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Summary

Gluten. Salt. Sugar. Fat. These are the villains of the American diet - or so a host of doctors and nutritionists would have you believe. But the science is far from settled, and we are racing to eliminate wheat and corn syrup from our diets because we've been lied to. The truth is that almost all of us can put the buns back on our burgers and be just fine.

Remember when butter was the enemy? Now it's good for you. You may have lived through times when the Atkins Diet was good, then bad, and then good again; you may have wondered why all your friends cut down on salt or went Paleo; and you might even be thinking about cutting out wheat products from your own diet.

In this groundbreaking work, Alan Levinovitz, PhD, exposes the myths behind how we come to believe which foods are good and which are bad and points the way to a truly healthful life, free from anxiety about what we eat.

©2015 Alan Levinovitz (P)2015 Tantor

Critic reviews

"A factually accurate and highly entertaining work." (Peter Gibson, MD, Director of Gastroenterology at the Alfred Hospital and Monash University)

What members say

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brilliant

well written, funny in parts but really helps to cut out all the confusion about what to put in your mouth

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Could've been even shorter without the padding.

It's good that someone goes through the scientific literature and exposes the false beliefs about food,I liked this about the book but the author then tends to fill in the reasons why we buy into these false beliefs with tenuous anecdotes and theories that were rather woolly themselves and goes on to tell us we'd all be much happier and healthier if we just stopped worrying about what we ate which ironically is the claim from all the fad diets,super foodists etc. which he dismisses throughout the book. The reader was OK,rather slow with an odd stop/start cadence

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Dismisses studies as inconclusive, says we still don't know.

What would have made The Gluten Lie better?

If it had contributed some useful information to the issue.

What was most disappointing about Alan Levinovitz, PhD’s story?

It mostly just dismisses the studies as inconclusive, says we still don't know.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Sounding like a fire-side chat, the narrator's more interested in the sound of his own voice and dismissing the research, not enough useful information is gained from listening to this.

Any additional comments?

It's too easy to just dismiss other's books and studies.
It doesn't add much useful information.
I'll be requesting a refund, a dissappointing purchase and not a good use of listening time.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Randall D. Raymond
  • 05-10-15

Entire Book Not Included

I downloaded this book on the recommendation of a column in Skeptic Magazine. I was favorably impressed until I got to the last chapter. In this chapter Dr. Levinovitz includes a section in which he introduces a "diet" which does all the things he criticized others for doing in the rest of the book. I was confused until I re-read the column that caused me to purchase the book and saw that it referred to annotations in this final chapter that were NOT included in the audio book. I was so confused that I bought the Kindle edition which included the annotations, and found that Dr. Levinovitz is using his last chapter"diet" to illustrate all the fallacies (i.e. lies) he points out in the rest of the book. Without these annotations the listener is left with a confusing and false idea of the entire purpose of the book. It would have been easy to include these annotations (I have listened to many Audible books where footnotes and annotations are read along with the text) as they are mostly very short and would have added much to the enjoyment of the book.

I would like to say that I gave the performance 1 star, not because I didn't like the narrator, he was, in fact, very good, but because the deletion of the annotations was, IMO part of the performance.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Natalie
  • 26-06-15

Excellent book, poor listen

What did you like best about The Gluten Lie? What did you like least?

I loved how the author approaches how we eat today in historical context, and looks at religion and human psychology to understand our current food obsessions.

What did you like best about this story?

Very well written, it covers a lot of science in a comprehensible and engaging manner.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Barry Press?

Horrible narrator, very lilting and exaggerated voice. Poorly edited, you could hear the breaks between recording sessions.

Any additional comments?

Please, please please figure out a way to help listeners access the references and footnotes! I understand that the last chapter included graphs, bubbles, info that supplemented the silly UNpacked diet, I would love to see that. I feel like I was ripped off.

I STRONGLY urge anyone considering this book to buy a print version instead. This was just about the worst book I have listened to on audible. Not that the content was bad, but the formatting was terrible.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Jeffrey Schwartz
  • 05-06-15

Excellent book but be sure you read the entire thing before you judge

This excellent book helps to smell some of the more prevalent myths about diet.

My only concern/criticism is the fact that, at least according to one review I read, there is supposed to be a second appendix. That appendix is sort of critical to the interpretation of the first appendix. Some people might miss the true meaning/interpretation of the first appendix without the second one. That appendix does not appear in this audiobook.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Christopher A Stout
  • 30-09-15

where is the data?

im on the last chapter and considering returning the book. I dont get it. The author quotes a couple studies that I will look up but that is it. He states that Wheat Belly is sensational and it is but WBelly arguments are more convincing. Tell me why I should eat gluten? Convinve me why I should eat gluten? Saying another guy lied doesnt say why I should eat it. There are better food choices period. The only arguement thst is presented is that items that are gluten free are more expensive. Tell me nutritionally why I should eat gluten? Too many better choices. Why right this book? Who funded it. Pass on this one.
update
I finished it. The fake diet he creates is good. The book doesnt offer anything new. we know about fat etc. I realize now that its the title of the book thst is misleading. it suggests that gluten and wheat are good and eat up. That isnt the case. I found on youtube various videos of the author. He admirs the title is from the publisher to sell more books. Sounds just like other authors. The video of the author on the Doctors show is good. Pass on this book. Pass on eating seeds of grasses as a main food source. Eat it like a candy or treat. it is. hot bread from the oven is a treat not a food group.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark Taylor
  • 31-05-15

Tricky Tricky

If you could sum up The Gluten Lie in three words, what would they be?

Clever, Logical, Sarcastic

Any additional comments?

The Gluten Lie ends with a myth that it doesn't spend the time to unpack.

So, is sarcasm or not? It all depends on wether you understood the book or not. If you learned the thesis of the book you probably won't be fooled. If you don't listen carefully to the last two tracks, you may actually fall for it.

The author does not clear this up and is very clever to frame another "mythical" debate in the same structure that he just debunked. It is easier to see if you read the last two chapters in google books.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Keila
  • 23-06-17

A much needed dose of reality

I think this is a book everyone should read/listen to, even though (especially!) most people will be uncomfortable with the message it contains. As someone who is a natural skeptic, yet has still fallen prey to many of the diets outlined in this book, seeing popular nutritional information presented as myths we repeat to ourselves was very eye opening. As you start to see the patterns in the way the diet gurus talk and how we've begun to replace our desire for being spiritually "pure" with being nutritionally "pure", why we fall so easily for each new diet begins to make much more sense.
I do feel certain parts of the book could have been fleshed out a little more and I do think the repeated recommendation of "moderation", while true, can leave a lot of people unsure of what "moderation" really entails. Unfortunately we are all rather uncomfortable with the fact that as individuals, we all must experiment and find out what "moderation" really means for ourselves rather than using a blanket prescription from some random "expert".
I'll definitely be recommending this book to friends and family.

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  • Anne Lubout
  • 15-03-17

a History of diet stupidity

This book contains the origin and science of most modern dieting myths and fads.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Matt
  • 30-01-16

Some new perspectives

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, and have done. It cuts through a lot of the nonsense often in the media about foods, and promotes a return to a simpler way of thinking about what we eat.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I just liked the line "Everyday foods are not going to kill you"!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Joseph
  • 30-09-16

Unqualified Author

The author of this book may hold a PhD, but it's in religious studies. The read is long and meandering.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Al
  • 15-06-15

Great tongue in cheek poke at diet gurus.

Having read many books about what to eat, or what to avoid, the authors all make money from the confusion they create. This book cats straight through it all.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful