‘Carb Sensitivity Program’: The dumbest diet book?

A naturopathic doctor’s latest tome relies on too much pseudoscience to be anything other than a fad diet book



It landed on the desk at Science-ish headquarters with a thud: the 482-page Carb Sensitivity Program by Natasha Turner, a naturopathic doctor who penned the bestseller, The Hormone Diet. The skeptic in Science-ish was aroused. And after an inner battle about whether the book deserved any ink—even of the digital sort—its promises to help readers “discover which carbs will curb your cravings, control your appetite and banish belly fat” called out for a debunking.

Now, this isn’t about picking on easy, pseudoscientific targets. The reason for the urgency is this: we too often hail new miracle diets without questioning the shaky (at best) evidence supporting them. Just look at the list of reputable news outlets that have already covered Turner’s work. If carbs truly were the enemy, Yoni Freedhoff, an evidence-based obesity-focused doc, rightly pointed out, “When one in seven Americans was on the Atkins diet in the early 2000s, we would have seen the obesity epidemic go away.”

But let’s examine some of the claims Turner makes in the book. First, she begins with irresistible questions readers will no doubt identify with: Do you have a sweet tooth? Do you get sleepy or mental fogginess after meals? Do you feel bloated, especially after meals? Do you have a very large appetite or an obsession with food? According to Turner, this means you’re probably “carb sensitive.” According to Science-ish, this means you are probably human.

Still, Turner has the answer. A “carb rehab program” that will “repair your metabolism” so you become “symptom free” and “lose belly fat.” For beginners, there is no evidence whatsoever to support the notion that targeted fat loss is possible. (Check out Tim Caulfield’s book The Cure for Everything!) So any time you see a magazine or book promising to help you “bust the belly fat,” chuck it. It’s a bold-faced lie.

Turner also suggests a “supplement regime to aid detoxification.” The detox concept should sound alarm bells in any thinking person’s mind. There is reams of evidence-based literature on why the notion of a detox is bunk. But this group of scientists did a good job of summing it up: “‘Detox’ has no meaning outside of the clinical treatment for drug addiction or poisoning.” People are not full of toxins that can be expunged from their systems by systematically eliminating one food group—though it’s an appealing concept. The body can deal with the everyday chemicals it encounters and it certainly doesn’t need the Clear Detox hormonal health pack—supplements from Turner’s own wellness boutique—that she prescribes in the book.

Unscrupulous peddling aside, people who follow the diet in the book may indeed lose weight. But, “carb-sensitive” or not, anyone who consumed what Turner is suggesting for a typical day—one fruit smoothie in the morning, a “carb sensitivity shake” as a snack, “immunity-boosting Ginger Chicken” for lunch, and cauliflower and kale soup with turkey breast for dinner—would shed a few pounds.

Like the followers of many fad diets, Turner’s readers may attribute weight loss to her design. Just keep in mind what Caulfield told Science-ish: “These fad diets cause you to pay attention to what you’re eating for a specific amount of time, which forces you to concentrate on your food, and the result is weight loss. You attribute this weight loss to a magical return on your investment in the book. It’s not. (You lost weight) because you paid attention to what you’re eating.”

Now, Science-ish has shown before that comparative studies have found that just about every diet works to the same degree when it comes to losing weight. (See this trial and this one for more good evidence of that.) If it were as simple as following a fad diet, like the one Turner is selling, we’d all be thin. But, as this recent survey found, women have tried over 60 diets by the age of 45 in an effort to keep trim. We’re still overweight.

This should not be depressing news, however. It’s freeing. We can stop putting money on diet books and lining the pockets of deceitful peddlers of pseudoscience, and get on with life.

Science-ish is a joint project of Maclean’s, The Medical Post, and the McMaster Health Forum. Julia Belluz is the associate editor at The Medical Post. Got a tip? Seen something that’s Science-ish? Message her at julia.belluz@medicalpost.rogers.com or on Twitter @juliaoftoronto


‘Carb Sensitivity Program’: The dumbest diet book?

  1. The problem with carbohydrates is not the carbohydrate but what it reacts WITH in the human body. It reacts with iron. 
    “Cross-Talk Between Iron Metabolism and Diabetes: Interacting Pathways Linking Glucose and Iron”
    Which is why the NIH is conducting a study of iron reduction for diabetes and NAFLD.
    “Iron Depletion Therapy for Type 2 DM and NAFLD”

  2. Can we get over the shock that people selling diet books are profitting from the sale of them? Diet books have always been,  and will probably always be moneymakers, as are lots of other useless things.

