The whole diet business, and boy is it a business, has become a huge money pot for everyone involved. From the fashionable fad diets of the day, to the long established ‘wisdom’ of the experts, everyone has an opinion and everyone is trying to sell you something. It’s hardly surprising then to find countless different views as to the best diet to undertake to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
All of which makes this Low Carb Megathread I found online recently very interesting. Instead of delivering a singular viewpoint and opinion, the thread has been culled from a number of online forums, expert scientific studies and other reputable sources to deliver a long and very detailed scientific look at the myths and realities surrounding the Western diet, and how we can become slimmer and more healthy through adjusting our carbohydrate intake downwards.
Don’t expect an easy read, there’s far too much information here to take in easily, but if you’re prepared to work at it, you’ll find an amazing collection of citations, scientific links and other detailed medical knowledge to demonstrate the dangers of high carbohydrate living, and the benefits of cutting back to a lower carb lifestyle.
If this page doesn’t convince you, then I suggest you make yourself a nice pot of something, sit back and watch this engrossing but again long video by Professor Robert Lustig of UCSF entitled Sugar: The Bitter Truth.
The video covers off a lot of the reasons behind the West’s current obesity epidemic, and looks behind the headlines to take a long hard look at the reasons why we’re currently hooked on carbohydrates en masse. Hint: a lot of it has to do with costs as much as historical medical misinformation. The Western diet is significantly cheaper than other areas of the world (see the Time magazine chart below), mostly because our agri-industries have become so efficient at storing, transporting and distributing massive amounts of foodstuffs.
The penalty, however, is we all eat more processed, stabilised and mistreated food than ever before, and most of it is carbohydrate focused. The result is we consume easy calories and as a result our rates of obesity have exploded. Professor Lustig’s solution is a mix of education and legislation, but really even he admits that it’s an uphill battle. Primarily because alternative diets involve a significantly higher cost to the consumer, and to the industrial combines which earn billions from making and delivering our daily bread.
(red indicates a more obese population, blue is less)
Do a Google search for ‘obesity epidemic’ and there’s 14 million results. The size of the obese population has rocketed over the past few years, and sugar and other highly processed carbohydrate diets are clearly a major factor. So is a low carbohydrate diet the answer? The answer has to be an unqualified yes. The diet itself makes absolute sense in terms of the medical science, and if you’re again in any doubt about that, then a read of a new book The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living, by Doctors Volek and Phinney, should answer your questions.
The book covers the whole low carb diet issue in meticulous scientific detail, and since the two doctors have over 50 years of clinical experience between them, the result is a dense and rigorous publication which rebuts the myths and emphasises the benefits in changing lifestyles. But back to the megathread.
One of the most impressive parts of the page lies below the data heavy section, when the Success Stories kick in (yes yes, after the low carb recipes bit). The stories demonstrate the power of the low carb lifestyle better than any amount of medical jargon, and they’re probably more impactful because of the fact that they come by and large from the younger more cynical generation.
Anyway, the whole low carb issue will probably be reaching a front page near you soon, so like climate change, it’s probably going to be best to get informed first, so you can spot the truth from the propaganda. In the meantime, here’s a bizarre little video showing how NOT to make bread.