Gary Taubes: the man who hated carbs before it was cool


How come we started to believe that fat was the enemy – and ended up consuming a ridiculous amount of sugar instead? And why did calories get the blame?

There’s probably nobody who can answer these questions better than Gary Taubes, who has dug deep into the topic. Check out the article below for the full story.

Obesity is one of these subjects where it helps to have a weight problem. The way I describe it in my lecture is a male obstetrician can deliver 10,000 babies and won’t understand childbirth as well as one woman who has given birth. It’s just a fact of life. If you don’t understand what it’s like to get fatter and fatter, year in and year out, regardless of what you do, you just don’t understand obesity.

Reason: Meet the man who hated carbs before it was cool



Low-carb basics


Gary Taubes: Crusading champion for better nutrition science

Gary Taubes in BMJ: What if sugar is worse than just empty calories?


  1. Josh
    Except Taubes's own experiment funded by his own research institute showed that when calories are kept the same, it didn't matter whether the diet was high fat or high carb. People's body weights stayed the same during his cross-over study. Their insulin was cut in half on the high fat diet, but there was no magical shift in body fat. In my opinion, if people have an insulin problem, cutting carbs is only putting a band aid on the real issue. People need to consider things like Zinc (which is used to make insulin), chromium (which is used to enhance insulin receptor sensitivity), B-complex vitamins (which are used to metabolize carbohydrates). Stop eating empty carb calories because that's what's ruining your ability to function on a high carb diet. It's not the carbs themselves.
    Replies: #15, #18
  2. Josh
    Potassium and Magnesium are vital minerls for metabolizing carbs and storing them as glycogen. Do you think a pack of Oreos or a loaf of bread or pasta has any of these vitamins or minerals? Not really. People run entirely differently on clean carbs (aka fruits and vegetables) plus proper supplementation
  3. Kenn
    Possibly it is easier to eat fewer calories without hunger when eating more fat, due to the the satiety effect? Or having low insulin allows your body to release stored fat, so you are less hungry, so you consume less calories?

    Although I have lost 75 pounds, my main focus is health, so lowering insulin is itself a worthy goal (diabetes, heart, stroke, etc. )