  3. Yes Julia, and I suppose you’re going to tell me that despite literally hundreds of real-world examples of cancer cures (Gerson, Rick Simpson, Royal Rife, etc.) you’re going to tell me that its all BS and that our only hope is a pharmaceutical produced under the profit motive.

    Just because you don’t understand homeopathy and naturopathic methods doesn’t mean they aren’t valid.

    • Well I do understand homeopathy and I do not think it is valid. I also don’t believe that a pharmaceutical is society’s only hope, we are our only hope and we shouldn’t make excuses we should deal with our issues. Eating badly is easy in the short-term but not in the long-term, people need to take ownership of their lives and bodies and eat a balanced diet, THAT is our only hope.

  4. I think calling Dr. Turner a “deceitful peddler of pseudoscience” is pretty harsh.  I’ve been to her for help and her advice worked.  I don’t like the idea of a carb sensitivity book.  What you say is true, there are too many diet books on the shelf and if even one worked, we wouldn’t need the rest.  You do have to pay attention to what you eat.  But your comment about Dr. Turner is throwing the baby out with the bathwater… it’s just as lop-sided as Dr. Turner’s carb book.

  5. The second study you link to, under the word “one”, actually supported the Atkins diet as losing more weight than the others, with no untoward effects on health. There is no doubt that certain carbs are not good for us, such as sugar, refined white flour, etc.  Simply eliminating or greatly reducing these in the diet can have greatly beneficial effects on how you feel, and on your weight.

  6. Sweet tooth, bloating, cravings, excessive appetite –
    this list of symptoms alone proves how widespread the problem is that Dr.
    Turner is talking about. We shouldn’t HAVE these symptoms and they are
    certainly not ‘normal’ or simply ‘HUMAN’. They are an indication that what you
    are eating is more than likely upsetting your blood sugar. As a nutritionist I
    see this in my practice daily. With the growing rate of diabetes and insulin
    resistance, clearly we are doing (or EATING) something wrong! And it’s
    certainly not an excess of protein and healthy fats. What we are eating is
    causing these symptoms and more often than not it’s the excess of carbohydrates
    and sugar. I think Dr. Turner has a point!  

    • “certainly not an excess of protein”? Rubbish. So you can’t get fat if you eat more calories than you burn, as long as it is in protein form then? That is simply ludicrous and fraudulently untrue.

      • If calories in/calories out was all it took to lose weight, I would have lost more weight than I have by now since I have been consistently creating a calorie deficit each week for the past year. Increasing protein works because it fills you up. If I eat a high-protein meal of 300 calories, I am satisfied for hours. If I eat a 300 calorie bowl of cereal, I am ready to pour a second one as soon as I eat the last bite. It’s not as simple as calories in/calories out. The medical community doesn’t want to move away from the food pyramid/ sensible eating plan because the learning curve is too steep. I agree there is some “science-ish” aspects of Natasha Turner’s book, but I also think that understanding the endocrine system is essential to understanding why some people maintain and lose weight easily while others (like me) exercise regularly, eat sensibly, count calories and are lucky to lose 1-2 pounds per month. It’s extremely frustrating and made all the worse by people who p-shaw my efforts and imply that I must be lying about my caloric intake or else I would be making more progress. Hormones play a HUGE role.

      • excess protein does not cause fat gain on me. excess fat also does not cause fat gain on me. only to much carb will make me gain a lot fat.
        it does happen to me. this is my body so i know better than you. may high fat diet work for me and not work for you. i ate 7000calorie aday. coconut milk. butter. alot more animal fat. carb below 50gram a day

  7. Hi.  I hope you will look again at the validity of the low carb diet studies.   For the studies you quoted, Bray was apparently on a mission to downplay the importance of carbohydrate restriction by producing a red herring (protein) in his study.  To that end he controlled the % of carbohydrates in his studies.  Using this same data, Dr. Richard Feinman
    proved that it was actually the carbs that were the deciding factor in fat accumulation – so the Bray study is suspect. 

