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The Fat Chance Cookbook: More Than 100 Recipes Ready in Under 30 Minutes to Help You Lose the Sugar and the Weight

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The companion cookbook to the New York Times bestseller Fat Chance

Fat Chance became an instant New York Times bestseller. Robert Lustig’s message that the increased sugar in our diets has led to the pandemic of chronic disease over the last thirty years captured our national attention.

Now, in The Fat Chance Cookbook, Lustig helps us put this information into action for ourselves. With more than 100 recipes as well as meal plans, nutritional analyses, shopping lists, and food swaps, he shows us easy ways to drastically reduce sugar and increase fiber to lose weight and regain health – both for ourselves and for our families. Lustig also shows us how to navigate the grocery store with handy lists for stocking the pantry as well as how to read a food label in order to find hidden sugars and evaluate fiber content.

Accessible, affordable, and geared toward lasting results, The Fat Chance Cookbook will be a fun and easy roadmap to better health for the whole family.

354 pages, Kindle Edition

First published December 31, 2013

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About the author

Robert H. Lustig

12 books334 followers
Robert H. Lustig, M.D., is an internationally renowned pediatric endocrinologist who has spent the past sixteen yers treating childhood obesity and studying the effects of sugar on the central nervous system, metabolism, and disease. He is the director of the Weight Assessment for Teen and Child Health Program at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital; a member of the UCSF Center for Obesity Assessment, Study, and Treatment; as well as a member of the Obesity Task Force of the Endocrine Society.

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5 stars
69 (31%)
4 stars
76 (34%)
3 stars
51 (23%)
2 stars
13 (5%)
1 star
10 (4%)
Displaying 1 - 24 of 24 reviews
Profile Image for Betsy.
19 reviews9 followers
October 24, 2015
The recipes are not challenging or complicated, every recipe has nutritional information listed, and most of the recipes' ingredients I am easily able to find. I don't have to find squid ink or use an ice cream maker - hooray! The authors provide suggestions for sides or meals at the end of each recipe. This book really has helped me eat healthier.
Profile Image for Janie.
542 reviews12 followers
February 11, 2014
Lustig's Fat Chance is for everyone who can read who eats food.

This unfortunate book, however -- part science review; part pantry-stocking, meal-planning, recipe-making guide -- is not.
5 reviews
January 21, 2014
My favorite thing about this book is that the Nutrition Facts for each recipe includes the amount of Added Sugars. It is nice to know how much sugar naturally occurs in foods, especially for example, dishes with fruits, which are already sweet, versus the sugar that is added in a recipe. I do wish that the authors would discuss some of the pro' sand con's of different sweeteners, instead of just lumping them altogether. Not having read the precursor, "Fat Chance", I found this book to be truly informative and helpful regarding the unhealthy effects of sugars in my diet. This book includes a summary of the information from Fat Chance, so it was concise and not overly detailed; I got the message without having to spend a lot of time. I also like the recipes very much. I love to cook, and to eat, and try to follow a "clean eating" diet as much as possible ( fresh, home made foods, not processed; lots of veggies and whole grains, easy on the sweets and fats), so the recipes in this book work well for me. However, the authors make it clear that no one needs to be an expert chef in order to use these recipes (or to eat healthy!!) The recipes are easy to follow, and various techniques are clearly explained. Even though I haven't made anything from the book yet, I am a regular at Cindy Gershen's restaurant, Sunrise Bistro, and I can tell you that everything is fresh, wholesome, and delicious!! Ms. Gershen is well known in our community for her efforts to encourage local restaurants to offer healthier choices, and for her work with high schoolers to introduce them to healthy food choices. (It's frightening what these kids eat, and appalling that they have never been given healthy foods or been taught how to prepare their own meals.) A great book for anyone who wants to live a healthier, longer life!
Profile Image for Kirby.
213 reviews
August 17, 2020
I don't think I have ever enjoyed looking at a cookbook more than this one. It helps you eat healthier without the pain.

I was not expecting the explanation on healthy eating at the beginning of the book. My previous reading had already informed me on what was said here. However, for those wanting to read about sugar, nutrients in food, fiber, etc. This is a condensed, easy-to-read guide to what to eat and not to eat.

