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Proteinaholic: How Our Obsession with Meat Is Killing Us and What We Can Do About It

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An acclaimed surgeon specializing in weight loss delivers a paradigm-shifting examination of the diet and health industry’s focus on protein, explaining why it is detrimental to our health, and can prevent us from losing weight. Whether you are seeing a doctor, nutritionist, or a trainer, all of them advise to eat more protein. Foods, drinks, and supplements are loaded with An acclaimed surgeon specializing in weight loss delivers a paradigm-shifting examination of the diet and health industry’s focus on protein, explaining why it is detrimental to our health, and can prevent us from losing weight. Whether you are seeing a doctor, nutritionist, or a trainer, all of them advise to eat more protein. Foods, drinks, and supplements are loaded with extra protein. Many people use protein for weight control, to gain or lose pounds, while others believe it gives them more energy and is essential for a longer, healthier life. Now, Dr. Garth Davis, an expert in weight loss asks, “Is all this protein making us healthier?” The answer, he emphatically argues, is NO. Too much protein is actually making us sick, fat, and tired, according to Dr. Davis. If you are getting adequate calories in your diet, there is no such thing as protein deficiency. The healthiest countries in the world eat far less protein than we do and yet we have an entire nation on a protein binge getting sicker by the day. As a surgeon treating obese patients, Dr. Davis was frustrated by the ever-increasing number of sick and overweight patients, but it wasn't until his own health scare that he realized he could do something about it. Combining cutting-edge research, with his hands-on patient experience and his years dedicated to analyzing studies of the world’s longest-lived populations, this explosive, groundbreaking book reveals the truth about the dangers of protein and shares a proven approach to weight loss, health, and longevity.


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An acclaimed surgeon specializing in weight loss delivers a paradigm-shifting examination of the diet and health industry’s focus on protein, explaining why it is detrimental to our health, and can prevent us from losing weight. Whether you are seeing a doctor, nutritionist, or a trainer, all of them advise to eat more protein. Foods, drinks, and supplements are loaded with An acclaimed surgeon specializing in weight loss delivers a paradigm-shifting examination of the diet and health industry’s focus on protein, explaining why it is detrimental to our health, and can prevent us from losing weight. Whether you are seeing a doctor, nutritionist, or a trainer, all of them advise to eat more protein. Foods, drinks, and supplements are loaded with extra protein. Many people use protein for weight control, to gain or lose pounds, while others believe it gives them more energy and is essential for a longer, healthier life. Now, Dr. Garth Davis, an expert in weight loss asks, “Is all this protein making us healthier?” The answer, he emphatically argues, is NO. Too much protein is actually making us sick, fat, and tired, according to Dr. Davis. If you are getting adequate calories in your diet, there is no such thing as protein deficiency. The healthiest countries in the world eat far less protein than we do and yet we have an entire nation on a protein binge getting sicker by the day. As a surgeon treating obese patients, Dr. Davis was frustrated by the ever-increasing number of sick and overweight patients, but it wasn't until his own health scare that he realized he could do something about it. Combining cutting-edge research, with his hands-on patient experience and his years dedicated to analyzing studies of the world’s longest-lived populations, this explosive, groundbreaking book reveals the truth about the dangers of protein and shares a proven approach to weight loss, health, and longevity.

30 review for Proteinaholic: How Our Obsession with Meat Is Killing Us and What We Can Do About It

  1. 5 out of 5

    Max

    There is nothing in this book that you can't read in better written 'vegetarian-ism' books. I promise. I've read most of them :) I could have handled his obnoxious tone, his "I'm a doctor let me talk down to you in an aww-shucks manner" writing style, and his incredibly offensive penchant for explaining how he (and this is true) trained himself to dislike meat by thinking of slaughterhouse practices whenever he craved a burger(!), if he didn't do the one thing he complained that the 'other side' There is nothing in this book that you can't read in better written 'vegetarian-ism' books. I promise. I've read most of them :) I could have handled his obnoxious tone, his "I'm a doctor let me talk down to you in an aww-shucks manner" writing style, and his incredibly offensive penchant for explaining how he (and this is true) trained himself to dislike meat by thinking of slaughterhouse practices whenever he craved a burger(!), if he didn't do the one thing he complained that the 'other side' does, and which he, Garth Davis, would not do. That is, cherry-pick data from small sample, short-term health studies. Because as soon as he said that all I noticed were his incessant allusions to health studies that looked at small samples, over short time-frames that (surprise!) proved his point. To be fair, all health books use that trick. And, many researchers do small scale studies over short time-periods to prove their points. That's an issue. And, to be honest, I don't disagree with Davis' conclusions. We do eat far too much meat in the standard-American-diet (SAD). I'm not sure if the answer is going vegan, although that is one option, but rather I think we need to change the way we look at food and how we cook it. Yes, we need to eat more vegetables, whole grains, and less meat. Yes, livestock raising is a serious ethical, moral, health, and environmental issue. But, there are better books out there to read about this issue that lack the moralizing, evangelizing tone of this one. Really, at the end of day, eat in moderation and how Michael Pollan recommended: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Other books to read instead: The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted And the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, And Long-term Health Death by Food Pyramid Vb6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health . . . for Good Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating with More Than 75 Recipes In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto You Don't Need Meat How Not to Die

  2. 4 out of 5

    Neil Gaudet

    This is an indispensable book on nutrition. It flies in the face of popular diets and does it with confidence. Unfortunately it will likely be ignored by most people that don't want to hear their food choices are probably killing them. This is an indispensable book on nutrition. It flies in the face of popular diets and does it with confidence. Unfortunately it will likely be ignored by most people that don't want to hear their food choices are probably killing them.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Kladar

