds – tried but they are hellishly expensive here. Last year I took some good quality thyroid and adrenal support (naturopath prescribed), but apparently wasn’t taking them long enough to see a difference. Goodbye $80, plus the consult. A good friend who is an associate professor of endocrinology overseas, does not recommend synthroid at all.

  79. I was watching an interview with Dr. Finney, I believe it was this one —

    One very specific thing he said in the interview made think of something for the very first time, and I was wondering what you all thought insofar as whether I’m off my rocker or if this really is a nail in the coffin of the lipid hypothesis?

    Hypothetically imagine someone that decides to go on a “mainstream” low-fat (say ~30%) / high-carbohydrate “heart healthy” calorie-restricted diet. He goes to some website to estimate his daily caloric expenditure, and finds out he needs about 3000 kcal/day, between base metabolism and physical activity.

    Now suppose he decides to restrict to 1500 kcal/day under the regime described above. Assuming that the energy need of 3000 kcal/day is accurate, and there is no metabolism reduction due to caloric restriction, the contribution of fat to his total energy expenditure is suddenly 65%! (450kcal from food + 1500kcal from bodyfat stores)

    My question is this:

    If fat really gives you heart disease, why doesn’t weight loss of any kind also give you heart disease?

  80. Hi Dr. Eades!!! Did you notice that your & MD’s creation, the Sous Vide Supreme, is mentioned in this weekend’s WSJ??? “Keeping Up With the Vikings”

    With a pic of a gorgeous blonde in a swimsuit, which won’t hurt readership numbers.

    QUOTE: “My two cooking besties—movie producer and trained chef Allison Sarofim, who sharpened her knife skills at New York’s Le Bernardin; and Patrick Singley, owner of Gautreau’s restaurant in New Orleans—both spoke lovingly of poaching meat sous vide. Do I really need one of these machines too? “Yes,” they insisted. Apparently, you have never tasted meat cooked to succulent perfection until you’ve been fed tenderloin that’s been vacuum-sealed and hot-water-bathed for five hours.” and it’s mentioned again at the end of the article: “Keep your eyes peeled for sous-vide poachers”

    I’ve been committing the heresy (and you won’t talk me out of it!) of throwing a whole salmon in my Sous Vide Supreme — wild caught sustainable from Super Walmart (sorry but hey!) in the plastic it comes in (cancer? nah… that comes from a lifetime of sugar & flour), for 30 mins at 130 degrees. Numm!!! Cut some up in a bowl, put a little salt, olive oil, and some good balsamic vinegar, and I’m good to go! Mmmm, and talk about omega 3s!!!

    • Yep, we noticed. In there with pretty good company, I’d say. Who’d a thunk it when we put this thing together a few years ago?

      We’ve never cooked a whole salmon, but we have cooked salmon fillets many, many times. We salt and pepper the salmon, add a little butter (or sometimes olive oil) in the bag along with a couple of thin slices of lemon and a sprig of dill. Drop in the bath at 116F for 20-40 minutes (depending on thickness) then take it out of the bag and eat without searing. It looks raw, but is actually cooked perfectly. And doesn’t damage the delicate fats. No comparison to the salmon typically served.

      Glad you’re enjoying your SVS.

  81. I’ve noticed lately, that even though I bought a great Iwatani torch, when I pull my sirloin out of the SVS (the Demi — the pretty blue one), that I don’t even bother with the torch. The sirloin comes out SO sweet, SO tender, just SOOOOO fantastic — that I just cut and eat. Nirvana! In the bag, I use a bit of salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and a pat of good butter. I sometimes put a wee chip of pureed green pepper in too.

    (I buy green peppers when they’re on sale, puree the heck out of them, spread the mush on a cookie sheet and freeze solid; then break up into chips — great for quick seasoning without any work!)

    You and Mary Dan put together the best kitchen appliance I could imagine!

  82. MMMmmmmm! Dr. Eades — your recipe sounds fantastic! I’m going to lower the heat and try prepare it as you describe. Elenor, love the idea of pre-prepared green pepper “mush”!

    I too do not sear (exception is when preparing steak for my son — I brown it in some coconut oil).

