Catalyst misses the mark on low-carb diets

17-Nov-2014

After upsetting the entire nutrition community in their terribly biased and irresponsible story on cholesterol, dietary fat and heart disease and having to admit they didn't give a fair and balanced account of the issue, it was disappointing to see similar mistakes made in the ABC Catalyst story on low-carb diets (you can see it here ). It was better, I'll admit: they had two dietitians. But, once again, gave credibility to "experts" on the fringe of their own profession and often not even nutrition experts at all (even a radiologist was even given some camera time). The general public are strongly swayed by eloquence, enthusiasm and charisma and are naive to the ways of science. They are sitting ducks for this kind of program, and gobble it up. So where do they drag up these so-called experts saying things that aren't backed up by the facts? Scientists are human too and can fall under the spell of their own ego. Of course everyone wants to be ahead of the game and see something no-one else can, but in the scientific world it's a numbers game. Answers develop as the weight of the evidence mounts. Diet studies on only one person (even if they're famous) are worthless. Opinions, even if they are persuasively delivered, are worth very little.

LOWER-carb diets- not LOW-carb diets- can be planned well to be nutritious, balanced and satisfying. They can work well for weight loss, diabetes control and overall metabolic health. Low-carb diets are extreme and cut out healthful foods such as wholegrains, legumes, fruits and dairy. And they're very hard to stick to and still enjoy a normal social-eating life. In Australia, we are not eating too many carbs, but eating too many energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods (many of which contain poor quality carbs). If only we could get away from demonising individual nutrients and focus on the bigger picture, we'd find grains, fruit and legumes are super and there'd be no highly processed, kilojoule-rich, low-carb snack bars walking off the shelves.

In the cult of low-carb, the humble sandwich is a no-go


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