    I couldn't put this book down. It's easy to read and it's packed full of useful, insightful information about our obsession with protein and the impact this obsession has on our health. As a former proteinaholic myself, I can attest to the negative impacts this addiction can have on our wellbeing as well as on our waistlines. I thought that gaining weight was inevitable as we get older. And at one point I was well on my way to becoming overweight despite my obsession with protein. What I didn't I couldn't put this book down. It's easy to read and it's packed full of useful, insightful information about our obsession with protein and the impact this obsession has on our health. As a former proteinaholic myself, I can attest to the negative impacts this addiction can have on our wellbeing as well as on our waistlines. I thought that gaining weight was inevitable as we get older. And at one point I was well on my way to becoming overweight despite my obsession with protein. What I didn't know was that my overconsumption of animal protein was the very factor that contributed to my weight gain. It wasn't until I recovered from this addiction to animal protein by going fully plant based that the pounds finally started to melt. In the first two years of going vegan I lost 30 lbs. I went from 150 lbs to 120 lbs. I have kept this weight off for almost a decade as a vegan and am now in better shape at 40 years old than I was at 25 years old. I have even recently managed to compete in a bodybuilding contest and have completed many Ironman triathlons and ultra-marathons. Ditching my obsession with animal protein has changed my life for the better in ways I could have never even imagined previously. Thank you for this much needed book, Dr. Garth Davis. I hope everyone gets to read it and benefit from its advice.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Clayton

    What a fantastic and fascinating read. It paints yet another grim picture of the American diet and its obsession with animal protein. He doesn't always advocate pure vegetarianism or veganism (although he is a vegan himself) but makes a clear case that eating way more veggies and fruits just might save your life and health someday. What a fantastic and fascinating read. It paints yet another grim picture of the American diet and its obsession with animal protein. He doesn't always advocate pure vegetarianism or veganism (although he is a vegan himself) but makes a clear case that eating way more veggies and fruits just might save your life and health someday.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Starr Light

    Bullet Review: My biggest problem can kinda be summed up in one flaw: Davis spends a lot of the book citing sources proving his point. And then, without one shred of evidence, tells his audience to turn to organic, non-GMO foods. I agree with his premise to eat less meat and saturated fats; I don’t care for exactly how he did it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Barker

    An informative and well written analysis of how an animal-based diet is killing us. I was particularly interested in the author's perspective, since he is a doctor who specializes in obesity and he was one of the proponents, before he knew better, of a high-protein low-carb diet. Oops. I was also surprised by the number of books out there written using pretend-science (Paleo diet books, Wheat Belly, to name a few). And by the supposedly scientific research being done that is FUNDED BY DAIRY AND An informative and well written analysis of how an animal-based diet is killing us. I was particularly interested in the author's perspective, since he is a doctor who specializes in obesity and he was one of the proponents, before he knew better, of a high-protein low-carb diet. Oops. I was also surprised by the number of books out there written using pretend-science (Paleo diet books, Wheat Belly, to name a few). And by the supposedly scientific research being done that is FUNDED BY DAIRY AND AGRICULTURAL INTERESTS. Davis lays it out very clearly. A diet based on animal products puts people at a much greater risk of developing heart disease, cancer, dementia, diabetes, obesity, irritable bowel—you name it, it's on the list. To say nothing of the environmental impact of raising animals, or the brutal treatment of the animals being slaughtered so that we can have our hamburgers. It's a no-brainer. A plant-based diet (presuming plants doesn't = potato chips) provides all the protein and calcium a person needs. Plus you feel better. Plus you're healthier.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Arthur Lau

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it to anybody who is curious for a well-written summary of reasons to adopt a plant-based diet. - empowers readers to interrogate scientific studies themselves - tells a powerful personal story. - well-credentialed (he's a weight loss doctor) and referenced (lots of research quoted). I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it to anybody who is curious for a well-written summary of reasons to adopt a plant-based diet. - empowers readers to interrogate scientific studies themselves - tells a powerful personal story. - well-credentialed (he's a weight loss doctor) and referenced (lots of research quoted).

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dara

    I was skeptical at first and had a hard time at the beginning of this book. I thought it was going to be a lecture and I wasn’t sure I could buy in. A lot of this information I’ve heard frequently before, including the studies he cites. But lately all anyone talks about is a high protein diet and lowering carbs that even I start to forget how ridiculous it sounds if you really break down what most people think that means. I ended up being really won over because he did a great job organizing all I was skeptical at first and had a hard time at the beginning of this book. I thought it was going to be a lecture and I wasn’t sure I could buy in. A lot of this information I’ve heard frequently before, including the studies he cites. But lately all anyone talks about is a high protein diet and lowering carbs that even I start to forget how ridiculous it sounds if you really break down what most people think that means. I ended up being really won over because he did a great job organizing all of the research and pointing out the difference between short term weight loss and longevity and health. The chapters where he delves into different diets were really interesting. Unfortunately our nation continues to get fatter and have more disease. A lot of these popular diets feed into people’s desire to justify eating how we want rather than something that seems like too much work (lots of meat and fat vs. primarily plants and a variety at that). We continue to look at short term success, which is often skewed by other factors, and put blinders on the long term. As I get older, I know more and more that if we want to live our best, we just can’t do that. I’m not going vegetarian (and he doesn’t ask you to) but I thought this was very well organized, well researched, and inspirational. As far as impact, I’d give it a 5 but I definitely slogged through or even skimmed some chapters that were excessive in the number of studies because it was just too much.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Justin

