Up Book Review
By Wolfgang Lutz and Christian Allan
In recent years,
a slew of books on low-carbohydrate diets by medical doctors and
nutritionists has appeared on the market. Some, like those by Dr.
Robert Atkins, MD, have focused on using low-carb diets for weight
loss. Others, like the Protein Power series by the Eades, have focused
on the lifestyle of low-carb eating. None of the titles, however,
has applied low-carb eating to a variety of diseases, showing how
such a diet directly ameliorates and heals conditions like Crohn’s
disease, heart disease, and diabetes. With Life
Without Bread, however, that pattern has ended. Lutz and
Allan have done an excellent job in lucidly presenting a systematic
approach to low-carb eating, its beneficial effects on a number
of disease conditions and, most importantly, the scientific and
clinical data to back up the claims.
Bread is mostly based on the clinical experience of Dr. Lutz, an
Austrian medical doctor who has successfully used low-carb diets
for decades on thousands of patients. The results of Lutz’s clinical
successes have been published in several European medical journals
(mostly in German) and he even authored a German version of LWB
as far back as 1967.
German edition of LWB has had many favorable reviews, Lutz’s work
has been ignored in the United States. While the USDA was hawking
the Food Pyramid to the American public, with its 6–12 servings
of grain products a day (and with most of the Western world following
this lead), Dr. Lutz and a handful of brave iconoclasts were preaching
the virtues of high-protein, high-fat, low-carb diets for healthy
living. After many years, Lutz succeeded in securing an American
publisher and the results of his experience and research are now
avilable to all English-speaking people.
The book begins
with a definition of just what low-carb nutrition really is, followed
by an historical survey of the approach by various doctors and nutritionists
including such luminaries as William Banting, Weston Price, Vilhjamur
Stefansson, John Yudkin and Carlton Fredericks. In Lutz and Allan’s
definition, the low-carb diet should include no more than 72 grams
of carbohydrates per day. The rest of the diet should be made up
of protein and fat from a variety of plant and animal sources.
focuses on the effect carbohydrates have on hormonal function. Despite
the complexity of the subject matter, Lutz and Allan do a fine job
of explaining the endocrinological details with a variety of graphs,
illustrations and references.