** To be fair to Gary Taubes, about an hour after I published the following post I received a comment from Tyler who told me about this post on Gary’s blog. I sort of figured the producers of Dr. Oz had sensationalized Gary’s views a bit, but this article really made me feel better about Gary…..thanks Tyler!!! **
Do you watch Dr. Oz? I usually tape it and then watch it only if the topic really interests me (that’s typically about once out of every five episodes). Several weeks ago I saw the title “The Man Who Disagrees With Everything Dr. Oz Says”. I was enticed! I pushed “play” and quickly realized the “man” was the author of one of my favorite books; Gary Taubes, who wrote the book Good Calories, Bad Calories. If you’ve read the book, or have heard of the book, you might be thinking, “this is the Atkins diet that this man is promoting! Gina…why do you like this book?!”.
In the book Gary Taubes, a writer for the New York Times, discusses years and years worth of literature and research on nutrition, diets, heart disease and obesity, and concludes that sugar and refined carbohydrates are making us fat and putting us at higher risk for chronic diseases (especially heart disease).
The book goes into great detail about our endocrine system and I was truly amazed with all that I learned. The book talks about how sugar and refined carbohydrates spike our insulin levels and therefore makes us store more fat (this was not news to me). He discusses how some people store fat more efficiently than others. You may have heard some people say, “I eat a piece of bread and it goes right to my thighs”. There is actually some truth to that statement, for certain individuals.
As I read the book it didn’t seem like Gary was promoting an Adkins-like diet. In fact, Gary is not a doctor or a dietitian, and he does not talk about any suggestions for a special diet at all (that I can recall). The book is simply scientific evidence that explains how our highly refined carbohydrate diet really is killing us.
As I read the book I envisioned Gary’s own diet being very healthy, and somewhat low in carbohydrates; lean proteins, plenty of healthy fats, whole grains, and lots of fresh vegetables (and some fruits). As I watched the episode of Dr. Oz I was appalled. Gary Taubes really angered me (if you want to see the video, click here)! He pretty much said we should all be eating a diet that is high in meat, poultry, eggs, and cheese, and the only other foods we should consume are the occasional green vegetable (such as spinach and kale, which are very low carbohydrate foods).
(many of which were answered in his blog post)!
– What about fish as a protein? Why, on the Dr. Oz show, did you only focus on chicken, beef and even pork rinds?!
– What about other low carbohydrate vegetables such as pumpkin, mushrooms, turnips, tomatoes, onions, spaghetti squash and zucchini?? We need to vary the colors of produce we consume. Green veggies are great, but orange, purple, red and white are important too!
– Why can’t we eat more than just one serving of those green vegetables, per day? Where is the research that says only eating one serving of green veggies (with NO OTHER COLORS) is actually healthy?!
– Why did you refuse to share your cholesterol levels with Dr. Oz? He asked you, but you refused to report the numbers. Is there something you are hiding?? Is it possible that the long-term effects of such a crazy and unbalanced diet are actually worse than you envisioned?
– How could you go on the Dr. Oz show and not at least mention that you should be supplementing essential nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D if you decide to do such a diet? You know that many Dr. Oz fans are women are in their 40s and 50s, desperate to lose weight, and willing to try whatever they can to lose it. If they try this pathetic diet they will likely be deficient in many nutrients that are especially important for their age group (hello…where’s the milk?!). At least tell them the facts! And don’t tell them they will get their calcium from the green leafy vegetables, that just doesn’t cut it.
– I agree that refined carbohydrates are bad, but I don’t agree that you’re better off eating zero carbohydrates. I happen to believe that the fiber found in whole grains can actually help people lose weight. Did you find any research on that??!!
– I agree that eating less carbohydrates will help you lose weight, but if you’re going to decrease your carbohydrate intake don’t substitute high fat processed meats. You may lose weight, but your chances of getting cancer will skyrocket.
– If you decide to take Gary’s advice, do yourself a favor and eat better sources of protein, such as fish, grass-fed beef and fresh poultry. Also, include some more of those low carbohydrate vegetables that I listed above! And please, get at least once decent serving of whole grains. One serving of oatmeal (not instant) will provide about 45 grams of whole grain. And of course, take some extra calcium and vitamin D.
QUESTION: Did you watch this episode of Dr. Oz? What are your thoughts about Gary Taubes and his extreme views? Please read Gary’s post (in response to the show I just wrote about) if you can! It really makes me lose respect for Dr. Oz and his producers.