Since I am off work, I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately. I just finished Why We Get Fat, by Gary Taubes and I am half way through The End of Illness, by David Agus.
The first book is really interesting in that Gary Taubes spends a lot of time researching literature on diet and weight loss and can effectively point out that a high fat / low carbohydrate diet is the most effective way for overweight and obese individuals to lose weight. One of my the most important concepts he points out is that overweight and obese people will be able to lose weight on a high fat / low carbohydrate diet, but they might not lose as much as they want. He points out that everyone has a different genetic code for body composition and we are somewhat limited by that code. My only question to him would be does this effectively work for weight management for individuals without a weight problem or are there any long term side effects. A quick search on wikipedia indicates that a diet high in animal fat / red meat can lead to an increased risk of colorectal cancers. My biggest takeaway is that sugar and carbohydrates are definitely bad, they will make you sick. But I’m not sure I’m ready to jump on the high fatty red meat bandwagon. But it is interesting to hear about the many benefits of this diet – check it out on wikipedia or read his book if you are interested in learning more.
The second book by David Agus talks more about genetics and how each of us has our own susceptibility to disease based on our genetic makeup. I think this probably correlates to what Gary Taubes is saying and I would guess there are markers on our genome to identify people who would benefit more from the high fat, low carbohydrate diet and can tolerate the high fatty red meat diet. It’s interesting to hear how he feels that vitamin supplementation is definitely unnecessary and possibly harmful. Thus far after reading his book, I am very curious about my genetic code and what my susceptibilities might be.
Has anyone read any other health books that change the way you think about your health?