Why We Get Fat

Why we get fat (2010) by Gary Taubes is a controversial book that puts forward the hypothesis that insulin heavily influences weight gain rather than simply calories in and calories out.

Taubes believes that experiments on mice with ovaries removed and the anthropogenic record of primitive diets that were very low in carbohydrates shows that humans evolved to handle fat but that the fairly recent addition of purified sugar, alcohol and processed carbohydrates is not dealt with well by human bodies. Taubes believes that with carbohydrates insulin levels are raised and that when insulin levels are raised the body will store energy in fat rather than use it.

Taubes strongly advocates Atkins, Paleo and other low carbohydrate diets for weight loss.

Taubes is praised by those who agree with him and those who disagree. It is curious that the issue cannot simply be decided some epidemiological experimentation.

The book is pleasantly short and well written. It’s convincing enough for me to very much consider a reduced carbohydrate diet.


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