Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Giving Carbohydrates The 'Fat' Treatment

Imagine for just a moment that the world has finally come to its senses about the legitimate harm that eating too many of the wrong kind of carbohydrates (i.e. sugar, white flour, starchy foods, processed foods, etc.) can be to your health. I know, I know, it's a stretch in this day and age of fat phobia, but stay with me on this one.

What if we suddenly gave carbohydrates the "fat" treatment? Say what?

Think about what our society would be like if carbohydrates were given the exact same special classification and utter disdain in our society as fat has enjoyed almost exclusive rights to for the past three decades.

Allow me to briefly illustrate it for you:

- The government announced today that they have released a brand new Food Pyramid with carbohydrates ending up at the very top as the least amount that you want to be consuming daily.

- Major food companies concerned about the health of their customer base decided to release a new line of healthy low-carb and carb-free foods. Company executives say they have put a lot of effort into making these taste great for the consumer.

- If you want to lose weight, then you need to eat your fruits and vegetables, exercise daily, and eat a balanced low-carb diet. Don't resort to extreme fad diets that completely eliminate a whole category of food because that is unhealthy.

- You must avoid eating carbohydrates as much as possible to ward off obesity, clogged arteries, heart attack, and stroke.

- Dieticians, doctors, and other medical professionals recommend their patients strictly follow a low-carb diet as the only effective means for controlling their weight and preventing the onset of obesity-related diseases.

How does all of this sound? If you are livin' la vida low-carb, then it sounds pretty good, doesn't it?

All I did was take what life is like today with the focus on fat as the great enemy to our health that government leaders and health "experts" would have us believe to be the gospel truth and simply replaced the focus on "fat" with "carbs" instead. It's interesting how radically different just this one minor change makes. Can you envision what our society would be like if we started looking at carbohydrates like we do fat? Revolutionary indeed!

Can somebody tell me why is it that the "fat" message has been able to dominate what is deemed as nutritionally sound advice for so long despite being the dismal failure in curbing obesity and the onset of diseases such as metabolic syndrome, heart disease and diabetes? Surely people realize by now that the low-fat lie has been the single-biggest bamboozle in the history of mankind, right? So why wouldn't they want to start giving carbohydrates an opportunity to enjoy the same treatment that "fat" has enjoyed for so long?

The good news is that some of us already have. The low-carb lifestyle is an entirely different mindset that pretty much throws all conventional wisdom about healthy eating out the window in favor of a more effective and very safe method for controlling your weight and improving your overall health.

We low-carbers are on the cutting edge of that revolution that the late Dr. Robert C. Atkins made popular over the past three decades while low-fat fever swept this country because we are all living proof of what can happen when you get your focus on what is really at the root of obesity (overconsumption of sugar and other refined carbohydrates) and ignoring the doomsday warnings about the evils of consuming fat. Get over it already!

Will we ever see a day when carbs are given the exact same treatment as "fat" is today? Perhaps, but I don't think it will happen in my lifetime. But that won't discourage me from continuing to share with people the positive message of livin' la vida low-carb and how it can change their life forever just like it did for me!

One by one, community by community, we can and WILL make a difference by our example. Keep on being the shining example of what livin' la vida low-carb is REALLY all about! Whether it becomes mainstream or not, at the very least WE can give carbohydrates the "fat" treatment in our own lives to show the whole world low-carb is an excellent alternative to low-fat.


Blogger Leigh said...

I, too, doubt we will see it in my lifetime. After all, there is not much money to be made in a whole and healthy society in the diet and prescription drug industries. But as you say, one example at a time . . .

5/17/2006 8:44 PM  
Blogger Lowcarb_dave said...

Just as long as they don't cut fat and carbs out at the same time! Yikes!

Yes I agree, I don't think it will happen in my lifetime and I am only 30. But we will see a bigger increase in disease and obesity.

5/17/2006 9:41 PM  
Blogger Science4u1959 said...

Yeah... probably when 3 out 3 individuals in the US and the Western world are morbidly overweight some of our brilliant leaders and health "experts" might start seriously doubting the low-fat gospel. There is more than plenty of scientific and clinical evidence already, of course, but that is still being largely ignored and rediculed - no matter how solid that evidence is.