    And for the Christopher Gardner Standford study, please  see his video, which will give you a much stronger sense in the value of a low carb diet – and this is from Dr. Gardner, who is a vegan!
    He was very conservative in the wording of his written conclusions, but if you look at the video, you’ll see that he saw significantly better weight loss in the first year and a significant relative improvement in health indications for women who were on the Atkins diet.

    One out of every 4 or 5 Swedes are on low carb diets.  See this video on Dr. Eeenfeldt’s conclusions.  Low carb is here to stay – no longer a fad diet.

  8. Julia, you obviously have not read her book!!!!  It is actually a very well-balanced approach to breaking free from the raging sugar-addictions most of us experience.  Her advice is to re-calibrate our system – mainly our insulin.  Yes, those who follow her plan will have to go without carbs for an entire week, and will slowly reintroduce them back in to find their personal tipping point.  Sounds pretty reasonable to me.  Let’s face it – with rising numbers in obesity and diabetes, our health care system is going to be so burdened, it will not be sustainable.  I think the fact that Dr. Turner is actually trying to help people is remarkable.  Her advice is sound.  What are you doing Julia Belluz, for the greater good of people?  When you accurately test your blood sugars etc, follow her plan for 3 months, and re-test all your sugars, insulin levels, weight, body fat etc – then report back to us.  Until them, maybe you should focus on becoming a better journalist!  

    • I agree totally with J. I am a diabetic no different from the other millions in North America. Having battled weight loss and sugar levels for years while spending countless hours in the gym, I was introduced to the Hormone diet in November 2011. It is now April 2012 and I am 40 pounds lighter and finally (thanks to this diet) my sugar levels are under control and I have reduced my insulin. So now I have reason to celebrate a few things.  I feel great, I am healthy and eat much smarter plus I feel so much better knowing I am helping to ease the strain on our health care system by being HEALTHY which this is all about. I think Dr Turner should be awarded a medal.
       Julia maybe you should try this program. I don’t consider it a diet but a new healthy way of life.

      Miles Gallagher

      • I too am diabetic, I too lost considerable weight on a low carb diet but then the weight loss stopped and thh weight came back on. The reason is simple, the weight loss was due to the calories I was not consuming from carbs. Then my body adapted to low carbs and started getting those calories from other foods that I ate. Controlling carb intake, both quantity and type, is necessary to control diabetes. It is NOT suitable or successful as a weight loss diet. There is no miracle cure for obesity, despite all the ones that have been and are still being sold to the gullible. Weight loss is dependant on the simple equation of calories consumed versus calories burned, however starvation diets are equally NOT the answer. Patience is key, as weight loss must be gradual if it is to be permanent. There is no great magic or knowledge needed and certainly no billion dollar diet products industry necessary. Lifestyle change is probably the closest description of what is necessary, but moderation and patience are the key components.

        • No, you lost weight because reducing the amount of simple carbs improves insulin sensitivity issues. It has very little to do with calories at all.
          Lowering the intake of simple carbs (starches) is an eminently successful way to lose weight (who said it’s a “miracle” besides you?), gives your pancreas a break, and has a whole host of positive benefits. Who appointed you a diet guru anyway?

    • I just finished reading the book. It was amazing. I am going to her clinic on July 4th. I will keep you posted. I do believe I will get better(currently diabetic and even 8 blueberries) is too much fo me to handle right now. So I agree, somneone should actually follow the plan for 3 months before insulting the medical practices of a woman who has helped so many people get healthier.

  9. I am truly saddened when I see
    such an article written especially in a popular Canadian magazine such as
    MACLEANS and by a supposedly award winning and recognized journalist.
     I for one applaud well documented and factual journalism that uncovers
    fraudulent motives and inconsistencies to provide the truth to its readers.
    Unfortunately this is not one of them and far from it for that matter. The very
    title seems hurtful and a personal attack on the author. I have no financial
    interest to gain if this specific book sells or not, however to criticize it
    without doing due diligence and research is to do an injustice
    to journalism itself and is really an insult to MACLEANS readers. I
    truly believe that if you choose to be print something as a journalist ie.
    doing your job than you should be held accountable for researching the facts
    from reliable sources not printing long held misconceptions and misinformation.


