The Low-Carb Fraud

Pros: very well-researched and argued; easy to understand

Cons: very short and not as detailed as previous books
I’m reviewing this little book as a message to President Obama and plan to email it to him as well as make a video while reading the beginning  (and advertising this review on, of course!).

Dear President Obama,

On your watch the freedom for Americans to grow their own gardens and raise their own farm animals is tragically becoming a thing of the past, a cherished memory of delicious, fresh food that has made our nation healthy and strong since its founding days. This is disgraceful because you and the First Lady understand the high costs of obesity and childhood diseases caused by a disconnect with food, which results in misunderstanding nutritional needs, malnutrition and eating disorders. I hope you also realize that the majority of Americans are obese and diseased for the same reasons. Banning personal gardening and farming, which eliminates Farmers’ Markets, is another sign of some Americans’ growing disconnect with real, whole food.

Real, whole food is what well-respected biochemist T. Colin Campbell of Cornell University recommends in his celebrated books The China Study, Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition, and most recently The Low-Carb Fraud. It is a Whole Foods, Plant-Based Diet or Lifestyle that is 75-80% carbohydrate and 10% or so of both protein and fat that has been proven for sixty years, confirmed by hundreds of peer-reviewed, long-term studies, to make obesity and many diseases part of an American’s past…including medication.


George McGovern, you may recall, led the government committee in the 1970s on which Campbell assisted that found that Americans should increase their intake of veggies, fruits, and whole grains while decreasing their use of animal products. Campbell explains again in his latest book that there was such an outcry from the meat and dairy industry as well as the confused public that their recommendation was turned into a goal and red meat only limited with added chicken and fish. Campbell had to put up with a recommendation of 30% fat in our diets and that’s little less than what Americans were getting in their diets then. Now after Dr. Robert Atkins’ low-carb diet book was reissued in the 1980s to resounding success and more recently Loren Cordain’s “Paleo” version of the low-carb diet book, and their dozens of spin-offs, the public has largely embraced the idea that high-fat and protein diets are good for you while carbohydrates are bad.

This is a flat lie, Campbell asserts. He once believed that animal fat and protein was of great health benefit to humans when he grew up on a Virginia farm, but his story was only beginning. Becoming a biochemist he needed to find the most effective, accessible protein for starving, impoverished people and his studies in the lab and through research and observation of the Chinese people for a decade led to the surprising discovery that plant protein is much more beneficial to human health. Campbell summarizes his five decade-long career, scientific findings, recommendations, criticisms of and agreements with low-carb promoters in The Low-Carb Fraud, but a much more detailed explanation may be found in his earlier books. I’ve only enjoyed Whole so far, also co-written with Howard Jacobsen PhD. (They are shown below).

President Obama, you are highly educated and intelligent, a family man who wants the best of health for our children to ensure our fitness as a nation in the future, but you are letting the American public and the watching world down. As an elected, top official you need to lead all of us to greater understanding of our world based on irrefutable science and long-term, unbiased, clinical studies. Campbell shows us how flawed and often ludicrous are the health claims of low-carb advocates, none of which are proven by unbiased scientists. Our future is at stake as long as we allow unchecked obesity and disease to create spiraling “healthcare” costs. Subsidies of animal products are blatantly unsustainable and need to be a thing of the past rather than personal gardens and farms. You don’t want to act as foolishly as your science-hating predecessor, I’m sure.

On a personal note my diet has been for about a dozen years very similar to the one Campbell strongly recommends, that being a Whole Foods, Plant-Based Diet, and I’ve never been more healthy, looked more radiant without the need of make-up, or felt so alert and energetic. I’m hardly the only American who enjoys a healthy vegan or vegetarian diet and a revolution will occur if our freedom to our own food is further eroded. Thank you for attending to these concerns.

Sincerely, Jan Peregrine

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