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on June 03, 2012 :
This book gives very good, unbiased information about the various low-carb diets out there. Given the amount of conflicting data, opinions and ideas in this area, it is really helpful to find out more about the actual studies behind them.
I also found it informative to find out what potential negative side effects a ketogenic diet can cause (I have not yet tried one).
Jenny draws both on her research into the various studies as well as her long experience and practical knowledge in the diabetic arena (and blood sugar is a very important diet factor). She answered plenty of questions for me in this book.
Bottom line is that the book is full of good information presented in a practical, down-to-earth manner and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in (or confused about) low carb diets.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on June 03, 2012 :
The Truth About Low Carb Diets is a very useful handbook for those who have spent some time on low carbohydrate diets and want to both understand the physiology in play and seek to tweak their own regime.
A lot of the discussion is dense academic stuff that explores the logic of low carb eating -- albeit very pragmatically.
There is both good and bad with low carb diets and it pays to get a handle on the processes you unleash inside you when you cut them carbs. Other 'diet books' make it simple and all very partisan. Some promote Paleo lifestylism and hot bods. Jenny Ruhl , on the other hand, brings a sharp clinical eye to the diet and meshes that with her long term personal experience of diabetes and eating low carb as well as her ongoing relationship with so many low carb (and often diabetic) dieters.
Where the research papers run out or fail to deliver affirming evidence one way or the other there is a reasonable smattering of shared anecdotal evidence to draw upon. Handy advice.
So when you stop losing weight on a low carb diet -- or seem to have stopped (as it happens) -- this is a book to run to for assurances and possible tweaks.
Ruhl also tackles the question of the fat:carbohydrate ratio which is a seldom attended to conundrum embedded in the habits fostered by these diets. The LCHF -- Low Carb High Fat -- diet embraces the pairing but, as Ruhl points out, it ain't that simple, especially if you increase your carbohydrate intake while still eating high fat.
Prepare to balloon.
So all in all, this is the handbook low carb dieters need to refer to as required when some issue upsets their menu planning. For diabetics eating low carb -- I'd think this would be an essential resource as it is very empowering to put the means to control so many consequences of your condition by customizing what you place on the end of your fork.
For diabetics, Diet 101: The Truth About Low Carb Diets takes up where the work of Dr Richard Bernstein leaves off ... and carefully humanises his rather strict eating regime by bringing it up to date in line with more recent research and collective experience.
For people who aren't familiar with all of Jenny's good deeds she lives here: Diabetes 101 -- and has blogged about low carb eating and diabetes for years. It is also the best resource on the web for the recently diagnosed.
It's where I started....and I still come back for more good oil from Jenny Ruhl.
My takeaway message was one I've grasped just at a time when I was becoming confused about what I was eating... and why. While it may be de riguer to say I'm eating a low carbohydrate diet -- how low should I go? And if I increase my fat intake: by how much fat? If the diet is working and doing me good, how will I know?
Ruhl is keen to argue that what's good for one person may indeed be different for another and that even non-diabetics can utilize glucose monitoring devices if they want to engineer the best result. But for diabetics the commandment, as always, is direct: test, test, test.
Glucose monitoring widgets are the new empowering democracy.
Perhaps you are thinking that what the world doesn't really need is another diet book? Perhaps. But the nutrition debate is shifting as the official paradigm of these last 40 years collapses in an array of bad health consequences. But when it comes to us -- we individuals -- whatever is the congealed nutritional social milieu that formed us, we still are up against the challenge of not only dieting but engineering a means to do that that will stay with us for life. And that's not an easy call.
Most dieters don't succeed long term. Even persisting for a year is a big ask of our bodies. Despite the fact that any one diet may work -- is eating it the way you want to spend the rest of your life?
Another complication is that, as Ruhl argues, your potential hypothetical weight loss is going to be contained within 10-20% (very usually much less) of your starting/original weight. So do your sums before you start setting goals and recognise that it may take a long time to even par down that far.
Tragedy may be easy but weight loss, like the comedy it is, is hard.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)