We’ve Tried Those Low-Fat, High-Carb Diets — Didn’t Work!


I’m sure you’ve heard or read this line:  We (Americans) have tried those low-fat, high-carb diets – and they didn’t work!

Right.  This is the pat message of the Atkins crackpots and the cavemen and the omnivore pretenders.

My money says you’ve never known anyone on a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet.  I can tell you absolutely that America has never dallied with that kind of eating in my lifetime, despite protestations from the publicists for fat and protein doping diet regimens.

First – what makes a low-fat diet low fat?  Second – what makes a high-carbohydrate diet high carbohydrate?

Sound, fundamental, science-based nutrition argues for consuming between 70 – 80 percent of our calories from complex carbohydrates and the remaining 20 – 30 percent from a combination of protein and unsaturated fat.   A recent study in Canada showed that the closer the first percentage (complex carbohydrates) was to 80 percent, the healthier the outcomes.

So, nutritional science supports a 10-10-80 consumption pattern:  10 percent of calories coming from unsaturated fat, 10 percent from protein, and 80 percent from complex carbohydrates.  That is recommended – not necessarily high in carbohydrates or low in fat.

In my lifetime the SAD (Standard American Diet) has never seen the carbohydrate percent approach even 50 percent, and that included all carbohydrates, including simple sugars.  The SAD has never in my lifetime seen fat consumption approach (downwardly) 30 percent – indeed, the Department of Agriculture egregiously categorizes 30 percent fat intake as low fat consumption!  And virtually nobody ever gets their fat intake down to 30 percent – three times the level that is recommended.  Again – 10 percent is recommended!  It is not low under sound and scientific nutritional standards.

So the premise of the purveyors of fat and protein doping diets – Atkinsians, Cavemen admirers, South Beacherites, Omnivore apologists – is ludicrous.  Americans have never – NEVER – been on a low-fat, high carbohydrate diet

They have grown obese on the opposite.