BOOK REVIEW: Eat Fat, Get Thin by Dr. Mark Hyman

Book Reviews

Hey everyone! I’ve been trying to improve several aspects of my life lately. And I thought that the book Eat Fat, Get Thin might help me with my weight problem. And after having read it, I think it definitely will!

Here you’ll find my summary of the book, and my thoughts of the book are at the end.

The book divided into four parts:

  1. How did we get into this big, fat mess?
  2. Separating fat from fiction.
  3. The eat fat, get thin plan.
  4. Recipes

Chapter 1

  • seemingly good advice from government, health care industry, and food industry is only “seemingly” – they were wrong about a lot of stuff
    • now we eat 152 pounds of sugar and 146 pounds of flour per year
  • there are lots of types of fat
    • saturated
    • monounsaturated
    • polyunsaturated
    • trans fat
  • lots of variety within saturated and polyunsaturated fats
  • truths:
    • not all fats are bad
    • eating liberal amounts of the right ones will NOT make you fat
  • thankfully scientific evidence is mounting that this is the case
  • you can lose weight on a high fat diet, as long you eat the right kinds, and as part of a healthy diet
  • sugar and refined carbs – not fat – are responsible for obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart desease, as well as causing increased risk of dementia and premature deaths
  • Dr. Hyman talks about his own conversion from recommending low fat diets to high fat diets
  • includes a survey of 13 questions that will help you determine if you’re on the wrong path
  • has a checklist for the FLC (feel like crap) syndrome
    • says that following his guidelines will remove FLC

Chapter 2

  • we’ve been told two big falsehoods about fat
    • all calories operate in the same way in the body
    • fatty cholesterol deposits cause hear disease
  • but the body is more complex than that
  • delves into those two falsehoods, why they’re accepted, and how they’re wrong
  • talks about the roles of:
    • big government
    • big food companies
  • sugar is the new fat – sugar is BAD
  • the redemption of fat

Chapter 3

  • eating fat does NOT make you fat
  • if you believe all calories are created equal, then might think that staying away from fat is a good idea, but it just doesn’t work out this way
  • calories are digested differently, depending on the type of food
  • it’s not eating more and exercising less that makes you fat – rather, BEING fat makes you eat more and exercise less
  • restricting calories makes your body perceive a starvation situation which makes you tired and hungry and slows down your metabolism – things we don’t want
  • when talking high fat versus low fat diets, you must consider the type of fat
  • eating a low-fat diet can make you crave bad foods
  • there can be problems with high fat low-carb diets, but they’re easily avoided

Chapter 4

  • all about the kinds of fats in detail
  • four types of fat: saturated fat, monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat PUFA (omega-3 and omega-6), and trans fats
  • saturated fats are misunderstood
  • monounsaturated fats are good for you (like olive oil, oil from nuts)
  • some PUFA are good, others are not, also it can depend what you eat them with
  • transfats are bad – at least everyone agrees on that

Chapter 5

  • all about fat and heart disease
  • lots of research, and it basically says there’s no link between total dietary fat (the fat you eat) or saturated fat and heart disease
  • added fat can actually be beneficial
  • big 2014 study said vegetable oils are NOT good, contrary to what many people espouse
  • trans fats increase heart desease while omega-3 fats decrease it
  • saturated fats in your blood that cause heart attacks come from eat sugar and carbs, not from eating fat
  • omega-3 fats from fish are the most protective
  • how saturated fats relate to inflammation, carbohydrates, and cholesterol
  • the big business statins – basically they only help if you’ve already had a heart attack
  • the right kind of tests you should get from your doctor, and what they mean

Chapter 6

  • at the turn of the last century vegetable oil’s were almost unheard of
  • but now 20% of Americans diet is made up of soybean oil
  • increasing omega-3 oil‘s in your diet reduces heart attacks and death
  • many studies show correlation, like someone ordering a big Mac also ordering fries, but not causation. Because ordering a big Mac does not MAKE you order fries – they just often occur together.
  • careful study of past trials shows that omega-6 oils are to be avoided
  • 94% of US soybean crops are genetically modified
  • some recommendations are:
    • cut out refined oils except extra-virgin olive oil
    • use extra virgin coconut oil and a little grass fed butter or ghee
    • stop fearing animal fat, but stick with grass fed, pasture raised, and organic.
    • get fats from Whole Foods like avocados, nuts, and seeds.

