Nutrition, Health and Diet: Literature and further recommendations

Update January 2022

The many authors I have read or been reading in the last eight years, or whose TED talks I have watched – Dr Jason Fung, Dr Mark Hyman, Gary Taubes, Dr Robert Lustig, Sarah Hallberg to name just a few – have come together and created the documentary Fat Fiction. It can be watched for free on You Tube. Highly recommended.

Book I’m reading at the moment:

Tim Spector is Professor of Genetic Epidemiology

Why We Eat (Too Much): The New Science of Appetite by Dr Andrew Jenkinson. January 2020

In his book, Dr Jenkinson explains the complexities of our metabolism, introducing the term metaboly: an area of study he says is widely neglected in medical school. He demonstrates how eating and digesting is more than just an energy balance of calories in, calories out. He goes deep into evolutionary history to show how our bodies developed over the millennia. He shows how recent developments in our food environment have led to heavily unhealthy and obese bodies, explicitly explaining why we have to stop blaming the patients for their problems. He tackles the many ‘modern’ dietary myths that have partly been responsible for peoples’ struggle with weight and health problems.

He explains the concept of a body’s set-point and how difficult it is to change it once it has settled into a certain range – a range that under natural circumstances is just fine and protective. However, in an environment in which we are surrounded by a food landscape less favorable to the needs of our bodies, our set-points can be way off and lead to what so many obese people have been saying: we can’t get the weight off, no matter what we do.

Dr Jenkinson explains why calorie reducing diets fail and offers advice on how to successfully lower your set-point to a sustainably healthy level.

He also goes into the history of dietary advice against fat, starting in the 60ies, where the cholesterol battle began, instigated by Ancel Keyes. Very interesting if you like going into the sociology of knowledge: how scientific facts are created and sometimes take on a life of their own. And in the case of the demonization of dietary fat, one that caused a lot of suffering, but filled the pockets of many a food company.

You can find more information on the book and Dr Andrew Jenkinson on this blog.

Other recent recommendations: online presentations/videos etc.

(For class 44, 2020)

Dr Jason Fung on calories (miniseries 3 parts: Does calorie counting work (1), Stop counting calories (2), A calorie is not a calorie (3) – view together with Dr Sarah Aamodt’s TED talk Why dieting usually doesn’t work ). You can also just type in Jason Fung – Youtube into your browser and his videos pop up.

A Nutrition Questionaire for students at the University of Kennesaw (I can no longer find the questionaire, but I will keep the link to the University for the time being)

Dr. Eric Berg Youtube Videos How Insulin Works 9 min 52, Understanding Insulin Resistance 11min 45

Jason Fung (on youtube) How to treat diabetes and weight loss 12:11


Food and cancer (preventing cancer, the role of nutrition and physical activity)

Health You can subscribe to their podcasts for free or check out this list of 25 podcasts

Food pictures Open Source

Food pyramids

Youtube videos: Human Anatomy

5 Most Important Organs in the Human Body – Kenhub

TED ed How the Digestive System Works

CIZ Anatomy Zone – great source for practicing your knowledge of the human body, loads of quizzes

Diabetes and the Body

Documentaries and Netflix series

Ask the Doctors. A miniseries for the general public produced by a group of medical practioners. Great for listening practice as the single episodes are not so long – ca 20 minutes. Listening to things of interest is one of the best ways to improve your language skills. The practice of listening comprehension translates into improved speaking skills. (Similarly extensive reading transfers to improved writing.)

Netflix: Explained (check for special episodes on food and health)

Michael Pollan, 2016 Cooked (Netflix series)

That Sugar Film (Amazon Prime Video)

The Magic Pill (Netflix documentary)

Overfed and Undernourished (Amazon Prime Video)

Ted Talks

Dan Buettner, How to Live to a 100+

Intermittent Fasting:Transformational Technique, Cynthia Thurlow. TEDx Greenville

William Li: Can we eat to starve cancer?

Sarah Hellberg: Reversing Type 2 diabetes starts with ignoring the guidelines

Sarah Aamodt: Why dieting usually doesn’t work

Peter Attia: Is the obesity crisis hiding a bigger problem?

The longest study on happiness Robert Waldinger TEDx BeaconStreet PDF file of Harvard Study showing slides with interesting graphs and diagrams

Selected literature

Clear, James, 2018, Atomic Habits: An Easys and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones

Cummins, Ivor. Eat Rich, Live Long: Mastering the Low-Carb & Keto Spectrum for Weight Loss and Longevity . Victory Belt Publishing. Kindle-Version.

Duhigg, Charles, 2013, The Power of Habit: Why We do What We DO, and How to Change it

Fung, Jason, 2016, The Obesity Code

Fung, Jason, 2018, The Diebetes Code

Hartwig, Dallas and Melissa, 2014, It Starts with Food

Hirschberg, Ben, 2014, Traditional Nutrition

Le, Stephan, 2016, 100 Million Years of Food: What our Ancestors Ate and Why it Matters Today

Li, William, 2020, Eat to Beat Disease

Lustig, Robert, 2014, Fat Chance: The Hidden Truth About Sugar, Obesity and Disease

See also: Robert Lustig’s presentation 2020

Lustig, Robert, 2017, The Hacking of the American Mind: The Science Behind the Corporate Takeover of Our Bodies and Brains

Pollan, Michael, 2007, The Omnivores’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

Pollan, Michael, 2009, In Defense of Food

Silvertwon, Jonathan, Dinner with Darwin: Food, Drink and Evolution

Taubes, Gary, 2007, Good Calories, Bad Calories

Osborne, Helen, 2018, Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message see also related website

Registered Dietitian Exam Practice Questions (Second Set): Dietitian Practice Tests & Review for the Registered Dietitian Exam (English Edition) Kindle Ausgabe. This is a practice book for American students practising for their Dietician exam, so the questions relate to the full range of topics studied, including technical and scientifically detailed questions.

The Real Caveman Diet

Did people eat fruits and vegetables in prehistoric times?


The real caveman diet: What did people eat in prehistoric times? (