    As a background, I believe in a paleo diet (there are many including -- I think-- vegetarian ones) being the way to go for most people but in my personal situation need to eat a somewhat vegetarian diet for now. I also believe that nutrition is nowhere near being a science and as such is important to get as many opinions as possible. I think there were some good points in the book, some potentially good points and some potentially bad points. The problem for me is that the author didn't seem to As a background, I believe in a paleo diet (there are many including -- I think-- vegetarian ones) being the way to go for most people but in my personal situation need to eat a somewhat vegetarian diet for now. I also believe that nutrition is nowhere near being a science and as such is important to get as many opinions as possible. I think there were some good points in the book, some potentially good points and some potentially bad points. The problem for me is that the author didn't seem to question his opinions very well and that makes it easy to throw out the baby with the bathwater. This has lead me to disbelieve all of his opinions, including potentially life saving ones. I tend to like authors who don't say one thing is always good (vegetables) and another (meat) is always bad. I also like nutrition arguments to admit their flaws and say why the statement is still true despite them. The author does neither of these things and doesn't seem bothered by it. For an example of a point I agree on, heme iron is bad and that is a point against meat, especially red meat. For an idea that could be a good point consider the authors point regarding TMAO and choline. I have heard about TMAO risks and am worried about them. However, I've also heard phosphatidylcholine (the villain in in his vilified eggs) was not that dangerous in terms of TMAO. Also I have have a hard time believing that choline is completely bad as represented by the author who implied that more is always worse. Like most things there is probably a U shaped curve here and the question should be how much is a good amount and how much is dangerous. A point that I probably disagree on is that meat causes diabetes. I think while this point may be true it certainly isn't his strongest statement and to start the factual part of the book (e.g. the part past the introduction and anecdotes) off that way seems to indicate that he doesn't know or think about how this looks to people who haven't already bought his argument. While it is possible that inflammation has a role in diabetes it hardly seems true that meat is the sole or even major cause of inflammation. There are different types of meat (raw vs cooked vs burnt, grass fed vs conventional, beef vs chicken vs pork, processed meat...) and there are inflammatory vegetarian foods. I did not see these variables mentioned. The author does back his claim with studies but studies can be flawed. For example, most vegetarians are health conscious so they exercise. If you allow people to self choose which group to be in (which is almost always the case) you don't have solid science. I didn't see any mention of this kind of information (e.g. sample sizes) when he referenced studies. All in all I think this could be a good book but I can't tell without actually reading all of his referenced studies. The fact that he doesn't go into this level of detail indicates that this is a book for people who wouldn't read that information. Not that this is bad (there are books that don't even mention studies so the author at least expects his audience to want studies), just I am not part of that audience. I will reread this when I have time to look at his studies.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Elaine

    For me, of course, "Proteinaholic" (Garth Davis) is preaching to the choir. I feel strongly (based on my [internet—for shame!] reading and my personal experience that whole-foods-plant-based is the best way to eat. That said, I felt like this book, while spot-on with its science (If I, non-scientist that I am, dare evaluate this. And perhaps almost 50 pages of bibliography don’t actually prove truth.) and its eye-catching title missed the mark for its intended audience. Science—so much, so repea For me, of course, "Proteinaholic" (Garth Davis) is preaching to the choir. I feel strongly (based on my [internet—for shame!] reading and my personal experience that whole-foods-plant-based is the best way to eat. That said, I felt like this book, while spot-on with its science (If I, non-scientist that I am, dare evaluate this. And perhaps almost 50 pages of bibliography don’t actually prove truth.) and its eye-catching title missed the mark for its intended audience. Science—so much, so repeated, so boring, so impossible for the lay person to analyze—was there, for sure. And personal experience and passion, yes, yes , yes. But, readability? Oh my, no. The science stretched on forever, and the defensiveness (especially vs Paleo) was non-stop. I wanted energy. I wanted love for these food choices. I wanted recipes that would be good transitional foods. I wanted editing (both condensing and grammatical). I wanted this book to be the one that turns the tide for so many people and for our environment. I fear that it won’t. But, don’t take my word for it; read it for yourself.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Michael Kearney

    The book dwelt with the question, is meat good for us? A quick cut to the quick in Dr. Davis's opinion-- No. He rips every low carb diet from Atkins to Zone. He makes an excellent case for a plant based diet, from every angle. This book reminds me of the time in the 90's when I became a "vegetarian". I gained weight. I stopped eating meat but forgot about the endless pasta bowl. Oh man did I dig in on the pasta and muffins. Davis puts the spotlight on eating fruit, veggies, and grains. He is a v The book dwelt with the question, is meat good for us? A quick cut to the quick in Dr. Davis's opinion-- No. He rips every low carb diet from Atkins to Zone. He makes an excellent case for a plant based diet, from every angle. This book reminds me of the time in the 90's when I became a "vegetarian". I gained weight. I stopped eating meat but forgot about the endless pasta bowl. Oh man did I dig in on the pasta and muffins. Davis puts the spotlight on eating fruit, veggies, and grains. He is a vegan triathlete but he doesn't dwell on that. He examines the epidemiological data and the methods. Especially on the studies that don't support his views. I gave this book a 5 due to its thoroughness and readability. Read this book and see if you still want to eat animal products? Its got me rethinking the vegetarian/vegan diet, and I bet it will you too.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    If you're even vaguely interested in nutrition and health, read this book. Dr. Davis cites tons of research but manages to keep it readable and down-to-earth. Reducing animal protein is not all-or-nothing, and not as bleak and terrifying an outlook as people seem to think. Just keep an open mind and decide for yourself. If you're even vaguely interested in nutrition and health, read this book. Dr. Davis cites tons of research but manages to keep it readable and down-to-earth. Reducing animal protein is not all-or-nothing, and not as bleak and terrifying an outlook as people seem to think. Just keep an open mind and decide for yourself.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Erica Clou

