Absurdium lo carbicus

The image below is currently featured on a low carb blogger's blog.  It's not the first time I've seen it, indeed I know for sure one other blogger who has featured this picture.  This graphic embodies what is wrong with the "LC movement" these days.

Now, I've been a butter-phile since forever, even making room for the real deal in my low fat days.  There's nothing unhealthy and plenty of healthy things about butter in my estimation.   But there are a number of issues with this graphic that are reflected in the state of today's low carb message.  

1.  Eating as much as you want/eating excess:  Even that Buttertons commercial is woefully misguided in its exaggeration.  We may have eaten more butter and less processed veggie oil butter like substances,  but nobody put a stick, let alone sticks of butter in a bowl of veggies.  In the same vein, while this is obviously exaggerated in its own right, the message is clearly one of gluttony.  Yep, I said it.  "That's why we eat as much as possible" is never really an appropriate message.  

2.  Reactionary over-consumption:  Low carbers seem bound and determined not just to eat foods that have been improperly deemed "unhealthy" and demonized, but to eat them in excess and promote such as healthy.  Just because butter and its saturated fat is not unhealthy, and moderate consumption may even have healthful benefits, does not make the consumption of a lot of butter even healthier.  

2.  False facts to promote a message:   The low carb community is famous for putting forth falsities to promote their message or in the interest of the "movement".  I'd be rich if I had a nickel for every comment on the web this past few weeks that began with "you know who may not be right but ...".  This "butter is slippery" and you should eat it to "lubricate" your veins and arteries is so wrong!  Even in the interest of humor or schtick we shouldn't post such atrocities!  We grease mechanical joints to minimize friction, we do not even have grease in our own joints for lubrication.  The chylomicron assault eating just the stick that kid has on his fork cannot be good for a small body like that!  It is possible to saturate the blood with fat so that it actually will rise to the top in droplets!  Fats do make blood more viscous.  No matter how horribly misguided the notion of  "artery clogging fats" is, it's no excuse for this notion of eating a lot of fats to lubricate your circulatory system!  The only thing lubricated by fats in the human body that I can think of would be the intestines of someone with fat absorption issues.


Tonus said…
I agree that the "lubricate your arteries and veins" is a jab at the people who refer to fat (particularly saturated fat) as "artery-clogging." I see it as an 'all is fair in love and war' type of thing and I understand where they're coming from.

I do think that there is a troubling amount of "if a little bit is good, a lot must be better" thinking amongst many low-carbers when it comes to saturated fats. And once again, this is promoted, directly or not, by the anecdotes from people who describe how they gained weight on low-calorie diets but lost weight on high-calorie LCHF diets. A person claiming a metabolic advantage of 500-1000 calories a day is the poster child for the idea that you can eat as much butter as you want.
CarbSane said…
I hear ya! The dudelol.com website I trace it too seems nutritionally agnostic. It's done in old style ad ... but it's not entirely impossible to imagine it could be real based on some old ads I've seen.

I was thinking about the same misguided stuff about putting butter under the skin of chicken legs or dipping prime rib in butter and such. Heck, ground beef that is anything less than the 90% variety does not need to be fried in anything!

I dunno, I've worked with enough plasma from humans under all circumstances. The stuff that is obviously after a big fatty meal ain't pretty and I don't care if it had carbs or not. Same difference!
Duffy Pratt said…
You are taking this very seriously. Is it really not a joke? About 40 years ago I was taking a class in humor (yes, they had really stupid classes even back then). One project we had was to come up with a humorous ad campaign. I chose Hellmans Mayo, and had some ads that were pretty much like this one -- people with a huge spoonful of mayo about to eat with big smiles on their faces, and with the captions: "Hellman's: The Mayonnaise Eater's Mayonnaise." and "Hellman's: It's not just for sandwiches anymore!"

I have a slight quibble with your heading "Eating as much as you want/eating excess". I would have thought that ultimately the goal of any sound diet would be to get to the point where eating as much as you want was not the same thing as eating in excess. Your heading seems to presume that the two things are equivalent.
As a recovering overeater/binge-eater, who has seen how much damn crap overeaters can eat, how much morbidly obese folks can eat--of all sorts of food--I'm of the philosophy that NO ONE with weight issues should eat too much of ANYTHING. Only "enough". Only what's "beneficial". Only to maintain a healthy weight. More than that of anything is too much.

Making any food an "eat all you want"--other than maybe leafy greens, and I would wager there's someone out there who would even eat too much of THAT out of obsessive compulsion. Drink too much water, and you end up in the E.R. Yeah, "all you want" just doesn't work for me (and if the NWCR is right, not for anyone who wants to not be obese again).

We have to learn to moderate, even to be strict, in order not to regain or get back into E.D. mode.

So, while I did reintroduce butter into my diet midst-dieting journey-and got rid of Smart Balance and other "heart healthy" margarines along the way--I introduced it in small amounts, and I count the calories. :)

Immoderation doesn't help dieters.
I have to confess that the Buttertons ad makes me gag. I like butter but the idea of eating it cold enough to still be in stick form turns my stomach.

"Eating all you want" only works when what you want is a reasonable amount. I can eat all I want of pizza because I'm fine with one (or two small) slices, not the whole thing.
CarbSane said…
@Duffy, you said: "Eating as much as you want/eating excess". I would have thought that ultimately the goal of any sound diet would be to get to the point where eating as much as you want was not the same thing as eating in excess. Your heading seems to presume that the two things are equivalent.

I agree with your ultimate goal. I also believe that in current LC circles, these are presented as the same thing. That LC allows eating gobs of butter and getting svelte in ths process!

I'm not taking the graphic seriously, as much as I don't see the humor of this on LC promoting sites.
CarbSane said…
Great points Princess!
CarbSane said…
@LBC: I can eat straight butter if it's good enough! But still we're talking a pat here or there and, did I mention, it has to be gooood butter.