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Top Low-Carb Diet Researchers Volek & Phinney Release ‘The Art And Science Of Low Carbohydrate Living’

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!

  • Lawrence Louis

    Jimmy,

    I am looking forward to this book. Outside of Dr. Robert Atkins and Gary Taubes, few others have garnered as much respect in the low carb community as Dr. Jeff Volek and Dr. Stephen Phinney. Though more and more books are coming out defending the low carb approach against detractors and their low fat propaganda, there is still not nearly enough of them to combat the large public bias against low carb diets. So one more book, written by highly credible researchers, will be a big boost towards informing the public that low carb is the way to go. I am particular interested in reading the section of how to make the low carb diet applicable as a lifelong way of eating, and of course I am interested in reading your contribution as well. It’s nice to see you are getting the recognition you deserve, and it must be an honor to be included in a book written by two illustrious intellects such as Dr. Volek and Dr. Phinney. Congratulations Jimmy!

    -Lawrence

    • http://www.livinlavidalowcarb.com Jimmy Moore

      Lawrence, it was a HUGE honor…and a SHOCK! When they asked me, I was like, “Are you sure you want ME to write a chapter in this book with two MDs, an RD/PhD and an RN?” They were thrilled to have my chapter complete the book and the end product is so worth it. ENJOY!

  • Peggy Holloway

    I look forward to reading this book. The low-carb lifestyle has been a life-saver for nearly everyone in my family, and we have more converts every day. Most of us have staved off the family disease of “diabetes” and have normalized weight and a variety of mood-disorders. Sadly, we have one family member who has followed a low-carb diet for 11 years, since her diagnosis with Type II Diabetes. My sweet, wonderful sister is the one person who is disproving my theory that Type II is reversible with proper diet. In spite of her low-carb diet and regular exercise, she is not able to get her blood sugar under control and she is still over-weight, carrying all her weight around the midsection. Her morning readings are regularly around 180 and her post-prandial readings can be all over the place,even after eating the exact same meal. Even the slightest cold or other illness sends her blood sugar through the roof. She is taking Januvia, and an attempt to go off it for 2 months resulted in an A1C of 12. Her doctor, who does not support low-carb dieting and follows conventional treatment, wants to put her on insulin. Because we live in Nebraska, she has finally decided to try to see Dr. Mary Vernon in Kansas, with the hopes that Dr. Vernon can figure out why the low-carb diet isn’t working for her. Any other ideas about what she needs to do? We are all very concerned for her.

    • http://www.livinlavidalowcarb.com Jimmy Moore

      I’d have to see her menus to get a better picture.

      • Peggy Holloway

        I suspect that she needs to go much lower on protein and higher on fat. She eats a lot of vegetables, including tomatoes and onions, which might be too carby for her. It appears her basic diet is eggs for breakfast, salad with some sort of meat (I’m not sure what she is using – if it is deli meat, that might be a problem; I think she has chicken or tuna)and chicken or some other type of meat and lots of vegetables for dinner. She does eat nuts – almonds and pistachios, I believe. She admits she doesn’t like beef or the fat on meat. Still, this seems very low-carb to me. She appears to have experienced hot flashes for several years, so I also wonder about hormones. She will be 60 this summer.

  • CB

    Jimmy, based on your review I just added it to my shopping cart on Amazon for purchase this weekend. I am very much looking forward to this read, and I agree with you so much, that we need to get a critical mass of high profile low-carb researchers published.

    Along the way I want to thank you for every thing you are doing at your websites/blogs. Your connectedness to so many persons within the community and bringing them out to your podcasts helps to ensure both a diversity of voices as well as giving many people a well deserved introduction. My hat is off to you and I look forward to the continued success for the benefits of everyone!

    • http://www.livinlavidalowcarb.com Jimmy Moore

      Thanks CB!

  • Patrick Narkinsky

    I am not a medical professional, so all I can do is speculate, but I am a diabetic and the brother of a type 1 diabetic so I’ve been living with this disease all my life. Could it be that she’s actually heading towards Type 1 diabetes, where the pancreas is not able to produce enough insulin even on a low-carb diet? That’s the only thing that occurs to me, but there are a couple of things that argue against it. Primarily, if she were heading towards Type 1 I’d be expecting her to lose weight.

    Also, I’m kind of surprised if her doctor wants to put her on Insulin and Januvia is all she’s on. No Metformin? Metformin is the primary, first-line defense in T2DM.

