In my ninth year doing this, I am more convinced than ever that eating copious amounts of saturated fats for nearly a decade has not only proved harmless to my health, but has prevented me from being 60 pounds heavier, diabetic, and having to be treated for GERD. It’s probably also prevented me from sky-high cholesterol and unmanageable high-blood pressure to boot.
I was so convinced of this that I maintain this blog to spread the good news about achievable weight loss and better health.
But is this a stupid thing to do?
If I were to convince everyone that low carb was a healthful diet, the prices of the things I eat would skyrocket. I need all those shoppers on Saturday filling their carriage with grains from the snack aisle and avoiding ‘fattening’ foods while I go to the hardly crowded meat and deli counters to get that supposed ‘artery-clogging’ goodness that is meat.
Imagine the meat counters if everyone ate low carb – as crowded as a bar giving out free beer. There would also be shortages because our global agricultural system simply could not sustain all the people currently alive *without* feeding them grain. Had we made different decisions about how to feed people decades or centuries ago, we might have been able to sustain more meat production, but if you read this truly puke-inducing article from Rolling Stone about Smithfield Farms, it becomes apparent that we are already producing too much meat. (The original article was taken down apparently – the link goes to an excerpt. In fairness, Smithfield Farms has a rebuttal on their site.)
The sad fact is that we have more humans alive than could be sustained on a diet that I believe would leave many healthier, thinner, and more long-lived.
The solution here reminds me of the essays kids had to write in the 1960s about who should be let in to the fallout shelter in the event of a nuclear attack. There’s only so much room in there. Should we allow in the writer and let the portrait painter stay outside to face the blast?
It was a sick mental exercise to force a bunch of schoolkids to perform – they were sick times, in retrospect.
And it’s a sick mental exercise now to think about the notion that the little group of diet and nutrition nerds that frequent blogs like this depend on the clueless masses to be able to even afford such a diet. Yes – low carb doesn’t have to be that expensive, but food prices are going up – and meat prices even more so.
When we buy a delicious fat-laden pork belly, we have to ask for it. The butcher seems to find the request novel. But they have it.
I have just come across a stat from the Calorie Control Council, an organization that represents the artificial sweetener manufacturers, that states that of all Americans on a diet, only 8% of Americans go on a ‘restrictive’ diet like Atkins.
There’s a reason economics is called the ‘dismal science’, and the lack of understanding of the health and weight loss benefits of low carb is great for us – and not good for them.