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Are Carbs More Addictive Than Cocaine?
Details ^ | March 2011 | Paul John Scott

Posted on 05/18/2011 6:16:22 AM PDT by Jemian

I'm sitting in a comfortable chair, in a tastefully lit, cheerfully decorated drug den, watching a steady line of people approach their dealer. After scoring, they shuffle off to their tables to quietly indulge in what for some could become (if it hasn't already) an addiction that screws up their lives. It's likely you have friends and family members who are suffering from this dependence—and you may be on the same path yourself. But this addiction is not usually apparent to the casual observer. It has no use for the drama and the carnage you associate with cocaine and alcohol. It's slower to show its hand, more socially acceptable—and way more insidious.

I'm in a Panera Bread outlet.

(Excerpt) Read more at details.com ...


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Food; Health/Medicine; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: atkins; carbohydrates; carbs; diabetes; diet; starch; starches
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I had noted in the '70s that my eating starches set up a craving for more starches. It is now being borne out by research that Dr. Atkins was right! It is very hard to resist and I find it much easier to say no to all, than to try to portion out and eat "just a little" rice, bread, or whatever. I had a friend who has been very adament about my low starch diet. Will this research change her mind? Probably not. But I'm feeling vindicated.

FWIW, I've only been in a Panera bread twice.

1 posted on 05/18/2011 6:16:25 AM PDT by Jemian
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To: Jemian

Yes.


2 posted on 05/18/2011 6:18:48 AM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (Ladies and Gentlemen the _resident of the untied States!!)
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To: Jemian; Big Giant Head

A metabolic parasite, I like that. I cut out sugars and starches a few years ago and dropped 50 lbs. Let those blasted things back into my diet and can’t manage to lose the rest. And it doesn’t help that nearly everybody is an enabler. LOL!


3 posted on 05/18/2011 6:22:28 AM PDT by Marie Antoinette (Proud Clinton-hater since 1998.)
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To: Jemian

Don’t ever go to the Swiss Bakery in Burke VA or the Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe in Arlington because if you do, you will never escape the evil clutches of the crack/heroin sold in those dens of inequity. Your life will become a living hell of carbs or carb cravings. Be very afraid.


4 posted on 05/18/2011 6:23:45 AM PDT by La Lydia ("California: When the parasites outnumber the hosts, it's all over.")
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To: Marie Antoinette

I, unfortunately, don’t drop pounds like a rock. But it keeps me from gaining as I would if I ate starches. And yes, everybody is an enabler. Even my husband, bless his heart, was willing to share a bite of his cheesecake with me. It was less than a tablespoon. But it is poison!


5 posted on 05/18/2011 6:24:24 AM PDT by Jemian (Obamas approval ratings are so low, Kenyans are accusing him of being born in the USA)
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To: Jemian
"FWIW, I've only been in a Panera bread twice."

I've only been in Paneras a few times, but I ended up staying there for a really long time!

6 posted on 05/18/2011 6:26:25 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: La Lydia

Actually, I don’t even enter the door. The stuff sticks to my fingers. No joke! I went to my mother-in-laws birthday party last year. I didn’t go near her cake. I didn’t even pass a plate of cake on to someone else. But afterward, as I was brushing hair out of my mouth and face, I noticed my fingers tasted sweet. That is totally unfair!

The best way to avoid temptation is not to go near it altogether.


7 posted on 05/18/2011 6:26:42 AM PDT by Jemian (Obamas approval ratings are so low, Kenyans are accusing him of being born in the USA)
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To: Marie Antoinette

I hear ya!! I started out slow by first eliminating table sugar from coffee, tea, etc. Now I am weaning myself off of anything essentially white. It is HARD! Try reading the labels in the grocery store - enriched this and that, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc. And don’t get me started on soy. I cannot have a lot of it because it mimics estrogen in the body and IT IS EVERYWHERE. I am trying to eat clean when I can but it is so hard!!


8 posted on 05/18/2011 6:27:18 AM PDT by nurees (Oh...there is a NEW Mexico (Homer Simpson))
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To: Jemian
Our government's recommendations were established in the 1970s and have since been accompanied by an explosion of obesity and diabetes.
Yeah, blame it on the carbs and Uncle Sam. No mention of what a sedentary, lazy and irresponsible country we've become.
9 posted on 05/18/2011 6:31:36 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: Joe 6-pack
"I've only been in Paneras a few times, but I ended up staying there for a really long time!"

