Diet Cults: The Surprising Fallacy at the Core of Nutrition Fads and a Guide to Healthy Eating for the Rest of Us

Diet Cults: The Surprising Fallacy at the Core of Nutrition Fads and a Guide to Healthy Eating for the Rest of Us

Matt Fitzgerald

Language: English

Pages: 336

ISBN: 1605988294

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

From the national bestselling author of Racing Weight, Matt Fitzgerald exposes the irrationality, half-truths, and downright impossibility of a “single right way” to eat, and reveals how to develop rational, healthy eating habits.

From “The Four Hour Body,” to “Atkins,” there are diet cults to match seemingly any mood and personality type. Everywhere we turn, someone is preaching the “One True Way” to eat for maximum health. Paleo Diet advocates tell us that all foods less than 12,000 years old are the enemy. Low-carb gurus demonize carbs, then there are the low-fat prophets. But they agree on one thing: there is only one true way to eat for maximum health. The first clue that that is a fallacy is the sheer variety of diets advocated. Indeed, while all of these competing views claim to be backed by “science,” a good look at actual nutritional science itself suggests that it is impossible to identify a single best way to eat. Fitzgerald advocates an agnostic, rational approach to eating habits, based on one’s own habits, lifestyle, and genetics/body type. Many professional athletes already practice this “Good Enough” diet, and now we can too and ditch the brainwashing of these diet cults for good.













efforts. They didn’t necessarily try anything different. They just tried harder. Eighty-three percent of NWCR members are able to identify a specific trigger for their breakthrough weight-loss attempt. All of these triggers are motivational in nature. The most common ones are experiencing an adverse medical event (23 percent), reaching an all-time high in weight (21.3 percent), and seeing oneself in a photograph or mirror and being horrified (12.7 percent). Interestingly, the medical trigger

whose glycemic index scores were the highest in the food kingdom, had no place whatsoever in the Atkins program, whereas potatoes were permitted in small amounts under special circumstances. Only dieters who had already reached their weight-loss goal were eligible for this indulgence. But goal attainment alone was not enough. The successful dieter also had to demonstrate what Atkins termed a “low level of metabolic resistance,” by which he meant a low propensity to regain weight in response to a

to support maximum health. While fully consistent with mainstream nutrition-science recommendations like those of MyPlate, this agnostic healthy-eating game is simpler, more systematic, and therefore easier to practice. But wait: Is this agnostic healthy eating game not just another diet cult? No. For I do not claim that agnostic eating is the One True Way. I claim only that you will find agnostic healthy eating to be the easiest way to eat for maximum health if you’re turned off by diets that

rewarding even though they are difficult. This is one of the reasons participation in marathons, triathlons, and other extreme endurance sport events has become so popular, and it may be one of the reasons semi-religious and even irreligious people practice religious or spiritual fasts today. In 2012, an Indonesian journalist named Abdul Qowi Bastian interviewed people who observed the Ramadan fast despite having formally renounced Islam. One subject, a nineteen-year-old woman, explained, “I’m

lectins are blood-type-specific. James and Peter D’Adamo seized on this discovery to argue that certain lectins in foods are compatible with one or more specific blood types and are incompatible with one or more others. Stretching the science even further, they contended that consuming lectins which were not compatible with one’s blood type caused all kinds of health problems, from anemia to cancer. The real scientists who performed the studies on which this theory was very loosely based did not

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