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Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats
Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats
by Mary G. Enig
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 22.47
47 used & new from CDN$ 19.52

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended, BUT With One Caveat, Feb. 15 2003
Nourishing Traditions is marketed as a cookbook, but the first 80 pages of this book contain a comprehensive debunking of many nutritional myths that have become annoyingly pervasive. Even if you never use a single recipe from the book, these first 80 pages, and the numerous information snippets that feature on virtually every page of the recipe section of the book, are worth their weight in gold, and more than justify the purchase price. Sally Fallon and Mary Enig have done an excellent job of emphasizing how nutrient-depleted, additive-laden processed foods, and not saturated fat, protein or cholesterol, are the true dietary villains.
There is however, one caveat I would issue to readers of this book. Fallon is an enthusiastic advocate of raw milk, citing the destruction of enzymes that occur during milk pasteurization. I totally agree that we should eat a significant portion of our food raw, but the frequent detection of Salmonella, Brucella, Escheria Coli, Corynebacteria, Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Listeria, Mycobacteria, Campylobacter and Yersinia in raw milk samples should convince all but the most foolhardy to look elsewhere for raw sources of food enzymes.

Low-Fat Lies: High Fat Frauds and the Healthiest Diet in the World
Low-Fat Lies: High Fat Frauds and the Healthiest Diet in the World
by Mary Flynn
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 19.77
49 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unscientific, Highly Subjective Ranting, Nov. 16 2002
The authors of this book attack both low fat/high carb diets, and high fat/low carb diets as unhealthy, ineffective, and dangerous. They then try to establish themselves as purveyors of the sensible middle ground by promoting yet another variant of the so-called Mediterranean Diet. Nice marketing angle I guess, but there are some glaring faults in this book that deserve comment.
The first thing Mr Vigilante and Ms Flynn could do is try and tone down the emotionally-charged rhetoric, and the personal attacks on authors whose theories they disagree with. Discredit someone by objectively examining and finding fault with their teachings, not by incessantly calling them 'carb-phobes' or 'fat-phobes'. Their venom is childish, unbecoming, and in some instances, unbearably corny.

If the authors insist on being obnoxiously hostile and sarchastic, they could at least make sure they have their facts right. In the section where they attack low carb/high fat diets they have included The Zone Diet by Barry Sears. They give Sears a lashing, as they do every other author they don't like, but The Zone Diet recommends 40% of calories be obtained from carbs - hardly a low carb diet. The Zone is at best a moderate carb diet, and doesn't even come close to being ketogenic. Furthermore, the Zone calls for 30% of calories from fat - less than the 40% eaten by the Cretan men who showed such remarkable health and longevity back in the 1960's. If the 30% fat content of the Zone diet qualifies it as a "high fat fraud", then where does that leave the Cretan diet that the authors worship?
The authors really need to get up to date on low carb nutrition. Vigilante apparently decided he was going to be a sworn enemy-for-life of low carb diets after a single unfavorable experience on the Atkins Diet. Vigilante barely made it through the "induction" phase, which is the severest part of the Atkins regimen, lasts 2 weeks, and occurs when beginning Atkins. That two week phase is hardly representative of low carb eating in general. If Vigilante had stuck with the diet a little longer and tweaked things around a little he just may have experienced newfound levels of energy and mental focus, as has been the experience of myself and numerous others who have adopted low carb eating.
Vigilante claims there is no research to back the superior weight loss claims made for low carb diets, except for a single flawed study that appeared in the Lancet over 40 years ago. Vigilante further claims that the only way low carb diets can cause weight loss is because of their low calorie intake, thus making them no better than other low calorie diets. A basic search on Pubmed quickly highlights the absurdities of Vigilantes claims. There have been numerous studies conducted comparing low carb/high fat diets with other diets of similar calorie intake that showed superior fat loss with low carb diets. For example, Young et al, 1971, performed an experiment with three diferent carb and fat intakes, with all diets being equal in calories. They found the lower the carb intake and the higher the fat intake, the more fat was lost and the more muscle was retained, which is what every dieter strives for. This is but only one example- like I said, the authors should have done their research before going public with such inflammatory hyperbole. Their virulent anti-low carb sentiments are simply not backed by science.
The notion that the Mediterranean Diet is low in animal fat is another bad joke. Vigilante comes from an Italian background - so do I. Home-made cheese, sausages and salami, freshly laid eggs, full cream milk, pork, were regular dietary staples of Southern Italian immigrants. These folks were generally healthy, highly productive and lived long lives (in some cases 90+). My Grandma is still going strong at 82 (ciao Nonna!). Anyone even remotely familiar with Greek nutrition knows the Greeks frequently eat lots of lamb, fetta and pork.
I agree with the authors' conclusions on low fat/high carb diets but there are other far better dissertations on the pitfalls of low fat/high carb diets. 'Neanderthin' by Ray Audette, 'Life Without Bread' by Allan and Lutz, and 'Atkins New Diet Revolution' by Dr. Atkins are far more thoroughly researched tomes that address the problems associated with low fat, high carb diets and provide evidence for the benefits of lowering carb intake. I would also suggest reading Uffe Ravnskov's 'The Cholesterol Myths' and the writings of Mary Enig (Know Your Fats, and her articles at the Weston A. Price website) to help abolish the ridiculous notion that monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are 'good' but saturated fats are somehow, inexplicably, 'bad'.

