Controversial Diet Author Gary Taubes Tackles Sugar's Negative Effects
Gary Taubes went to Harvard and Stanford universities to become a scientist, but then discovered investigative journalism. He had a bachelor's degree in physics and was working towards getting a master's degree in aerospace engineering at Stanford when he chose to go down another path. He then earned a master's in journalism from Columbia University and began writing for Discover magazine.
It was a 2002 article in the New York Times Magazine, however, that changed his trajectory. He challenged research backing the low-fat diet craze and said that a high animal protein and fat diet was a better way to lose weight. Now 58, Taubes, author of "Why We Get Fat And What To Do About It," is currently writing a book about the side effects of sugar on insulin and fat storage. His research uncovered older studies that support the benefits of an Atkins-style diet.
Q. What is the most common argument you encounter from proponents of the low-fat, no meat lifestyles?
A. ....One of my favorite quotes from 1965 in The New York Times was by Jean Mayer, who was the leading nutritionist in the country at the time. He said that for doctors who prescribe these diets it was the equivalent of mass murder. It was because of this belief that had yet to be tested in rigorous experiments that high-fat diets cause heart disease.
Q. ...I wonder if it all boils down to insulin levels and the amount of sugar that is consumed.
A. ..What all these diets have in common is they restrict refined sugars and grains, usually for the same reason. They elevate blood sugar and insulin levels, and they appear to cause insulin resistance...
Q. Do your wife and children follow your diet?
A. Let's say it's a constant struggle. I hate to speak for my wife, but she mostly restricts carbohydrates and I think she would say because of that she is 20 pounds lighter than she would be otherwise. ...
Read the full Q&A and the original article here.
Photo Courtesy Gary Taubes Twitter.