Everything bagel with cream cheese ...
bottomless cup of GOOD coffee in a real mug
classical music...

What's not to love.

10 posted on 05/18/2011 6:32:28 AM PDT by Artemis Webb (artemis_webb@yahoo.com --Lord knows how long before I'm banned so please say hello sometime.)
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To: Jemian
I doubt that anyone has ever turn tricks for a plate of ziti. Come to think of it, if Giada were the dealer, I could become a pasta whore.


11 posted on 05/18/2011 6:32:57 AM PDT by Jack of all Trades (Hold your face to the light, even though for the moment you do not see.)
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To: Artemis Webb

They got me with the hollowed-out sourdough bread filled with French onion or cheddar-broccoli. Mmmmmmmmmmmm!!!


12 posted on 05/18/2011 6:38:49 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Jack of all Trades

I’d eat that.


13 posted on 05/18/2011 6:39:10 AM PDT by EvasiveManuever (Shakespeare got it wrong. Not the lawyers... journalists.)
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To: Jemian

Yea, and so are air and water. What’s your point?


14 posted on 05/18/2011 6:39:29 AM PDT by Minn
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To: oh8eleven

I don’t believe I blamed it on Uncle Sam. And, overeating carbs (my responsibility) seems to be what leads to obesity. The author wasn’t disclaiming a personal responsibility at all. He was identifying the correct (apparently) causal factor.


15 posted on 05/18/2011 6:43:33 AM PDT by Jemian (Obamas approval ratings are so low, Kenyans are accusing him of being born in the USA)
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To: Jemian

I really hate it that carbs are described as having the same level or more of addiction as cocaine. I mean do you really get the shakes, start vomiting etc... when you forgo a plate of spaghetti. That being said, I think carbs do mess up your system (I think for some more than others).


16 posted on 05/18/2011 6:43:37 AM PDT by momtothree
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To: Minn

My point is that, in my case and perhaps for many others, we need to avoid simple carbohydrates and a few more complex carbohydrates in order to reduce the development of diabetes and other obesity related problems. It is an indentification of the problem, not a call for a requirement. Sheesh! Eat pasta if you want.


17 posted on 05/18/2011 6:47:00 AM PDT by Jemian (Obamas approval ratings are so low, Kenyans are accusing him of being born in the USA)
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To: Jemian

What about the research that shows that Italians can eat bread and pasta galore as long as they wash it down with good, red wine? That’s the diet we’re on. Alternating with the Twinkie diet.


18 posted on 05/18/2011 6:47:42 AM PDT by bboop (Stealth Tutor)
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To: momtothree

You are right. The author indulged in hyperbole.


19 posted on 05/18/2011 6:48:13 AM PDT by Jemian (Obamas approval ratings are so low, Kenyans are accusing him of being born in the USA)
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To: bboop

Congratulations. I can’t do that and avoid diabetes.


20 posted on 05/18/2011 6:50:11 AM PDT by Jemian (Obamas approval ratings are so low, Kenyans are accusing him of being born in the USA)
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To: Jemian

I wouldn’t compare carbs to cocaine. But I have noticed that when I avoid breads and pastas, I have less acid reflux. I’m usually okay with potatoes, rice, and some vegetables, though.


21 posted on 05/18/2011 6:50:11 AM PDT by knittnmom (Save the earth! It's the only planet with chocolate!)
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To: Marie Antoinette
Your story sounds exactly like my husband's. He is so mad at himself for eating sugar again. What helped before, and I should buy them today, is taking high quality pro-biotics & grapefruit seed extract. The GSE kills the fungus in your gut that is demanding sugars/carbs and the pro-biotics feed the good stuff to get your gut back into balance.
22 posted on 05/18/2011 6:51:46 AM PDT by Spudx7
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To: Jemian
I baked a cake yesterday from my mother's old Pound Cake recipe because we had company for dinner last night. The remainder of that dang thing is in the kitchen right now and it is singing to me. Shut up Pound Cake!
23 posted on 05/18/2011 6:52:33 AM PDT by Ditter
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To: Ditter

Yes. I baked my mother-in-law a pound cake about a month ago. A pound of eggs, a pound of butter, a pound of sugar and a pound of flour. I will not do that again for a loooooong time. All cakes come from the store (or my kids).