    Davis is persuasive that animal-derived products are mostly terrible for you. I especially enjoyed the section where he explains to the public how to look at scientific studies. I also enjoyed the very scientific bent of the book with study after study because I generally enjoy super-nerdy-science reading. This book isn't a diet book though. He's strong on the not-eating-meat point, but he doesn't spend much time on other things you shouldn't eat, and he only spends a little bit of time on things Davis is persuasive that animal-derived products are mostly terrible for you. I especially enjoyed the section where he explains to the public how to look at scientific studies. I also enjoyed the very scientific bent of the book with study after study because I generally enjoy super-nerdy-science reading. This book isn't a diet book though. He's strong on the not-eating-meat point, but he doesn't spend much time on other things you shouldn't eat, and he only spends a little bit of time on things he thinks you should eat. I suspect that the vast majority of his research was on meat only, and he has very little idea about the specifics of say, wheat. I'm dubious based on the science that I've read that wheat is a healthy food to consume. Yes, maybe meat is even worse, but that doesn't mean you'll do great on a high wheat diet. The Okinawans don't eat much meat- though they do eat some fish- and they don't eat wheat. I don't doubt that some very specific healthy wheat products are available (and likely to go bad quickly because of lack of preservatives), but it seems like the majority of wheat products are pretty bad. And sugar is the devil. Conclusion: working on cutting the animal products out of my diet.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Cat

    I wanted to like this book and buy into his arguments but it was such a hard slog to get through it. There were some really good points made, but the structure resulted in the book feeling very repetitive - it seemed to be continually coming back to previously made points to re-state them from a different angle with the same studies. I like that the author tried to take a rigorous scientific approach to the way he reviewed literature, but his application of this rigour was selective - only when I wanted to like this book and buy into his arguments but it was such a hard slog to get through it. There were some really good points made, but the structure resulted in the book feeling very repetitive - it seemed to be continually coming back to previously made points to re-state them from a different angle with the same studies. I like that the author tried to take a rigorous scientific approach to the way he reviewed literature, but his application of this rigour was selective - only when it was a point he really felt needed reinforced. On other aspects he would just belittle a claim made in a study with no scientific support whatsoever - for example, I found his comments on "that rubbish you hear about soy" (or something along those lines) to be very flippant. (I have health problems with soy intake myself so it really reduces his credibility to me when I see him brushing such considerations aside). At times I found myself incredulous at the arrogant tone he took in referring to other scientists whose study approach he disliked - it was thoroughly unprofessional and un-objective. For example, here's an excerpt from page 88 where he starts to get personal: "Since I study the science of nutrition daily and have vast experience in this field, I have tried to point out to WAPF members and followers how they may be misreading, misunderstanding, and ignoring the science. The responses have been fascinating. Rather than engaging in honest scientific debate... they prefer to lash out in mockery and childish insults. What little science they can muster is easily invalidated, which, rather than making them see the light, actually further fuels their antics. They don't stand behind scientific articles (which, to be fair, would be impossible for them) but rather attempt to prove their points by quoting from one another's blogs...Like children throwing a tantrum, they shout profanities at the "food police" (whoever they are) and "politically correct" dietary guidelines." It made me question who exactly was throwing the tantrum... Having previously read up on paleo literature, which can be very science based, I felt sometimes he didn't actually get into enough of the detail to de-bunk their arguments - just skimmed the surface (whilst at other times the depth was indulgent). There were quite a few typos too. I think the book needs a massive edit to enable it to meet it's true potential - which could really be something. It's a shame. I would really struggle to recommend it to people as it stands. It's well referenced, but as I say, only on the selective points that were of interest to the author.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Carianne Carleo-Evangelist

    I skimmed this toward the end as he kept beating a dead horse. You're vegan, you think animal protein is the devil. Got it. Oddly enough, I somewhat agree with his tenets. Carbs aren't the devil for everyone and they certainly haven't been for me personally in my weight loss journey. However in his quest to prove that he's correct and the proponents of paleo, Atkins, South Beach, etc. he commits some of the same errors as he accuses them of. He'll criticise doctors for not knowing nutrition but I skimmed this toward the end as he kept beating a dead horse. You're vegan, you think animal protein is the devil. Got it. Oddly enough, I somewhat agree with his tenets. Carbs aren't the devil for everyone and they certainly haven't been for me personally in my weight loss journey. However in his quest to prove that he's correct and the proponents of paleo, Atkins, South Beach, etc. he commits some of the same errors as he accuses them of. He'll criticise doctors for not knowing nutrition but then go on to push his theory which of course is more correct than those he's critical of. I agree with some of his theories on the fetishization of Paleo as a true cave man diet, but I disagree with his assertion that there is one true way of eating. Different diets work for different people even if his theory that Americans are too overweight is true. A good read, but could have been a lot shorter and a lot less preachy.

  16. 5 out of 5

    elsie aldahondo

    Makes so much more sense than anything else I've ever read about health and protein. Makes so much more sense than anything else I've ever read about health and protein.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Informative, interesting and really thought-provoking. While he cited numerous studies and reports (which gave a lot of validity to the point he's making), I found them to become tiresome after a hundred pages or so......but that's just me. Overall, the info in this book has given me pause to think - and to incorporate some changes into my life. Interesting concepts - and some are rather frightful. Informative, interesting and really thought-provoking. While he cited numerous studies and reports (which gave a lot of validity to the point he's making), I found them to become tiresome after a hundred pages or so......but that's just me. Overall, the info in this book has given me pause to think - and to incorporate some changes into my life. Interesting concepts - and some are rather frightful.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Yong Lee

    A great study. For years I got away with eating junk because I ran 20 to 30 miles a week. I can no longer run as much as I used to and was shocked by most recent blood work. I have been researching and making life changes. This book has been a great resource.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Dianna