    It is not a revelation that the
    North American high carb diet has lead to multiple health issues in the last
    fifty years. Adult onset diabetes, obesity, heart disease, etc can be directly
    correlated to the increase in carbohydrate consumption namely processed
    carbohydrate. Our bodies react somewhat differently when we ingest different
    types of macro nutrients, namely proteins, fats, or carbohydrates. Insulin
    being a storage hormone is secreted in higher amounts with a greater intake of
    carbohydrates…I don’t think i really have to explain the glycemic index/load
    and how it affects insulin and fat storage…this would part of the research
    that should have been done. Not to mention the many, many studies showing the
    thermic affect of foods and how a calorie is not JUST a calorie (i.e does 500
    calories of pizza illicit the same hormonal reaction as 500 calories of
    chicken, olive oil and veggies?). Even if you remove the issue of weight, how
    does the person feel? Mood? Libido? Strength? Sleep? Cravings? These are all
    issues that Dr. Turner discusses. What about changes in lean muscle mass versus
    adipose tissue (fat!). It’s not that difficult to see that by eating specific
    foods you can control hormonal output such as insulin and cortisol, which in
    turn can affect ones ability to lose or gain bodyfat. There are studies upon
    studies showing the benefit of a lower carb diet, not to mention the
    improvement in blood lipid profile, insulin sensitivity (type 2 diabetes),
    cortisol levels, liver function etc. There are many credible articles written
    by recognized nutritional experts…all showing a low carb diet leads to better
    body composition, better health, and longevity. Charles Poliquin, Dr Johnny
    Bowden, The Weston A Price Foundation, Gary Taubes, Dr. William Davis, Brad King…the list goes

    Choosing the types of food we eat…namely types of carbohydrates will
    determine our body composition to a large degree. As a national level athlete I
    can tell you that the difference is dramatic. Training and performing at an
    elite level requires optimal nutrition and body composition…excess fat does
    not lend itself to improved performance…neither does limited or reduced
    energy levels, high cortisol levels, low testosterone etc. It is quite evident
    that what we have been eating for the last few decades is doing us harm.
    Chemical and pesticides in our food, genetically modified foods, toxic heavy
    metals, growth hormones and antibiotics in our meat and milk all contribute to
    negative health effects. Detoxing is an attempt to address these issues. Do
    you really believe that you can’t reduce toxins in your body by eliminating a
    specific food group? Really…so the amount of mercury or PCB levels in the
    body will not be reduced by removing many types of fish? Seriously…it’s only
    common sense. 

    As for your argument about the
    Atkins diet failing to eliminate obesity with the removal of carbs … well, correlation
    is not exactly causation. If ice cream consumption goes up at the same time
    that reports of drowning does, does this mean that ice cream causes drowning?
    Or with the advent of legislation making many acts criminal, why are we not
    living in a crime-free society? You don’t need a PhD to figure out that most
    diets work mainly because the person is sticking to some type of eating plan,
    after all consistency is key. But to what extent do they work, how long do they
    continue to work, and overall what is the result when it comes to body
    composition and health? We can choose to attack those that differ from what
    society and the food companies have been pushing for decades or we can open our
    minds and attempt to learn something that just may benefit us and society. Yes
    this is a diet book and yes it is written to sell…this is a capitalist economy
    is it not? But please don’t shoot the author for following the exact same rules
    that you adhere to as a journalist. The book is actually well written and
    includes many informed ideas that may help many people. It’s not the cure for
    cancer nor will eliminate obesity in our society…but prior to judging it or
    any other book for that matter…you should give the program an honest try.

    I’ve been an
    athlete and nutritional consultant for over 30 years and have tried many
    different diets both personally and with my clients and can attest to which
    ones work. The truth is, a lower carb diet is on the top of the list. More specifically, eating the type of amount of carbs to suit the person’s metabolism, activity levels, hormonal profile and goals. Here’s an
    idea…for the sake of argument why not be held accountable…read the entire book,
    research the above authors, have a look at a documentary called “Fat Head”,
    watch a seminar on youtube called Science for Smart People, learn how specific
    macro nutrients affect the body and how the body utilizes energy sources and at
    the end make an informed intelligent decision…something that should have been
    done in the first place…or does that not sell magazines? Try it, and you may just feel your best.

    • Why not tell people to smarten up, pay attention, eat sensibly (like the meal described in the article), practice self-control, and exercise. Or does that not seel nutritional consulting appointments?

