"What if it's all a big fat lie?"

If this article in the New York Times (free registration required) turns out to be true, the impact to society could be enormous. Imagine the dietary orthodoxy of the last 25 years — that a low-fat diet is the way to stay thin — being turned upside down. Imagine the reverse — that the very carbohydrates that are pushed as the base of our ideal food pyramid are the very things that promote obesity. Hoo boy, what a stink.

This is a very well-researched article about the low-carb vs. low-fat diet controversy and how the former is gaining some scientific credibility as of late. Public health data and anecdotal evidence is building the case that low-fat, high-carb are not having the intended effects. Low-carb diets like Atkins’ are moving from the realm of quackery to have their day in scientific court. If you’ve invested money in ventures trying to make synthetic dietary fats like Olestra, you might wan’t to divest.

All this is well and good, but it concerns what I see as a peripheral issue to the whole diet thing. The basics are that you need to consume less calories, carbs or fat, than you burn. Period. The issues of which type of food is more satiating and which turns into body fat most effciently are endocrinal matters related to, but not more important than, how dang much you eat of any type of food.

Regardless of what the outcome is, the “Weigh Down” philosophy jibes well — there is no bad food in the appropriate amounts. It’d be nice if Americans could put real butter instead of plastic spread on their bread and not feel guilty. It’d be nice if people could eat the satisfying food every day and not just when they feel like being “sinful.” What we need to preach is portion control. What we need…

Omigod. I’m doing it. I’m diet proselytizing and I’ve only been on my diet for two weeks. I am a sad, sad, man.

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