24 posted on 05/18/2011 6:55:09 AM PDT by Jemian (Obamas approval ratings are so low, Kenyans are accusing him of being born in the USA)
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To: oh8eleven

You would do well to watch this. It goes into scientific detail why carbs are the culprit. Carbs increase insulin and elevated insulin levels allow storage of fat. The lower the insulin levels and fat breaks down. This is why diets like Atkins works.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6vpFV6Wkl4&feature=player_embedded#at=181

Knowledge is power.


25 posted on 05/18/2011 6:55:55 AM PDT by Peter from Rutland
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To: Jemian

Ah yes, the obese generations over thousands of years subsisting mainly on wheat, rice, corn - all those addictive, starchy carbs. /s

Give me a break.


26 posted on 05/18/2011 6:57:26 AM PDT by LearsFool ("Thou shouldst not have been old, till thou hadst been wise.")
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To: Jemian
I had noted in the '70s that my eating starches set up a craving for more starches.

I think that's right. When on a very low carbohydrate diet, I decided that carbs become subtly addictive. The fridge keeps calling to your inner ear.

27 posted on 05/18/2011 6:57:53 AM PDT by decimon
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To: LearsFool

Yep, it’s not the starches, it’s the way in which they’ve been “pre-processed” that removes all the nutrients and adds lots of sugar and fat.


28 posted on 05/18/2011 7:08:34 AM PDT by FourPeas ("Maladjusted and wigging out is no way to go through life, son." -hg)
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To: Jemian

Parish the thought if sugar and chocolate ever became banned substances.


29 posted on 05/18/2011 7:10:17 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: momtothree
Try going off carbs cold turkey. You will be very surprised how bad you feel(check with your doctor first).
30 posted on 05/18/2011 7:46:15 AM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (Ladies and Gentlemen the _resident of the untied States!!)
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To: Jemian
I don’t believe I blamed it on Uncle Sam.
You didn't - the quote is from the story.
Just how many people do you know refer to the govt's RDA before indulging?
31 posted on 05/18/2011 7:47:38 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: LearsFool

The point there is activity level. There are people in Alaska that eat 3,000 calories of meat and fat a day. Researchers expected to find their cholesterol off the chart. Instead they are below normal - they are very active. The same is true of carbs. If everyone were very active this would not be a problem.


32 posted on 05/18/2011 7:50:56 AM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (Ladies and Gentlemen the _resident of the untied States!!)
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To: Peter from Rutland
It goes into scientific detail why carbs are the culprit.
Like anything else, carbs can be considered the "culprit" when abused, i.e., over eaten.
Runners eat tons of carbs and I'll bet their obesity and diabetes rates are significantly below non-runners.
33 posted on 05/18/2011 7:57:58 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: bboop

Have you ever eaten any bread in Italy? It’s horrible. Trust me, Italians don’t eat much bread, at least in their own country.


34 posted on 05/18/2011 7:59:58 AM PDT by Auntie Mame (Fear not tomorrow. God is already there.)
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To: All

Absofreakintotalutely....


35 posted on 05/18/2011 8:05:47 AM PDT by Maverick68
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To: Jemian

There is a book from the 80’s entitled something like ‘The Hidden Addiction,’ written by a doctor who noticed that alcoholics, heroine addicts, and smokers consumed enormous quantities of caffeine and sugar during detox, only to gain weight and become carb addicts. He offers a metabolic reason that all addictions come down to sugar.


36 posted on 05/18/2011 8:12:04 AM PDT by esquirette ("Our hearts are restless until they find rest in Thee." ~ Augustine)
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To: oh8eleven

There are some of us who for various reason, in my case a fractured vertebrae, cannot maintain a good active lifestyle. I used to be able to move and exercise, but now I can’t.


37 posted on 05/18/2011 8:15:37 AM PDT by Jemian (Obamas approval ratings are so low, Kenyans are accusing him of being born in the USA)
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To: Jemian
The amount of misinformation and hyperbole in this article is absolutely mind-boggling. For any scientist to claim that carbohydrates are a nutrient for which humans have no absolute requirement is absurdity. Your brain cannot function properly without carbs and neither will your muscles.