The recipes I perused here looked really tempting and, even better, easy to make.
16 reviews
August 3, 2020
Read the 1st book called fat chance first and then this second. After you understand the diet, nutrition,scientific information which the book lays out then you see the need for the cookbook. I like it because its less extreme a switch to keto, paleo or other variants. Here, the focus is to remove sugar and added sugar (processed food, sauce, condiments, salad dressing etc) from your regular diet and adding fiber by way of using less refinded ingredients (i.e use whole wheat flour).
May 8, 2018
A New Habit

Best loved foods like Mama used to make, made healthfully as Mama did. You will never go back to processed foods!
17 reviews
March 12, 2022
Might be worth peeking at if you're a fan of Dr. Lustig's work over other mediums, but while an ambitious prospect, the execution falls short. The introduction is well communicated, though it of course is only a summarizing of Lustig's arguments made elsewhere advocating for a healthier diet. As a cookbook the recipes left a little to be desired in both breadth and depth. Still, I've added one or two stand outs to my catalog. It's not what it could have been, but if you can find it on sale and really want to see what a Lustig cookbook might look like you could consider picking it up. My recommendation, though, would be to read Metabolical and then use that awareness to customize recipes that you find elsewhere.
Profile Image for Karen.
623 reviews9 followers
May 7, 2017
I have been "eating clean" for a few years, and I am always on the lookout for other recipes.
I really like the introduction to this book. I try to explain the science behind this way of eating to my family...most of whom prefer not to listen to what I have to say. The early chapters of the book provide a succinct explanation that I will share with my loved ones.
Profile Image for Maggi Andersen.
173 reviews2 followers
July 21, 2018
Has a number of typos, and neglects to give serving sizes for some recipes, but overall a good companion to the original Fat Chance book, and provides some great, healthy ideas for low sugar meals.
Profile Image for Kaitlyn.
1,183 reviews
January 9, 2021
I really enjoyed how the recipes were laid out, even though the yellow titles were a little hard to read. I found quite a few recipes that I will definitely be trying out.
Profile Image for Louisa.
107 reviews
April 25, 2014
I've read both this book and the other Fat Chance book.

There are some great recipes here and I will definitely use them as a reference. I say reference as although 95% of them had no added (granulated) sugar they still had plenty of natural sugar.
Just one of a few examples was the amount of dried fruit that was used. Although dried fruit is still fruit, it enables you to eat say 12 apricots which you wouldn't necessarily eat still has the same calories.
Plus as my dentist has always been quick to remind me raisins etc are very very bad for your teeth.
As I said I found some very good recipes that I will definitely keep and try out, but although I don't obsess about my weight if I ate these foods recommended all the time I'd probably end up the size of a small barn. Although I'm pretty average myself, I wouldn't want to gain weight in case it limits my activity in general life.

I'd also be interested to hear about these children he speaks of, yes they obviously do lose weight rapidly (cutting out that amount of sugar would!) but are they of average weight now or are they still over. I'm not saying its not ok to carry a little extra, I know I do! But carrying even a little extra weight will make say running for a football or playing games like skipping etc less fun when (in my case) your substantially smaller (from having my George) muffin top running along in front of you ;)

But there was lots of interesting information and recipes, the explanation on what a whole grain is where to find them and how to cook them will be invaluable for me as I find the whole cracked, whole wheat, whole grain thing very confusing!

All in all a good and healthy cookbook.
Profile Image for Kristina.
1,214 reviews475 followers
July 27, 2016
Lustig has some recipes that I'll never make (I'm sorry--I don't care how much sugar there is in ketchup, I'm not making my own) but overall I like it. I wanted to try it because I'm trying to eat more whole grains and vegetables. I like whole grains and vegetables, but too many cookbooks have very fancy recipes and I'm not a chef. I just want reasonably healthy and fairly easy recipes. He also suggests side dishes (recipes for which can be found in the book) and I like that. I'm crap at meal-planning which is bad because I make most of my meals from real ingredients (not processed packaged food) and that's time-consuming enough without having to think of what healthy grain/veg dish will go with whatever the main dish is. I made cilantro lime brown rice last week and that was very good. Easy too. So, yah!