    • Peggy Holloway

      I believe that she has been on Metformin since her diagnosis in 1999. Her doctor doesn’t check insulin levels, which I think is crucial. I would expect that Mary Vernon would check insulin levels. The fact that she is still overweight implies that she still is producing insulin.
      She basically feels well, so this is all very confusing.

  • Peter Silverman

    Definitely plan to read it, but $30 for a paperback seems a little excessive, usually on Amazon new paperbacks run around $10, and $15 for new hardbacks. I wonder if it’s a misprint.
    If I spent $30 on it and there wasn’t anything in it that wasn’t in their other books, I’d be so mad I’d probaby become a vegan.

    • http://www.livinlavidalowcarb.com Jimmy Moore

      Ha ha! Keep in mind this is more like a textbook than a diet book per se.

  • Greg

    Peter, this looks to be self-published and as such may be print-on-demand, so they probably set their own price. I agree that $30 is way too much for a 300-page paperback…you can still make a decent amount publishing that way setting the price at $19.95 (check out the prices on Amazon’s CreateSpace site to see how it breaks down). They may be trying to make a certain amount per copy based on the work they put into it, but you do have to balance that with what people will be willing to pay and the advantages of selling more copies, and I do think they’d make a lot of sales to folks like us if they dropped the price a bit (I still haven’t clicked “buy”). Mainstream published books just don’t cost that much on Amazon – the hardcover of GCBC was probably no more than half of that!

    • http://www.livinlavidalowcarb.com Jimmy Moore

      I can offer some insight into this as a self-published author and privy to this book. While the author can set their own price, there’s a certain minimum price that the print on demand company forces you to price it at to make anything when you sell a book. The trick is finding the happy medium between what’s fair and profitable to get a return in your investment of time and resources creating the book. For Volek and Phinney, substantial ti e and energy were put into this and they wanted to go the traditional route. But the soonest it would have released was 2013–didn’t make sense to wait that long. Thus, a POD was chosen. I think it was smart ti go this route as they have more editorial control of the content than the Atkins book last year and the target market being mostly medical professionals and the educated layperson. Again, the pricing of the book is in line with the textbook quality that it is. I KNOW people will appreciate and enjoy the info in this book.

  • Greg

    Okay, I looked at it again…Amazon does take a ridiculous chunk of the sale price. Maybe $24.95? $30 is just a big number to your average reader, especially when folks reading blogs like this have mostly already bought a lot of similar books.

  • Greg

    I’ve done self-publishing too…on CreateSpace (which is the best deal selling on Amazon, as they own it) author royalty on a book with these specs @ $29.95 would be $13.33 per copy. Which is WAY more than they’d make selling a $20 book through a publisher, where the publisher gets, what, 40% of the cover price, only a portion of which trickles down to the author. At $19.95 they’d get $7.33, which is still more than they must have gotten per copy on The New Atkins. Of course, this book won’t be marketed much and will sell way fewer copies so that’s a serious consideration and partially explains the higher price. I just think it’s going to be a hard sell and the increased volume they’d move at something like $19.95 or even $24.95 would more than make up for the slightly lower per-copy revenue.

    I’m not sure what “textbook quality” means – this book looks like it’s aimed at consumers from the title and description…textbooks are priced higher not because of quality but because the education market is a very different climate than the book consumer market, and people are buying them because they have to, not on a whim. I don’t doubt that the book is well-written.

    Anyway, I’ll probably pick it up eventually, but I just know from myself (n=1!) I’d have already done so if they price was even a little lower!

    • http://www.livinlavidalowcarb.com Jimmy Moore

      Great feedback Greg! I’ll pass it along to Volek and Phinney.

  • http://jim.anderfam.org Jim Anderson

    Thanks for the review, Jimmy. It looks like I’ll be buying yet another low-carb book! That’s all right. As a teacher, I am committed to the idea of knowledge as power. Plus, I just like books. The part about this one that most interests me is the “well-formulated low carbohydrate diet” as opposed to the “casual approach.”

  • http://www.ketogenic-diet-resource.com Ellen

    I’ve ordered it, and can’t wait to read it.. Thanks for sharing about this!

  • Mike Ellwood

    Since some of us thought that Gary Taubes “wrote the book” on the reasons behind why we should low-carb, and then wrote the “digest of the book”, for people with less time, I am wondering what this adds.

    I am also wondering if there are any contradictions between the new book and what Gary Taubes has written. Despite my opening paragraph, I think that even Gary would admit that not everything was known when he wrote GC, BC, and of course he called for more research as well. He’s also admitted to certain things in the book being wrong, although consistent with the best evidence at the time.