Chapter 7

  • all about meat – is it good or bad?
  • is it meat vs veggies, or rather the sugar and refined carbs that are part of the typical meat eater’s diet that we should be concerned with?
  • why it’s hard to determine the effects of meat on the typical meat eater in North America
  • does saturated fatl in meat cause heart disease?
  • red meat and its relation to bad gut bacteria
  • does red meat cause type 2 diabetes and weight gain?
  • does red meat cause cancer?
  • does red meat cause inflammation?
  • is eating meat immoral or unethical?
  • is grass-fed meat better?

Chapter 8

A chapter about these different kinds of foods:

  • eggs
  • butter
  • coconut oil
  • MCT oil
  • palm oil
  • olive oil
  • nuts and seeds

Chapter 9

Fat Benefits:

  • reverses type 2 diabetes
  • prevents brain aging and dementia
  • helps with seizures, depression, ADD, autism, trauma, more
  • reduces inflammation and autoimmune disease
  • boosts sports performance
  • gives beautiful hair, skin, nails
  • enhances sex life

Chapter 10

No longer about the theory but starts the really practical stuff. What to eat? What not to eat? Etc.

  • the Eat Fat, Get Thin Plan
  • comparing vegan and paleo diets
  • combining the best of vegan and paleo
  • dairies, grains, beans, meat, eggs
  • personalizing your diet
  • testing your genes

Chapter 11

This chapter continues with the really practical stuff – the eating prorgam. It lays the groundwork for chapters to come with a quick summary.

  • getting ready to start the plan
  • implementing the plan kick-off phase
  • the long-term plan

Chapter 12

All about laying the groundwork for your new way of eating.

  • kitchen makeover
  • good ingredients
  • foods to avoid
  • coffee
  • examples from real life
  • supplements
  • your numbers from your doctor

Chapter 13

Outlines the eating plan itself. This is the juicy stuff!

  • what to eat
  • breakfast
  • lunch
  • dinner
  • foods to avoid
  • good sources of fat
  • good sources of protein
  • protein powders
  • good carbs
  • daily schedule
  • troubleshooting tips

Chapter 14

Discusses the transition from the intro part of the plan to the full time part of the eating plan.

  • exit interview after the 3 week intro diet
  • transition plan, option 1: continue as before
  • transition plan, option 2: the pegan diet

Chapter 15

This chapter gives some cooking tips!

  • planning eating for the week
  • how to cook vegetables
  • how to cook chicken, seafood, and meat
  • shopping tips
  • basic kitchen tools

Chapter 16

Dr. Mark Hyman gives a bunch of recipes that fall neatly into his eating plan.

  • snacks
  • smoothies and more
  • eggs and pancakes
  • salads
  • chicken, turkey, duck
  • beef and lamb
  • seafood
  • soups and stews
  • sauces
  • sides and vegetables

My Thoughts

I borrowed this book from the library, and it’s going on my Amazon list. It’s really good. Some of the theoretical stuff (like chapters 4-6) was a little tough slogging, and I actually skipped them at first and came back to them later. In retrospect I don’t think I should have done that. Good groundwork in those chapters.

I’ve been trying to lose weight for several months now, and this book really helps me determine what I should eat, and helps me feel good about those decisions.

The recipes are interesting, but to be honest I don’t know how much use I’ll be able to make of them. Many of them include nuts or milk from nuts, and I am allergic to ALL nuts. Tree nuts, coconuts, peanuts – all that stuff. So the number of recipes I can use is pretty small. As well, the recipes use lots of ingredients. Even if lots of them are spices, it’s quite daunting.

On the whole, though, it’s a great book, and it’ll be going on my reference shelf.

Here’s my video review: