What is the most telling sign that a food fad has reached critical mass? In the case of the rampant carbohydrate phobia, for instance, is it the fast-food bandwagon (the Burger King Bunless Whopper, served on a plate with knife and fork)? A new line of ice cream flavors (Ben & Jerry's Carb Karma)? Or the innovative marketing of laxatives to legions of constipated Atkins dieters ("a zero-carb solution to a low-carb problem")?
So are carbs the problem? Should we ban them from our diets? "The fear of carbohydrates is a response to one or two studies that showed that under specific conditions, a diet heavy in easily digested, simple carbs may raise the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity," says Kritchevsky. There's a nugget of truth in all this, but more research is needed to tease out the fad from the fact. Here's what science knows now.
Printed from Oprah.com on Friday, December 6, 2013