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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best-selling 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 listener, 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.

Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook.

©2021 Robert H. Lustig (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Metabolical

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Adding this one to my top five book recommendations

So much information and actionable advise. Everyone should have this as required reading to support a long and healthy life and reduce burdens on our health care systems.

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Knowledge is Power

If I only retained 1% of all the information that was in this audiobook - it’s still more than enough to begin making better decisions regarding individual health and nutrition.
Thank You Robert Lustig for your hard work in researching and writing this book.
An Educational listen.

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The Truth is in the "pudding"!

the Narrator was real, believable and Honest. Scary truth about the food / pharma industries.

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Absolute must read

Phenomenal book that addresses critical issues for everyone’s health- a book everyone who eats any food at all should read!!

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Exciting and Refreshing

A wonderful book. I really appreciated the brutal honesty. My only criticism is that the content was sometimes a little bit too complex. If you're knowledgeable in medical or biological language then you'll have no problem.

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Incredible Content

I’ve read a lot of books on the topics of health, nutrition, and science. This book is in my top 5 list. The story was compelling, narration was top notch, content was dense and well reviewed. That said, I wish he would do away with the superlatives. Hard to take him seriously sometimes.

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  • Dan
  • 2021-12-06

everyone who eats should read this book

the infobin this book is essential. if we are to keep existing as a species. Lustig is diet-!agnostic. he doesn't care if you are carnivore or vegan. but he is right that we need to make a stand against fake food.

it won't mean massive loss of jobs. it will mean repressing of the workforce.

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Amazing information and easy to understand

I loved that he was brave enough to share who care more for money or politics before than for the well being of society.

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lots to learn

To political was hoping for more things I can do to improve my health. well narrator.

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Best book ever ever

Everyone should listen or read this book. Highly educational and entertaining. Loved it so much.

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  • Roger Brown
  • 2021-05-11

Could be better

I really wanted to like this book. I heard the author on Coast to Coast AM and I liked what he had to say. I like the premise of protect the liver and feed the gut. I learned a lot about what processing does to food, and to choose minimally processed, low carb, high fiber food.

What annoyed me most was the politics. As a Conservative, I was put off by the climate change talk and the bashing of the Trump administration. I would have preferred a diet plan to follow and left the politics out of it.

Since I thought this was a diet book, I was looking for meal planning guidance and recipes, but found nothing of the sort. There was a bunch of stuff about what the world needed to do, but nothing telling me what I could do. It wasn't until the epilogue that the eatreal website was mentioned in passing as a success story, where they have free PDFs with recipes and suggestions. One of those being The Fat Chance Cookbook. If I had known that from the beginning, I would've saved my Audible credits and just went to that website or bought the other book instead.

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  • jonathan blake
  • 2021-06-06

painfully political

this guy complains about the government throughout the book and then comes to the conclusion that only the government can help us. clearly he's a Democrat.

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  • Flora
  • 2021-05-05

A very important book to read/listen to!

If, but only IF you care about your wellbeing and the wellbeing of those you love, you'll not only listen to (or read) this book... you'll actually pay attention to what its author is telling you and you'll eat ONLY good, whole foods. By protecting your liver and feeding your gut, as the author reminds us, you'll be on your way to better mind & body & spiritual health. It's true! I'm a former obese person... a junk food junkie... a fast food feeder... a soda drinkaholic... who suffered huge physiological problems that nearly took my life. How hard is it to ditch the poisons and heal oneself? Not as hard as trying to recover from some really scary health issues.

Get this book!

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  • Sean
  • 2021-05-26

Better title “my political hit piece”

Better title “my political hit piece”
Does not give a balanced view on a one sided political outlook

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  • R. Surprenant
  • 2021-05-08

Fabulous!

But am I the only one who is disappointed that it wasn’t narrated by Dr. Lustig? I love his voice and delivery——-and missed it in this audiobook.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Cathilea Robinett
  • 2021-07-16

Best book on health

I have read over 50 books in this genre and this is by far one of the best books I have listened to. Robert Lustig is my new hero. The science is impeccable. And he takes on the true food villains of our time. Please read this for your own health and further education.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Amy M.
  • 2021-11-11

Not helpful if you’re looking for actual advice

Very scientific. Very interesting but I bought this book looking for real steps I can take every day. The author repeats the mantra “feed the gut, protect the liver” but never actually explains which foods do that the best. He does a good job of convincing you to never eat sugar or any packaged foods but in reality that’s unrealistic. Waste of time. I don’t need the science behind hating processed foods, I already get that. I was looking for which foods specifically are good at “feeding the gut, protecting the liver” He repeats “it’s not what’s in the food, it’s what’s been done to the food” but never tells the reader how to find better foods. Overall, I don’t recommend. You don’t need 14 hours of audiobook to know that junk food is bad for you.

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  • jaga
  • 2021-10-14

READ THIS BOOK!

If you want to understand what you’re putting in your body, READ THIS BOOK!

Why?

Author Robert Lustig introduces and explains a multitude of key aspects of nutritional science and processed food.

A few key, high level points that Lustig emphasises throughout his book:

-”It’s not what’s in the food, it’s what’s been done to the food”.
-”protect the liver, feed the gut”.

Some examples of the specific areas Lustig discuss in the book:

-The 8 pathologies that processed food contributes to.
-The full story about what goes into, and what’s misleading about, food labeling.
-The added and hidden sugar in 70+% of all products in the supermarket.
-Why fast food tastes so good, why it’s addictive, and the health implications of consuming it.
-The economics of the processed food business.
-The environmental impact of the processed food business,
-Lustig goes through the anatomy of human cells and their entire metabolic process.
-A full explanation of when and how insulin is produced, when the body produces too much or too little insulin.
-The importance of having soluble and insoluble fiber for the gut.
-Lots of other stuff, like what is done to wheat, use of corn feed, CAFOs, removal of fat from milk.

In addition, Lustig goes through the standard diagnostic blood panels that most physicians will conduct as part of a routine checkup, with particular focus on the lipids and glucose tests. He explains why LDL is actually a combination of different types of cholesterol, not all of which is bad. Thus, the LDL and total cholesterol figures are not the measure to focus on. There are similar issues with the standard glucose test. Lustig also identifies the non standard diagnostic tests which can assist with uncovering certain chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

In the last chapter Lustig provides a bunch of potential solutions to the problems of connecting people with real food. These are quite creative but seemingly workable and worth trying.

There is an added PDF which provides even more information, including diagrams and charts.

There is a tremendous amount of information in this book, but I cannot recommend it highly enough for those interested in understanding the impact of processed food and related topics.

6 people found this helpful

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  • MStewart
  • 2022-01-24

Same old info!

Same old info regurgitated as almost every other book on this issue, except with a left wing twist! If you want a really informative book on this issue listen to “Wheat Brain”.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Verne
  • 2021-08-02

not sure how I feel

struggled with the first three chapters
was not interested in the American politics at the end .

5 people found this helpful

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  • Fatima K
  • 2022-01-28

life changing book

amazing! a manual for getting back to health and unserstanding how our metabolism work!

with a background on how is the industry of food and pharma not helping us be healthier