Best Books on Diet and Health

Best Nonfiction Books on Diet and Health

Best nonfiction book: “How I Gave Up My Low-Fat Diet and Lost 40 Pounds” by Dana Carpender

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Lately, I’ve been reading a ton of great nonfiction. And now, I’m blogging about it. Here, one of my favorite finds.

Best nonfiction book: How I Gave Up My Low-Fat Diet and Lost 40 Pounds by Dana Carpender

Is this really one of the best nonfiction books out there? Why?

What can I say? I like a book about a girl on a diet, especially if the diet is successful. Carpender blends good science, and good advice, with her compelling personal story.

What will I get out of this best nonfiction book that will make it worth my time?

If you’ve never tried a low-carb diet before–maybe even feel a bit skeptical–you may find Carpender’s book helpful. It’s great introduction to a very complex topic, a mix of scientific studies and commonsense advice.

A few notable points:

  • A 2000 New English Journal of Medicine low-carb study showed there are no health benefits to low-fat diets at all.
  • 5-HTP and niacin may help people avoid emotional eating.
  • L-glutamine helps reduce carb cravings.
  • The book also gives a good description of insulin and ketosis.

Where can I further investigate this best nonfiction book?

How I Gave Up My Low-Fat Diet and Lost 40 Pounds on Amazon

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Best nonfiction book: “Good Calories, Bad Calories” by Gary Taubes

Best Nonfiction Book - Good Calories Bad Calories

Best nonfiction book: Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes

Why Good Calories, Bad Calories is one of the best nonfiction books out there:

Gary Taubes is a pretty awesome scientist-rebel. It’s fun reading good evidence that the establishment (including the government) is wrong.

What you’ll get out of Good Calories, Bad Calories
that truly makes it worth reading:

Taubes handily disproves at least the following:

• The fat-cholesterol hypothesis (the idea that dietary fat raises cholesterol levels in the body);
• The calorie hypothesis (the idea that we can control our weight by counting calories); and, most significantly,
• The pro-carbohydrate hypothesis (the idea that a diet high in the right carbs is good for you).

Where to learn more about Good Calories, Bad Calories and Gary Taubes:

This information still to come.

 

 

 

Best nonfiction book: “Neanderthin” by Ray Audette

Best Nonfiction Book - Instead of Education

Best nonfiction book: Neanderthin: Eat Like a Cave Man to Achieve a Lean, Strong, Healthy Body
Best nonfiction author: Ray Audette
Book summary writer: Mollie Player

Best nonfiction book? Why?

Put simply: science. It’s cool, even when it’s not.

Best nonfiction book? What’s in it?

Neanderthin makes a very convincing, research-based argument that meat is still good for us. It advocates paleo-style eating: eating natural- or near natural-state fruits, vegetables and meat but no dairy or grains.

Paleo rules: Do eat meats, fish, fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and berries. Do not eat grains, beans, potatoes, dairy or sugar.

On why certain foods are unhealthy: Many grains are inedible without human agricultural practices (milling, long cooking); legumes filled with aflatoxins, alkaloidic (toxins), etc. Must be cooked. Dairy not available till farming, or sugar. Potatoes not edible until fire.

The Paleolithic Era is the time in human history when we were hunter-gatherers. It is also the time when we were healthiest.

“Indeed, if we look at the skeletal remains of man prior to 10,000 years ago before the technological innovation of the Neolithic (Agricultural) Revolution—we find no evidence of obesity and very little evidence of the plethora of other immune system diseases that are so common today. When we examine the remains of humans immediately following the Neolithic Revolution, we see at once evidence of the obesity and diseases common in the modern world.”

The physical characteristics of humans shows that they are natural carnivores.

“. . . More than 95 percent of primates have a single-chambered stomach incapable of digesting most complex carbohydrates as they occur in nature (in the absence of technology).”

“Within this savanna environment, man is the only primate . . . There are few of the trees whose fruit and leaves provide the bulk of food for the creatures of the forest. Life on the savanna is dominated by grasses, grass-eating animals called herbivores, and the carnivores and omnivores that, in turn, prey upon these herbivores.”

“Our unique characteristics include a large lopsided brain, bipedalism, eye dominance, a lack of fur, and a unique variety of sweat glands. None of these physical traits (except bipedalism in some bird species) is found in other animals.”

Big brains are necessary for hunting large animals, and not as needed for gathering.

Social dependence is most often seen in pack animals that are carnivorous and protective.