      • sell*

        • If it were as easy as that the everyone would be in shape…and wouldn’t need  Dr Turners book or services for that matter….but its not always just about simply eating sensibly(define sensibly)…it can be much more complicated than that. Do people seek out assistance from a tax accountant if they have complicated taxes…of course..or do you suggest that they just smarten up and do it themselves and end up paying through the nose? Or do you think it might be prudent to spend a few dollars for expertise and get back ten fold. A wise decision for most. What sells consulting services is return on investment…testimonials for previous patients or clientele, of which there or more than plenty in this case.

          • “are more than plenty”

          • Dr. Turner’s book is for someone like me. I DO eat a very healthy, balanced diet. I watch what I eat very carefully. I am VERY busy with three children under three, and I am breast feeding…. and i CAN NOT lose weight and I also suffer from anxiety. I believe this is ALL due to hormonal imbalances. I am not following the diet not because I want to lose weight, but I want to feel my best. I want to control my anxiety, have enough energy to take care of my children, and I of course want my body to get down to a healthy weight. For me the diet is easy, as I already eat a healthy whole food diet, and I only need to omit the starchy carbs and reintroduce them by following the 6 week program. I really hope this is the answer I am looking for and have faith in Dr. Turner.

  10. “According to Science-ish, this means you are probably human.” – That line alone was worth the price of admission. :-)

  11. I think I just read the dumbest review of a book ever written. To waste any more time commenting on Julia Belluz remarks is an insult to all  our intelligence. I guess we are not all unique individuals to which carbs or any foods respond differently. 

    Maybe your trying to sell more magazines for Maclean’s by slinging childish garbage at people that are trying to help this world.

    John Sell

  12. THANK GOD for your article. I just saw Dr. Turner on Global promoting her program and as a registered dietitian, got very frustrated for what she was saying. There is no such thing is “carb sensitivity” nor it is it practical for anyone to prick your finger for “insulin sprikes”.

    It’s fad diets like these that make the public confused on whether “bread makes me fat”, “I’m avoiding rice to help me lose weight”. TV programs should not be promoting such diets, you don’t need a book to learn how to lose weight.

    • Of course why would anyone educate themselves on health and nutrition…we can all just follow the Canad Food Guide and wonder why we get obese,  atherosclerosis , and adult onset diabetes. How about 6-8 grain products daily, cooking with inflammatory oils such as canola and soybean, and avoiding healthy saturated fats…wonderful idea. People its time to educates ourselves and take control of our health. We have been mislead for so long it becomes a long and difficult battle to convince so called experts that what is being recommended is not healthy. 
      Here is an excellent article that may enlighten many…



    • One of those registered dieticians who would give hospitalized diabetics Jello for lunch perhaps, or other processed junk full of additives and preservatives based on outdated values for proteins, carbs and fats and ignores real nutritional issues?
      One of those registered dieticians whose answer to the weight loss issue is to just “consume fewer calories”… Uh huh. That’s the advice that created the whole yo-yo dieting problem to begin with.
      Now that holistic nutritional information is being made available through Orthomolecular Medicine websites and journals and by people like Dr. Turner, people can find solutions that actually work long term, not only for weight loss but for improved health and wellness. 

      • Whether you like it or it is convenient for you to think not, consuming les calories than we burn is the one and only way to lose weight. The yoyo dieting problem was caused simply by people selling and buying fad weight loss plans. Too many people want a miracle diet or such, something easy. They are deservably preyed on by the snake oil purveyors in exchange for their laziness.

    • Why Eating Like a Dietitian May Not Be the Best Way to Eatby Esther Blum MS,RD,CDN,CNS
      Life as an Integrative Dietitian is never dull. For starters, I’m a big hit at cocktail parties. Complete strangers divulge their bathroom habits to me, completely unsolicited. I am the laughing stock of my non-industry friends who see me pop supplements like a junkie on the streets. And, I love to write about what are considered to be controversial topics by the mainstream. Which means I’m also at complete discord with my (non-integrative) dietitian colleagues.

      The USDA considers RDs to be experts on the subject of nutrition. But the USDA heavily influences the curriculum of the dietetics association, which means there isn’t much in the way of holistic nutrition in mainstream nutrition education. When I received my MS in Clinical Nutrition in the early 1990’s, low fat eating was the diatribe, along with “everything in moderation.” Not much has changed since then in the dietetics profession, and the nation’s obesity levels continue to rise steadily. In order to create changes in the eating habits of our nation, we need to understand where the information comes from to begin with.

