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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sardines and a Quick Book Review - Please Read!!!

Today we're trying sardines for lunch.  I got some that didn't have soybean oil or any nasty additives (hard to find).  Also, my favorite, cottage cheese and pineapple, broccoli, and a few mixed nuts.  If you're looking for a cottage cheese without maltodextrin added among other things that still tastes great, I would recommend Daisy brand.  Most of this blog has been dedicated to mostly vegetarian foods for ethical reasons in Mandy's and my case.  It is very hard for us to think about animals having to die, usually in ways not considered humane, so that we can eat their flesh - but can dying before your time be considered humane in any form? Although we have continued to eat eggs, milk, and cheese - we have mostly relied on whole carbohydrates to make up the rest of our diets over the past several months.  It was after I had finished reading Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes that we have lately tried to start adding more fat and protein to our diets and less carbohydrates in general, especially easily digestible carbs or simple sugars.  The book is a tireless account of all major research done on weight loss and Western disease in the past 100 years.  The book simply walks us through every major research experiment conducted, reviews the results and then explains how the results were interpreted and what parts of the research were communicated to the public and what parts were not.  The implications are very clear, and frustration can quickly consume anyone reading this book when you start to realize that everything any major institution told us was healthy was in most cases totally opposite of what the results showed.  There is much to take from this wonderful book, and at first my translation was to start re-thinking my need for animal protein.  We decided to incorporate some grass fed beef, a lot more eggs and cheese, more fish and we started adopting a sort of really low carb diet.  Still the ethical implications of this diet are nagging, so for now it is fish and eggs and cheese - maybe a little red meat now and then but I will continue my research in a quest to become fully vegetarian if my body will allow it.  Whatever the case, it is perfectly clear that refined and easily digestible carbohydrates not only cause weight gain, but through insulin response to glucose and then to many other processes all of the Western diseases of civilization can be attributed to the addition of these foods also.  One other clear implication on the other end of the carb spectrum is that green vegetables should not be limited.  If you have any interest in research, food, health or really any interest in life then you must read Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes.  I have lost 30 lbs and have easily maintained this loss simply by removing refined carbs. from my diet.  On a final note, I am about a third of the way through The China Study by T. Colin Campbell.  This book so far may just be the antithesis of Good Calories, Bad Calories, and so I push on to find some common ground among all of this research.  In the meantime, if we know one thing that both books will agree upon it is that refined, processed foods are killing us - so throw them out today.


  1. I haven't spent much time on The China Study but know a blogger working her own analysis on it:

    I'm keeping an eye on Stephen Guyenet to critique The China Study. I'll be reading "Food and Western Disease", by Dr. Staffan Lindeberg when I can get ahold of it.

  2. Yeah, there is not a whole lot of backing evidence so far in The China Study. There are a lot of statements like "there was a correlation" but no real numbers. Not enough hard proof that you can live on veggies only - I'm a numbers person as well as proof is in the pudding. It also seems like every time Campbell refers to not eating animal protein, he also throws in limiting refined carbs too. How interesting.