Thursday, August 11, 2011

Taubes Coming Under Fire

Gary Taubes is coming under some Internet fire for comments he made at the Ancestral Health Symposium this past weekend. He basically chided the impeccably polite Stephen Guyenet of the Whole Health Source blog because Guyenet does not agree with everything Taubes says. The Internet widely views Taubes as the loser in this issue.

Guyenet politely took Taubes to task for his comments and then Paul Jaminet of the Perfect Health Diet politely defended Guyenet. Others were not so polite in their defense of Guyenet.

Now Guyenet, in his polite, scientific way, is taking on Taubes' central hypothesis that carbs (particularly refined carbs) leads to insulin spikes, which leads to fat deposition. He lays out, then refutes, Tabues' three main carbohydrate hypotheses. Just read the article. Though technical, it is worth the read.

So, if carbohydrate restriction doesn't lead to lowered insulin levels, which then causes weight loss, as Taubes suggests, how do low carb diets work? The answer is not clear, as Guyenet states, but he suggests it has something to do with greater satiety and a spontaneous reduction in calories consumed. I've come to this same conclusion and realized I needed to watch my caloric intake. I'll elaborate more in a future post.

So, what is my opinion on Taubes? I do not view him as the profiteering devil envisioned by Evelyn Kocur. I think he has made some great contributions, including demonstrating that the low fat dogma is just plain wrong. My eyes were certainly opened by reading Good Calories, Bad Calories, even if some of his ideas have been shown to be off base. And he introduced me to the low carb way of life. All I can say is, it works as advertised, at least for me. It is directly responsible for my current weight loss and the control of my type II diabetes. And for that, I am extremely grateful to Taubes. He has had a huge impact on my life, for the better.

That said, I have also learned a lot about healthy diets from folks like Jaminet, Guyenet, Chris KresserKurt Harris, Sally Fallon, Weston A. Price, and others. All follow some version of a low carb lifestyle, but have discovered reasons for healthy eating other than "carbs are bad." This has directly led to the creation of this blog and has allowed me to transcend and move beyond a strict and very low carb diet.

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