Carbs are as addicting as cocaine? What a bunch of BS. Too many people throw the word "addiction" around without any grasp of its meaning. Yeah, I'm addicted to FR and to chocolate. No, that's not addiction. Addiction is a real medical term defined by compulsive and habitual use of a substance that has physiological effects but is not necessary for survival. These things produce tolerance in addition to physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms occur when you stop using them. Nicotine, cocaine and heroine are good examples of addictive substances, food is not.

The author of this article claims there is research that proves eating foods high in carbs activates drug like substances in the brain leading to food cravings, overeating, and obesity. This research supposedly shows that carbohydrate consumption causes an increase in neurotransmitter levels just as addicting drugs do. If this were true, you'd expect that drugs blocking opioid receptors would be useful in treating overeating. They aren't.

Foods high in carbohydrates may taste good but they are not addictive.

38 posted on 05/18/2011 8:22:16 AM PDT by Mase (Save me from the people who would save me from myself!)
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To: Mase
The amount of misinformation and hyperbole in this article is absolutely mind-boggling.
Good post - I agree 100%.
39 posted on 05/18/2011 8:27:15 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: mad_as_he$$

“Try going off carbs cold turkey”

Actually, I recently did. I went on a low calorie, carb free, pretty restrictive diet. I must be odd because I started to feel better almost immediately. Each day that passed, the better I felt as well. It may be how my metabolism works vs other people. For example, if I eat something in high carbs (spaghetti, for example), I won’t lose weight. Even if the spaghetti is carefully measure and I only eat 500 calories the entire day. I noticed that I won’t lose any weight for several days after that as if my body stored something from it. I was the same way when I was younger as well. Sometimes I wonder if ethnicity/heredity has something to do with it. Either way, I know carbs make me feel less energetic and sluggish.


40 posted on 05/18/2011 8:32:13 AM PDT by momtothree
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To: Peter from Rutland

Thanks for posting that video link - just got done watching it.

It is interesting that obesity was apparently seen to increase when that food pyramid kicked in.

Julia Child had it right: Everything in moderation - her pyramid was most likely a rectangle.

I’ll be bookmarking Taubes’ blog page:
http://www.garytaubes.com/blog/


41 posted on 05/18/2011 8:35:04 AM PDT by libertarian27 (Ingsoc: Department of Life, Department of Liberty, Department of Happiness)
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To: Jemian
... but now I can’t.
No such word.
42 posted on 05/18/2011 8:41:03 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: oh8eleven

I can’t believe that.


43 posted on 05/18/2011 8:46:10 AM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: momtothree
I noticed that I won’t lose any weight for several days after that as if my body stored something from it.
Your liver converted the carbs to fat and glycogen and stored them in your body for future use.
The liver then converts the stored "fuels" to energy as required by your muscles and other organs ... including the brain.
44 posted on 05/18/2011 9:01:11 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: Mase
For any scientist to claim that carbohydrates are a nutrient for which humans have no absolute requirement is absurdity. Your brain cannot function properly without carbs and neither will your muscles

Guess you didn't read/comprehend the entire article.

In the absence of carbs, your body will burn fatty acids for energy. It's how you sleep through the night without eating for eight hours. "The brain does indeed need carbohydrates for fuel," Taubes says, "but the body is perfectly happy to make those out of protein, leafy green vegetables, and the animal fat you're burning."

45 posted on 05/18/2011 9:01:51 AM PDT by EnquiringMind
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To: momtothree

Most pasta is what I’d consider junk food. That’s not to say I don’t eat it; I eat it recognizing it for what it is.

Ever wonder about “enriched” pasta? “Enriched” bread? “Enriched” flour? The reason it’s been enriched is because it was impoverished during processing.

Flour from nature is ground whole wheat. Not wheat from which the bran has been stripped in order to sell that back to you as bran flakes to keep you regular when you get constipated from eating highly-processed pasta and bread and so forth.

