What do you get when you bring together two of most brilliant minds examining the science supporting carbohydrate restriction and its beneficial impact on weight and health? It’s a dream team collaboration like nothing else that’s ever been seen in the low-carb community and something that has been sorely needed to cut through the continued nonsense that still persists in our culture regarding low-carb diets despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. For Dr. Jeff Volek (Men’s Health TNT Diet) from The University of Connecticut (one of the featured speakers on the 2012 Low-Carb Cruise) and the legendary Dr. Stephen Phinney, this has actually been a personal passion of theirs for many years to share what they’ve seen first-hand in the study participants they have observed as well as in their own personal experimentations using a high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb diet. They are both already co-authors of the New York Times bestselling book The New Atkins For A New You released in 2010 which was geared more specifically to the general public updating the Atkins Nutritional Approach (listen to these two men share more about their work in Part 1 and Part 2 of an Atkins teleconference call in 2008) to fit more within the 21st Century.
But both Dr. Volek and Dr. Phinney realize in order for a patient to be successful at implementing a healthy low-carbohydrate lifestyle change into their own daily routine, they first need a competent and educated healthcare professional who is willing to learn, understand and embrace the basic principles that make this incredible way of eating so amazingly effective as a therapeutic means for treating obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and a whole myriad of diseases. That’s why they decided to write a brand new book about it in 2011 that does just that. It’s called The Art And Science Of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide To Making The Life-Saving Benefits Of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable And Enjoyable and is arguably the most important low-carb book releasing this year!
The purpose of this book is really about three main things: giving the reader the proper historical perspective about low-carb diets, explaining why low-carb diets work the way they do in the body, and then showing actual clinical application of how low-carb diets can be used to treat patients. For the healthcare professional, the information contained within the pages of this invaluable 300-page book could radically revolutionize and transform the way they interact with patients transitioning from a pharmaceutically-based to a nutritionally-based mindset for treating chronic health issues such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and more. For the educated layperson, learning more about high-fat, low-carb diets from these top research investigators will bring about changes in their own weight and health that will then have a positive impact on their friends, family, and even their physicians. Then this book can become an outstanding book to be given to the interested healthcare professional who wants to learn more about why people get better eating a diet that includes saturated fat and is devoid of starchy and sugary carbohydrates. It’s a life cycle that I’m sure both Dr. Volek and Dr. Phinney would love to see happen as this book is read, re-read, passed along, and highly recommended for people who are frustrated by the failure of the low-fat diet, something they address right away in the Introduction in their “Five Discords” section.
While obesity and diabetes has gotten increasingly worse and worse with the strong recommendations of a high-carb, low-fat diet, the evidence coming out in the world of science in recent years reveals there is no longer any controversy about low-carb diets–they “have now been resolved” as the authors put it. Now the grunt work of taking the proven science to the masses is the tricky part. It is all predicated on convincing the public that a low-fat diet is not healthy because it is too high in carbohydrate, educating why controlling the hormone insulin by restricting carbohydrates will eliminate hunger and burn stored body fat, revealing the fact that there is no scientific evidence tying saturated fat in the diet to heart disease risk, sharing the truth about what really raises saturated fat in the body (carbohydrates!), and reminding people that there is no such thing as a “one-size-fits all message” when it comes to a healthy lifestyle as the government, media and all the so-called health “experts” would have us believe. Dr. Volek and Dr. Phinney are using this book to “speak up” by releasing The Art And Science Of Low Carbohydrate Living.
The authors have taken every measure possible to insure the low-carb principles they share in this book will stand the test of time. It’s why a low carbohydrate approach is considered a lifestyle change that’s permanent and lasting–not just a diet. They have done this by examining three primary keys to making that happen: Safety, Individual Specificity, and Sustainability.
Dr. Volek and Dr. Phinney have over a half-century of research/clinical experience with low-carb diets using them on a variety of study participants/patients and they are “confident that a well-formulated low carbohydrate diet offers improved low-term health and well-being” for people who struggle on high-carb diets. Therefore, the safety question hasn’t really been an issue because it’s just not a relevant factor. Plus, the whole idea of “carbohydrate intolerance” is something that’s rarely if ever discussed by mainstream conventional wisdom but it is arguably the biggest reason why people turn to low-carb diets to help them when everything else they’ve ever tried has failed. If there was a genuine problem over the safety of low-carb diets, wouldn’t we be hearing about people experiencing these complications? That ain’t happening.
Another concept that rarely gets any attention is the fact we are not robotic machines that operate in the same way. Humans are indeed unique, especially when it comes to how they respond to the foods they consume. The authors point out that anyone with obesity, metabolic syndrome, and/or diabetes already have carbohydrate intolerance and would be best fitted for a low-carb diet change. Otherwise, doing a low-fat diet is like “forcing a square peg into a round hole.” Even more interesting is the observation that even if a low-fat diet is working for you now, your tolerance level for carbohydrates will inevitably get worse and worse as you age–so eventually pretty much everyone will need to start livin’ la vida low-carb! This is why Dr. Volek and Dr. Phinney state that the Dietary Guidelines from the USDA need to have “a separate path from the ‘high-carb, low-fat’ mantra.”
As for the sustainability of a low-carb lifestyle change, the authors note that this is a “complex” issue that serves as the basis for why they wrote this book to begin with. The “casual approach” (as they describe it) to eating low-carb is what gets most people who try to do it in trouble and puts them on the inevitable if not predictable pathway to failure. You can’t just cut your carbohydrates and expect to be eating what Dr. Volek and Dr. Phinney would define as a low-carb diet. They detail all that is involved with creating a “well-formulated low carbohydrate diet” that will last for a lifetime within the pages of this book. As they put it, “This topic is clearly more deserving of a book than a sound bite.”
Some would say that a book about low-carb diets from a couple of low-carb researchers seems self-serving since they obviously have a vested interest in promoting a nutritional plan they’ve committed their careers to. But the authors address this by asking a simple yet poignant question:
“What is the proper response when three decades of debate about carbohydrate restriction have been largely one-sided and driven more by cultural bias than science?”
Indeed. And that’s precisely what Dr. Volek and Dr. Phinney have done with The Art And Science Of Low Carbohydrate Living making a solid case for low-carb diets just as a defense attorney would argue a case before a judge and jury. The evidence is presented with appropriate citations of key scientific studies. Plus, the authors call on three key witnesses for special guest chapters to further embolden their arguments: Dr. Eric Kossoff to share how ketogenic diets are used in controlling seizures and other brain health issues, Jacqueline Eberstein who has experience working with patients using carbohydrate-restriction alongside the late, great Dr. Robert C. Atkins in his complementary medicine clinic in New York City for three decades, and me (Jimmy Moore) providing the unique perspective as a patient who discovered and thrived (losing 180 pounds and coming off of three prescription medications) on a low-carb diet despite the objections of those in the healthcare profession. By the time you make your way through this informative and practical book, you’ll realize as the authors so succinctly state in their closing argument that “it just feels right” to be eating low-carb. The verdict? NOT GUILTY!