Metabolic health is one of the most critical aspects of overall health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to know where to start to improve things like metabolic health, especially if you’re just learning about it.
Whether you're looking for weight loss tips, ways to improve your cholesterol levels, or to learn more about metabolism, a little reading material can go a long way. There's a book for every health query, from a deep dive into endocrinology, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.
Some books are a great resource for chronic diseases like obesity, or for providing an explanation of conditions like metabolic syndrome and gestational diabetes. To help you get started, here’s what the credentialed dietitians and nutritionists at Nutrisense have named as the best books on metabolic health in 2023.
1) Outlive: The Science & Art of Longevity
Written by: Peter Attia, MD
Released in 2023, "Outlive" by Peter Attia, MD is full of valuable insights on extending your lifespan, enhancing your overall well-being, and finding greater satisfaction in life. This book incorporates the latest scientific advancements and provides practical recommendations that can help you enhance your exercise routine, dietary choices, sleep patterns, and emotional well-being.
Attia's aim is to assist readers in establishing a solid framework for managing these four aspects of their health. He also touches on the potential benefits of monitoring blood sugar with a CGM and the impact this can have on metabolic health.
This book is a great choice if you want to learn all about how to put the latest research on promoting longevity, metabolic health, and overall well-being into action.
2) The Complete Guide to Fasting
Written by: Dr. Jason Fung
Fasting is an ancient practice used for medicinal and spiritual purposes for centuries. However, in recent years, fasting has gained popularity as a weight-loss tool. While there are many different types of fasting, they share one common goal: to improve your health and wellbeing by giving the body a break from digesting food.
There is growing evidence that fasting can have powerful effects on the body. Intermittent fasting, for example, has been shown to boost metabolism, can impact your blood sugar, and may promote weight loss.
In his book, Dr. Jason Fung provides a guide to various types of fasting, including intermittent fasting, alternate-day fasting, and extended fasting. Fung discusses the history of fasting and its place in multiple cultures and religions and then delves into its science. The book also includes a section on common questions, like what to eat and how to break a fast.
3) Smart Fat
Written by: Steven Masley M.D. & Jonny Bowden Ph.D.
“Smart Fat" is all about the benefits of including healthy fats in your diet. The book starts by busting some common myths about fat, like the idea that all fat is bad for you. It then explains the different types of fat and their respective benefits.
Masley and Bowden argue that the advice that all fat is bad is based on flawed research and outdated information. They point to studies that show that saturated fat is not associated with an increased risk of heart disease and may even have some health benefits. The authors also dispel the myth that all fats are equal, explaining more about typically good (like omega 3s) and bad fats (like trans fats).
One type of "good" fat is monounsaturated fat, found in olive oil and avocados, which can lower cholesterol levels and protect against heart disease. Another is the omega 3 fatty acids found in sardines and mackerel, which can reduce your risk of conditions like heart disease and stroke. The book also includes recipes and menu plans to help readers incorporate more healthy fats into their diets.
4) Glucose Revolution
Written by: Jessie Inchauspé
Jessie Inchauspé, or as you may know her, Glucose Goddess, has written a book all about how empowered you can feel when you start monitoring your glucose levels. "Glucose Revolution" is an excellent book for anyone interested in learning more about glucose's important role in the human body.
The book begins with a brief overview of the role of glucose and the dangers of uncontrolled blood sugar. Inchauspé then discusses types of diabetes, symptoms, and the importance of diet and exercise in regulating blood sugar levels. The book also includes a variety of recipes and meal plans designed to help readers regulate their blood sugar.
Inchauspé explains the science behind how the body uses glucose. She also provides a detailed plan for managing blood sugar levels effectively.
Written by: Sarah Fragoso & Dr. Brooke Kalanick N.D. M.S.
“Hangry: 5 Simple Steps to Balance Your Hormones and Restore Your Joy" is part self-help, part scientific guide to understanding the phenomenon of being hangry. This book offers a comprehensive guide to understanding and addressing the hormone issues and other health problems that can come with this condition.
Drawing on their own experiences with hormonal imbalances, the authors give readers practical advice on identifying symptoms, making dietary and lifestyle changes, and restoring hormonal balance. In addition to offering sound advice, the authors also provide helpful recipe ideas and tips for dealing with stress.
