His central claim is that carbohydrates, particularly sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, overstimulate insulin secretion, causing the person to store fat in fat cells and the liver and that obesity and other metabolic syndrome conditions are primarily caused by high dietary carbohydrate consumption.
He is the writer of Nobel Dreams (1987); Bad Science: The Short Life and Weird Times of Cold Fusion (1993); Good Calories, Bad Calories (2007), which was renamed The Diet Delusion (2008) in the United Kingdom and Australia. He has written Why We Get Fat: And What to Do With It (2010), The Case Against Sugar (2016), Case for Keto: Rethinking Weight Control and the Science and Practice of Low-Carb/High-Fat Eating. Taubes’ work frequently contradicts widely held scientific, governmental, and public beliefs, such as the notion that obesity is caused by eating too much and moving too little, and that excessive fat consumption, a particular type of fat in animal-based foods, leads to cardiovascular disease.
Inspiring Talks by Gary Taubes
- “We don’t get fat because we overeat; we overeat because we’re getting fat”
- “The simple answer as to why we get fat is that carbohydrates make us so; protein and fat do not”
- “In other words, the science itself makes clear that hormones, enzymes, and growth factors regulate our fat tissue, just as they do everything else in the human body, and that we do not get fat because we overeat; we get fat because the carbohydrates in our diet make us fat. “
- “Of all the dangerous ideas that health officials could have embraced while trying to understand why we get fat, they would have been hard-pressed to find one ultimately more damaging than calories-in/calories-out. That it reinforces what appears to be so obvious – obesity as the penalty for gluttony and sloth – is what makes it so alluring. But it’s misleading and misconceived on so many levels that it’s hard to imagine how it survived unscathed and virtually unchallenged for the last fifty years.”
- “The laboratory evidence that carbohydrate-rich diets can cause the body to retain water and so raise blood pressure, just as salt consumption is supposed to do, dates back well over a century”
- “What sets science and the law apart from religion is that nothing is expected to be taken on faith. We’re encouraged to ask whether the evidence actually supports what we’re being told – or what we grew up believing – and we’re allowed to ask whether we’re hearing all the evidence or just some small prejudicial part of it. If our beliefs aren’t supported by the evidence, then we’re encouraged to alter our beliefs.”
- “The simplest way to look at all these associations, between obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cancer, and Alzheimer’s (not to mention the other the conditions that are also associated with obesity and diabetes, such as gout, asthma, and fatty liver disease), is that what makes us fat – the quality and quantity of carbohydrates we consume – also makes us sick.”
- “No such ambiguity existed about sugar consumption. “We now eat in two weeks the amount of sugar our ancestors of 200 years ago ate in a whole year,” as the University of London nutritionist John Yudkin wrote in 1963 of the situation in England. “Sugar provides about 20 percent of our total intake of calories and nearly half of our carbohydrates.”
- “But if sedentary behavior makes us fat and physical activity prevents it, shouldn’t the “exercise explosion” and the “new fitness revolution” have launched an epidemic of leanness rather than coinciding with an epidemic of obesity?”
- “Rats given sweetened water in experiments find it significantly more pleasurable than cocaine, even when they’re addicted to the latter, and more than heroin as well (although the rats find this choice more difficult to make). Addict”
- “The most fattening foods are the ones that have the greatest effect on our blood sugar and insulin levels.”