Recently I’ve finished reading The Case For Keto book by the science journalist Gary Taubes. Previously, I read his very interesting book about the history of sugar consumption and its dangers. That book was The Case Against Sugar. So it was an easy decision to buy The Case For Keto since I knew that the book couldn’t be bad. My intuition was correct. He’s latest book is indeed informative, interesting and most importantly could help people make healthier choices in life and get rid of obesity and Type 2 Diabetes following Low Carb High Fat/ketogenic eating.
Personally, I was interested in reading this book since I am following Intermittent Fasting regimen for 13 weeks now with great success, losing about 29 pounds (13 kg) so far. For people who don’t know what Intermittent Fasting is it’s an approach to eating when you fast for certain period of time, say 19 hours, and then have an “eating window” of 5 hours where you have all your meals. This is exactly what I practice myself on average. You can read about this in detail in my other posts.
So trying to combine Intermittent Fasting with Keto diet was a natural thought for me. Well, The Case For Keto sounded like a good book to provide me some tips on how to incorporate Keto diet into my eating pattern.
This book starts with a historical context of how Low Carb High Fat diet was conceived and how it went from fame to oblivion in the middle of twentieth century. Actually, that part was a little bit boring for me, maybe, because it has a repetitive topics covered again and again. I even thought of giving up on reading. But, I tend to finish books that I start reading especially books by authors that I value. And I was right, starting from Chapter 4, Side Effects it became better and then excellent. Gary Taubes was able to describe clearly how people become obese, what foods cause obesity, and why eating Low Carb High Fat diet can actually help obese people to get lean again and even revert Type 2 Diabetes eating this way.
The main issue I have with the Keto diet promoted in this book is the fanatical insistence on abstaining from almost any carbs. As an Intermittent Fasting practitioner I understand how and why it works and I can say that If you do Intermittent Fasting while eating real food during eating window you do not need to be a Keto fanatic and eat almost no carbs. Clinical and scientific research shows that Intermittent Fasting works because when you fast your blood glucose level becomes very low, as a consequence, insulin level goes down too. Then after about 12 hours glycogen is depleted completely in the liver and body switches to turning fat into ketones which are used as a primary energy source by the body. If you’ve noticed there is no word here about not eating carbs. So you do can eat carbs, it will only influence the time that it will take for the body to deplete glycogen in the liver. So say you ate a couple of apples, than you’ve got more glycogen and it will be depleted by the body after 14 hours. No problem, if you fast for at least 16 hours, it means that on hour 15th and 16 your body does switches to burning fat anyway.
But if you only follow Keto diet, indeed, for your body to switch to ketosis you need to adhere to strictly eating as little carbs as possible for the body to start using fat as a fuel.
Apart from this, the book provides a lot useful advice and information that can be helpful for people who want to get healthier and lean. By the way Gary mentions in the book that from 2017 he himself transitioned to do Intermittent Fasting by skipping breakfasts and eating Keto diet in the eating window. Which is interesting to say the least.
All in all, the book is worth reading if you are unsure about Keto diet and want to know more about it. Who knows maybe the advice in it will surprise you and change what you it forever.