    As a bariatric surgeon, Dr. Garth Davis for several years enjoyed being able to change people's lives through weight loss surgery. But he started seeing patients come back a few years after surgery. The weight was piling back on. He kept giving the same up-to-date nutritional advice that everyone is spouting these days: eat more protein, carbs are bad, etc. But as his own health began to fail, and he began having the same health problems as his patients, Dr. Davis felt like a hypocrite. He delved As a bariatric surgeon, Dr. Garth Davis for several years enjoyed being able to change people's lives through weight loss surgery. But he started seeing patients come back a few years after surgery. The weight was piling back on. He kept giving the same up-to-date nutritional advice that everyone is spouting these days: eat more protein, carbs are bad, etc. But as his own health began to fail, and he began having the same health problems as his patients, Dr. Davis felt like a hypocrite. He delved into the nutritional research and found that protein is not the panacea for health we all think it is: in fact, it's the opposite. Animal protein leads to health problems. In this book, Dr. Davis is advocating for a whole foods, plant-based diet. I switched to just such a diet around three years ago, and by following it (even imperfectly!), I have been able to cure my rheumatoid arthritis and my constant stomach pain. I got a surprise out of this book, though. I was just expecting more evidence on why a whole foods, plant-based diet is beneficial. I did get that, yes, and I got Dr. Davis's story as well, but what I didn't expect to get was (1) a primer on how to sort through scientific literature and judge the credibility and quality of studies, and (2) an explanation of how and why the media jumps on scientific studies and makes misleading headlines out of them. If you're the kind of person who wants a scientific explanation for everything, this book is for you: it's packed with dozens of pages of sources at the end, and in the text, Dr. Davis clearly explains why each one is credible or not. If you're the kind of person who feels frustrated about the contradictory but seemingly credible scientific advice bombarding us from all sides in the media, this book is for you. I can't end this review without a mention of the recipes at the back of the book. Many doctors who write books on nutrition include recipes at the end. I find a lot of the recipes, in general, to be unappealing or a lot of work. These recipes are neither. A menu plan allows for preparing meal elements ahead on the weekend, and utilizes leftovers to simplify things. The recipes are mostly simple, don't use strange ingredients, and sound like things I would like to eat. The bottom line: Even if you're not interested in giving up meat, I would still recommend this book for the scientific education it offers. Thank you, Dr. Davis!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Stefanie

