The Diet Compass Book Summary - The Diet Compass Book explained in key points
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The Diet Compass summary

Bas Kast

The 12-step Guide to Science-based Nutrition for a Healthier and Longer Life

4.7 (186 ratings)
23 mins
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    The Diet Compass
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    Neither fats nor carbohydrates are all bad.

    So you want to live a healthier lifestyle and change your diet. But who should you trust? Individual doctors? Scientific studies? Diet programs? Nutrition gurus? All of them claim to have the answers – but those answers are often at odds with each other.

    Why is this the case? After all, we can travel to space and edit the genome! It seems bizarre that we haven’t yet determined, once and for all, which foods are best for the human body.

    Well, here’s the thing: it’s just not that simple. Take that eternally raging debate – fats vs. carbohydrates. Which is better? The low-fat faction argues that fat leads to obesity and higher cholesterol levels – both of which increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. The low-carb camp, in contrast, believes fats are unjustly demonized; carbohydrates are the real fatteners, and they also trigger cravings and diabetes. So who’s right?

    The key message here is: Neither fats nor carbohydrates are all bad.

    Both sides are convinced of their position and can cite countless studies to support their arguments. How can this be? Maybe you’ve guessed it already. According to the author’s research, the problem is that the camps aren’t asking the right question. We shouldn’t simplify the discourse to the question of “fats or carbs?”; rather, we should ask: “Which fats and carbs?"

    Various studies show that both high-fat diets and high-carbohydrate diets can be healthy. The traditional Japanese Okinawa diet, for example, is nearly 85 percent carbohydrates, while Mediterranean cuisine derives up to 40 percent of its nutritional value from fats. Both diets are very healthy.

    Another aspect to consider in the carbs-vs.-fats debate is personal disposition. There are people, for example, who simply don’t tolerate carbohydrates well; they thrive on a low-carb diet. We all have very individual metabolisms. You should base your diet on what’s best for your body, as well as on your tastes and particular lifestyle. We’ll dive more into how to do this in the following blinks.

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    What is The Diet Compass about?

    The Diet Compass (2018) boils down the latest research on health, aging, and nutrition into one scientifically-backed program that anyone can apply to their own diet. When the author, Bas Kast, collapsed while jogging at the young age of 40, he decided to radically change his diet and live a healthier lifestyle. The book is a result of years pursuing the question: What really is healthy?

    Who should read The Diet Compass?

    • Vegetarians, vegans, and omnivores alike
    • Health-news skeptics
    • Anyone seeking a healthier lifestyle based on the latest peer-reviewed research

    About the Author

    Bas Kast, a German science writer, studied psychology and biology at the University of Constance and MIT. He later trained as a journalist, working at Nature, GEO, and the Berliner Tageszeitung. His articles and books have won him many awards, including Bild der Wissenschaft’s Science Book of the Year for The Diet Compass.

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