Brain size increased as humans developed tools for hunting and therefore ate more meat. Big brains need more nutrition.

Humans also have a “relatively small lower gastrointestinal tract,” making concentrated calories like meat, fruit and nuts much easier to digest.

Bipedalism is only found in humans and some flightless birds. “As a human, when walking or running your hands are free to use a weapon which, if thrown while moving, greatly increases the weapon’s velocity . . . Bipedalism also allows us to use our hands to carry over large distance more efficiently than other primates. The long-distance carrying ability allows us (through sharing) a highly efficient division of labor in our hunting and gathering efforts.”

The human is the best long-distance hunter, partly because there’s no fur and therefore less overheating. The ability to hunt other animals when tired and hot in mid-day also helps. Head hair protects humans from the sun.

Handedness, which developed thanks to eye dominance, helped us learn to “throw an object with accuracy. This ability is what has allowed humans to become the most efficient hunters on earth.”

Our long-time relationship with dogs helped humans hunt, too. Dogs circled the prey and humans shot at them from afar.

On vegetarianism: “All the plants and animals that once inhabited the cultivated land must be killed to provide space for vegetable crops.” Kills ecosystem that naturally provides balance for all. “In fact, it is for this reason that the person wearing a fur coat has killed fewer than 10 percent of the animals killed by the person wearing a cotton coat.”

There are no vegetarian primates.

“Since ancient times, the most destructive factor in the degradation of the environment has been monoculture agriculture. The production of wheat in ancient Sumeria transformed once-fertile plains into salt flats that remain sterile . . .”

For more information on this best nonfiction book, see:

This information still to come.

 

 

 

Best nonfiction book: “Food Rules” by Michael Pollan

Best Nonfiction Book: Food Rules

Best nonfiction book: Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual
Best nonfiction author: Michael Pollan
Book summary writer: Mollie Player

Best nonfiction book? Why?

Food Rules is objective—maybe the most objective, balanced diet book out there. You’ll never sound gullible quoting from a book by Pollan.

Best nonfiction book? What’s in it?

Pollan is not a nutritionist, but a journalist seeking the answer to a seemingly simple question, namely: “What should I eat?” It gives sixty-four succinct food truisms, including “Eat only foods that eventually will rot” and “It’s not food if it’s called by the same name in every language. (Think Big Mac, Cheetos, or Pringles.)”

The book’s bottom line: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

Other notable quotes:

  • “There have been, and can be, healthy high-fat and healthy low-fat diets, but they have always been diets built around whole foods.”
  • “I learned that in fact science knows a lot less about nutrition than you would expect—that in fact nutrition science is, to put it charitably, a very young science . . . Nutrition science . . . is today approximately where surgery was in the year 1650—very promising, and very interesting to watch, but are you ready to let them operate? I think I’ll wait a while.”
  • A wide variety of traditional diets are healthy; the modern diet is not. “What this suggests is that there is no single ideal human diet but that the human omnivore is exquisitely adapted to a wide range of different foods and a variety of different diets.”

For more information on this best nonfiction book, see:

This information still to come.

 

 

Best nonfiction book: “Overcoming Emotional Overeating” by Geneen Roth

Best Nonfiction Book - Overcoming Emotional Overeating

Best nonfiction book: Breaking Free from Emotional Eating
Best nonfiction author: Geneen Roth
Book summary writer: Mollie Player

Best nonfiction book? Why?

Geneen Roth is a beautiful writer. Her books offer two of the things I love best: careful, flowing prose and very intimate true stories. Through her books you get to know her story and her struggles—and you come out of it believing that what she did is something that you can do, too.

Best nonfiction book? What’s in it?

Overcoming Emotional Overeating is an introduction to the intuitive eating approach to diet. It’s a memoir as well as a diet book, offering practical guidelines for implementing the intuitive eating approach and Roth’s personal stories learning the same.

Intuitive eating is the ultimate non-diet. Intuitive eaters eat anything they want, anytime they want to—as long as they’re truly hungry, and what they’re eating is what they sense their body is asking for (you know, intuitively).

Geneen Roth’s eating guidelines:

  • Eat only when you are hungry.
  • Eat sitting down in a calm environment (not in the car).
  • Eat without distractions.
  • Eat only what your body wants.
  • Eat until you are satisfied, not until you are full.
  • Eat with the intention of being in full view of others. (Meaning, don’t scarf.)
  • Eat with enjoyment.

For more information on this best nonfiction book, see:

Breaking Free from Emotional Eating on Amazon

Geneen Roth’s official website