    The average person eats well over 100 grams of protein a day. The recommended amount of daily protein for the average person is 46 grams for women and 56 grams for men (and this Davis suggests is too high). No one who is not starving is in danger of a protein deficiency yet everyone worries about it. We are supposed to have 38 grams of fiber a day for men and 25 grams for women but the average person only eats about 15 grams of fiber. Clearly there is a major fiber deficiency but no one ever ask The average person eats well over 100 grams of protein a day. The recommended amount of daily protein for the average person is 46 grams for women and 56 grams for men (and this Davis suggests is too high). No one who is not starving is in danger of a protein deficiency yet everyone worries about it. We are supposed to have 38 grams of fiber a day for men and 25 grams for women but the average person only eats about 15 grams of fiber. Clearly there is a major fiber deficiency but no one ever asks, where do you get your fiber? Davis does a fantastic job of explaining how the body works and how it processes carbs, protein and fat. He uses not only the latest research but also takes the long historical view on nutrition and population studies. And he looks at studies that have been done and are ongoing on the longest-lived and healthiest populations in the world. Want to know the best way to eat? Look at what these healthy “Blue Zone” people eat — mostly a carb heavy whole food plant based diet with either no meat, fish, eggs or dairy at all or small portions once or twice a month at most. Clearly, Davis says, the high-protein low-carb diets promoted in America and other western countries are not working very well given the vast numbers of people who are obese, diabetic, and have heart disease. Proteinaholic is so rich with fascinating data that I could go on and on about it until you beg me to stop. If you are interested in health and nutrition, read this book. My biggest takeaway is the knowledge that I am getting plenty of protein on my whole foods plant based vegan diet, that even as an athlete, protein is not something I need to worry about. I have some protein powder in my pantry (thank goodness none of the brands mentioned in the study but that doesn’t mean they are free of contaminants) and I am really glad I don’t have to think about adding it to smoothies or workout recovery meals anymore. I simply need to eat enough fruits and veg, whole grains and a small amount of nuts and seeds and I am good to go. Since this is what I already do my only concern is whether I am in the mood for black beans in my salad bowl or spiced up chickpeas. I am also making an effort to think of and talk about food as food and not macro- and micronutrients. There is more to good food than talking about it in terms of iron, calcium, fat, protein, B vitamins, etc. Michael Pollan in his food books has it right: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    This is a book that breaks convention that you need protein to be healthy, to feel satiated,to lose weight and to be athletic, strong. It's the journey of a prominent bariatric surgeon who once advocated a high protein, low carb diet but then also suffered with his own ailments of IBS and the metabolic syndrome. He was dismayed to "cure" his patients of obesity only to see them gain the weight back. So, he did his research and thoroughly dismantled the myth of low carb / high protein diets. Sinc This is a book that breaks convention that you need protein to be healthy, to feel satiated,to lose weight and to be athletic, strong. It's the journey of a prominent bariatric surgeon who once advocated a high protein, low carb diet but then also suffered with his own ailments of IBS and the metabolic syndrome. He was dismayed to "cure" his patients of obesity only to see them gain the weight back. So, he did his research and thoroughly dismantled the myth of low carb / high protein diets. Since, he is plant based , he is now thriving and competing in Ironmans. All you have to do nowadays is listen to personal trainers at the gym ( and even dietitians in my office)who tell their clients avoid carbs, and eat protein. Translation : turkey, chicken, eggs, salmon and lean beef. But protein is everywhere as it's a macromolecule in all food. When people refer to a "protein" food like a lean skinless chicken breast , (even organically free to range ) the majority of the calories are saturated fat. But isn't it a good fat ? Well not really because we should have a ratio omega 6 to omega 3 of 1:1 -1:4 but you're really getting 15:1 . Doesn't Salmon have omega 3? Yes , wild caught because they eat algae but not farm raised which eats grain . Wild also has PCBs and dioxin. Along the way, Dr Davis encounters hostility from the Adkins/ Paleo people and goes into elaborate detail with several studies and biochemistry. In essence we have evolved to use carbs as an energy source via Krebs cycle. I recall in undergrad, we jokingly said the " brain needs glucose ". We should eat a diet more akin to an ape as we're really not carnivores. Look down. Do you see claws or have teeth long enough to rip through the hide of animal? Do you realize you're about 1/2 a chromosome from a chimpanzee? Just listen to people answer this question, " what should a diabetic eat? " You might say, "well I better cut out those carbs and eat more protein and you know, all of those good fats" Well let's look at the science: when we eat meat, we are eating protein and fat. The protein raises insulin, which blocks fat mobilization from the cell and causes the consumed fat to enter the cell. When we eat an apple or potato, there is insulin secretion but no fat to be placed in the muscle cell. Insulin resistance is due to fat toxicity to the muscle cell. What about weight loss? How Adkins diet works : we store carbs as glycogen in liver and in muscles as emergency fuel source. On the diet, you are not consuming carbs so your body has to mobilize the glycogen to get sugar to fuel your cells. The glycogen is stored with water, so you also lose water weight. Then eventually you burn fat which causes ketosis and you get nauseated, constipated so you eat less. Eventually your body rebels and you crave carbs because that is the energy your body evolved to run on so you think you cheat ( but you're really not) and eat the carbs and gain back that water. Of course the book goes into way more detail about it. Keep in mind Atkins died at 72 of ischemic cardiomyopathy, weighing 258. Whereas T Colin Campbell and Caldwell Esselstyn are thriving. Regarding cancer , he implicates heterocyclic amines ( HCAs) found in meats will convert cancer cells from early stage to malignant. Also heme iron to N-nitroso compounds from meat into GI cancers. IGF1 found in milk which inhibit cell death,apoptosis. Eggs which have very high choline causing prostate cancer to progress. There are adverse kidney affects: Uric acid stones , hypertension, acidosis from excess amino acids. Osteoporosis is interesting because most people think they should consume mass quantities of milk. High animal protein intake causes increased acid ingestion via amino acids , so our body must use Calcium from bone and muscle as a buffer to keep the blood pH neutral. Other interesting findings are the Blue Zones where it is not uncommon for people to live into the 100s. In Okinawa , where they're predominantly carbohydrate based: yams , rice with rare fish. 7th Day Adventists of California who are predominantly vegetarian and lead an active lifestyle. They have vegans , vegetarian, pescetarian, and some meat eaters ( but not in the proportions of typical America, more like the inverse: 80 %plant based.) . Other topics, how does a vegan get protein? Well, he details that most commonly asked question by going through his own diet as an example also some recipes . But the bottom line it's impossible to be protein deficient unless you're on a starvation diet. He also describes the RDA and how we got to our current number which is 56 grams for men and 46 for women but we're really getting closer to 102 and 70 respectively Interestingly, there appears to be a max level at which more protein does not mean more muscle. So an athlete only needs 20 grams post workout for recovery. A vegan's gut micro flora can synthesize the amino acids necessary at any given moment as demonstrated by high endurance athletes consuming only fruit . " if you think you cannot build muscle on bananas, I challenge you to pick a fight with an ape." But aren't most diseases genetic? No, thankfully less than 10%. 90% are preventable from changes in environment, as in what you ingest. So, you have a choice live like an Okinawan or fade out like a typical American. What people don't realize is the 10 years preceding the death of morbidity and healthcare expense . As an internist , with a predominantly geriatric population base ( where it's not uncommon to be on 10-15 Rxs) I hope this book reaches out to more people.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Farrah

    Book group pick. Admittedly I did start skimming at about the 2/3 mark. Some parts were interesting and it def made a good case for going vegan for a variety of reasons - not just weight. Some parts were really heavy/kind of a slog (lots of in-depth info about various studies). I appreciate the attention to detail and careful sourcing of information but wasn’t personally enthralled by this topic. A good read if you’re very into nutrition or looking to make some big changes in your life dietwise. Book group pick. Admittedly I did start skimming at about the 2/3 mark. Some parts were interesting and it def made a good case for going vegan for a variety of reasons - not just weight. Some parts were really heavy/kind of a slog (lots of in-depth info about various studies). I appreciate the attention to detail and careful sourcing of information but wasn’t personally enthralled by this topic. A good read if you’re very into nutrition or looking to make some big changes in your life dietwise. His advice basically follows the simple Michael Pollan dictate to “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”

  23. 4 out of 5

    Claudia Turner

    This is an important book. I read it along with the China Study and got the two mixed up at points with their parallels. Bottom line: we are obsessed with protein when it reality we are getting plenty of protein, and way too much animal protein which is actually hazardous to our health. It’s an entertaining read but it’s also extremely thorough and backed by science. If more Americans spent time reading legitimate research and not the bullshit in South Beach diet, Atkins, Paleo and Keto books pr This is an important book. I read it along with the China Study and got the two mixed up at points with their parallels. Bottom line: we are obsessed with protein when it reality we are getting plenty of protein, and way too much animal protein which is actually hazardous to our health. It’s an entertaining read but it’s also extremely thorough and backed by science. If more Americans spent time reading legitimate research and not the bullshit in South Beach diet, Atkins, Paleo and Keto books promising a quick fix, maybe we wouldn’t be drowning in obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. I’ll be recommending this for years to come.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lydia

