Smart Fat by Steven Masley, Jonny Bowden

Smart Fat is written by a team who have worked in the health profession for years and recently changed the way they (and hopefully we) view diets as it relates to fat and protein. Using the latest knowledge (probiotics, avoiding packaged food, cutting out sugar and bread products) they hope to undo the years of misleading information about the importance (and health) of fat and how using it intelligently can lead to better health and weight loss. Note that this book is all about a complete lifestyle change – one the authors feel is necessary for lifelong health rather than temporary, non sustainable short term goals.

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The book breaks down as follows: Introduction (The smartest way to live for the rest of your life); Part One: Smart Facts About Smart Fat (A high fat diet for a low fat body, why the smart fat solution will make you lean and healthy, what NOT to eat, Unlearn what you know about food); Part Two: Smart Fat Your Food (The smart fat solution, The thirty day plan of smart fat meals, The smart fat user’s guide); Part Three: Beyond Diet, Smart For Life (Smart supplements, Smart living, Smart recipes); References, acknowledgments.

The crux of the book is how we’ve been told fat is the enemy since the 1970s yet in fact the opposite has been true – that most fats are not only good but needed to properly digest or use nutrients. The book goes over fats thoroughly: which are good and which really are bad and should be avoided. Of note is that by removing fat from so many foods over the decades, the taste was also removed and replaced with chemicals and sugars – causing so many health problems.

Glycemic load control is a large part of the diet as well, ensuring that sugar bombs aren’t slowly destroying the body’s more delicate parts (e.g, eyesight and eyes) and that the system maintains even blood sugar levels without harsh spikes.

Protein and supplements are also necessary to follow the diet. The authors liberally sprinkle protein in everything from shakes to soups in the recipes. As well, quite a few supplemental pills are recommended, from Vitamin D to Vitamin K.

The recipes are few but they are interesting – many using yogurt, legumes, or kale for the most nutrient packed meals. The authors stress that the meals/diet plan isn’t about denial or being diet police and that an occasional pizza or sandwich isn’t the end of the world. But the focus is on good fat, organic foods, avoiding processed anything, and protein.

A large 3/4 of the book is about debunking myths about diets and going over the latest research/findings on what is and isn’t health. Certainly, the focus on diabetes and poor health, obesity and heart disease, means there is a lot being done to identify these problems. Both authors have stayed on top of the latest findings and present them here as part of this diet plan.

The recipes are interesting but limited in presentation by the format of the book (making it kindle friendly at the expensive of any kind of formatting other than basic paragraphs and bold text). This is the problem with most diet books, though, so expect frustration when preparing the meals at first as you squint at the small text, blocky directions (I always hope for numbered small steps rather than blocky paragraphs). Chicken satay skewers with cabbage wraps, borscht, sirloin steak chili, and the usual chicken breast variations/morning smoothies are typical recipes.

In all, the authors make great points and the gem in this book is the first 3/4 full of health and diet information. The Smart Fat Diet has a lot of what we’ve seen recently but the focus on smart fats is a bit different and a new way to look at food. Just be prepared to commit to truly ensure success. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

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This entry was posted in ARC, Book Reviews, cookbook, fitness/diet, non fiction. Bookmark the permalink.

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