6) Primal Endurance
Written by: Mark Sisson & Brad Kearns
“Primal Endurance” presents a new approach to endurance training based on ancestral health principles. It explores how primal living can help optimize health by explaining how our ancestors lived active, healthy lives without the need for formal exercise or strict diets.
The authors argue that modern humans have become too reliant on technological conveniences and have lost touch with our primal roots. As a result, the book suggests that we face an epidemic of chronic disease and obesity. The authors believe a more primal lifestyle can help, including eating real food, staying active even in simple ways like walking, and getting adequate sleep.
7) The Diabetes Code
Written by: Dr. Jason Fung
Another book by New York Times bestselling author Jason Fung, “The Diabetes Code” offers a groundbreaking new approach to preventing type 2 diabetes. Drawing on cutting-edge research, this metabolic best seller states that the key to managing diabetes is to focus on the underlying hormonal imbalance that leads to high blood sugar levels.
Dr. Fung argues that it’s possible to effectively manage diabetes and avoid the serious complications of uncontrolled blood sugar by normalizing this imbalance. In addition, by following his recommendations for diet and lifestyle, readers can dramatically reduce their risk of developing diabetes in the first place.
With its clear and accessible style, the book is an essential guide for anyone seeking to understand and manage this condition.
8) Wired to Eat
Written by: Robb Wolf
In his book “Wired to Eat,” Wolf explores the idea that our modern diets are at odds with our genetic makeup. He argues that the human body is designed to thrive on a diet of lean meats, vegetables, and fruits—the foods that our ancestors ate for millennia (AKA the Paleo diet).
The book suggests that typical Western diets of processed foods and grain-based carbohydrates have created a disconnect between what we eat and what our bodies need. As a result, we see an increase in obesity, diabetes, and other diet-related diseases.
By returning to a more traditional way of eating, the book claims that we can improve our health and reclaim our rightful place as the top predators on the planet. Wolf provides practical advice for dietary changes to improve our health, including eliminating processed foods and eating more whole foods like vegetables, fruits, and meat.
9) Metabolic Storm
Written by: Dr. Emily Cooper
In “Metabolic Storm,” Dr. Cooper explores the role of metabolism in our overall health. Drawing on experience as a medical doctor and researcher, she argues that many of our modern health problems can be traced back to disruptions in our metabolic process.
As one of the best books on metabolism, "Metabolic Storm" provides a detailed look at how the metabolism can be affected by diet, stress, and lifestyle choices. In addition, Dr. Cooper offers practical advice on how we can optimize our metabolism for better health. Metabolic Storm is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in taking control of their health and well-being.
10) The Inflammation Spectrum
Written by: Dr. Will Cole & Eve Adamson
“The Inflammation Spectrum: Find Your Food Triggers and Reset Your System” is a comprehensive guide to understanding and managing inflammation. The book explains what inflammation is and how it can lead to chronic diseases like heart disease and arthritis. It then outlines the different kinds of food that can trigger inflammation, from sugar and refined carbohydrates to dairy and red meat.
The authors also provide practical advice on reducing inflammation through diet, supplements, and lifestyle changes. By following the recommendations in this book, readers will be able to reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases and improve their overall health.
11) The Fatburn Fix
Written by: Catherine Shanahan M.D.
In a world where fad diets abound, and new workout regimens are constantly emerging, optimizing your health can be challenging. “The Fatburn Fix: Boost Energy, End Hunger, and Lose Weight by Using Body Fat for Fuel" makes a clear and compelling case for using body fat for fuel to boost energy, end hunger, and lose weight.
The book is based on a simple premise: our bodies were designed to use body fat for fuel, but modern diets and lifestyles have interfered with this natural process. As a result, we store more body fat than we burn, leading to weight gain.
Making some simple changes to our diet and lifestyle will not only help us lose weight but can also boost energy and reduce hunger cravings. In addition, using body fat for fuel has several other health benefits, including reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
12) Good Calories, Bad Calories
Written by: Gary Taubes
“Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health” argues that the prevailing scientific consensus on diet and health is wrong and that obesity results from too many carbohydrates, not too many calories. The book helped spark a low-carbohydrate diet craze.