    The tone read as patronizing but the information seemed good. I plan to check out the recommended 21-Day Vegan Kickstart Program from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine but the recipes promised on proteinaholic.com are buried in the blog and I'm not digging for old posts. The tone read as patronizing but the information seemed good. I plan to check out the recommended 21-Day Vegan Kickstart Program from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine but the recipes promised on proteinaholic.com are buried in the blog and I'm not digging for old posts.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Danny

    This was a fantastic book, full of accessible information and real science. Only gripe I have with this book is that it is a bit long and repetitive at time. With that said, everyone should read this book to learn about health and food.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Dr. Davis has a very entertaining and engaging writing style. And he did his research for this book. I liked it a lot. And there are some great meal ideas in the back. Here are some of my favorite excerpts: -When you consider that just twelve plants and five animals compose about 75% of the world's food, and that there are approximately 300,000 known edible plant species, you can see that there's a lot of as yet unexplored culinary landscape for plant-based eaters. In our capitalist society,, busi Dr. Davis has a very entertaining and engaging writing style. And he did his research for this book. I liked it a lot. And there are some great meal ideas in the back. Here are some of my favorite excerpts: -When you consider that just twelve plants and five animals compose about 75% of the world's food, and that there are approximately 300,000 known edible plant species, you can see that there's a lot of as yet unexplored culinary landscape for plant-based eaters. In our capitalist society,, businesses exist primarily to make money. And one of the best ways to make money is to sell people what they're already addicted to. All long-lived cultures consume legumes, and studies have shown that legume consumption decreases heart disease and increases years of life. If we are studying the effects of a new drug or surgical procedure or screening protocol, then the randomized controlled clinical trial (RCCT) makes a great deal of sense. It works best when we want to introduce a single variable and keep everything else constant, to see if that variable makes a difference. But when we use the RCCT to decide the effects of various diets on chronic diseases, the model breaks down. There are to many variables that are important, and too many conditions to look at. In general, for the average person, the RDA is more than sufficient protein for an active lifestyle. For the very active weekend warrior, trying to get big or fast, 1.0 g/kg with 20 grams after workouts may be ideal. For bodybuilders, I am not sure it s all that different but some do suggest 1.8 g/kg. The EPIC study found that legume consumption was the most important predictor of longevity.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jim Kirby

    I did my PhD in a research institute that specializes in human and animal nutrition and includes world-famous experts who advised the WHO and other groups on minimum nutrition requirements for populations living in famine. A fact that I heard many times while studying there was that if you are getting enough calories then you are getting enough protein. Dr. Davis also emphasizes this fact – it’s virtually impossible to be protein-deprived if you are eating enough calories. Any diet that consists I did my PhD in a research institute that specializes in human and animal nutrition and includes world-famous experts who advised the WHO and other groups on minimum nutrition requirements for populations living in famine. A fact that I heard many times while studying there was that if you are getting enough calories then you are getting enough protein. Dr. Davis also emphasizes this fact – it’s virtually impossible to be protein-deprived if you are eating enough calories. Any diet that consists of a reasonable mix of foods, even if 100% plant-based, will include enough protein. The question then becomes: is there a benefit from ingesting more than “enough” protein? Dr. Davis believes that there is no benefit – and that animal protein in particular is harmful in high amounts. I’ve been vegetarian for a long time, so I didn’t think I needed to read a book warning about the dangers of eating lots of meat. However, as I read the book I realized that I had bought into the almost universal belief that, of all the macronutrients, protein is the one that you really can’t get too much of (and I do eat eggs and dairy). Davis gives some nice background on how we’ve been conditioned over the years to eat more animal-based protein. For example, when the U.S. Select Committee on Nutrition and Humans needs recommended that Americans eat less meat and dairy while consuming more fruits, vegetables, and grains, Davis’s recounts that after uproar from head of the National Livestock and Meat Board, Kansas Senator Bob Dole was brought in to alter the report. “In an interpretation worthy of George Orwell’s 1984, the report went from telling people to eat less meat than to eat more lean meat like chicken...” An important topic that Dr. Davis visits many times throughout his book is that of how we trust way too much in the media for reporting on science. He devotes an entire chapter (“Research Truth and BS: How to Speak Science”) on how to interpret scientific papers for yourself, or at least to be able to tell when you are being fed sloppy agenda-driven interpretation of scientific research. He also notes to be aware of where the funding is coming from; particularly in the arena of diet and human nutrition there’s a lot of research that’s funded directly by food industries or lobbies that have something to gain by particular outcomes to the research, or interpretation of those outcomes. He also doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to criticizing certain diets and diet books. One diet-related book that I read recently, Wheat Belly, is pretty much dismissed by Davis as trash, and I tend to agree with him. For the most part that book is a mess that sets out with a theory and then misinterprets, or makes unfounded conclusions from published research to suit his agenda. He also goes into the Atkins Foundation’s attempts to do a PR job on Dr. Atkins’s condition when he died from a heart attack. There’s also a chapter on the Paleo diet. Davis does acknowledge the upside that the Paleo diet is a move away from processed food, but he correctly points out the holes in some of the ridiculous reasoning behind the diet, and that it contains way too much animal protein. This agenda-driven bias and selectivity in popular science writing is a huge problem today – it’s really no wonder that people are confused. So, when Davis provides evidence that reducing your intake of animal protein can increase longevity and reduce cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, he goes to lengths to provide a balanced perspective. This is more trouble than authors of most bestselling books on nutrition would care to take on – it’s much easier to sell books when you claim to have 100% proof of something. And it does make some sections of Proteinaholic a bit dry to read, because he goes into quite a bit of detail on many, many published studies (there are around 650 references - props to Howard Jacobson who probably did the lion's share of the research) – but that’s Science! Overall, the book would have benefitted from six months of additional research and editing – there are a few sections that seem repetitive and some studies that are discussed should have been omitted because they don’t add a lot to the discussion. I did spot one reference that’s not described properly in the book – the study looked at muscle synthesis following protein ingestion and Davis apparently didn’t read it very closely. However, his conclusion does match that of the researchers: the “muscle full” hypothesis, in which it was suggested that there must be an upper limit of amino acid delivery before muscle cells would no longer use them as a substrate for muscle protein synthesis, instead diverting them toward oxidation. Bottom line: ingesting very high levels of protein, even after a workout, will not result in additional muscle gain – some protein is beneficial (Davis recommends around 20 grams) and beyond that the extra protein will be broken down, giving rise to potential problems such as acidosis. I would have liked to have seen more discussion on acidosis. Maintenance of blood pH is so essential to life that if our diets are acid-generating (like meat and dairy) then our bodies can go to the extreme of leaching calcium from our bones to neutralize pH. So, one consequence is that a high intake of acidifying animal protein (meat or dairy) may lead to osteoporosis. The benefit of getting calcium from drinking milk (that has been drummed into us through decades of advertising) will be overshadowed by the calcium loss from bones if the dairy/meat intake is high. Hip fractures are five times more common in the U.S. compared to China, despite the higher calcium intake in the U.S. One of his central premises is that we are omnivores that have always primarily eaten a plant-based diet, and we thrive when our diet is mostly plant-based. I don’t think many would argue against that. “Are we carnivores? Feel your teeth. Look at your hands. Can you chase down an animal and rip its hide off with your bare hands and teeth? Do you look anything like a lion? We are omnivores. […] We have small mouths, grinding teeth, and long intestinal tracts. We produce amylase in our saliva to break down starch. Unlike carnivores, we do not produce our own vitamin C, so we have to get it from plants. We, like other primates, can live exclusively on a plant-based diet… If you think you cannot build muscle on bananas, I challenge you to pick a fight with an ape.” For more information to go with this review, please see my blog post on the book: https://greenstarsproject.org/2016/03...