Heart Frauds: Uncovering the Biggest Health Scam In History
Heart Frauds: Uncovering the Biggest Health Scam In History
by Charles T McGee MD
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 20.94
29 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended For Anyone Interested In Heart Disease!, Oct. 12 2002
Charles T McGee presents a witty, often hilarious, and always to-the-point attack on the hugely profitable industry that has grown around heart disease.
Mc Gee reviews the studies conducted to date on open heart surgery - many would be shocked to know that they have all failed to show any appreciable longevity benefit for those who undergo surgery compared to those who don't.
McGee presents, with cutting wit, an example of a typical sales-like pitch on the benefits of open heart surgery often given to patients who have just had a heart attack. Patients are typically told they will be unlikely to live to see the next morning unless they undergo surgery right away. Studies examining the survival rate of patients who successfully choose to eschew surgery and opt for other means of addressing their illness reveal this pitiful sales pitch for the nonsense it truly is. It appears the only thing truly in danger if patients start refusing open heart operations is the ability of the surgeon to keep up the lease payments on his new Mercedes.
McGee also presents a highly critical expose' of the field of angiogragphy. He reveals that the most effective form of angiogram has been typically confined to use in research settings, while the less effective version is the one commonly used in the clinical setting to make the all-important decision on whether or not to operate.
McGee also takes a shot at the cholesterol theory. He highlights how the theory has it's origins in flawed animal experiments performed by Russian researchers at the beginning of the twentieth century, and then goes on to highlight the many other studies that have failed to show any benefit from cholesterol lowering.
McGee doesn't just attack the medical industry and then run - he discusses low risk treatments like EDTA chelation therapy that are typically ignored by drug-obsessed mainstream medicine.
The only flaw with the book is the author's praise for Dean Ornish and Nathan Pritikin, both who promoted spartan diets with unhealthy recommendations for unnaturally low fat intakes. Ornish, for example, published a study where the arteries of an intervention group reportedly widened in comparison to a group not recieving the intervention treatment. Ornish's treatment group recieved a multiple intervention treatment - excercise five days a week, smoking cessation, meditation and group counselling in addition to a low fat vegetarian diet. McGee claims those who highlight the fact that this was a multiple intervention are "missing the point". I totally disagree. Ornish used several different treatments in his intervention group but when speaking with journalists and writing for the public, talks as if the low fat diet was the decisive factor in his study. One cannot in good conscience make this claim when there is absolutely no proof to back it up - one of the most basic rules of science is to control your variables. All Ornish can claim from his study is that a MULTILPE intervention, encompassing all the tactics he used, was successful in widening arteries. We know that excercise can widen arteries, and that was one of the interventions Ornish used. There is no evidence a vegan diet can achieve this effect. Ornish should be honest enough to admit this, but instead he persistently bad mouths all but the most austere low fat diets. Unfortunately McGee fails to pick up on this, so I would recommend one keep this in mind whilst reading this section of the book.
Heart Frauds' strong point is its' thorough discrediting of the entire heart disease industry, and the tactics used by this industry to ensure its continued future profitability. If you are a heart disease patient, or have a friend or loved one who has CHD, I would highly recommend this book. I would also recommend Uffe Ravnskov's "The Cholesterol Myths" , the best examination of the cholesterol issue I have read to date. Ravnskov's book also contains an enlightening discussion on the hugely popular statin drugs; McGee's book was written before the rise of these drugs.