  4. Veronica
    I just read 'The Case Against Sugar' and it was great - well-constructed and highly recommended.
  5. Ray
    What I really like about Gary is that he practices what he preaches, He eats LC and feed it to his family. I met him several years ago and was very impressed with him. His book " why we get fat and what we can do about it was the beginning of my journey into LCHF and my first real success in weight loss and better health. And now I have a new fuel source (fat) don't crave sweets or junk foods anymore, I am very grateful to everyone who has done all this hard work. And at 73 enjoy better sleep and energy.
  6. Keith Bennett
    I have measured the weight of the majority of my foods for 10 years to the gram. Those measurements were taken to the USDA NAL database or currently MyFitnessPal and recorded. My weight has been measured to a tenth of a pound during this period. I spent 180 days on 25 grams of carbs or less a day. In the middle of that I rode my bicycle 60 miles in 6 hours. My 30 second take away: Carbohydrate in any form is not a vital nutrient. Sweet things are addicting. No protein, no muscle. Living on fat and protein did not negativity affect my cholesterol. I am a 60 year old athlete with numbers matching a collegiate athlete.
    Reply: #13
  7. Michelle Miller
    I'm a female that is 5'9, 195lbs. I'm exercising an average of 3 hours Monday-Friday. I walk 30 minutes before work & during my lunch. I go to the gym after work for over 2 hours and do the weight machines and do the couch to 5k. This week I've actually been walking an additional 35-50 minutes when I get home. Monday-Friday I get 20,000+ steps on my fitbit. I try to keep my calories between 1,200 & 1,500. I do cheat some on the weekend by having some carbs. In the last 3 weeks, I've only lost 4lbs. Any suggestions as to what I'm doing wrong? Thanks!
    Replies: #16, #17, #19, #21
  8. Mary
    Read the obesity code by Jason Fung. It is a great read and you should come away with a greater appreciation of a low carb, high HEALTHY fat way of eating!
  9. Suzanne
    I've had my ups and downs with carb intake. But I can definitely say that my cravings subside 24hous after reducing cars below 30 g. I'm neither obese nor insulin resistant.
  10. Michelle
    My cravings have been better.
  11. Joan
    I suspect it is hypwrinsulinemia that is the culprit. The best way to achieve that is low carb. We do NOT need carbs.
  12. 1 comment removed
  13. William
    Keith, your experience matches mine. Although I am not nearly as strict today, I was for a while maintaining ketosis around 1-2 mg/dL and riding 40-60 miles in a water fasted state. Took a while to get strength on the bike but it came back and more. With loss of weight came significant improvement in acceleration and I did ride a hard 100 miles with a group fasted on water with no issues. Nowadays I start a ride not in ketosis and end it in ketosis and have no decline in power over the course of the ride. The body switches to ketones while riding. I use the Precision Ultra blood glucose/ketone meter. I am about your age at 59. I find the best place to be is borderline ketosis with periodic meal skipping and hard long endurance exercise twice per week.
  14. TeeDee
    Many times someone will come along and say, "dieters lose the same weight whether on low carb or high carb" Sure, fine. But the biggest draw (besides the crucially important better lab results) is lack of torturous cravings. Even if I get the odd craving here and there, it is so much milder and easier to manage/ignore now. I used to dread the nighttime because that's when the cravings would hit the hardest, even while still feeling satiated from dinner. Carbs would 'call to me' all night, no matter how well I did all day, but LC/Ketogenic eating changed that and gave me the fighting chance I needed to finally succeed in losing the excess weight. I still have some to go, but now I see myself getting there and staying there without 'falling off' the diet. I plan to eat a ketogenic diet for the rest of my life because I enjoy it and feel better than I have for many years.
  15. Chip
    I would disagree with your statement about "empty carbs" causing the insulin resistance. All carbs are handled the same in the body, all carbs, so eating "complex" or "simple" carbs doesn't matter. If your body has a problem with elevated blood glucose that your body can no longer control with insulin - due to insulin de-sensitivy - then the only logical step is to either a: give yourself supplemental insulin (lots of health hazards long-term) or b: cut back on carbs.
  16. Thomas
    You may want to try intermittent fasting. It will lower insulin and tap into stored fat.
  17. Janalee
    Calories too low? Too much exercise? Fat high enough? Are you measuring blood for ketones?
  18. Anna
    What do you think will shift the body fat? The addition of the minerals? A vitamin/supplement?
  19. Viv
    Not eating enough food for the exercise you are doing, causing your metabolic rate to slow down.
  20. Richard Clayderman
    I didn't like the article

    I don't know if it was purposely edited to sound confusing, but it was sure lengthy and not clear, it had the feeling of most health and diet articles, to the regular person

    Look at these lines

    Describe the "Western diet." Is it processed foods?

    Pizza Rolls, Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonald's, Coca-Cola—

    This made everything sound as though its McDonalds and fast foods fault for modern disease

    Then in bold print

    "Are we seeing less heart disease because we're preventing it with changes in diet? There's no evidence of that."

    The Atkins Diet came out on top in a Stanford Study of comparing diets

    a lot of bias in the questions, more like a PR article to confuse the masses, at least people will know who Gary is, this I liked

    Bad article

  21. johnny
    Exercise is not the answer to weight loss; you're like all the rest of the eat too often (not too much, but too often). Stop eating three meals a day, stop snacking, and drink water exclusively (only when thirsty) and your body will shed those unwanted pounds.

    FYI, Gary Taubes is not the first person, not even close, to eschew sugar. There were many innovators in the 1960/70 that warned the public about the detrimental affects of simple-sugar. Don't worry about carbs, your body needs glucose (when patients in hospitals need nutrients to keep them alive they're IV'ed to a bag containing sugar not a bag of fat nor protein). Just know the difference between pastries, muffins, & chips vs. sprouted-whole-grain bread/pasta, brown rice, and potatoes (the former being bad, the latter being good).

    Start by cutting out breakfast, than try cutting out lunch a couple of times a week (that is try OMAD one or two days a week).

    Exercise is good for your muscles; eating like your ancestors (2 meals a day at the very most) is good for your waistline.

Leave a reply

Reply to comment #0 by

Older posts