Saturday, January 16, 2010

Good Calories, Bad Calories Notes Available

Toban Wiebe has made available in PDF form extensive notes of the main points in Gary Taubes's Good Calories Bad Calories. Get your copy here. Great as an introduction to or review of the book.

Thanks to Toban for the great work. If you haven't read this book yet, put it on your list. Have the notes handy as well, they'll help you remember the main points. Read the notes for each chapter, then the chapter, then the notes again. Soon you will know more about the topics than most physicians!


Venkat said...

Thanks Don. I have downloaded my copy.

Venkat R

Dr. B G said...

I'm reading GCBC which is like CRACK...

Thanks for generous heads up the notes (e.g. Cliff notes, YEAAAA)!!

Know more than docs?? *haaa* That is the funniest thing you have said on your blog! That endeavor... aint too difficult, Don.

Don said...

Dr B G,

You have a good point there....

Jim Purdy said...

"Soon you will know more about the topics than most physicians!"

You'll reach that point in the first few paragraphs.

Jim Purdy said...

Taubes makes a strong case for saturated fats, including butter.

One of the giant fake-food companies just launched a campaign to "Ban butter to save thousands of lives."

The company, Unilever, is the parent company of many fake foods, including the fake butters Country Crock and I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!

Ban Butter? Why not ban Unilever's fake foods instead?

I've posted more about this on my blog at

Cate said...

Excellent book! I love the "cliff notes" in pdf. Very helpful! Thanks Don!!!

Ned Kock said...

The butter issue links on to another one – butter is not paleo, but it may be very good for us.

I think we need a better understanding of the link between evolutionary pressures and paleo nutrition. Not everything is as simple as it looks.

After all, traits that are survival handicaps do evolve through genetic mutation and selection:

Thanks for posting the notes. Taubes’s book is brilliant.

Don said...


Technically, butter is not paleo. However, the fats in butter are "paleo" as they occurred in paleo foods, as well as in human mother's milk. In addition, adaptation to dairy only requires retention of juvenile characteristics (neoteny) unlike adaptation to grains which requires a whole new set of characteristics. I don't see primal dieting as strict re-enactment of paleolithic diets, but about eating foods to which we have natural adaptation. I would say butter is one of those.

Ned Kock said...

Good points regarding dairy versus grains.

> I don't see primal dieting as strict re-enactment of paleolithic diets, but about eating foods to which we have natural adaptation.

That is my orientation too. Although I think we still have to try to identify those, few, foods for which we have a natural adaptation, but which lead to a decrease in health and longevity.

Then we can decide whether we'll continue eating them, reaping benefits and paying costs, or not.

Also, some foods may be better than others at different points in time in our lives, where we have different hormonal configurations.

Steven said...

Don you rock! This is awesome. While I was reading the book a couple of weeks ago I kept thinking to myself that I should be taking notes on this so I can review the main points.

Now you've done it for me. This is awesome! Thanks. Steve

amaierho said...

Thanks for the link to the notes! As I was reading the notes (page 12), it jarred my memory to when I was a newly graduated med lab tech in 1986 and we would draw diabetic patients blood to be analyzed for fructosamine. Not too long after that, in the 1990s it was called glycosylated protein, and now it is called, even more benignly, in my opinion, hemoglobin A1C. Do you see the progression here? It appears that the acknowledgement of first fructose and then even glucose as potentially contributing to dis-ease and even disability is being lost.

Don said...


Very interesting! Who decided we should switch from fructosamine to HbA1c? Why cover up the fact?

amaierho said...

Three names, two different tests in the technical sense. But they all tell the doctor/patient the same information - a rough record of recent glucose control. Apparently fructosamine/glycosylated protein results provide a look back of up to a couple of weeks, but hemoglobin A1C provides estimates control over a longer period of time because red blood cells live an average of 100 days, and that test uses the red blood cells as the sample instead of plasma. The cost is similar per test so that was not necessarily the reason for the change.