Good Calories, Bad Calories: Cliffs Notes

In response to my last blog post “Weight Gain:   Calories in, Calories out?”  I’ve had several questions concerning Gary Taubes’ book Good Calories, Bad Calories.  Most questions have been from folks who believe that there are just not enough hours in the day to read a two-inch-thick, nonfiction book on nutrition.   So for those who are only interested in the “cliffs notes” version, you can give a big thanks to Greg of www.gutsandblackstuff.com.  Greg not only provides one-paragraph summaries of each chapter, he also condenses the entire book of 601 pages into ten short sentences:

  • Dietary fat does not cause obesity, heart disease or other chronic diseases.
  • Refined carbohydrates, through insulin secretion, do.
  • Sugars, especially those including fructose, are particularly harmful.
  • Refined carbohydrates are the dietary cause of heart disease and diabetes. They are the most likely (but not only) dietary cases of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and other chronic diseases.
  • Obesity is not caused by overeating or sedentary behavior.
  • Calorie restriction does not cause long-term weight loss, it causes hunger.
  • Fattening and obesity are caused by a hormonal imbalance, which can be driven by diet (e.g. insulin secretion).
  • Insulin is the primary regulator of fat storage.
  • Carbohydrate intake drives insulin, and is therefore proportional to our body composition.
  • Carbohydrates also increase hunger and decrease energy.

To continue reading Greg’s chapter-by-chapter summary follow the link below:

“A summary of Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes

My busy friends thank you, Greg!





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Weight Gain: Calories in, Calories out?

Gary Taubes, an American science writer has a new blog.  His book Good Calories, Bad Calories is a must read for understanding how refined carbohydrates, not dietary fat cause Cardio Vascular Disease, Obesity, Hypertension, Hyperlipidemia (and a long list of other modern diseases)! I would also recommend reading an article he wrote for the New York Times in 2002 titled “What If It’s All Been a Big Fat Lie?” which challenged the popular (and unhealthy) “low-fat diet” craze.

Mr. Taubes reminds us of the importance of critically examining ALL of the controlling variables in scientific research.  So often correlations are made without recognizing exactly what variables affected the outcome.  With this in mind, Mr. Taubes examines the following questions in his most recent blog post: “Is it the total calories consumed that is the variable determining weight loss? And, by the same token, is it the calories consumed (or expended) that determines how much weight we gain?”

Continue reading to see how researchers can lead you astray by overlooking or not reporting key variables that affect reported outcomes:

Calories, fat or carbohydrates? Why diets work (when they do).




“Paleo Talk” Resources

This weekend I had the honor of sharing information on The Paleo Diet at Dave and Shae Tozzo’s gym, CrossFit Zoo.  We had an excellent turnout and I was excited to see so many folks eager to improve their health, performance and body composition via paleo-nutrition-concepts.  It was especially moving to hear a surprise testimony from Jay, a law enforcement officer, who shared that he had lost over 47 pounds in 10 weeks (without exercise).  He totally reversed his blood work from that of an overweight old man to that of a fit 18 year old.  His doctor was amazed (and proud).  It was very moving to hear him speak – hoping he’ll post his story for us soon!

For those who were able to attend the “Paleo Talk”, you should now:

• Understand the Importance of Balancing Critical Hormones

• Understand Digestion and the Critical Importance of Gut Health

• Recognize and Understand the effects of Neolithic Foods

• Understand How to “Go Paleo”

•  Recognize Blood Panels that Predict Present and Long Term

As promised, so that it would  not be necessary to take copious notes during the lecture,  I’m  posting  a few  resources to jump-start your own paleo adventure.  Good luck to everyone and please keep me posted on your success!

My  Personal “Evolution” Into Paleo Nutrition

How To Go Paleo “Now”

Top 3 Paleo Nutrition Reads

1.  Mark Sisson, author of Primal Blueprint

Mark’s Daily Apple Blog
Mark’s 10 Way’s to “Get Primal”
“Mark Sisson The Primal Blueprint”

2.  Robb Wolf, author of The Paleo Solution

See above “Quick Start Guide” and “Food Matrix”
Robb Wolf’s Blog and Podcast
Robb Wolf’s FAQ
Robb Wolf’s Original Shopping List (see shopping-food.doc)

3.  Loren Cordain, Ph.D, author of The Paleo Diet

Dr. Cordain’s Nutrition Tools
Dr. Cordain’s  Paleo Diet Blog
“Cereal Grains: Humanity’s Double -Edged Sword”
“Live From Ocala, It’s the Paleo Diet!

Free Paleo Recipes Online

Top Paleo Cookbooks

Local Paleo Shopping

GrassFed Meat

Organic Vegetables and Fruit

Research on The Paleo Diet

Additional Resources Discussed in The Presentation

Food Videos Discussed in Presentation

Jay Nix

Remember the qualities of a sound nutrition program:

• You Should FEEL better
• You Should PERFORM better
• You Should LOOK better
• You Should be able to TRACK biomarkers of health via blood work (see “The Paleo Solution“)

All of which occur when following The Paleo Diet!  Just ask Jay (see above)!

One last thing. Don’t believe everything I write or say.   I’m not a dietitian providing nutrition counseling or nutrition management programs.   Doubt me.  I’m a skeptic by heart myself.  I never accept what others say, especially those practicing and preaching convention wisdom with little results.   I’m interested in not only how fit you appear to be on the outside, but also how fit you are on the inside with excellent bio markers of health.  I search for the latest, cutting-edge information and research.   I spend a great deal of time reading and reviewing abstracts, books, and other websites.  I suggest you begin this journey by doing the same.     Do your own research, find your own answers, become your own expert.  In addition to the resources listed in the “Paleo Tools” tab, I also use the following unbiased internet resources on a daily basis:

  • PubMed is a free database accessing online medical literature (citations, abstracts and some full text articles)
  • Google scholar allows you to search scholarly literature across many disciplines and sources, including theses, books, abstracts and articles
  • Google Books is a collection of digitized books which allows you to view limited previews portions of most books as well as do “text searches” within the book to locate specific information.

visit www.crossfitzoo.com

Consult with a physician before beginning in new exercise or fitness program


Mark Sisson – The Primal BluePrint

Sunday, January 16, 2011

For a while now I’ve wanted to blog about some of my favorite Paleo Nutrition reads but simply have had little time to sit in front of my computer. When I find something worthy of sharing, I know it’s gonna take several hours of research and writing to do it justice. Mark Sisson’s body of work is a perfect example of this. His book, The Primal Blueprint, is one I often recommend to folks when they are interested in understanding Paleo Nutrition.

Paleo Promo – Nell Stephenson

Monday, January 3, 2011

Check out Nell Stephenson’s Paleo Nutrition and Fitness website and blog for helpful information on going paleo. In addition to holding a BS in Exercise Science and working closely with Dr. Cordain, Nell is also a Ironman Triathlete. She offers training and Paleo Nutrition plans on her website for Ironman athletes, endurance athletes, children, brides, and those who are looking to lose weight and optimize their health.

Live from Ocala, The Paleo Diet!

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Dr. Loren Cordain of the Paleo Diet recently presented his lecture on “Origins and Evolution of The Western Diet: Health Implications for the 21st Century” at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition here in my small hometown town of Ocala. I’ve become a paleo groupie, having first followed Dr. Cordain all the way out to California to hear him speak at the Paleo Brands Seminar and later having hunted him down in Orlando to hear two additional Paleo Diet lectures. My obsession has more to do with fact than fad.

The Paleo Diet Revised

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wow – this was a good read! Basically just finished pouring through, page by page, the long awaited Revised Edition of The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain, PhD. …