Metabolical: The Lure and the Lies of Processed Food, Nutrition, and Modern Medicine (Hardcover)

Metabolical: The Lure and the Lies of Processed Food, Nutrition, and Modern Medicine By Robert H. Lustig Cover Image

Metabolical: The Lure and the Lies of Processed Food, Nutrition, and Modern Medicine (Hardcover)


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The New York Times bestselling author of Fat Chance explains the eight pathologies that underlie all chronic disease, documents how processed food has impacted them to ruin our health, economy, and environment over the past 50 years, and proposes an urgent manifesto and strategy to cure both us and the planet.

Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric neuroendocrinologist who has long been on the cutting edge of medicine and science, challenges our current healthcare paradigm which has gone off the rails under the influence of Big Food, Big Pharma, and Big Government.

You can’t solve a problem if you don’t know what the problem is. One of Lustig’s singular gifts as a communicator is his ability to “connect the dots” for the general reader, in order to unpack the scientific data and concepts behind his arguments, as he tells the “real story of food” and “the story of real food.” 

Metabolical weaves the interconnected strands of nutrition, health/disease, medicine, environment, and society into a completely new fabric by proving on a scientific basis a series of iconoclastic revelations, among them: 

  • Medicine for chronic disease treats symptoms, not the disease itself
  • You can diagnose your own biochemical profile 
  • Chronic diseases are not "druggable," but they are "foodable" 
  • Processed food isn’t just toxic, it’s addictive
  • The war between vegan and keto is a false war—the combatants are on the same side
  • Big Food, Big Pharma, and Big Government are on the other side

Making the case that food is the only lever we have to effect biochemical change to improve our health, Lustig explains what to eat based on two novel criteria: protect the liver, and feed the gut. He insists that if we do not fix our food and change the way we eat, we will continue to court chronic disease, bankrupt healthcare, and threaten the planet. But there is hope: this book explains what’s needed to fix all three.

Robert H. Lustig, MD, MSL, is the editor of the academic volume Obesity Before Birth and the internationally acclaimed author of the popular works Fat Chance, Sugar Has 56 Names, The Fat Chance Cookbook, and The Hacking of the American Mind. He is Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology and a member of the Institute for Health Policy Studies at UCSF. He lectures globally and consults with numerous medical societies and policy organizations to improve population health. He lives with his family in San Francisco.

Product Details ISBN: 9780063027718
ISBN-10: 0063027712
Publisher: Harper
Publication Date: May 4th, 2021
Pages: 416
Language: English

“The authoritative, no-hold-barred analysis of what food does for health, versus what the food industry does for disease.” — Mark Bittman, food writer and author of Animal, Vegetable, Junk

“We’re not just eating ourselves to death, we’re eating the planet to death. Metabolical explains why, and why we’ve been so impotent at dealing with both.” — Katie Couric, journalist

Metabolical lays bare the depth of the relationship between the recent and profound perversion of the human diet and its overwhelming health consequences...Manufactured food is killing humanity. And real food, as Lustig makes clear, is the only right choice for our health, our food supply, our wallets, and our planet.” — David Perlmutter, MD, Fellow, American College of Nutrition, Author, #1 New York Times bestseller of Grain Brain and Brain Wash

"Rob Lustig does it again...Metabolical is an eye-opener about our modern food environment, health-care system, and the dire straits the next generation is headed in if we don't make some serious systemic changes in the way we think about nutrition. " — Nicole Avena, PhD, author of What to Eat When You Want to Get Pregnant

A modern Copernicus, Dr. Robert Lustig has provided both the expertise to recognize the charade of processed food and the courage to tell the truth.” — Dale E. Bredesen, MD, professor and author of the New York Times bestseller, The End of Alzheimer’s

“A beautifully written exposé of a broken system that begs to be repaired.”  — Kelly D. Brownell, PhD, Director, World Food Policy Center and Dean Emeritus, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University 

“Metabolical shows that not all calories are created equal, an insight that if acted upon could save countless lives.”  — Robert N. Proctor, PhD, Professor of the History of Science, Stanford University, and author of Golden Holocaust: Origins of the Cigarette Catastrophe and the Case for Abolition.

"Metabolical offers a meticulous analysis of current science on nutrition and health; and an indictment of processed food, the food industry, and the actors who conspire to keep our food unhealthy." — Emily M. Broad Leib, JD, Clinical Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Food Law and Policy Clinic, Harvard Law School

 “This book will open your eyes to a powerful food industry that is failing in its core task.” — Jeffrey D. Sachs, PhD, University Professor at Columbia University President of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network

“Robert Lustig has treated the casualties, and now he’s going after the perpetrators.” — Raj Patel, PhD, social activist and author of Stuffed and Starved, History of the World in Seven Cheap Things, and Inflamed: Deep Medicine and the Anatomy of Injustice.