The Low Carb Luxury Online Magazine 

MARCH 14, 2003     PAGE TWO      
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                                    "Put it before them briefly so they will read it,
                                  clearly so they will appreciate it,
                                      picturesquely so they will remember it,
                        and above all, accurately so they will be guided by its light.
Joseph Pulitzer

By now, I'd bet that nearly all of you know who Gary Taubes is, right? He wrote an article in April of 2001 called "The Soft Science of Dietary Fat" for The Journal Science. It began what much of America (and the world) saw as a reason to give a serious look at the possibility that carbohydrates, not fat, might be at the heart of the explosion of obesity and disease. And it was the day that Gary became one of my heroes. If you failed to see this article, it can be found here.) He received a 2001 Science in Society Journalism Award for this amazing article.

Then, in July of 2002, he followed it up with "What if It's All Been a Big Fat Lie?" which was published in The New York Times. The debate really began to heat up, and it began a true open dialogue that was even (dare I say it?) sometimes fair! It spawned many follow-up pieces from journalists across the country asking questions like, "What if Dr. Atkins has Been Right All Along?"

Gary himself did many interviews and appearances, including a great spot on CNN with Paula Zahn.

But all this attention made him a target for everyone who stood to lose big if low-fat lost its credibility. And the debates and battles began. But none seemed so charged with venom as the response from Michael Fumento who published a direct rebuttal to Gary's "What if It's All Been a Big Fat Lie?" in a piece he called, "The Big Fat Fake". After reading it, this was my personal response (and I posted this):

Okay, I read every word of it. One of the things that struck me, was his comment, "This is such a good example of how you can pick and choose your facts to present the story you want..."

Really? Isn't that what THIS author is doing? His article is filled with half-quotes and flat out wrong facts. He begins with the well-worn stupid assumption that our diet is "high fat" and contains no veggies etc. He says we eat "5000 calories a day and expect to lose weight." He goes on and on about pork rinds and lard... Sheesh... Are you kidding me?

When I serve a meal to guests and they get chicken breasts, broccoli, mashed turnips, and a bowl of fresh berries for dessert, they will routinely see this as a "healthy" meal. But if you tell them it's a low-carb meal, suddenly the same exact food is going to kill you.

The facts are, low carbers eat far more healthy omega 3 fats, more fiber from natural sources, more fresh veggies, and more low-sugar fruit than ANY of the "normal" eaters out there (on the "Standard American Diet" OR the low-fat diet.) We DON'T mainline lard; and we DO eat less calories once acclimated to the plan — not because there's "nothing for us to eat", or "we're bored," or "we've removed an entire food group." All things they like to say. We eat less calories because we are satisfied and not hungry. And because we have a better sense of what's healthy.

So what's this "entire food group" we've cut out? We still have whole grains and fiber, we still have veggies, we still have meat, we still have dairy. The foods we cut out are:

  • Sugar
  • Refined empty carbohydrates like white flour, sterile white rice, etc.
  • Trans-fats
Are any of those a "food group"? Are we suffering and putting our bodies at risk because it desperately needs hydrogenated oils and corn syrup to live?

And as one of countless low carbers who's found restored health, been able to get off all meds, and has a beautiful set of blood work numbers, I can tell you that at 4 years and counting, this is NOT a temporary thing.

And... I am SO tired of these people pointing to the Duke study as somehow flawed because Atkins Center did the funding. For God's sake... let's look at who funded the studies he DOES what to refer to! Most were funded by drug companies who benefit strongly from "results" that keep people eating the things that will keep their drugs selling.

What sense would it make for a drug company that makes a cholesterol lowering statin drug to pour money into research that will show the definitive way for people to no longer need their product—? It's common sense.

Don't want to be so conspiracy-minded? Fine, but then why make the leap with Atkins? Why the double standard?

Anytime anyone begins their exploration process for an article with the false assumption that low-carbers eat lard, steaks, and pork rinds 24 hours a day, the conclusion will BE WRONG.

Lastly, don't you love his ending:

"Taubes "gave his readers what they wanted to hear," says James Hill. "But what people want to hear is killing them."

Let me one more time say "Give me a break." Giving people "what they want" would actually be giving them carte blanche to eat sugar all day. What people WANT is carbs and more carbs. Look in any food court. Look at what all the profit is about in stores. People are NOT OD'ing on hamburger or chicken or even bacon. It's carbs. People's carts are filled to capacity with chocolate chip cookies, donuts, ice cream, white bread, and Lucky Charms. People getting those super-sized meals means not a larger piece of meat on that burger.. it means a 3-piece bun with a drippy sauce made with high fructose corn syrup, a Super-Sized Fries, and a tanker-sized COKE. And don't forget the hot apple pie or chocolate sundae for dessert.

Giving the people carte blanche on carbs is exactly why we are a nation of obesity right now. Our steak and broccoli did not get us there... our Krispy Kreme donuts did.

Shortly thereafter, Gary Taubes submitted his own rebuttal, saying "Michael Fumento’s March article, "Big Fat Fake", is an exercise in vitriol rather than sound journalism." You'll want to read all of Gary's well thought out reply here.

After this article ran, I wrote to Gary to share my thoughts and to request an interview for Low Carb Luxury. He sent an eloquent reply, and has been pleased with the supportive response of the low carb community. We were equally pleased to learn he likes and appreciates our site, and that it is helpful to he and his wife in their shopping choices. While Gary cannot do another interview until his book goes to his publisher, he will indeed be granting us an interview at that time. We look forward to bringing it to you.

Other News...

Then there's ABC News, who in October ran a story that warned, High protein, low carb diets may not be what the doctor ordered. They cautioned that "High protein diets make little nutritional sense and can pose health risks." So, they're against low carb.

Yet, a short time later, they ran a story to educate us that "Fat-free breakfasts like bagels can send your blood sugar soaring, and then crashing which will make you crave snacks" in this piece they called Weighs and Means. Here they explore the fact that low-fat and high carb might be spelling a disaster for obesity rates. So they're not really against low carb...

Then they hosted a chat called "Are Low Carb Diets Safe?" The chat was between two participants — both Registered Dieticians who were strongly against low carb, and a reporter, who did not challenge them in any way. My goodness, THAT was a spirited debate. They spent the time swapping shop-worn falsehoods about low carb and coming to the conclusion (gasp!) that low carb diets are NOT safe!! Ooops... they're against low carb again.  Ya just gotta love the media...

Take heart... at least the news is good for fat making its way back into our diets. Here's an article called "Fat makes comeback after 3 lean decades" from the San Francisco Chronicle, actually ending with the quote, "Strict low-fat diets are dead. Instead, researchers say, eating a mix of healthy fats is key to a good diet." At least it's a start...



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Judy's Sugar-free caramels To to make it easier for you to do that, we're having a quantity discount sale on the 6.5 oz bags of caramels! This applies to the vanilla caramels, pecan caramels, triple-treat caramels, almond caramels, chocolate caramels, mixed caramels, and rocky road caramels.

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