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Genocide! Book Review
Genocide, a book about eating healthy by avoiding sugar, has a subtitle of "how your doctor's dietary ignorance will kill you!!!!" That quadruple exclamation point gives you an indication of how this book will read.
The first thing to be aware of here is that this book did not go through much editing. Normally I am all in favor of self published books, but the process requires a solid team of "friends" who do the editing for you. It was really missing in this case. You have to be very patient to read through this, past the many errors, the multiple strings of !!!! and !?!? and SHOUTING LANGUAGE and back and forth commentary. It several instances this "technique" of writing makes the actual message very hard to understand.
Even more strange, he left justifies EVERYTHING in the book so the paragraphs all run together, and he has massive spacing between lines making the book much thicker than it needs to be. Does that make the information seem more weighty?
On to the message. Author James Carlson has been a doctor for many years and has always advised his people NOT to follow low carb diets - until he read an actual book about low carb diets and realized just how they work medically. Suddenly he understood that they were about removing sugar from your system, and he realized just how critical that was for his patients. Almost overnight he switched to a low carb diet himself and put all his patients on low carb diets - and saw amazing results.
He explains that cholesterol in the body RARELY comes from eating cholesterol. Most of the time it comes from eating sugar that the body then converts into cholesterol. In the same way, triglycerides don't come from eating fat. They come from eating sugars which get converted in the body. These are medical facts that most people aren't taught. Therefore, as they gobble up high-sugar diets with soda and cookies and ice cream, they are causing their own cholesterol problems and triglyceride problems. Their doctors then blame the issues on them eating meat and fat - so they cut back on those, and things only get worse.
James talks about why looking at "calories" in a food item can be meaningless. Literally, the biological measurement of a calorie is taking a food item (say a Big Mac), putting it into a beaker and lighting it on fire. The calories is simply how much heat (actual heat with a thermometer) that Big Mac causes. The problem of course is that a human body digests foods quite differently than a burning match! Just as one example, you can set fiber on fire. It burns quite nicely. However, when you EAT fiber, it goes in one end and out the other, sort of like a scrubby sponge to keep your system clean. It doesn't cause you to gain weight or anything. There are many other similar situations in the human body where the way we digest (or do not digest) something is vastly different than how a match would burn it up in a beaker.
James warns against the dangers of trans fats - something we should all know by now. He warns that the food pyramid with its emphasis on eating tons of grains is wrong. I agree with those. On the other hand, he bashes vegetarianism as being completely unhealthy, which I disagree with. Also, he claims stevia is a blend of hundreds of herbs. Actually, stevia is a green, leafy herb that grows in Central and South America. The official name of the plant is Stevia rebaudiana.
Still, there are only minor errors in a book chock full of solid medical history and explanation. One quote that every doctor should read is on ketones. He says, "I have heard some docs say that you can lose weight but there should never be any ketones in the urine. This is dietary ignorance at its finest. There is absolutely no way to lose fat without the creation of ketones, because ketones are the byproduct of fat digestion. If we are digesting and getting rid of fat, ketones will be created. End of story."
He has several sections dedicated to PCOS and pregnancy, explaining how many women he's helped by getting them to cut sugar from their diets. Many women who were infertile suddenly got pregnant once they reduced their sugar intake and began eating more healthily.
He had one patient with a blood sugar of over 400. In only a few weeks of cutting out sugar and focusing on low carb, his blood sugar was at 150. He has story after story with these results. He's helped people with GERD, and since overweight / obese size has been directly linked to cancer rates, he honestly feels this is saving lives every day.
Finally, for people living on a budget, look at this stat. $65.7 BILLION dollars a year are spent just on coronary artery bypass grafts and angioplasties. Another $22.9 BILLION dollars a year are spent on diabetes II care. We all pay those prices in our insurance premiums. The money you pay into taxes and health care premiums could be vastly reduced if we weren't all paying out those high costs for drug companies to fix people and pump drugs into them. Think of what our society could do with billions of dollars "free" and available for people to spend on other things! It is a sobering thought. One can only hope that more doctors - and food pyramid creators - read this information and start to actually understand it.
So to summarize, the message is great. The science provided to prove the message is great. It makes very clear even to a layperson why every human should be vastly reducing their sugar intake. My only wish is that the book go through a serious editing process, so that it becomes readable to many more people.
As a final note, author James Carlson is a Doctor of Osteopathy, which is "separate but equal" to a Medical Doctor. I had no idea there were two "types" of doctors in the US which were both equivalently licensed to practice medicine. It's very intriguing, and worth a read on Wikipedia.
Buy Genocide from Amazon.com
Lisa Shea's Library of Low Carb Books
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