Well, this didn’t take long. Click here to read every myth about low-carb dieting ever written.
The opposition forces have mobilized. Should be fun to watch.


  1. Doesn’t Dean Ornish look like the Beatlejuice character?
    Hmmm.  I never really thought about it but…  Do corpses eat ultra low-fat?

  2. If people thought logically, it wouldn’t be hard to figure out why Atkins is easier to follow than Ornish. Atkins fits with our genetic programming; Ornish does not. He claims that it’s “so easy to eat bacon and brie, but hard to eat fruits and vegetables.” This too doesn’t follow logically as Atkins doesn’t remove fruits and vegetables from the diet. It removes the crappy processed carbs/sugar, which I am willing to bet are much harder to give up than bacon for most people. Ornish is a hack, but unfortunately we’ve been programmed to see low-fat as the most healthful way, so anything he says is taken as gospel.
    Scott Kustes
    Modern Forager

  3. I guess a lot of newspapers are now reporting on this study. When I read about it in my local paper I came to the conclusion that at the end of the study they should have reported…”study finds that people who don’t stay on their diet will gain the weight back.” That’s about all they could conclude at 12mo. They should have stopped at 6mo. But, their initial results didn’t surprise me – they are just as you report in Protein Power.
    Hi Javier–
    Your conclusion is the perfect one.

  4. I work in a diet-related industry with direct contact with diet authors and it’s been interesting today to watch them try and use this study to confirm their approaches. “The study says Atkins works so that means we should, as I’ve been saying all along, eat less sugar and more fruits and veggies …” Well, er, that’s not what the study was talking about, exactly.
    Then they go on to pick apart the study even if they haven’t read it carefully. These are doctors and scientists and they are so closed-minded!
    Hi Gazelle–
    How true, how true.

  5. Perhaps the most satisfying part about reading Ornish’s response in Newsweek (which can be found here) is that he is thoroughly refuted in the comments section. Most commentors attest to the efficacy of low-carbing in their own lives and more than a few describe their failing on low-fat. The only ones who support Ornish claim to be studying nutrition and state that they KNOW low-fat is terrific and healthy. Have we heard this somewhere before? When Ornish can write a column on dieting and most commentators are able to refute him with actual results and facts, we know low-carbing truly has become a success and that it is more widely followed that would be assumed.
    Hi Freddy–
    Thanks for the tip.  I hadn’t noticed the comments.  It was great fun to read them.

  6. http://www.rd.com/content/openContent.do?contentId=34153&pageIndex=1
    “Need More Proof?
    I’m 53 years old, and I’ve been eating this way since I was 19. I’m six feet tall, and my weight stays around 175 pounds. I’m on no medications, and my total cholesterol level has remained below 140 to 150 mg/dl since then. My LDL ranges from 70 to 80 mg/dl, and my blood pressure is 110/70. But the main reason for eating and living this way is that I feel so much better when I eat healthy. My adolescent allergies and childhood asthma disappeared, and fortunately, I’m rarely ill. ”
    That is a quote from a Reader’s Digest article on Dean Ornish. I think there’s a possiblity that he’s just one of those lucky people like my husband. My husband eats fast food pretty much daily. His weight stays within range. His cholesterol and blood pressure are within range. The doctor tells him they are perfect. He is 46. Since Dean Ornish has eaten this way since he was 19, it may just be his genes and not his diet. He could probably eat junk like my DH does and it wouldn’t matter.

  7. My first response on reading these was – well, they’re circling the wagons, I hope they are ready for a long siege. Then I thought, no, that’s wrong, they are more like crusaders out to convert the infidels. It makes no difference what the facts are, the faithful know the “truth”.
    That’s the definition of faithful.  Accepting a notion on faith.

  8. Hmmm. I never really thought about it but… Do corpses eat ultra low-fat?

    Well, the modern mythos has always told us that zombies go first for the brains of the living, so I have to assume that their instincts are leading them to eat ultra-high-fat.
    There was also the “zombie” episode of Sliders all those years back, where the entire populace of the parallel Earth du jour had fallen victim to an engineered fat-eating bacterium which worked far too well. The afflicted fed on the healthy because their bodies were starved of fat. Now I’m not saying that the show was preachy or anything, but it seems like they had the “eat fat — you need it” message pretty well interwoven into the episode.

  9. Ornish’s picture over the newsweek article is decades old. Has he discovered the reverse-aging diet?

  10. In reference to Teresa’s article: I have seen more recent photos of Mr Ornish that have not been touched up and he looks like a zombie.
    Anecdotal proof on the low-carb side of the fence is my brother, also 53, who has eaten one steak and only one steak every night for dinner since he was 19 despite my best efforts to get him to eat “healthy” food. He is 6 feet tall. Not sure what he weighs, but any bodybuilder would be jealous of his “ripped” physique. (he works as a glazier) He is never sick, never had a cavity, never had a sleepless night. Oh, and this is despite the fact that he lives in a cloudy, vitamin D deprived area and has always smoked heavily. I am quite sure that he can think rings around Dean Ornish.

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