Here is a list of books on the Ketogenic Diet that anybody interested in pursuing this lifestyle should read. The titiles and covers lead to the Amazon.com site but most of these titiles are available elswhere as well. You will find a quick overview of each book and my most important observations.
The Obesity Code by Jason Fung – this book led me back into the LCHF research (for the second time). I had known about the Keto Diet prior to picking up this book and had tried it on and off throughout the years, but after reading this book and observing some athletes on social media talk about the benefits of high-fat foods I decided to give this another try. Dr. Jason Fung argues that the calories-in vs. calories-out and move-more principles are flawed when it comes to the fight against the obesity epidemic that’s currently raging worldwide. Instead, he directs our attention to a hormone imbalance – in particular the insulin. He believed that by improving this hormone imbalance we will cure ourselves of the bulge.
I’ve enjoyed the ease of reading of this book – it’s not by any means a scientifically written book and this has its pros and cons. The book did feel a bit too simplistic in its explanations, but I understand it was written with a layman in mind as a reader and a foreword by Timothy Noakes certainly more than makes up for any shortcomings.
The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living by Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney – was the next book I picked up in hopes of broadening my horizons on the topic of Low Carbohydrate Diets and it certainly did not disappoint. If you like science you will enjoy this book, but if you think you can read this book for leisure you are going to be disapointed. Your mind must stay sharp and focused throughout this book – it’s an academic kind of reading, you can’t just go through the montions and expect to understand the authors.
It’s an in depth explanation of Low Carbodydrate origins in different cultures as compared to the modern approach, the human physiology and how a Low Carbohydrate Diet benefits the body, followed by clinical applications of the diet. You will also get to read contributions by Dr. Eric Kossoff, Jacqueline Eberstein RN and Jimmy Moore (author and vivid proponent of LCHF diet). You will also find some sample menu items to help you with your transition and to show you how easy it is to incorporate this style of eating into your life without too much trouble.
The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance by Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney – this book is a next step up from its predecesor. And while the previous book was a tad academic, this one will require even more attention to detail and concentration on the part of the reader.
As the title implies this book focuses more on implementing low-carb approach to fuel performance. This book simply put challenges the common understaning and accepted truths about how one should fuel their body when physical performance is of concern. The authors show how fat adaption is possible by changing one’s thinking and accepting fat as a viable source of energy. Then they go on into an implementation of the diet disecting each macronutrient, addressing fuid and mineral requirements and ultimately giving the reader some options f menus and personalisation. In Chapter 12 they offer some words of wisdom from Low Carb Athletes.
I will admit this book is like a bible for anybody intrested in applying low carbohydrate diet to fuel their performance. It will require a fair deal of attention, though. I personally did not find it an easy read and will certainly have to go back to it and re-read it as I learn more about fat-adaptation.
The Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teicholz is a fantastic read for anybody intrested in food politics. It is very thorough picture of what happened and when for the entire population of the earth to fear dietary fat. It reads extremely well, almost like a suspense novel, even though we might know very well what the conclusion is going to be. The author simply has a way with words.
Without giving out all the details I will say that reading this exposé of fat fear dogma I’ve come to realise, even more than before, that when it comes to health, nutrition and wellbeing we are on our own. We are left alone to figure it all out, because most scientists, prefessionals and doctors do not have our best intrest in mind. Most are more concerned with fame and money.
This is why authors such as Nina Teicholz are so important in delivering an unbiased, informed and reserched information to the public. It’s then up to us to read, listen and implement the message in our lives. This time the message is about fat and how we were led to believe that fat will kill us and instead we should replace it with sugar. Highly recommended.
Cholesterol Clarity by Jimmy Moore
The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes is one of not many books that I decided to get in paper format. These days most of my books are stored on my phone or on my e-reader, but this one I just had to have in paper to be able to hold and flip the physical pages. It might sound silly but once you learn about the work of Prof. Timothy Noakes and the prosecution he is curently facing due to a recommendation he made that a mother wean her baby to a low carb diet, you might be able to understand my choice.
To give you a bit of a back story, Prof. Tim Noakes used to believe in the low fat dogma and used to fuel his long distance running with carbohydrates like many athletes. He even wrote another book on the subject of athletic performance and the necessity of carbohydrates to properly fuel an athlete’s body. But he has changed his outlook when despite of high level of physical activity and a very fit body he was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. This shifted his entire understand of proper nutrition and he made a complete 180 as far as fueling his body. He went from believing that carbohydrates are a necessary macronutrient for a human body to deeming them non-essential and instead accepting fat as a more important mactonutrient both for energy and for health. He has learned to accept that carbohydrates have made him literally sick and they must be kept to a minimum in his diet. He implemented this for himself and he is able to keep his T2D at bay – he can’t completely reverse it, because he is genetically predisposed to this disease, but he can sucessfully control it by controling his carbohydrate intake.
