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Fat Chance – Robert Lustig

Image of the cover of the book, by Robert Lustig
Fat Chance by Robert H. Lustig, M.D.
Browse on Amazon

Chances are you’ve seen his viral video on nutrition, Sugar: The Bitter Truth. Now Dr. Robert Lustig has a book out that is built on the foundations first laid out in the video. His theory is essentially that sugar is the main driver of obesity and disease.

Can’t wait to start the year’s reading off with this text!

As an added bonus, here’s an excerpt from the book…
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Metabolic Pathways of Proteins, Carbohydrates and Fats in Humans

The next time someone tells you that carbohydrates are essential for life, or that you’ll die if you don’t eat carbohydrates, point them to the metabolic pathways diagram and ask them to identify which metabolic needs go unmet without carbohydrate ingestion.

Diagram of metabolic pathways for fats, carbohydrates and proteins.

See a full-size image of the metabolic pathways. Click terms in the image for additional details.

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Dr. Oz Reconsiders Position On Cholesterol – Update

I covered Dr. Oz’s recent change of heart on cholesterol in a previous post. Linked from that post are video clips from the cholesterol segment in question. Unfortunately, there’s an obvious lacuna in the videos hosted on Dr. Oz’s website. Thankfully, Fitness Coach Mark had the presence of mind to record the show and he posted a clip of the missing segment to YouTube:


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Meet John Everyman

My friend John is an inspiration, and he’s starting to share his story. Snapshot February 2010: a 1 year old daughter, no insurance, overweight, blood sugar over 600, and desperate for help in a system that excluded him from health care.

Facing the prospect of an early death, he began reading everything he could about diabetes and nutrition and began his journey back to health by following a low carb, then a ketogenic diet.
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Why We All Don’t Get Cancer – Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

A fantastic talk at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center by Craig P. Thompson, President and CEO of Memorial Sloan Kettering.

It starts off with a great overview of cancer in general and the associated metabolic pathways of cancer cells, including the Warburg effect and why cancer cells light up in a PET scan (hint, it’s the glucose!). He also touches on the problems of overconsumption leading to increased IGF-1 stimulation and the resultant increase in glucose uptake by all cells. This, of course, drives tumogenesis.
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Dr. Oz Reconsiders Position On Cholesterol

I’m not a fan of Dr. Oz, usually. Mostly because of his dogmatic approach to nutrition that seemed to ignore newer research in favor of the typical orthodoxy. An example of this can be seen in the episode where he had Gary Taubes on as a guest (Segment 1, Segment 2, Segment 3). His smug condescension is almost palpable, and so I wrote him off as a largely well-meaning but misinformed guy.
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Physiological Insulin Resistance

I’ve been meaning to do a deep dive into physiological insulin resistance for quite a while now, but the universe keeps conspiring to take my time.  Because I haven’t had time to read, learn more and write about it, I thought I’d share the links I have accumulated thus far. Mostly because I’ve now been asked a variant of the following multiple times, or have seen the following posted on various forums for discussing nutrition, health, and low carbohydrate diets:

“Why has my blood glucose gone up on a low carb diet?”

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My Lipid Profile Before and After Starting a Low Carb Diet

I see lots of questions in the various communities regarding the safety of a ketogenic diet. One frequent concern is about what this diet will do to one’s cholesterol numbers. Because of these questions, I recently went through my EMR data and pulled my last few years of cholesterol tests and decided to chart the trends before and after starting a ketogenic diet. Here are the results:

Graph displaying cholesterol test results for before and after starting a ketogenic diet.
HDL, LDL, Triglycerides and Total Cholesterol before and after starting a low carb ketogenic diet.

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Good Calories, Bad Calories – Gary Taubes

Image of the cover of the book, by Gary Taubes
Good Caloreis, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes
Browse on Amazon
I’ve heard people lament, “Gary Taubes is great and all…but he just doesn’t understand the science.” Such people typically have not read the science, much less, Good Calories, Bad Calories. The book is a comprehensive analysis of the history of human nutrition and a seminal book in our understanding of obesity.

If Why We Get Fat is written for the lay-person, this 640 page behemoth is written to satisfy the health professional: exhaustively sourced and referenced, professional yet approachable. It tackles the familiar themes of obesity as the result of excess carbohydrate consumption and posits the insulin hypothesis as the explanation for what ails us. Along the way, he uses arguments and evidence from the domains of anthropology, nutrition and medicine. Really, this is the book you would write if you read every piece of research on nutrition and obesity that was ever written.