The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Food You Were Designed to Eat
The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Food You Were Designed to Eat
by Loren Cordain
Edition: Hardcover
10 used & new from CDN$ 24.38

46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This Is How The Cavemen Ate? Uh, I Don't Think So!, Sept. 30 2002
When I first heard Loren Cordain was finally authoring a book on paleo nutrition I was quite excited, for Cordain has conducted a lot of very insightful research into the eating patterns of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. When I finally got to examine the book though, I was sorely disappointed.
Cordain evidently seems to have ignored much of his own research. The most alarming error is his frequent recommendation to use flax oil when cooking meat dishes. Recipe after recipe calls for marinating cuts of meat in flax oil before cooking - a very bad idea! For those who don't already know, you should NEVER cook with any type of polyunsaturated oil. Their high degree of unsaturation makes them extremely prone to oxidative damage, and this process is greatly multiplied by exposure to high temperatures (e.g cooking temeratures). Omega-3 fats, like those found in flax oil, are the most vulnerable polyunsaturates of all. When eaten, these 'healthy' fats trigger a chain-reaction of nasty free-radical activity in the body, leaving one open to the development of all sorts of degenerative ailments. Cordain should be well aware that liquid vegetable oils simply did not exist back in paleotlithic times.
Cordain also denigrates saturated fat in his book, which once again is rather pitiful considering his background. The anti-saturated fat doctrine is a product of agenda-driven 20th century researchers and beaureaucrats, eagerly supported by commercial interests and their cheerleading squad of ignorant nutritionists, health authorities, and authors. Cordain claims that a single experiment where saturated fat raised cholesterol levels in young men is proof that this fat is bad. Big deal! Such an assertion assumes that the cholesterol theory of heart disease is a valid one. Considering the numerous absurdities inherent in the cholesterol theory, that is a rather risky leap of faith. Hunter-gatherers ate lots of animal fat, which is around 50% saturated. And no, just because an animal is wild does not mean it is low in fat - I had the pleasure of sampling some camel steak last week, and you can be sure I enjoyed every bit of the backstrap fat covering the steak! Even the leanest animals have fatty portions of meat, and if observations of recent hunter-gatherer societies are anything to go by, these would have been the most valued and preferentially eaten cuts.
Cordain also jumps on the anti-low carb bandwagon, even though his own research shows hunter-gatherers were far more likely to consume a low carb diet than a high carb diet. In fact paleo nutrition, with its emphasis on animal foods and starch poor plant foods, and low carb nutrition are a perfect match.
The whole book reeks of an attempt to squeeze paleolithic nutrition into currently fashionable and politically correct guidelines. Only problem is, back in the stone-age there weren't any pompous cholesterol researchers who thought they knew better than mother nature, and there were no advertising campaigns to let people know of the 'heinous' health effects of saturated fat - so people ate it, and lots of it!
Paleo eating is still the ultimate nutrition in my opinion. It is the only eating plan that cannot even begin to be accused of being a 'fad'. Subsistence patterns that dominated for over two million years can hardly be considered a fad. Cordain's book does contain some useful info, but Neanderthin by Ray Audette is a far better, and cheaper, book on paleolithic nutrition. Buy that instead.

The Cholesterol Myths: Exposing the Fallacy that Saturated Fat and Cholesterol Cause Heart Disease
The Cholesterol Myths: Exposing the Fallacy that Saturated Fat and Cholesterol Cause Heart Disease
by Uffe Ravnskov
Edition: Paperback
14 used & new from CDN$ 20.31

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Truth Will Set You Free...And Possibly Save Your Life!, Sept. 21 2002
The lipid hypothesis of heart disease claims that elevated serum cholesterol levels cause heart disease, and it is dietary cholesterol and saturated fat that elevate serum cholesterol. Therefore, claim the lipid theorists, dietary cholesterol and saturated fat cause heart disease. Never mind that saturated fat and cholesterol have been an integral part of the human diet since time immemorial, and that the modern spread of heart disease correlates far more closely with the increasing consumption of refined carbohydrates and polyunsaturated vegetable-source fats...
The lipid hypothesists also claims that high HDL levels and low LDL levls are protective against heart disease, that cholesterol reductions are favourable in the majority of the population, and that cholesterol-lowering drug therapy should be used when dietary intervention fails to lower cholesterol levels.
Ravnskov systematically destroys all these myths and more in this landmark book, highlighting the numerous contradictons, inconsistencies, and outright lies inherent in the cholesterol theory of heart disease.
This book should be mandatory reading for all cholesterol researchers and medical practitioners. However, thanks to the influence of the 'Cholesterol Cartel', most of these individuals will continue to remain blissfully unaware of the true facts surrounding the lipid hypothesis. Individuals wanting to learn the real facts will therefore have to educate themselves, and Ravnskov's book is an excellent place to start.