    By the way, the vacuum sealer is a great way to freeze-pack extra parsley (so annoying to have to buy a huge bunch when one needs just a bit) and other fresh herbs! They look so pretty, like pressed flowers, keeping their exact green and all flattened out! Reminds me of when the kids and I would gather the most beautiful of the colored leaves in the fall, iron them between pieces of waxed paper, and then pin our creations to the lampshades and turn on the lights! (Sorry, digression :-)

    One thing I do that I think saves power: I’ve started putting a thick folded bath towel just on the top of the Sous Vide (on top of the black rubber insulator) — I notice the temp stays within one degree as it should so it seems to have no adverse effect. Do you think this is a ‘no no’ for any reason regarding how the Sous Vide works internally?

  83. PLEASE DON’T POST THIS UNTIL YOU TRY AND SEE IF WHAT I’VE DONE WORKS – also it might be read as a critique of the Sous Vide which isn’t my intention so you might be best never posting it. or trying it and then posting it as your own suggestion (fine with me!)

    here it is!!!!

    Wow, I always suspected I was a genius. :-) The ONE issue I’ve had is that moisture gets sucked upwards from the food (esp. very moist food like fish), sometimes impeding the seal. So here’s my genius idea that looks like it will work GREAT!?!

    I prepared my salmon fillets as you recommend above (first pressing them a bit in a Bounty paper towel to take out SOME moisture, then S&P, butter, dill). THEN I took 3/4ths a sheet of Bounty paper towel and folded it longwise over and over (about 1-1/2 inches wide) and placed that next to the prepared fish (the fish is in the bottom of the bag, next to it is this strip of multi-folded paper towel).

    Vacuum sucked out the air in the vacuum sealer. IT DOES JUST WHAT I’D HOPED: Put it in place, turn on the sealer: The moisture from the fish travels up toward the hoped-for seal and gets absorbed by the paper towel. Of course the paper towel gets vacuum packed too, but I just couldn’t think of a downside to that.

    Now I’m going to Sous Vide them and will tell you how it works!!!

  84. Dr. Eades, I tried it. Best fish I ever ate. Seriously. Loved my salmon before, but this is transcendent. The paper towel had zilch bad effect. Just made sealing a cinch. Soooo much better cooked at 116 rather than 130. Thank you for the great recipe. And they look so pretty! Presentation, presentation… Next time it’ll be for company. Paula

    • Glad you liked it. We’ll try it with the paper towel next time just to see how it works. MD thinks there is a product available that does the same thing as the paper towel, but we haven’t tried it. You can do the same thing by simply overriding the autoseal on the vac sealer and pushing the ‘seal only’ button before the liquid sucks up far enough to interfere with the sealing process.

      As you discovered, 116F is vastly better than 130F for salmon. Transcendent is a good word for it.

  85. Thanks for the post and review. I thoroughly enjoyed Protein Power and the science was the best part for me. I actually have begun my second read. I must admit though that I don’t enjoy reading the actual studies as much so I am ordering this book.

    As far as the LC approach. I have had great success with it. Down 75 pounds worth of great. Even convinced some friends to make the change; they are down 36, 15, 15 and 45 respectively.

    Thank you for your devotion and commitment to helping people. You’ve made many people in Arizona much happier.

  86. Hi Dr. Michael,
    My partner Robyn and I learned of your work while reading Lierre Keith’s Vegetarian Myth in Feb. 2011, prior to videotaping a conversation with her for our show, Peak Moment TV (

    We picked up a copy of The Six Week Cure for the Middle Aged Middle, which we started late Feb 2011. I lost 40 pounds in half a year, and we’ve maintained the diet. Robyn has chronic lyme and feels the LC-HF diet is a tremendous support for the supplements she’s taking, and her immune system.

    On your recommendation we’ve read Volek & Phinney’s Art & Science, and the opening chapters of the New Atkins book. Plus Gary Taubes’ Why We Get Fat.

    But we’ve got a question no seems to have answered: If you eat more fats than the body needs for metabolism, what happens? Excess is excreted? Or metabolism speeds up (burns higher/hotter)? We ask because the New Atkins book suggests limits to the amount of fat during induction phase. Your 6-week Cure doesn’t directly address it I don’t think, but your menus have limits to the suggested fat amounts.

    Might we interest you in taping a Peak Moment TV conversation when we travel your way? Lierre’s has turned out to be the most controversial…hard to have one’s (dietary) religion questioned, esp. for vegans.

