Good Books, Bad Taubes

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Welcome to the site! This content is old and may not reflect my current opinions. I keep it up mainly for reference and because I hope at least some of it is still good, but I encourage you to check out more recent posts as well as my Start Here page

Some folks have wondered why I still recommend Gary Taubes' books on my Start Here post given that I have been vocally negative about him lately. Yes, I have a problem with his attitude and frankly find him stubborn. But the truth is that his books changed my life. Without Good Calories, Bad Calories, I might still think that eggs, butter, liver, and cheese are bad for you. I might still think that fat makes you sick and fat. These foods have been instrumental in improving my health and thus my life. The fact that his carbohydrate hypothesis of obesity has attracted so much energy and attention is an unfortunate distraction from the fact that his books mount an excellent defense of fat.  The idea that carbohydrates per se cause obesity is only being debated by a few silly reductionists. For those of us who have read extensively about other healthy cultures, that doesn't even begin to make sense. What healthy peoples have in common is the nutrient dense foods they eat, not their macronutrient ratios. The rest of us have moved on to more relevant issues, like how to have sexy hair, or awesome babies, and stuff like that. 

The Dinka Diet is based around porridge and dairy, insulinogenic foods, why aren't they fat? (note that the Dinka have suffered in recent years from warfare and famine and probably no longer look like this. I didn't want to post the Kitavans, the Aka, or any high-carb tribes I've written about already for the sake of diversity. As for whether this is the "ideal" for men, you have to realize that some of body composition is genetic. The Dinka do not bulk up like other men, they are very similar to the Maasai in that way. It is possible that sexual selection is at work here, as this body type is considered very attractive to the Dinka. The Wodabe are an extreme example of this.)

More porridge eating fatties. Scotland now has one of the highest rates of obesity in Western Europe. Hint: it's not the porridge!

 As for not getting fat, we could argue about what makes people fat all day, but it's clear that it's not sweet potatoes and plantains making people fat. It's clear that it's something about industrial food, which has the unholy synergy of caloric density, hyperpalatibility, and nutritional poverty, along with bundles of rancid vegetable oils, improperly vetted synthetic chemicals, loads of refined sugar, and other garbage. 

Gary Taubes = Diglett