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Where does The Great Cholesterol Myth rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
While I mostly listen to fiction books I have a long standing interest in books about food and healthy living. I've read/listened to books from Pollan, Hyman, Taubes, Schlosser and more. This one is right up there with the best of them. It includes real research on both sides of the cholesterol/fat debate. In addition they do a good job explaining how some research has been "interpreted" which helps to frame the explanation of how we got to where we are when it comes to eating right.
What did you like best about this story?
This book isn't a story (exactly) but the authors did a great job making the science easy to grasp. They acknowledge the parts that can cause eyes to glaze over and summarize these concepts very accurately. Given the nature of this material they still did a good job keeping it entertaining without detracting from the quality of the book.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
There were a few parts that did get a chuckle out of me and I think that speaks to how well the authors managed to deliver their message. Glycation, oxidization, metabolism and other such concepts are not innately entertaining to most people. This book kept my attention and didn't bore me. I found it very interesting and if I had never read another book about this subject I would have been astounded at how inaccurate the common perceptions of heart health are.
Any additional comments?
For most of my life I was trying to "eat healthy" and seemed to only gain more weight no matter how much I excercised or avoided "bad foods". I was a vegetarian for seven years and even that made me gain weight and upped my triglycerides. Thanks to this book and others like it I have gradually come around to realizing that sugar (in every processed form) is really the true "bad food". This book represents a solid explanation of how the common knowledge and dietary advice is contributing to "western diseases". I feel that books like this should be required reading for every physician that is in business to keep people well and not just sell them the newest prescriptions.
44 of 46 people found this review helpful
For many people, a diet with an "inverted pyramid" focused on vegetables, fruits and whole grains is de rigueur. I'm not sure this book will push these people far from that "inverted pyramid". However, for certain classes of these healthy eaters, this book seems to have some well-documented items to think about. High triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol are one class of people the author singles out as potentially having to make dietary changes. Sugar is named as the driving factor behind the triglycerides. The key for the author is the inflammatory effects of weight and sugar on the body. The author cites multiple studies that describe high triglycerides and low HDL as a dangerous condition. His recipe is cut the sugar and preprocessed foods, monitor progress with a number of specific tests, and consider the potential of specific supplements. The author considers this condition more dangerous than high LDL cholesterol yet many doctors would view this type of patient with ambivalence all else being equal. If this describes you and your doctor is not concerned, you may want to read the book and consider making some changes. Another group of folks are folks who consume an imbalance of Omega 6s versus Omega 3 fats. Lots of folks with an under control LDL have some degree of ambivalence with regard to fats. This book tells those folks to pay more attention to the type of fats they consume and considers Omega6 versus Omega 3 to be pretty highly inflammatory. Again this class of person should read the book, read the citations, and think about taking action (which is spelled out in dietary recommendations, tests, and potential supplements).
For healthy eaters who try to manage their health by understanding the impact of diet on the body this book is highly recommended. This book will challenge many preconceptions you might have about the importance of cholesterol and will challenge you to think more deeply about the impact of sugar and inflammation on health. It will also recommend that you study different types of cholesterol than is customary right now. It will give you a list of specific tests that will help you gauge inflammation in your body. It will also recommend a list of supplements that may be effective depending upon your particular situation.
For unhealthy eaters, this book is also highly recommended as it puts a focus on sugar (and processed foods) not so much on fats and cholesterol. While the book is somewhat controversial in that it worries far less on the impact of cholesterol on health, for most folks I know who have unhealthy diets... sugar is their real problem. I believe a focus on sugar... reducing the dependence that many have on sugar is a surer first step to a healthy life than a focus on cholesterol reduction. Not a doctor, not an unhealthy eater... but I believe this book is a must read for these folks.
28 of 29 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
This book is an essential resource for anyone looking to improve their general health. It highlights some serious issues in the current dogma surrounding nutrition and healthy diets. As a society we now place too great an emphasis on avoiding evil cholesterol and this book attempts to challenge the thinking and Science behind that advice. A truly informative and eye-opening listen. It has seriously impacted upon the way I eat and lead my life... and definitely for the better!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Beat the scammers and fraudulent profiteers in the food and pharmaceutical industries. Life-saving, life changing knowledge.