In this book he shares his knowledge with the reader in the most delightful way. The first part of the book is a simple and acessible explanation of what this his Meal Revolution – that he calls Banting – entails, how to implement it and stick to it for life. It is written in a simple language yet does not lack in professionalism and knowledge.
Next comes the fun part of the book – the reciepe part! You will see how easy the food is and how delicious Banting can be. You will not see any grain recipies, instead you will see a lot of fat oriented dishes, fatty meats and mostly green vegetables. There are some recipes that show you how to substitute for the common grain and high carbohydrate foods that you might be used to eating, like rice, potatoes, paata, flat bread, wraps, bread. Most of the recipes are savoury with a few breakfast items that use fruit or xylitol as sweetener. You also won’t find a dessert section in this book and while it might be a disapointment for some I think this is a very smart approach. The idea with Banting is that we move away from the modern way of eating – everything we buy at the grocery store is ladden with sugar. By eating heavily processed foods we have trained our bodies to want the sweet stuff, now it’s time to unlearn this by allowing our tastebuds to taste the real food that is mostly savoury.
The last part of the book is a Sientific Justification for a Banting Diet – a comprehensive essay from Prof. Timothy Noakes. This is the science that some of us will seek in order to be convienced to switch and it’s all there.
It’s a 5 star rating book!
New Atkins for a New You by Eric Westman, Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney
The Complete Guide to Fasting by Jimmy Moore and Jason Fung
Keto Adapted by Maria Emmerich
From the book cover:
“A ketogenic diet isn’t something new that has been recently formulated; people have been on a ketogenic diet for virtually three million years in which our brains were nurtured and evolved. Now the human brain is not only shrinking, but brain atrophy is the norm as we age and get plagued with diseases such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
People mistakenly think that they need to eat less and exercise more to create a calorie deficit in order to lose weight. This is not how diet and exercise helps with weight loss. A well-formulated keto-adapted diet along with proper exercise builds muscle and muscle builds mitochondria. It is in the mitochondria where fat is oxidized so you can keep your cells and liver insulin sensitized. Weight loss and health is about healthy mitochondria and about controlling hormones and specifically insulin.
This is not a diet, it is a lifestyle. By eating this way, you will begin to heal your cells and will keep evolving your body into the happy and healthy person you want to be. This book is filled with the most impeccable nutrition information to fuel your cells. Maria’s passion goes beyond explaining the ‘why’, she is a master in the kitchen and loves food. Her keto-adapted recipes at the end of the book tie all the nutrition together so you can become keto-adapted faster than ever.”
The Ketogenic Cookbook by Maria Emmerich and Jimmy Moore – is a beautifully composed cookbook that’s a treasure to behold! Its glossy pages and colorful pictures make you want to go straight to the kitchen and start cooking.
Maria starts with an Intro to the Ketogenic Diet by explaining:
- what the diet entails
- how it came to be
- why most should switch to Keto
- how to cook this way
Next come the recipes and there are so many of them that together with Tim Noakes’ book this is all you will ever need to feed yourself! Like in the Real Meal Revolution Maria mostly focuses on the savoury dishes in her cookbook. Unlike Tim, Miaria included a small section titled Treats for those of us with a sweet tooth – here she opts for 2 types of sweeteners: erythritol and stevia glycerite. All sweeteners and other specialty ingredients are fully explained in the first section of the book.
The third section of the book is devoted to resource materials for further reading or for acquisition of ingredients. She also includes simple 7 day meal plans for various objectives such as weight loss and healing, weight gain or vegetarian keto.
What I like the most (aside from the actual recipes) is the recipe index at the very back of the book. It’s a thumbnail gallery of all the recipes from the book arranged in sections (condiments, dressings, broth and other basics – breakfast – appetizers – beef and lamb – pork – poultry – fish and seafood – vegetarian dishes – sides – treats). Every thumbnail picture has the name and the page number in the book for quick reference. It’s a brilliant idea that is very easy to implement and extremely useful for the cook.
The 30 day ketogenic cleanse by Maria Emmerich – I don’t usually believe in cleanses and detox and purification claims, but this one is definitely on my list to read because it is not a typical fruit juice type cleanse. I know that from promos of this book that it is actually a type of guide for people to help them get into Keto. It’s not out yet, so keep your eyes peeled for a Christmas Gift.
