Today I was getting ready to give books back to the library and decided that I needed to flip through Good Calories Bad Calories and came across some information that was too helpful to return the book yet. First let me give you the author's conclusions listed in his epilogue and then some thoughts of my own from what I read as I glanced through the book today. I will tell you upfront that this is no pleasure read, it is heavily footnoted, it is full of facts, quotes, and documents to fill out the author's research.
As I emerge from this research, though, certain conclusions seem inescapable to me, based on the existing knowledge:
1. Dietary fat, whether saturated or not, is not a cause of obesity, heart disease, or any other chronic disease of civilization.
2. The problem is the carbohydrates, their effect on insulin secretion, and thus the hormonal regulation of homeostasis -- the entire harmonic ensemble of the human body. The more easily digestible and refined the carbohydrates, the greater the effect on our health, weight, and well-being.
3. Sugars -- sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup specifically -- are particularly harmful, probably because the combination of fructose and glucose simultaneously elevates insulin levels while overloading the liver with carbohydrates.
4. Through their direct effect on insulin and blood sugar, refined carbohydrates, starches, and sugars are the dietary cause of coronary heart disease and diabetes. They are the most likely dietary causes of cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and the other chronic diseases of civilization.
5. Obesity is a disorder of excess fat accumulation, not overeating, and not sedentary behavior.
6. Consuming excess calories does not cause us to grow fatter, any more than it causes a child to grow taller. Expending more energy than we consume does not lead to long-term weight loss; it leads to hunger.
7. Fattening and obesity are caused by an imbalance -- a disequilibrium -- in the hormonal regulation of adipose tissue and fat metabolism. Fat synthesis and storage exceed the mobilization of fat from the adipose tissue, and its subsequent oxidation. We become leaner when hormone regulation of the fat tissue reverses this balance.
8. Insulin is the primary regulator of fat storage. When insulin levels are elevated -- either chronically or after a meal -- we accumulate fate in our fat tissue. When insulin levels fall, we release fat from our fat tissue and use it for fuel.
9. By stimulating insulin secretion, carbohydrates make us fat and ultimately cause obesity. The fewer carbohydrates we consume, the leaner we will be.
10. By driving fat accumulation, carbohydrates also increase hunger and decrease the amount of energy we expend in metabolism and physical activity.
This author also discusses what we have evolved to eat as does the author of Primal Blueprint I have said before that this doesn't bother me, and for the most part it doesn't, if they were religious authors writing for my church I would be appalled and offended, but they are not and so they can only write and interpret their findings through their own lens on life and that is, sad for them, evolution. As for me I know that God is my creator and redeemer, and I am free in this life to use research discovered by evolutionists to better manage my health.
I have always thought that being fat was my fault, surely some of it is, but maybe, just maybe the info I received all along was wrong. Armed with this new info I look forward to going forward and seeing what happens.