I can't recommend this book highly enough! I would also STRONGLY recommend "The Cholesterol Conspiracy" by Russell L. Smith, Ph.D, published by Warren H. Green (Ravnskov makes mention of Smith's work in his book), a condensed version of an extensive 2 volume review by Smith of the lipid hypothesis. This book is truly outstanding, and leaves one shaking their head at how such a ludicrous, contradictory, fanciful theory ever became such an embedded feature of modern medicine. Unfortunately Amazon does not sell this one, the only source I know of is direct from the publisher.

Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution
Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution
by Robert C., M.D. Atkins
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 8.99
174 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars DANGER - from misinformed critics!, June 15 2002
Much has been said about the heart attack that afflicted Atkins earlier this year. Low fat advocates enthusiastically rushed to pin the blame on his dietary philosophies, but Atkins suffered from cardiac arrest due to cardiomyopathy, initiated by an infection that spread to his heart muscle. It was not diet-related - coronary blockage was not an issue.
Even Dr. Clyde Yancy, a cardiologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and a member of the American Heart Association's national board of directors, was qouted on as saying "Despite the obvious irony, I believe there is a total disconnect between the cardiac arrest and the health approach he (Atkins) popularizes."
It is interesting to see how low fat advocates are happy to jump all over Atkins, but are conspicuously silent when it comes to recalling the fate of 80's anti-fat guru Nathan Pritikin. If we are going to judge diet plans by the health of their individual authors, consider the following. While Atkins is still going at 72, Pritikin committed suicide in his mid 60's to end the suffering he was experiencing from terminal cancer. Knowing how important fat is for proper immune function it is not unreasonable to suspect a link between Pritikin's low fat diet and his cancer. Of course there could be another explanation, and we should let Pritikin rest. I just wish these individuals would give Atkins the same basic courtesy. A dietary plan should be judged on its own scientific merits, not on the personality or health status of its author.
As far as the notion that high saturated fat diets cause heart disease, when one actually looks carefully at the evidence, instead of taking in good faith the edicts of health authorities, mainstream nutritionists, food companies and cholesterol drug manufacturers, one rapidly begins to see a picture very different from what is commonly portrayed. A full dissertation on the numerous fallacies inherent in the saturated fat/cholesterol theory of heart disease is beyond the scope of a short review - I would highly recommend Uffe Ravnskov's "The Cholesterol Myths. Exposing The Fallacy That Saturated Fat And Cholesterol Cause Heart Disease" for this purpose.
Just consider though, that foods containing saturated fat and cholesterol have been a part of the human diet for literally millions of years. Heart disease itself though, was hardly known at the beginning of the 20th century. Several decades later it had grown to be the leading cause of death in most modernized nations. Consider also that heart disease, in fact degenerative disease in general, appears to be a product of modernization. Primitive peoples eating a diet consisting entirely of fresh, natural whole foods, have remained largely free of CHD and other degenerative ailments common in more advanced areas. For example, in the 1960's Professor George Mann studied the Masai tribespeople in Kenya. The Masai eat copious amounts of high fat milk, meat and blood yet are a slim people free from heart disease. When a society begins to advance it often adopts a number of dietary and lifestyle changes that are conducive to increased illness. In fact it is these changes, not saturated fat and cholesterol consumption, that correspond with the 20th century rise in heart dsiease. To single out saturated fat and cholesterol from all these variables as being responsible for the recent rise in disease when we have been consuming them for so long is pure junk science.
There are numerous studies showing superior weight loss on low carb diets. A recent study by Yancy et al, compared the American Heart Association's low-fat " Step 1" Diet with a low-carbohydrate diet similar to the Atkins Diet. The low-carbohydrate group experienced greater fat loss, dropping an average of 21.4 pounds of fat, compared to 14 pounds on the low-fat group.
I have a great deal of respect for Atkins and his efforts to popularise low-carb nutrition.
My preferred approach to low-carb nutrition, however, is to utilise 'Paleolithic' food choices when consuming such a diet. Instead of sausages and burgers, I prefer grass-fed beef, which has a superior fatty-acid profile to grain-fed beef. Neanderthin by Ray Audette is a great, easy-to-read book on Paleo eating.
The diet Atkins recommends to kick-start weight loss, where carbs are kept below 20g a day, is a ketogenic diet. In my experince, when people go on a ketogenic diet one of two things will happen.
After a few days on the diet, they will either feel vast improvements in energy and mental clarity, or they will suffer from various levels of lethargy and mental fog.
If you are one of the people that suffers from decreased energy on a ketogenic diet, don't throw the baby out with the bathwater! The answer may be as simple as slightly upping your carb intake, similar to what is recommended in Life Without Bread, another great low carb book. In LWB one is advised to consume 72g carbs per day. Suddenly cutting out all carbs as in the induction phase of Atkins appears to be too much for some people (including myself). Just gradually taper down your carb intake if you fall into this category.
Atkins book is a great source of info on the benefits of reducing carb intake, so I still give it 4 stars. It should be read by anyone serious about learning all they can about low-carb nutrition, even if it is not the low-carb protocol that they end up adopting.
I would recommend one reads a variety of books on low-carb nutrition, which will expose one to a variety of approaches. This will allow one both to formulate an approach that suits them best, and, as a bonus, avoid becoming a hysterical, emotional anti-low-carb critic.