The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubes
This book is due to be published on December 27, 2016 – heads up to any friends and spouses of food geeks: your friend and/or spouse would probably be thrilled to find this title under the christmas tree.
These are mostly reciepe blogs to give you ideas of the type of meals you can cook up when you decide to eliminate grains and sugars from your diet and follow the LCHF diet. People often accuse this WOE of being very restrictive and boring so here are some links to put an end to this complaint. Have a look for yourself and tell me that these don’t make your mouth water!
Low Carb Genesis – A bog by a delightful writer Emily Maguire
Low Carb Yum – Reciepes by Lisa – a very skilled home cook
Drop the sugar – Sweet treats by Lisa
Ditch the Carbs – Food blog by a mum of 3 young children and a registered pharmacist
Keto Diet Blog – This is the most comprehensive online resource for all things Keto including recipes and questions concerning the diet. There is also an app you can use on the phone (Android and iphone) or ipad for easy access to the recipes.
Ruled Me – Not only recipes, but also tons of information on the Ketogenic Lifestyle including food lists, menu items, meal plans, keto calculator and more.
The Man Can Cook – this seems like a pretty dormant page and the @KetoKing seems to be more active on instagram.
For those of you who are still sceptical about the health safety of ditching the carbs and increasing the fat intake I invite you to visit the following blogs. They deal with the most up to date research on dietary fat and how it affects our bodies.
One guy’s exploration of the Cholesterol mystery as he starts his Low-Carb, High-Fat diet in April 2015. He’s been monitoring and seeing his cholesterol and lipid numbers spike ever since. He can be reached via twitter @DaveKeto.
The Fat Emperor – Ivor Cummins brings you the latest and greatest from the Keto community around the world.
Ketopia – this seems to be a fairly slow blog but a good resource for Keto oriented topics.
When you go to a grocery store these days most of what you can buy there has been created by the same companies who with their money led us to believe that fat is the enemy number one. So it’s no wonder that all of their packaged stuff is low-in-good-fat (think good saturated and monounsaturated fat aka Omega-3), high-in-bad-fat (think seed oils and hydrogenated fat aka polyunsaturated fats aka Omega-6) and by default also high-in-processed-carbs. So, unless you limit yourself to produce section for the above-ground grown vegetables, meat section and some good oils and dairy section, there is not much there for you as a LCHF diet consumer to buy. And if you live in a remote location, as I do, finding meats like bacon, sausages etc. that don’t contain added sugars and flours can be very challenging as well. This is why I’ve created this section, to show you that if occasionally you crave some beef jerky, you don’t have to settle for less. This stuff is going to be more expensive, as often time you also need to account for shipping, but this is meant to be a resource for treats, not everyday groceries. Some of these foods will also serve well to people looking for lightweight keto hiking foods.
Epic – mostly beef jerky, but you’ll also find a different kind of bar on this site.
Sogo Snacks – peperonni style meat and more.
Keto Macro Calculator by KetoGains
Diet Doctor – is a resource page for people wanting to take on the LCHF diet approach but need some coaching by a doctor – you can start a free month trail and then decide if you want to continue. It’s done fully online, so there is no fear of not being able to see Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt because of location. However, if you are not ready to commit to a memebership there is still plenty of information availble on the website for free. Read about Dr. Andreas to find out about his story and how the Diet Doctor came about.
The Noakes Foundation is a Non-Profit Corporation founded for public benefit which aims to advance medical science’s understanding of the benefits of a low-carb high-fat (LCHF) diet by providing evidence-based information on optimum nutrition that is free from commercial agenda.
An international and New York Times best-seller, The Big Fat Surprise explains the politics, personalities, and history of how we came to believe that dietary fat is bad for health. The Big Fat Surprise was also the first mainstream publication to make the full argument for why saturated fats–the kind found in dairy, meat, and eggs–are not bad for health. The Economist named it the best science book of 2014 and called it a “nutrition thriller.” The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Mother Jones, Library Journal and Kirkus Reviews named it a *Best Book* of 2014. The BMJ praised the book in an extensive review, and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition said, “All scientists.. and every nutrition science professional…should read this book.”
FoodMed – A website dedicated to good science of food as medicine, and medicine as food published and edited by one of South Africa’s top writers on medicine for health in body and mind – Marika Sboros. It’s an excellent resource for the most up to date news on what’s happening the realm of LCHF diet around the world. It’s also a resource for anybody looking to connect with various LCHF professionals around the world from doctors to coaches and activists.