Fast Carbs, Slow Carbs
The Simple Truth About Food, Weight, and Disease
The American body is in trouble. Unprecedented numbers of us suffer from obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and other debilitating illnesses. The root cause is a once-revolutionary idea that seemed to offer so much promise, but instead has become the cause of a global health crisis: processed foods. Over the past seventy-five years, a number of factors aligned to create a reality in which processed carbohydrates became our main food source. In Fast Carbs, Slow Carbs, bestselling author and former FDA Commissioner David A. Kessler explains how the quest to feed a nation resulted in a population that is increasingly suffering from obesity and chronic disease and offers a solution for changing course.
For decades, no one questioned the effects of these processed carbohydrates. The focus was on fertile grassland, ideal for growing vast amounts of wheat and corn; an industrial infrastructure perfect for refining those grains into starch; a food production behemoth that turns refined grains into affordable, appealing, and ever-present food items, from pizza to burritos to bagels; and an efficient distribution network that ensures consumption by Americans nationwide.
But during those same decades, our bodies quietly contended with the metabolic chaos caused by consuming rapidly absorbable starch. Slowly but surely, these effects accumulated and became disastrous, leading to the public health crisis in which we find ourselves today.
In Fast Carbs, Slow Carbs, Kessler explains how eating refined grains such as wheat, corn, and rice leads to a cascade of hormonal and metabolic issues that make it very easy to gain weight and nearly impossible to lose it. Worse still is how excess weight creates a very real link to diabetes, heart disease, cognitive decline, and a host of cancers.
We can no longer afford to dismiss the consequences of eating food that is designed to be rapidly absorbed as sugar in our bodies. Informed by cutting-edge research as well as Dr. Kessler’s own personal quest to manage his weight, Fast Carbs, Slow Carbs reveals in illuminating detail how we got to this critical turning point in our health as a nation—and outlines a plan for eliminating heart disease, allowing us to, finally, regain control of our health.
Harper Wave, 9780062996978, 320pp.
Publication Date: March 31, 2020
About the Author
David A. Kessler, MD serves as Chief Science Officer of the White House COVID-19 Response Team under President Joe Biden and previously served as commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration under Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton. He is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The End of Overeating and Capture and two other books: Fast Carbs, Slow Carbs and A Question of Intent. Dr. Kessler is a pediatrician and has been the dean of the medical schools at Yale and the University of California, San Francisco. He is a graduate of Amherst College, the University of Chicago Law School, and Harvard Medical School.