The Dawning of a New (Old) Dietary Epoch

The Dawning of a New (Old) Dietary Epoch

Two questions now arise. The first is how did the Net Carb Scam come to be? That the Net Carb Scam evolved as a way to allow dieters to consume carbo

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Two questions now arise. The first is how did the Net Carb Scam come to be? That the Net Carb Scam evolved as a way to allow dieters to consume
carbohydrates without guilt feelings is beyond debate. The inevitable second, but more important, question is: Why does the entire culture have such a love affair with
carbohydrates?

It‟s my contention that many forces, moving along seemingly parallel lines, have converged to bring us the Net Carb Scam. These forces have their origin in, and contribute to, our culture‟s core belief system about what foods people should eat. They‟re so deeply entrenched that any effort to break their hold will meet formidable resistance. This resistance is, ultimately, so powerful that any change in this belief system awaits a massive whole-population rebellion.

Returning briefly to Dr. Atkins and his company, a recent article in Inc. Magazine, December 2003, highlighted the fact that Atkins Nutritionals was rolling out everything from bagels to breakfast cereals. Now, a quick glance at the USDA handbook for the nutritional content of foods quickly acquaints the reader with the fact that any grain-based food is high in carbohydrates. Food technology surely hasn’t advanced to such a magical state that its technicians have developed
carbohydrate-based foods that are low in carbohydrates. Of this, I‟m sure.

As I’ve stated, this book is entirely about diet, and how diet affects our bodies, yet that term has to be defined clearly. Diet can be construed to refer solely to the amount of food that one consumes. I believe that our society has become more interested in the type of food it consumes rather than in the amount of food it consumes. Clearly, this is a major reason for our obesity epidemic. Although diet composition is, of course, somewhat implicated in the obesity epidemic, the amount of food consumed is one of the main controlling factors in bodyweight regulation. Unfortunately, people are transfixed by the type of food they consume, not the amount. On the other hand, most people vaguely understand — although it‟s far below their conscious radar — that weight control is, ultimately, all about calories in versus calories out.

Although the following discussions address issues related to the type of food humans consume, it must be understood that diet composition is less important than the amount of food consumed when it comes to problems related to bodyweight regulation. For the purpose of furthering our discussion, I want to introduce several terms and conditions upon which my future arguments are based. As a matter of culture, one must understand that humans are glucocentric in respect to their dietary staples. “Gluco-” is a prefix that refers to foods which have a chemical structure that causes these foods to release glucose from the gastrointestinal system into the blood in the form of sugar. The opposing view perceives our dietary staples as lipo-centric, or fat-centric: a view attacked as unhealthy by the Establishment, which reviles fat as the cause of heart disease.

The gluco-centric view is the one that the existing cultural paradigm is rooted in. I choose to use the word paradigm, here, because it allows me to develop my argument that the world is now in the process of experiencing a paradigm-shift, a revolution in the way it views its foodstuffs. First, let‟s be very clear about the definition of paradigm because I use it often. I remember a time, not long ago, when I had no clue as to the meaning of the word paradigm. In order to understand the following argument, my reader must understand the meaning of this word.

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