Slow Carb, Low Carb History

Slow Carb -- 1800's Style

Slow Carb -- 1800's Style

Slow Carb has a history? Let’s see, how boring can I make this?  Before you click out and go to another site, leave a comment below and let me know at which point I lost you…

As far back as 1825 (you read that right) medical professionals and others concerned with excess weight gain had discovered that eating fat is not what makes humans fat.  There were the “Atkins” look-alikes of the day and publications written to spread this information to help people lose weight.  First published in 1825, The Physiology of Taste by Brillat-Savarin, was republished in the United States in 1865 and re-named The Handbook of Dining, or Corpulence and Leanness Scientifically Considered. This publication, along with a pamphlet published in 1863 by William Banting (a former fatty) Letter on Corpulence, Addressed to the Public, extolled the value of eating a low carbohydrate diet to lose excess weight and to regain health.

Through the intervening years there were many more publications and reports that verified that it was carbohydrates and sugars that caused overweight — fat was not the culprit. Even Dr. Spock, who taught parents of the mid 20th century how to raise their kids, cautioned against giving your child too much carbohydrate and sweet food in order to avoid excess weight gain. If you’re interested in more details about all of this, they can be found in Gary Taubes book, Good Calories, Bad Calories,  published in 2007. ( And please note that when I say “carbohydrates” I am not referring to vegetables — a most vegetables are Slow Carbs!))

And then the shift:

Then, in an amazing shift,   public health officials, the AMA and the American Heart Association,  realizing that patients with heart disease had clogged arteries,  pronounced that fat in the diet was associated with heart disease,  and so, applying “common sense” and not research, it was decided that fat was the enemy and all these important organizations came out in favor of “low fat” diets.  And so that became Common Knowledge for all of us as we lived our lives.

Corporations jumped on this and began creating “food” for us that was low in fat and, therefore, had a larger percentage of carbohydrates.  We gobbled it up. We watched our fat intake. We were diligent. And the incidence of heart disease and morbid obesity in the United States rose dramatically over the ensuing years.

During this time, many people came out FOR higher fat, high protein eating  — most of us are probably familiar with Robert Atkins and Michael and MaryDan Eades, for instance.  And there were others. But the big guys, the AMA, AHA, and  the big public health associations warned us in no uncertain terms that these diets would be very bad for us. They were labeled “fad diets” and dangerous.  And we continued to be fat, or get fat, and suffer from heart disease, diabetes, and all the other problems associated with obesity.

There is a movement afoot now to get the correct information out — that Slow Carb, Low Carb, and fat and protein will help us get to a normal weight and stay healthy.





  1. Ye Tun Win says:

    Bravo !

  2. garry gee says:

    Hey Merridith, I like where this is all going. .

  3. Great! Been looking for info like this , thanks for posting, no carb diet.

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