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Book Review: Genocide – How Your Doctor’s Dietary Ignorance Will Kill You by Dr. James Carlson

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My conspiracy side loves it.

In his book, Genocide: How Your Doctor's Dietary Ignorance Will Kill You, Dr. James Carlson is "exposing" the medical illuminati, as it were.  Basically, his book advocates a low-carb diet, like the Atkins diet.  In addition to promoting a low-carb diet, he assails what he says are doctors' common practice of placing patients on low-fat and low-cholesterol diets.  This, he argues, is illogical and dangerous; in fact, he blames this practice for much of the health problems in America.

Carlson makes some appealing comments about how his colleagues are "indoctrinated" at medical schools. (He was similarly blinded during his schooling, but has since seen the light). Like tartuffe automatons, they do what they are trained to do, he says: barely listen and advocate a menu of prescription drugs and the wrong diet. Yes, sounds great, tell us about the evils of the doctors!

Then there's my other side, the writer's side, the critic side.

Carlson presents a possibly interesting biochemical and philosophical discussion of why the usual diets don't work and why his does — and why the medical field is so insensate – in a most atrocious manner. It's in first person, which can be convincing if told from a modest, disenchanted viewpoint. But this book reads like sales copy. There's lots of which-I'll-get-to-later's and once-you-understand's and blah-blah-blah's and oh-yeah's and by-the-way's and all-caps declarations.

Oh, sure, maybe I'm just being a self-righteous writer type.  Well, maybe, but writing like this lacks a sense of credibility. At least he should have been able to hire a good ghostwriter (hint-hint-nudge-nudge). He has impassioned dissertations at times, as when he censures doctors nationwide about how they ignore basic textbook facts they learned in school. Or when he rants about margarine. But my eyes just glossed over as I read it; an instinctual reaction to a salesman.

But then there are other problems.  When discussing the pancreas and insulin and how it relates to obesity among children in the U.S. – the horrid diets of the moms-makes-the fat-babies, basically – he makes this statement: "The pancreas is pre-programmed to secrete more insulin for your entire life." (Italics added).  See, the mom's diet of McDonald's and crap food and low-fat diets does this pre-programming of the embryonic child's pancreas. Yet, a few pages later he also states: "You want to lower your insulin levels?  Lower your carb intake." 

But, if we are pre-programmed before birth by the bad diets of our uninformed American mothers to secrete a set level of insulin, his solution seems moot.  Now perhaps I misunderstood the whole logic he presented. That's possible – and my point.  There seem to be germs of truth herein, but the presentation effectively castrates that truth.

Other points are presented in a convoluted manner.  They were barely explained.  This is what I learned about calculating total cholesterol: "The total cholesterol is the total cholesterol." Of course, doctor, when you doctor figures this 'total cholesterol', you must remember that calculations can be manipulated in any fashion — just like statistics — that a badly trained doctor desires. You just want to give up reading.

He does give a bibliography of sorts and these other books may be easier to read.  I'd suggest starting with them and then plowing through Genocide.

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