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lissa

    OMGoodness - this is the second health book that I've read this fall where the well-educated (by degrees attained) author is more interested in promoting how great they are instead of focusing on their message. This guy has an enormous ego that I doubt is justified - except in his own mind. Self-righteous, sanctimonious attitude of a convert - despite the fact that many people have been promoting eating healthy and exercising for controlling weight rather than using drugs and surgery - for a ver OMGoodness - this is the second health book that I've read this fall where the well-educated (by degrees attained) author is more interested in promoting how great they are instead of focusing on their message. This guy has an enormous ego that I doubt is justified - except in his own mind. Self-righteous, sanctimonious attitude of a convert - despite the fact that many people have been promoting eating healthy and exercising for controlling weight rather than using drugs and surgery - for a very long time. His self-professed "expertise" at reading the scientific literature is NOT demonstrated - quite the contrary. If you know even a bit about biostatistics and health research, you know that he barely scratched the surface of the literature and has a mediocre understanding of what we actually do "know" vs theories. While he does support his viewpoint with research, he does not take the time to compare/contrast research that supports other viewpoints, nor does he do a good job of pointing out the flaws in much of the research that he does cite. A glaring example is broadening findings associated with one gender to cover all genders - ie results based only on men are applied to women and vice versa. His snide remarks and attacks on others who hold viewpoints are unprofessional, as is his largely glossed-over "pass" of the medical establishment, including most doctors and insurance companies. While I am glad that he is helping folks lose weight without bariatric surgery, there is no way I would ever seek medical help from him - because, its all about him.

  29. 4 out of 5

    David Alonso

    Despite what some reviewers claim on Good Reads and as a non-Vegan, I loved this book! I was initially very close minded on the the idea of Veganism, but as someone who has struggled with weight despite "eating clean", restricting calories, and being an active athlete, learning about the Vegan lifestyle was very intriguing because the results have been outstanding for several Ironman athletes. The author does not claim or push that you must be a 100% Vegan. Rather, he reinforces the idea that A Despite what some reviewers claim on Good Reads and as a non-Vegan, I loved this book! I was initially very close minded on the the idea of Veganism, but as someone who has struggled with weight despite "eating clean", restricting calories, and being an active athlete, learning about the Vegan lifestyle was very intriguing because the results have been outstanding for several Ironman athletes. The author does not claim or push that you must be a 100% Vegan. Rather, he reinforces the idea that Americans are obsessed with protein, specifically animal protein, which is also especially true in Latin American culture. He also dispels the myths associated with carbs and how people erroneously associate junk food as "carbs". Overall, great book. Personally, I don't think I could ever go 100% full vegan, but realizing that animal protein is not as necessary as we are conditioned to believe made this book a worthwhile read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    A very accessible and systematic account of the relation between the food we eat and the impact on our health. Garth Davis takes the time to explain the basics of how to read and judge scientific research and then systematically goes about examining a wealth of studies to show us what they can teach us about food and health. The author claims many years of work went into this book and I believe him. To delve into so many studies, and really go beyond the surface of just the abstract, that is a m A very accessible and systematic account of the relation between the food we eat and the impact on our health. Garth Davis takes the time to explain the basics of how to read and judge scientific research and then systematically goes about examining a wealth of studies to show us what they can teach us about food and health. The author claims many years of work went into this book and I believe him. To delve into so many studies, and really go beyond the surface of just the abstract, that is a mountain of work. And a great service to the reader, who can gain a lot of insight, in the confidence (or should I presume that this M.D. is not telling the truth? - I just don't think so) that this insight is based on the latest science. A welcome addition to other books on this topic already out there.

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