The Hemp Connection + protein

Book review: The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living

I was just provided a copy of The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living by Jeff S. Volek, PhD, RD, and Stephen D. Phinney, MD, PhD. Knowing how many of you are leaning toward low carb eating in an attempt to pull your hormones back into balance, I figured this would be an important book to review.

Two very important issues to consider that may preclude your even needing to read the entire review.

1. This book advocates for ketosis. While there may be times in your life where ketosis might be something to consider pursuing (which I will cover in tomorrow's post), it has not been reported that a ketotic state in a mother is safe for the baby she is pregnant with. Therefore, if you are trying to conceive, or are pregnant, or are not trying to conceive but might become pregnant, I do NOT, repeat, do NOT, advocate that you follow this diet. The word pregnant did not appear even once in this book and I do not believe this was a consideration of the two male authors who wrote it. Reader beware.

2. I used two of the menu plans in the back of the book for diet analyses. I came pretty close to the total calorie, as well as protein/carbohydrate/fat breakdowns they listed. Both days I analzyed came up short. Day One was deficient in fiber, vitamin D, and iron.

Day Two was deficient in pantothenic acid, iron, calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin C.

I think the basic premise of the book, that fewer refined foods are better, is something most people would agree with. I actually think that be it vegan, raw, paleo, or low carb, advocates of each of these ways of eating are trying to say that less processing is better. They then frame it in a way of eating that makes the choices easier. In each case, however, when taken to extremes, the diets become unbalanced and potentially deficient.

The whole time I was reading this book, the words of my grad school statistics professor were on my mind. He used to always say,"If you torture the statistics long enough, they will confess whatever you want them to."

These scientists were able to prove that an extreme diet accomplished a counterintuitive effect. I won't deny that. However, I had the sense in reading the book they were so singluarly focused on proving that point, they forgot about the big picture, namely balanced nutrition. I'm on board with much of what the book says. But you can't throw out all vitamin, mineral, and pregnancy recommendations just because you proved one singluar point.

inCYST nutrition is very high liability nutrition. We are not just making recommendations for Momma. Baby (and in many cases, especially those of you undergoing IVF, multiple babies) is at the mercy of what we say as well. In this case, I felt very uneasy with what I read. If the authors were willing to take the time to do research on pregnant women, I'd be willing to listen to what they have to say. In the meantime, it feels like at the very least they should have provided a disclaimer for this population to protect themselves.

Because that was neglected in the spirit of demonstrating that bacon, meat, and ice cream are ok to eat, for inCYSTers, this book does NOT get a recommendation.

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Book review: The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living + protein