Gary Taubes is a science writer who reports and writes about issues of public health, nutrition, and diet. He wrote two books that completely changed how I thought about Juliana’s overweight, and what we did about it.
Good Calories, Bad Calories is an exhaustively researched and documented history and analysis of obesity research and public policy about nutrition over almost 200 years, that is nonetheless an engaging read. The book documents that carbohydrates used to be widely recognized as uniquely fattening, and how and why that changed in the years leading up to the push in the 1980s to get Americans to eat high-carb, low-fat diets.
In response to requests from readers for a shorter book they could hand out to family and friends, Taubes wrote “Why We Get Fat and What to Do About it.” It’s the Cliffs Notes version of “Good Calories, Bad Calories,” and is a great place to start learning about low carb eating.
Visit Taubes’ website.
Mainstream advice generally is against children or teenagers going on diets. The worry seems to be that calorie or nutrient restriction can interfere with healthy development. You will frequently see the advice to try to stabilize weight first, because it is assumed that doing so will require less calorie restriction than actually trying to lose weight. By preventing more weight gain, children can “grow into their weight.” This recommendation makes no sense on its face for children who already weigh more than a healthy adult weight, of which there are many, including Juliana when she started her low carb eating plan.
The unspoken assumption is that a weight-reducing diet must be calorie restricted and therefore nutrient restricted. But a low carb diet is neither. Children can and should eat until they are satisfied. It is better to call it a low carb eating plan, since diet seems to be synonymous with calorie restriction in most people’s minds.
Our eating plan consists of high quality meats, organic eggs, a little cheese, tree nuts, and vegetables. It is not calorie-restricted. It is not nutrient-restricted. There are no essential nutrients available in grains that are not available from other sources. See Epilogue of : Taubes, Gary (2007-09-25). Good Calories, Bad Calories (Kindle Locations 9085-9089). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition, for a review of the evidence demonstrating that 1) the brain does not need ingested carbohydrate for fuel, but can manufacture what it needs from ingested fat and protein and 2) there are no essential vitamins and minerals in carbohydrate that are not available from meat and fat.
Moreover, we usually eat more than the recommended 5-9 servings of vegetables (not fruit) per day, unlike the vast majority of Americans.