    I will also be fascinated by what Stephen Phinney in particular might have to say about exercise and low-carb eating. I know he has done a lot of work in this area. Gary lays great emphasis on exercise having little to do with weight loss, but that was mostly against a background of “normal”, i.e. high-carb diets. I don’t think that we have enough documented experience yet of many people consistently eating low-carb and doing serious exercise, i.e. what effect on their weight, and what, at higher levels, on their performance.

    We know that there are certain high-profile opponents of low-carbing who strenuously attack low-carbing for its effect on the performance of athletes. I would love to see what actual low-carb experts have to say on this subject.

    Regards,
    Mike

    • http://www.livinlavidalowcarb.com Jimmy Moore

      Thanks Mike! I’ll be interviewing Dr. Phinney on my podcast soon and the question on exercise/low-carb is a good one. But what makes this different from Gary’s book? It’s from two researchers who have done the studies, examined the evidence first-hand, and seen with their own eyes what happens when people do a properly-constructed low-carb diet. Taking nothing away from Gary, these guys have been on the front lines of the science for over 50 years combined–they have immense credibility and experience beyond reproach.

  • Jazzy

    Hi, Jimmy,

    I remember a little cafe in a town in
    western Colorado that had a sign in
    the window that said, “Eat Dessert First!”

    Well, my new book arrived a few minutes
    ago so I decided to “Eat Dessert First”
    and read your Chapter 21 “Patient’s
    Perspective” and Drs. Volek and Phinney’s
    response to you.

    It was beautiful, dear friend. Once again
    you will play a MAJOR, MAJOR role in
    helping others find a sensible, nutritious,
    even miraculous way to recover their health.

    I have to agree with the good doctors
    on p. 275: “….you will proudly stand as
    a leader…..” EXCEPT I would take the
    “will” out of it. You already do. YOUR
    consistency, honesty, and kindness…
    your ministry…ALREADY identifies you
    as one of the great leaders in health
    consciousness and recovery. The
    science has been made available to us
    by you….you have been the great vehicle,
    the mechanism that makes it all work for
    the rest of us. You have been the consistent
    motivator and lead example.

    Thank you “More Than I Can Say.”
    Okay, now I go back to the beginning
    of the book and read “the rest of the
    story!” Can’t wait!

    Love and appreciation,
    Jazzy and Family

    • http://www.livinlavidalowcarb.com Jimmy Moore

      Thank you and enjoy Jazzy. You are a sweetheart.

  • Peggy Holloway

    My book arrived Friday and I am enthralled. The book actually is shedding some light on the difficulties my sister has in normalizing her blood sugar in spite of what appears to be an appropriate diet. I will encourage to read the book along with the plan to see Mary Vernon.
    I am especially enamored of this book because of Steve Phinney’s work with cyclists. Although I am by no means an “elite cyclist” like his subjects, I have taken up cycling and do pretty well for a 58-year-old female with not an athletic bone in my body. My dilemma is that I have started participating in organized bike/camping trips and the food options are pretty abysmal. Since we are at the mercy of the communities and sponsoring groups (mostly church ladies who have heard that cyclists need carbohydrates)in small towns without grocery stores and nothing by fast-food restaurants if any, I have experienced evenings when I literally could not eat anything that was served (Ramen-noodle salad? Really??). We are limited to two small bags for everything we need and they are transported in an enclosed truck in 90+ degree Nebraska summer weather. I am looking for suggestions for easily portable, non-perishable, and compact food sources that I can take for emergencies and perhaps for snacks, although I have found that I can ride a long ways without “bonking,” just like Steve Phinney describes in the book.
    Anyway…if anyone reading this blog has ideas, I’d appreciate them.

    • http://www.livinlavidalowcarb.com Jimmy Moore

      Thanks Peggy! I’ll pass your comment along to Dr. Phinney directly.

      • Peggy Holloway

        Jimmy, you guys rock! I got a reply today and I am in “celebrity shock” and so grateful.
        You are saving lives. Seriously.

        • http://www.livinlavidalowcarb.com Jimmy Moore

          You are very welcome, my friend! :)

  • cody

    I really want it in Kindle format. Jimmy, anything you can do about that? :)

    • http://www.livinlavidalowcarb.com Jimmy Moore

      It’s coming…they’ve put in for it and Amazon is dragging their feet. Keep checking!

  • cody

    Peggy. Pemmican might serve, if you can find it. Very high fat. Sustained Native Americans for many long journeys across the prairie.