The best thing to do, in my not-so-humble opinion, is to keep educating the public and medical professionals. At some point -indeed, perhaps not in our lifetime- the weight of the evidence will create sufficient momentum to change things for the better. And even then it will be difficult. After all, we know since the mid 1930's that diabetes is best treated with a low-carb dietary regimen. Yet, here we are, 70 years later, in all our magnificent stupidity, prescribing the exact opposite -a high-carb diet- to those suffering from diabetes.

You keep going, Jimmy! One thing I am sure of - you ARE making a difference already and fighting the good fight! Don't forget that your blog is immensily popular and being read by laymen and medical professionals alike - including some eminent scientists. I know that for a fact.

It always good and stimulating to remember that controlled-carb and low-carb regimens have one essential "nutrient" all others lack: the truth. Remember: Nothing is as powerful as the truth. It may (and most likely will) take much effort and perseverance, but in the end the truth will prevail.

What makes me sad, personally, is thinking of the staggering number of current and future victims of the LIES that are still being told, before the truth will be widely accepted...

5/17/2006 10:18 PM  
Blogger Newbirth said...

It wouldn't make a witt of difference. It would help diabetics who are receiving treatment and willing to follow the ADA guildlines, but that's it.

If people shunned carbs, they'd eat more than enough fat to make up for it with resulting weight gain. The ONLY way to effectively control weight is to count something, whether that's fat, carbs, and/or calories. Otherwise, people will be people and always overeat. How many people follow the pyramid now? Would low-carb change that? I don't think so.

The bottom line is - we have to make it work - whether "it" is low-fat or low-carb, and most people don't want to put in the effort.

5/18/2006 12:42 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

I'm a little more optimistic than the other commenters. This reminds me of other scientific revolutions. Some examples are Darwin's theory of evolution or Einstein's theory of relativity, but especially the former. In the book "Apes, Angels, and Victorians - Darwin, Huxley, and Evolution", the author, William Irvine, makes the point that the man in the street often had a better understanding and acceptance of evolution than the scientific 'establishment' of the time. I think the same thing is happening here. Laymen with enough technical background to understand the general physiology of nutrition, who have fewer fixed beliefs than the medical professionals, are the first to understand the low carb concept and, just as importantly, the paleolithic diet that we evolved to eat over millions of years which is essentially a low carb, high protein diet. The amount of change over even the last 3 or 4 years is staggering. Back then, even the idea of putting anyone on a low carb diet and especially an Atkins diet was considered tantamount to medical malpractice. Now, every week another paper comes discussing or (trying to explain away) the positive effects of a low carb diet. Other positive changes are the awareness that trans fats are unhealthy, that monosaturated fats are good, that whole grains foods are more better for you than refined foods. As I said in a previous comment, we are finally getting our day in court. Two or three generations ago it was understood that excessive starch and sweets consumption was bad for you and that getting adequate nutrition was not just a matter of fat, protein and carbohydrates, but getting all the vitamins and minerals also. We can get regain that wisdom. Thanks for the time and space (yes, a lot of it this time) to present my ideas

5/18/2006 4:33 PM  
Blogger Science4u1959 said...


A very interesting and thoughtful comment - and I indeed hope you are right and not overly optimistic. There has been a lot of change, that is absolutely true. What bothers me is the immense power (almost "the evil empire") of the vested interests and the so-called "free" media. Every time a new study (and almost every week another one comes out further confirming and vindicating dr. Robert C. Atkins and other low-carb pioneers) the media and "health" organizations like the AHA, ADA and so forth start a new media Blitzkrieg to pound it into the ground. It's like the broadside barrage of a battleship: there is almost no end to it and the damage is enormous.

And nobody seems to notice that they use the same lame, since long disproven arguments over and over and over again. That's the most frustrating part.

Maybe it's just that I am getting old :) Thanks for your excellent post, tho - I for one, also based on my own research, completely agree with your observations about the Paleolithic diet. The scientific and clinical evidence is overwhelming and cannot be ignored.

5/19/2006 12:44 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Science4u1959 (and everybody else)

My comments didn't necessarily mean that low carb will be accepted in the near future, but rather that the ground is fertile for that acceptance. It needs to be put out there for the public to consider. Who is going to do that? We are going to have to be the ones to do this; whether it is through blogs, letters to congressman or corporations, talking to grocery store managers, discussing with friends and relatives, etc. My experience is that pessimism is self defeating and makes it harder to pursue your goals.

5/19/2006 9:53 AM  

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