“Good Calories, Bad Calories” challenges conventional ideas on diet and health. Taubes argues that the key to good health is not counting calories but consuming the right calories. He argues that all fats and carbs are not equal and that certain types of carbs can be detrimental to our health.
Taubes' work has been praised by leading researchers in nutrition and sparked a national debate on the best way to eat for health. Whether you agree or not, the book is sure to spark challenge traditional assumptions about diet and health.
13) The Hungry Brain
Written by: Stephan J. Guyenet Ph.D.
“The Hungry Brain: Outsmarting the Instincts That Make Us Overeat” explores the science behind why we overeat. It debunks the common misconception that we eat more because we're hungry. Instead, it argues that we're programmed to seek out high-calorie foods to survive.
The book also delves into the role of hormones and neurotransmitters in regulating hunger and satiety and how our modern diet and lifestyle can disrupt this delicate balance.
Dr. Guyenet’s research provides insights into why we often make poor food choices and how we can make better ones. By making conscious choices about what we eat, we can finally break free from the cycle of overeating and unnecessary dieting.
14) Why We Get Sick
Written by: Benjamin Bikman
"Why We Get Sick: The Hidden Epidemic at the Root of Most Chronic Disease—and How to Fight It" explores the little-known epidemic of inflammation and its impact on our health. Chronic inflammation has been linked to various diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer's. While some inflammation is necessary for healing, too much can be damaging.
The book advocates for whole foods, an anti-inflammatory diet, regular exercise, stress reduction, and adequate sleep. He also offers practical advice on reducing inflammation through diet, supplements, and lifestyle changes.
Drawing on his extensive experience as a researcher and clinician, he provides a much-needed resource for anyone who wants to understand how to protect themselves from chronic disease.
15) The Obesity Code
Written by: Dr. Jason Fung
Yes, we’re big fans of Dr. Jason Fung’s work! Another bestseller, “The Obesity Code,” explores the root causes of obesity and offers new approaches to weight loss.
Dr. Fung argues that obesity is not simply a result of overeating or a sedentary lifestyle but a hormonal disorder caused by insulin resistance. He demonstrates how the standard 'calories in, calories out’ model is ineffective in treating this condition and outlines a new approach to reset hormones.
In this metabolic health book, readers can learn how to reset their metabolism for weight loss, and although some of the concepts may be new to some readers, it’s easy to understand and apply the theories in practice.
16) The Menopause Reset
Written by: Dr. Mindy Pelz
Dr. Mindy Pelz is a renowned hormone specialist who has helped countless women transition through menopause. Her book, “The Menopause Reset,” outlines a comprehensive approach to managing menopause symptoms.
Drawing on her years of research and clinical experience, Dr. Pelz provides an in-depth look at the hormonal changes during menopause and offers practical advice for dealing with everything from hot flashes to mood swings. She also debunks many myths surrounding menopause, such as the belief that it is a natural part of aging that cannot be prevented or treated.
Instead, Dr. Pelz shows how menopause can be managed effectively using lifestyle changes, hormone therapy, and other treatments. “The Menopause Reset” is an essential resource for any woman who wants to take control of her health during this critical life stage.
17) Intermittent Fasting Transformation
Written by: Cynthia Thurlow, NP
This book outlines a 45-day program for women to help them with their intermittent fasting journey. Thurlow’s book, available in six languages, is an excellent resource for women looking to lose weight, slow aging, and improve hormonal health.
The program, introduced in a 2019 Ted Talk, uses the scientifically proven 16:8 model of intermittent fasting to help women lose weight, control cravings, experience a boost of energy, and lift brain fog. The program includes a complete nutrition plan and is geared towards the hormonal needs of women at any stage, whether or not they have entered menopause.
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Carlee's training at Western Illinois University and an internship at the Memphis VA Hospital lead her to a career in outpatient counseling and bariatric nutrition therapy. In these positions, Carlee realized many of the disease states (upwards of 80%!) her patients experienced were actually preventable. She knew she had to dig deeper into preventative health and has since been passionate about helping people translate this complex glucose data into actionable changes anyone can implement into their everyday lives.