Monday, January 14, 2013

Gary Taubes, Flash From The Past

"Not all carbs are fattening, obviously, or not all carb rich foods are fattening.  Some are more fattening than others.  By this hypothesis the fattening ones are the high glycemic index carbs, the breads, the pastas, the potatoes, the starches, umm, well, the whole bottom of the food guide pyramid that we've been told to eat since the 1980s."
This is from a presentation Gary made to the CrossFit HQ staff, linked here:

Interesting modification to Taubes' 2007 classic, Good Calories Bad Calories:
"You need the sugars to cause insulin resistance", and then once you are IR, all carbs are a problem.

This part just rocks, as Gary explains why the book he wrote, which was controversial because it explained the mechanisms behind what everyone (until the late 1970s) knew was the cause of obesity:
"If you went into a hospital in the late 1940s or 1950s, or a good hospital, you would get a diet for obesity.  And the ones published for the Harvard Medical School, Cornell MS, Stanford MS, the University of Chicago, were identical to this one published in the "Practice of Endocrinology", a British endocrinology textbook written by Raymond Greene, he was a most distinguished British endocrinologist, the brother of Graham Greene the author, and it had a list, and they were this:
Foods to be avoided: Breads and everything made with flour, cereals including breakfast cereals and bread puddings, potatoes and white root vegetables. The base of the food guide pyramid in effect.  And you could eat as much as you like of the following foods:  meat, fish, birds, all green vegetables, eggs, fruit, dried or fresh, except bananas and grapes. And the idea was the foods to be avoided are inherently fattening, they didn't know why in 1951, and you could eat as much as you wanted of the others, because they were not fattening.  That's it.  And this was effectively the Atkins Diet in 1951 in a British endocrinology textbook."

In other words - the science of diet and obesity went off on a lark sometime between 1951 and today, and is only slowly getting back to a useful concept of obesity and how to treat it.  You couldn't make this up.  I attribute the majority of the problem to the USDA's intervention back in the 1970s - once the "visible hand" of the government starts to push, and holds the research purse strings, it's not hard to make a mockery of science.
Minor edits January 14, 2012

1 comment:

  1. That wisdom is finally coming back as more and more people learn about primal and paleo eating. Low carb with pleanty of vegetables is the way to go.