Looking Out for #1
Looking Out for #1
by Robert J. Ringer
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
31 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A handy guide to rational and rewarding living!, June 16 2001
Some people might misinterpret the title of this book as`How To Screw People And Get Away With It',but nothing could be further from the truth! Robert shows how being an independent-thinking person who strives to fulfill his own rational self-interest not only leads to a more rewarding life but makes you less of a burden on those around you.Author and philosopher Ayn Rand,who Ringer lists as a source of inspiration,demonstrated the concept of rational self-interest through her fictional heroes-noble,dignified,purposeful characters such as Jon Galt and Howard Roark in `Atlas Shrugged' and `The Fountainhead'.In `Looking Out For No.1',Ringer provides an effective, down-to-earth,practical guide for enacting this concept in real-life.An entertaining read,Ringer provides many examples from his personal experience,some of which are quite humorous.Many of the characters he lists in the section on the `People Hurdle' will no doubt sound familiar to most readers.I enjoyed this one so much I have ordered two more of Robert's books!

It's Not about the Bike: My Journey Back to Life
It's Not about the Bike: My Journey Back to Life
by Lance Armstrong
Edition: Hardcover
103 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Very Inspiring !, March 3 2001
An inspiring chronicle of Lance's upbringing, his rise as a talented cyclist, his ordeal with cancer, and the comeback that culminated with his first Tour De France win.
Lance's experiences and personal transformation are deeply moving, and as an avid cyclist I especially enjoyed his description of the various stages of the Tour De France. You feel like you are looking over his shoulder while he is riding!
I could not put this book down -a fantastic read from start to finish!

NeanderThin: Eat Like a Caveman to Achieve a Lean, Strong, Healthy Body
NeanderThin: Eat Like a Caveman to Achieve a Lean, Strong, Healthy Body
by Ray Audette
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
22 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars The Diet Your Body Was Designed To Eat!, Feb. 26 2001
I have read several low-carbohydrate diet books and consider Ray Audette's `Neanderthin' to be the best so far. While I still recommend reading `Protein Power' and `The Atkins Diet Revolution' for their enlightening discourse on the dangers of excess insulin release, I particularly enjoyed Audette's line of argument. He argues his case based on man's evolutionary development. The book is based on the simple, logical premise that the human body will function best on the diet it was designed to eat - the same diet that man spent the greatest part of his evolutionary history consuming.
Unlike many low-carbohydrate diet plans that allow liberal consumption of sausages, bacon, and other additive-laden products, `Neanderthin' places an emphasis on game and grass-fed meats, and if these aren't available, lean cuts from the supermarket. I feel Audette's approach is the healthiest of the popular low-carb diets. Having ditched the nonsensical high-carbohydrate approach to nutrition years ago, I have noticed nothing but improvements in my well-being and energy levels, and I wholeheartedly recommend low carbohydrate nutrition to anyone seeking the best of health. `Neanderthin' is a great book to start with.
The only criticism I would have is his insistence that dietary supplements are unnecessary. The evidence of benefits for supplements like antioxidants and fish oils is quite compelling. Many of us have to contend with factors that were not an issue for the hunter-gatherers like pollution, unnatural stress patterns, etc. These cause strain on our body's reserves and may well justify the taking of a liitle something extra, i.e. vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements. Many of us who have already spent way too long on poor diets may also need levels of certain nutrients beyond what is derived from food alone.
Apart from this, Neanderthin is a great book and a must read!

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