    Thanks…for setting us on this path~
    Janaia Donaldson & Robyn Mallgren

    • The issue of caloric overconsumption on a ketogenic diet is what Gary Taubes is trying to raise money to study. On an anecdotal basis, I think for most people over consuming on a ketogenic diet will stall weight loss but won’t really cause weight gain. That’s what I’ve determined observing many patients and myself. But, until we get it studied properly, we won’t know for sure. My best guess as to a mechanism is that overfeeding such a diet cranks up the futile cycling, uncoupling proteins, decreased charge differential across the inner mitochondrial membrane and other ways we have of wasting calories.

      If I’m around when you’re in my area, I’ll be happy to tape a conversation.

      • HI Dr. Michael,
        Thanks for your reply. Your latest blog on AMPK research sounds like it points towards answers.

        Have you read “Trick and Treat” by Barry Groves (UK)? We find it very readable and a rich summary of low-carb research results related to many diseases, along with an indictment of the medical establishment. I’d welcome your review.

        Where IS your area? You can email me at

        • I have read in Trick and Treat, but I haven’t read it cover to cover. From what I’ve read, it is an excellent book.

          When not traveling, I am usually in Incline Village, NV or Santa Barbara, CA.

  87. Hello,
    I’d like to ask what advantages will I obtain/feel, as a young, healthy, non-obese individual with some sport ambitions – weigt training 2x a week, sprinting 1x a week…if I switch from “Primal”, that means rather low carb, to “ultra low carb”–> ketosis. Is there any “profit”? I am sure there is, otherwise those researchers wouldn’t be so pro-ketosis oriented:-)

    • Check out Peter Attia’s for everything you might want to know about ketosis and exercise, mostly endurance focused.

  88. Hi all…18 months ago, I started out Low-carb. But later I morphed to No-added-sugar. It turns out to be an easier but still very effective approach.
    Anyway, in the process, I came across an extraordinary – as in woeful – paper misrepresenting the link between sugar consumption and obesity/diabetes, co-authered by the world’s foremost advocate of the low-GI approach to nutrition. There’s now a serious dispute in Australia, with a $20,000 reward for anyone who can verify the conclusion of that flawed study. See #11 at rgds, rory

  89. How can my husband get an appointment with you?
    He has statin and carb issues that have made him on disability for 2 1/2 years. We need a diagnosis!

  90. a bookreview? – rather a book thesis ! thoroughly though! want this book and will buy it soon! :) – i skimmed your review – but see that you are positive! :)

  91. Hi,
    Hello from Israel :)
    I was introduced to low carb diet through the writings of Dr Richard K Bernstein.
    I will most likely buy and read the book that you so highly recommend of in the future (we don’t have it here in Israel).
    I do have a question upfront : as the nutritional ketogenic state seems to be a superior state health-wise, why go low-carb and not zero-carb?

  92. Thanks for the swift reply.
    To clarify this point, if I can sustain a zero-carb diet, would that be healthy or do the carbs in small amounts play an important role and thus should be consumed?

    • Depends on the carbs. Certain plant foods are pretty nutritionally dense in terms of the phytonutrients they contain. Green leafy and colorful vegetables and many fruits contain much good stuff without many carbs. But many people do fine on zero carbs.

  93. You are so right. I have read and reread the book. It is meticulous.
    (Which is why it has to be reread and reread, my head is still hurting).

  94. I bought “Art & Science” well before reading this review and can vouch that everything Dr. Eades says about it is true. Taube’s “Why” is a great eye-opener, but “Art & Science” is like a bible you want to peruse frequently.
    This is too rich a book to memorize completely so you are bound to have questions pop into your mind from time to time and it is very handy if you have bought the e-book or Kindle version so you can search it by word or phrase.

  95. Thanks for the tip. I read Dr Volek’s “TNT Diet” a few years ago and, although not strictly low-carb, his reasoning and research was so solid, and his writing do clear and accessible, that it got me started down the road toward low-carb and paleo nutrition – and eventually to this blog. But I never though to go back to look at any new work he had done. That book really opened my eyes to the fallacy of fat phobia, among other things. Sure, it suffered a bit from being a “Men’s Health” title, but anyone who could get past the lad mag cliches found a lot of great info. Dying to read this new one now!

  96. Od jutra rozpoczynam odchudzanie, kto sie odchudza ze mna? Nie bedzie lekko ale trzeba sie wziac za siebie. Mam juz dobry sposob na chudniecie, wszyscy ktorzy sa chetni proponuje zaczac od wipisania w google – xxally radzi jak szybko schudnac