Friday, April 4, 2008

Unforseen Consequences of a Low Carb Diet

In this PREVENTION article, Gary Taubes, author of "Good Calories, Bad Calories" discusses a unique consequence of a low carb way of eating.....becoming a social outcast!

"I've learned there are indeed some side effects to this dietary regimen--primarily social and marital ones. First of all, gone are the days that my wife and I will be invited over for a simple meal--the "let me put some spaghetti on the stove with a nice sauce" type of thing. (Friends who are exceedingly fond of grilling or barbecuing are the exception.) Invitations to dinner parties are offered with trepidation and a "what can you eat?" tone, as though whatever it may be will require a special run to the slaughterhouse. A whiff of resentment hovers in the host's kitchen, as though my dietary faddishness forced a menu change for everyone else, all of whom now have to eat a thoroughly mediocre leg of lamb when they could have enjoyed the host's signature buckwheat rigatoni with broccoli rabe and tofu instead."
Prevention Article By Gary Taubes


1956okie said...

You know, Zilla, what shocks me most about this is that PREVENTION actually published Gary Taubes--and NOT by dissing him!! (chin hits desktop)

They've tended to go the tofu & granola route for years, so it's shocking (to me) that they almost seem to AGREE with his choice.

THANKS for posting this...

Wifezilla said...

Kind of surprised me too. Plus, Gary's sense of humor really comes through in this piece (I am a total "fan-girl" when it comes to Gary Taubes :D )

Anonymous said...

Tell me about it! I have to cook Saturday night dinner EVERY week for these conditions:
1. I eat low carb but will COOK carby stuff that others can eat. So, there has to be at the very least a complete low carb meal which is usually meat that is not dredged in anything carby and salad or veggies. Easy.
2. One of the family cannot eat hunks of meat because of a swallowing problem. No steak, roast beef, chops, etc. (Ok, this makes the meat a bit more difficult but not impossible)
Karen B.
3. One of the family is a diabetic with fatty liver disease and heart disease with very sensitive diet needs. Can eat meat, will not eat pasta or anything carby, no bread, etc., but will also not eat anything fatty, oily, creamy or even some non starchy veggies such as summer squash or zucchini.
Add all this to a husband that wants pasta 3-4 times per week and it's a nightmare.
Luckily, I only need to cook for ALL of them at once on Saturdays. It's getting so difficult that I'm ready to pack-it-in and say "forget it".
I am totally and completely out of ideas and dread weekends now. This has become an enormous stressor in my life!

Erasmus said...

Funny. Thanks for posting it. I would have never thought to look for a Taubes post on Prevention.

I guess Mark Twain was right, "Be good and you will be lonely." :)


Anonymous said...

The other day MIL served roast that had been sliced and cooked in a sugary commercial barbecue sauce, corn, a pasta salad and baked beans. The canned beans already had sugar in them but she added brown sugar and molasses on top of that. There were no other vegetables or salads. For dessert she had some creamy refrigerator pie that had Eagle Brand milk and cool whip in it, with a graham cracker crust and canned cherry pie filling on top. She pulled it out saying at least it would be ok since she didn't add any sugar to it. I scraped some sauce off the meat and fished a tablespoon or so of beans out of its sauce and thanked myself for having the foresight to have a cold Slim Fast low carb shake on ice in the cooler in the car. (Anyone else notice the 'A low fat food' sticker on the box?)
For a dinner at DH's work they had a big steak, thankfully, but also cornbread, baked potatoes, pinto beans and 2 kinds of cobbler for dessert, no salad or other side.

Wifezilla said...

And people wonder why I keep a pack of almonds on my at all times! LOL

I am glad you survived dinner!

Daron said...

Amen! This is also my biggest frustration with low carb. Even when dining out, everyone has to ask themselves, "what can Daron eat?" I've never been a picky eater but now I have to eat around things and ask for substitutes. And of course, relatives always assume that they know what is low carb.... they keep asking things like "you can eat potatos, right?". Argh!

-Big Daddy D

Anonymous said...

C'mon, you guys! Stop with the holier-than-thou commentary on those who eat the ordinary American array of foods. Low carb is not de rigueur, after all, and those who don't adhere to it don't necessarily know what is allowed and what isn't. Wouldn't it be nicer and more productive to give friends and relatives a short course, in written form, on what you CAN eat?

And stop with the judgement of those people who don't eat like you do. It's like saying Chinese food sucks, or only idiots eat Indian food, or English food is unhealthy. According to whom? I just really dislike dissing everyone who doesn't eat like we low carbers do or making sport of those that aren't familiar with the specifics of every diet out there. Heaven knows there are a million, at least, and some are based on medical needs.

So have a heart, low carbers. Let your diet be the beacon for others; when they see what you have accomplished, they'll start getting curious about how you did it.

Mindy said...

Hey anonymous up there, making all those different meals and stressing about it. Is there anyway you could make it a pot luck? Everyone could still dine together and get what they want, and you can have your life back. I think it's pretty generous of you to do all that.

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