Book Review: The World Turned Upside Down

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I have read A LOT of amazing and important books on health, nutrition, diabetes, weight loss and low carb.  I wish that I had taken the time to write reviews on all of them.  Some of my reviews are on Amazon.  I have many books on my reading list and will try to start sharing more reviews as I go.  For my recommended reading list, click HERE.

So, this was a book I finished not too long back and SO MANY things resonated with me that I actually took notes for a while, saving Dr. Feinman’s quotes (I LOVE quoting this man), then writing my opinions on what he said.  It got to the point that I loved so much about the book that I would have had to quote the whole book, lol!  So I stopped taking notes and will share with you what I did write down.

Although the book can get a bit technical at some points, even over my head at times, the gems in between make the book priceless.  For those of you that are not familiar with Dr. Feinman, his bio is HERE.  Dr. Feinman was a key player in the publication one of the most crucial pieces of evidence based literature on the benefits of the low carb diet ever published. (Dietary carbohydrate restriction as the first approach in diabetes management: Critical review and evidence base).  If you have not read this incredibly important document, READ IT, KNOW IT, QUOTE IT.  😉

Let me share some of my favorite expressions from the book that are so simply, amazingly logical they are unrefutable.

Quotes on Carbohydrates

“It is amazing that anyone would suggest anything other than carbohydrate restriction for people with diabetes, but the low-fat propaganda is very pervasive. Many “diabetes educators” still recommend reducing fat rather than reducing carbohydrates for people with diabetes, a testament to the triumph of politics over science.”

My comments: I wholeheartedly agree. I, for one, am a diabetes educator that fully embraces and lives a carbohydrate restricted life. It reversed my own journey towards type 2. The low fat diet led me to obesity, pre-diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol problems…all reversed by low carb.  The fact that the low fat diet is still recommended proves that politics on food wins over science on food.   One of my favorite quotes of his is “The low fat diet is dead.  It just depends on how long and how expensive you want the funeral to be.”  Lol!  The low fat diet was one of the biggest, unscientific, pieces of dietary dogma ever pushed on the unsuspecting public.  Let it die folks!  The funeral has been expensive enough. 😉

“Doing it: Eat to the meter. This is the principle used by people with diabetes. The meter is the glucometer which does what it sounds like. It measures blood glucose. If the food you just ate causes a spike in blood sugar, that is a sign to avoid that food. Oddly, diabetes educators may tell you that if the food spikes your blood glucose, that means you need more insulin to deal with that food.”

My comments: this is something I preach to my patients on a daily basis! Eat the way your meter tells you to, plain and simple ;).  If the food you are eating is causing a big spike in your blood sugar, it is NOT that your body has a medication deficiency. It’s that you are giving your body more glucose than it can can process. The only solution, stop it! 😉

“It is hard to believe that a diabetes agency would recommend any amount of carbohydrate but this is it. Their 2008 dietary guidelines contain the rather remarkable advice: Sucrose- containing foods can be substituted for other carbohydrates in the meal plan or, if added to the meal plan, covered with insulin or other glucose-lowering medications. Care should be taken to avoid excess energy intake.”

My comments: this continues to be appalling to me. What they are basically saying here is that it is perfectly fine to substitute the carbs from your broccoli with carbs from a candy bar, as long as you don’t overeat calorie-wise. But oh yeah, that candy bar will require medication…..don’t even get me started here…ugh! People are going to occasionally have a sweet treat no matter what anyone says. But this makes it seem like this is a perfectly healthy practice, even encouraging it.

Quotes on Fat

“The real problem, however, is that the link between saturated fat and heart disease has been impossible to establish; direct tests failed right off and continue to fail. The story of the political triumph of an idea that was clearly contradicted by the science has been told numerous time, and yet the phenomenon still persists. Every time you see a low-fat item in the supermarket you are looking at an artifact of one of the most bizarre stories in the history of science.”

“Most important, as in the epidemiologic study described in the Introduction, there is no risk for cardiovascular disease associated with consuming saturated fat. This has now been borne out by large population studies and there is simply no correlation.”

“The anti-fat campaign has been one of the truly bizarre phenomena in the history of science in this most scientific of periods, we have simply ignored the failures of the numerous experimental tests of the low- fat idea. Proponents of fat reduction have done all the big, expensive studies. They’ve put it to the test. The experiments almost always fail, but they keep doing them on the chance that something new will happen, on the chance that some unexpected change in the universe will make the saturated fat that they know is so bad, actually have a bad outcome. It’s got to be. Wherever the idea came from, it was wrong. Fat consumption, if anything, went down during the obesity epidemic almost all of the increase in calories was in carbohydrates. There is no evidence that there is anything wrong with saturated fat.”

My comments: I don’t know that these statements need a long comment from me. If you have been following my page, you know how I feel about the low fat diet that was killing me. Simply put, the low fat = no science. Never had it, never will.

Other Quotes

“Doctors don’t study nutrition. Nutritionists don’t study medicine. Neither study much science. It is a stereotype, or at least an exaggeration there are many great scientists trained as MDs but stereotypes come from someplace. There are no special requirements for being able to do a good scientific experiment. Having an MD, however, is not sufficient to qualify you as an expert on anything except your medical specialty. You have to learn a lot yourself and you have to ask the experts to justify their opinions. In the end, you are your own expert. Go for results rather than experts.”

My comments: since being active in the low carb-whole food arena, I have been privileged to meet some of the most amazing physicians, nurses, dietitians, and other healthcare personnel that have exhaustively pursued nutrition research. But truthfully, this is a small bunch. I do believe what Dr. Feinman’s says here that you MUST be your own advocate for health. Very few people in the medical field exist who will teach you how to create wellness for yourself. You have to do your own research and find out what works best for you.

I hope you enjoy this book as much as I have.  For more information, or to add the book to your collection, click the book image above.