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Turn Off the Fat Genes - A Book Review
by: David Snape
Once in a while a good title comes along and "Turn Off the Fat Genes" is one of those titles that just have to be written about. If you are not familiar with Dr. Neal Barnard's work, he has been writing about how to lose weight on a high carbohydrate diet for at least a decade now.
I'm amazed, as you might be, that his work is not better known. There are a number of advantages to using a high carb diet and as many disadvantages to the low carb/ high protein diets.
There is some great research in his books that document the ability to lose weight on a high carbohydrate diet, which may also be healthier in the long run than the ever-popular low carbohydrate diets.
You might think it surprising, as I do, that more people are not using high carb diets to lose weight. You might also conclude that this is solely due to a lack of awareness on the part of the public.
Turn of the Fat Genes, written by Dr. Neal Barnard features over 150 pages of menus and recipes. The recipe and menu section is very comprehensive and you can definitely find recipes that will delight you out of such a large compilation.
Dr. Bernard discusses the concept that some of the genes that shape and influence us as human beings are themselves subject to influence. The genes that affect taste, appetite and metabolism are subject to the influence of the foods that we eat.
Not only are they subject to influence, the proper use of foods can mean that you don't have to sacrifice and starve yourself of decent nutrition. You can modify your diet, eat perhaps even more frequently and still enjoy weight loss. Does that sound incredible? It is real. You might feel incredulous because the masses of people out there have been told that low carb is the way to go.
I have been following some of the suggestions in one of Dr. Barnard's books and I can tell you that a high carb diet can help you lose weight. Using his suggestions, I can eat a lot of food frequently and I still seem to stay thin.
To give you an idea of what kind of information "Turn Off the Fat Genes" can provide you with, here is a list of some of the Chapter titles:
Taste Genes: Broccoli and Chocolate
Appetite and the Leptin Gene
The Fat-Building Gene
Fat-Burning: Turning the Flame Higher
How Genes Influence Your Exercise
Children and the Fat Genes
Food Choices for Optimal Weight Control
Dr. Barnard writes, "Contrary to popular opinion, scientific research reveals that genes are not dictators; they are committees. They do not give orders. They make suggestions. Genes are not rogue tyrants exerting despotic control over your waistline. Rather, they work in groups, often with subtle effects, and you can nudge them in the direction you want them to go. You can counteract the fat genes and boost your thin genes."
In ancient times, Hippocrates said, "Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food." Of course we aren't really talking about healing as much as we are discussing losing weight, but the principle applies.
One thing I learned from another of Dr. Barnard's books is that carbohydrates don't make people fat. It is fat that makes people fat. And it makes sense. Carbohydrates pack around 4 calories per gram and fats have about 9 calories per gram.
By the way, even though it is correct terminology, the fact is that the calories discussed here are actually 'thousands of calories'. In nutrition they decided to make a calorie equal to 1,000 real life calories as measured for energy.
Anyway I don't want to confuse anyone, because the RDA is based on nutrition calories, also known as Calories, but no one capitalizes the C as should be done. You can just keep thinking of calories as calories and don't worry about the technicalities.
Back to the story. Dr. Barnard's books on high carb diets are great reading and may inform you about healthier weight loss than you are currently use to. Did I mention the recipe list?
This article is for information purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose, treat or prevent any health condition. If you have or think you have a health condition or even just want to diet, please consult your physician.
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