Wheat also loses a vast amount of its nutrition value (i.e. vitamins and minerals) within a couple days of being ground into flour. If it’s not used within that time, therefore, much of its wholesomeness is lost. That’s clearly impractical in our modern food industry, so manufacturers attempt to compensate by “enriching” it (replacing the natural nutritiousness with artificial). But can that really make up for the loss? I’m not convinced. (This is the same debate as whether vitamin supplements can substitute for actual food, nutritionally.)

I’ve been grinding my own flour for several years now. and eat lots of bread, muffins, waffles, cornbread, etc., getting the fiber and nutrients the body needs to function properly. Yes, I still eat the “junk-food” pasta, but I do so seeing it for what it is.


46 posted on 05/18/2011 9:08:39 AM PDT by LearsFool ("Thou shouldst not have been old, till thou hadst been wise.")
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To: LearsFool

What I have been allowing myself recently is a sandwich/thin bread. They are 100 calories, made from whole wheat (19 grams whole wheat, 5 grams fiber, no corn syrup). If you saw them, you would laugh because it looks like you took a hamburger roll and drove over it till it was flat. I can eat that type of bread with a lean meat and still lose weight. Although I love pasta of every sort, I think I will see it now as an “occasional” treat. By occasional, I mean a few times a year at most. My body just doesn’t seem to appreciate it as much as my taste buds do.


47 posted on 05/18/2011 9:18:12 AM PDT by momtothree
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To: LearsFool

bttt


48 posted on 05/18/2011 9:20:28 AM PDT by petercooper (2012 - Purge the RINO's.)
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To: Jemian

The salty crunchy food group is the tastiest. And cholesterol is a delicious spice. Thus is our cross to bear.


49 posted on 05/18/2011 9:21:19 AM PDT by discostu (Come on Punky, get Funky)
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To: EnquiringMind

Guess you didn't read/comprehend the entire article.

Here's what was written at the bottom of the first page of the article:

The article offered no follow up to this this statement. Is Taubes an endocrinologist or an epidemiologist from Harvard? Nope, Taubes is just a guy who studied applied physics and aerospace engineering. Somehow though, he believes this qualifies him as an expert in human nutrition and nutrition biology. So my take on this really has nothing to do with reading or comprehension. It does, however, provide an excellent example of bad journalism on the part of the author.

All that notwithstanding, I will admit that the Harvard doctors are correct. There is no absolute requirement by the human body for carbohydrates. People have been known to live for a long time without carbohydrates. But that begs the question why? Why would anyone want to live without carbohydrates? I mean, if they want to be healthy. It makes no sense and is, really, just plain stupid. And, in the context of the article, it is absolutely absurd for these doctors to make such a claim or suggest that it is perfectly ok to do so.

Living without carbs would put an unnecessary strain on the body and would leave you less healthy and less competent as you would be with a diet that included carbohydrates. If you want quick energy, you're going to need the glycogen stores in your muscles at maximum capacity.

A diet too high in fat could lead to ketosis, and over a longer period of time, could lead to some serious physical problems. A diet overly high in protein could lead to high nitrogen excretion issues and result in kidney stones and gout. Great.

In the absence of carbs, your body will burn fatty acids for energy. It's how you sleep through the night without eating for eight hours. "The brain does indeed need carbohydrates for fuel," Taubes says, "but the body is perfectly happy to make those out of protein, leafy green vegetables, and the animal fat you're burning."

Uh, huh. It is true that protein and fat can back up out of the Krebs cycle and re-synthesize as carbohydrates. But, again, for someone wanting to live a healthy lifestyle, why would you even bother? It doesn't make any sense -- just like the rest of the article.

Given Taubes' background, he is uniquely unqualified to be offering advice on human nutrition. History has shown us that you can sell diet advice more easily if you claim that fats or carbs are the problem – while the (admittedly rather obvious) idea that calories are the problem seems to be something that few are prepared to pay for. Taubes learned this lesson early on in his career as a seller of books. The demonization of one macronutrient over another is a common trait of diet fads and the charlatans who hustle them.

This article is mostly garbage, but it does serve as an exceptional example for what's wrong with our understanding of nutrition in this country and for why we are so screwed up when it comes to this topic.

50 posted on 05/18/2011 10:58:54 AM PDT by Mase (Save me from the people who would save me from myself!)
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