Obviously this is a cook book and I haven't read every single page, but I'm going to count it as read.
Profile Image for Erin.
307 reviews3 followers
January 23, 2014
I think this is a great companion to Lustig's book, Fat Chance. If you read Fat Chance and were left wondering, "Well, what do I eat to keep from triggering insulin resistance?" this book is for you. It is not ground breaking recipes, but it makes changing your diet a lot simpler. Each recipe tells you why it good for you, how you can alter and change it up, and how you can store it for easy, work-night preparation.

I've had this book since the first of the year and I find myself referring to it at least once a week. I like to browse it while I make my grocery shopping list. I plan our dinners according to the principles of Fat Chance, and this book makes that process really easy. And the recipes are delicious! No one has complained, or even guessed that I am cooking "diet" food.

If you are looking for a way to sneak more vegetables into your diet, the Fat Chance Cookbook is a great place to start.
Profile Image for Shelby.
33 reviews3 followers
May 26, 2014
Five stars because I want everyone to get the message that fructose is unhealthy (unless is comes with fiber--like in fruit). As a cookbook it's great if you already play with recipes. It's way more of a guide. There are suggestions of things that go well together but I would like suggested meal plans. The recipes make a lot of food. If you are cooking for one or two people they need to be modified. There are very few vegetarian recipes so I have several friends who will not find this book useful at all. Finally I bought this as a Kindle book so I have quite the task ahead of me to add the recipes to My Recipe app (which is the best cookbook app ever and the whole reason we got an iPad.)
Profile Image for Wendy.
1,019 reviews8 followers
August 24, 2014
I started casually flipping through this cookbook last night, and was so inspired that today I made FOUR recipes! In the interest of full disclosure, I gave up eating added sugars 3 1/2 weeks ago, so I was super excited to get this reserve in. Robert Lustig is the medical guru behind how fructose is causing widespread metabolic syndrome. Anyways, I thought I'd be miserable without baked goods and candy and coffee, but mostly it's been painless. I *did* have a serious chocolate ice cream craving one night, but it passed. Today I made oatmeal whole wheat sandwich bread, roasted chickpeas seasoned with garam masala, muesli and a quinoa/turkey/brussels sprout casserole and ALL of them were delicious. I have at least 5 more recipes flagged for the near future.
Profile Image for Melanie Page.
Author 4 books84 followers
June 1, 2015
I've had to adjust all of these recipes just a little bit to make them work. So far, I've only used/made work about 5 recipes and don't have much interest in others, such as "cook some quinoa for breakfast" (I'm paraphrasing), which doesn't really seem like a recipe.

UPDATE: Things are getting easier, and many of these dishes are quite good. Each dish comes in large quantities so you can freeze some. Beware the "more than 100 recipes ready in under 30 minutes..." subtitle, as this is assuming you've already chopped every last fruit, vegetable, etc.
Profile Image for Sheena.
100 reviews
June 15, 2014
Great read about how to eat. I am thinking this is a lasting lifestyle change that I could stick to. If I was debating between this and the Fat Chance book, I would pick the cook book as it summarizes the other in the first part of the cookbook, plus it has all the recipes to help you begin your healthy journey.
Profile Image for Lacie Ernst.
179 reviews
February 12, 2015
This has been a great resource for me in my family's quest to cut out added sugars, avoid processed foods and eat more healthy. The first part of the book summarizes the science behind why sugar is so bad for us and the second half is full of recipes that are simple to prepare and delicious to eat!
Profile Image for Kelly.
85 reviews1 follower
June 17, 2020
Nice companion to the book of the same name. Appreciated the abbreviated science - if you want that, read Fat Chance. The science is broken down into language that is easy to understand. Good reference lists and portion suggestions. The recipes aren't complex and "gourmet", but they are a good starting point.
211 reviews1 follower
May 5, 2015
After watching the video on youtube of Dr. Lustig on the poison of sugar I got this book from the library. Good information and recipes to reduce the sugar in diet and eat more healthfully.
6 reviews1 follower
January 6, 2016
Great reference for healthy tasty cooking. Science behind it is motivating. I listened to RoBert Lustig's talk and then bought the cook book as a way to cut on the sugar in my life.
Displaying 1 - 24 of 24 reviews

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