Why I Can’t STAND the Word “Carb”

Sunday Nov 20 | BY |
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The last time I heard Dr. Oz or some other diet guru utter the word “carb,” I think I blew up a fuse.

Whenever I hear this buzzword, you can see a puff of dust and smoke where I used to stand.

I’m long gone. And so should you.

When a guru offers you candy, don’t accept his offer to join him in the back of his windowless van. You’re asking for trouble.

The candy here is the illusion that through some magical manipulation of “carb” intake, you’ll get and stay slim forever.

  • Carb cycling.
  • Carb charts.
  • “Slow” carb.
  • Low carb.
  • Carb testing.
  • Carb cravings
  • Carb intolerance.
  • Carb dieting.

All of this is pure crapola!

The word “carb” is meaningless.

Let’s try something instead. Replace the word “carb” with the word “ice-cream” whenever you hear it.

So when someone is talking about a “low-carb diet,” they’re actually talking about a “low ice-cream diet.”

Or “carb cycling” means “ice-cream cycling.”

Carb intolerance means “ice-cream” intolerance.

Oh wait, isn’t that a little ridiculous?

So let’s try something else instead. Let’s replace the word “carb” with the word “carrot.”

So in this case, “slow carb diet” means a “slow “carrot diet.”

Or how about using the word “bean” or “broccoli” instead. That should make more sense.

Or does it?

Any of these words is more meaningful than the absurdly vacuous word “carb.”

Take your pick.

The only thing that these foods have in common is that they contain most or almost all of their calories from carbohydrates. But…

The Word “Carb” Doesn’t Mean Anything

There’s no such food as “a carb.” Just like there’s no such thing as “a protein.”

It should be obvious that white sugar, beans, and broccoli are vastly different foods, even though they all contain most of their calories from carbohydrates.

Low-carb proponents want you to put them all in the same category. They’re distorting the language to confuse you and sell you their BS.

Ask yourself: why do Americans (and other Western people) have so much trouble with their weight yet they’re the only ones who worry about “carbs?”


Every single, thin and healthy person on the planet outside of America has never heard of the word “carb” and in fact, has no idea what you mean by that.

Imagine the following scene (and please pardon my stereotypes.)

Dr. Oz and his crew go to Okinawa or another part of Japan where people are fit and thin. They attempt to communicate with the locals to inquire about their diet. Dr. Oz asks them: “we don’t understand why you’re so thin. You eat so many carbs! What is going on?” The puzzled locals reply, “What do you mean CALBS?” This is not CALB… this is food. Rice! Don’t you see? Not CALB! Rice!”

Dr. Oz and his team then go to meet the Hunzas of Pakistan, who used to be known as the world’s longest-lived people. Whatever the case may be, Dr. Oz is puzzled that they remain so thin in spite of all the carbs they eat. He tells them, “it must be because of all the exercise you do that you can burn off all these carbs?” The Hunzas don’t understand. They show Dr. Oz the apricot trees and explain that when apricots are in season, that’s all they eat. “What is CARB?” They ask.

The Truth About Carbs

Here’s the truth about “carbs”: there’s no such thing as “carb intolerance” or “eating too many carbs.”

The problem is much more straightforward: we’re fat.

Eating fruits, grains, beans, vegetables and even a little refined sugar certainly didn’t cause the obesity epidemic.

We’re fat because we eat too much FOOD, compared to our energy expenditure. This happens because we eat the WRONG foods.

Diets only work to the extent that they restrict calories. Artificially restricting calories by not eating “carbs” is one way to do it.

You’ll just be eliminating practically all healthy foods along the way. I’m talking of course about whole fruits, grains, beans, and vegetables.

Oh, wait… those are the same foods that we should be eating ANYWAY to get healthy in the first place. Those are the foods that healthy populations around the world eat and STAY slim, without ever worrying about “carbs” for one moment in their lives. And those are the foods that thousands of people are eating in order to get healthier, as plant-based diets are gaining more and more acceptance.

So go ahead and eat FOOD! And purge the word “carb” from your vocabulary!

Frederic Patenaude

Frederic Patenaude has been an important influence in the raw food and natural health movement since he started writing and publishing in 1998, first by being the editor of Just Eat an Apple magazine. He is the author of over 20 books, including The Raw Secrets, the Sunfood Cuisine and Raw Food Controversies. Since 2013 he’s been the Editor-in-Chief of Renegade Health.

Frederic loves to relentlessly debunk nutritional myths. He advocates a low-fat, plant-based diet and has had over 10 years of experience with raw vegan diets. He lives in Montreal, Canada.

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