The Demonization of Carbohydrates
There is 1 main prejudice against carbohydrates that prevent people from consuming “too much” of the macro nutrient: the idea that carbohydrates cause weight gain. In the 1970’s the dangers of excess body fat were gaining mainstream attention, and rightly so. Thus, weight loss was a desired activity as logically speaking, losing bodyfat would reduce any harmful effects of some excess pounds. In 1972, Dr Atkin’s Dietary Revolution was published
, and rose to rapid popularity on the back of the desire to lose weight. The book proposed a simple approach: eat all the fat and protein you desire, in unlimited quantities, and providing you eliminated carbohydrates, weight loss would occur. This was an appealing proposition, as it allowed participants to eat all of the ice cream, chocolate, and fried food they desired. As a result, the book sold over 15 million copies.
At this point weight loss must be explained: weight loss & fat loss are different activities. Weight loss occurring from Atkins, juice detoxing, and immediately after exercising, tends to mainly be water weight, or in the case of a Juice detox or colon hydrotherapy, the elimination of waste or toxins which have built up in the intestines
. Healthy fat loss is a much slower process, about 1/2 pounds per week
. Dr Atkins stumbled upon a dietary principle on which the entire diet industry is now based: eliminate a macro nutrient, and the body will drop weight in the short term (the weight is then gained back over the course of time). Not fat, but weight. Unfortunately, it is now widely believed that weight loss, in whatever manner it is achieved, is a healthy activity. This also sparked the simplistic notion that if carbohydrate elimination results in weight loss, carbohydrates must then be the reason for weight gain. With the Atkins diet and its modern-day reincarnation, the paleo diet
(same diet, different branding) favouring animal product consumption, carbohydrates always tend to be the macro nutrient which is eliminated. Fat & protein are packaged together in animal products, and both have harmful effects on the human body
when consumed in large quantities. It is best to keep fat and protein consumption each to 10% or less of overall calories consumed.