      I went online and looked up articles on what a typical RD eats on a daily basis. Here are some of the results I found:

      Breakfast: 1 cup black coffee, 2 cups Bran Flakes OR 1-2 slices whole wheat toast with 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 1 cup skim milk? Snack: Blueberry non-fat yogurt?
      Lunch: 2 cups carrots or raw veggies or salad with ½ cup 2% cottage cheese OR 1/4 cup hummus OR 2 tablespoons dressing (or, sometimes a small sandwich). 1 cup fresh fruit (strawberries/grapes/orange/melon)?and 3 tablespoons nuts (peanuts or almonds) or?Triscuits or Granola Bar. Snack: Apple? Dinner: Broccoli with cheese, fish or poultry (no red meat), salad, whole wheat dinner roll or brown rice, diet soda. Microwaved frozen veggies in a Ziploc steam bag.
      Night Snack (some days): Varies. Light ice cream, fudgesicles, yogurt, nectarines, clementines, graham cracker goldfish, flavored seltzer.
      If the average American follows this meal plan, they can expect the following:

      -Body composition of 25-30% body fat
      -Inability to build muscle tissue
      -Poor energy levels
      -Poor sleep
      -Hunger and cravings between meals
      -Impaired detoxification pathways

      This diet is excessively high in processed foods, carbohydrates and sugar, and totally deficient in protein, quality fats, fiber, and antioxidants. So even though it’s not fast food, eating this way long-term will leave you just as malnourished and unhealthy. Let’s take a good look at four simple ways to make over this meal plan and improve the health of our people.

      1. Quit cold cereals and starch-heavy breakfasts. Charles Poliquin is king of the meat and nuts breakfast, and for good reason: it works. Eating protein and nuts at breakfast gradually increases the body’s energy levels and mental focus by raising neurotransmitters throughout the morning. Adding quality fats like raw nuts provide trace minerals that help stabilize blood sugar. Balanced blood sugar means sustained energy all day long—without the dreaded 3pm crash or nighttime cravings. It’s not only adults who benefit from this; children who eat this way will enjoy improved cognitive benefits and live (relatively) tantrum-free. Rotate your proteins and nuts to avoid potential food sensitivities down the road and keep life more interesting.

      2. Eat protein throughout the day to support adrenal function and detoxify the body. The detoxification pathways in the liver are based on a two-phase system that requires amino acids to work. Phase I requires glutathione, N-acetylcysteine to function; Phase II requires glutathione, glycine, glutamine, methionine, taurine, glutamic acid, and aspartic acid. Inadequate levels of these amino acids from dietary protein means decreased liver function and detoxification. Detoxification is essential for hormonal regulation, deep sleep, balanced biochemistry and digestive wellness.

      3. Do not use a microwave and never heat foods in plastic containers. Microwaving is a controversial topic. A 2010 study showed that microwaved vegetables retained more phenolic compounds than boiled vegetables, because nutrients were leached out of the water they were cooked in. On the flip side, a 2007 study in the Journal of Food Science showed that microwave heating induced acrylamide formation- a carcinogenic compound that can damage the nervous system. Adding water can greatly accelerate the loss of nutrients when cooking any food, so methods like steaming or low-heat sautéing will enable vegetables to retain their antioxidant status.
      When cooking foods, use a chemically inert container like stainless steel, enamel-coated cast iron, glass, or clay pots. Plastic containers, especially when heated, leach harmful Bisphenol-A—a hormonal disruptor that mimics the effects of estrogen and gets stored in fat cells.

      4. Eat dark green leafy vegetables every day. I hail to kale at least three times per week because it is one of the mostly nutritiously verdant vegetables you can eat. Kale is alkalizing in the body, and facilitates the liver’s ability to eliminate environmental toxins. You can enjoy kale two simple ways:

      Kale chips- Tear one head of kale leaves into small, bite-size pieces. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. Spread on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.

      Kale smoothies- In a Vitamix, toss in ½ head of kale, 1 cup almond milk and ½ cup water, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, 1 scoop chocolate whey protein, and ½ cup fresh blueberries. Blend on high for 10 seconds.


      Yuan Y, Chen F, Zhao GH, Liu J, Zhang HX, Hu XS. A comparative study of acrylamide formation induced by microwave and conventional heating methods. J Food Sci 2007 May;72(4):C212-6.

      © 2012 Poliquin

      • Now that you have dismissed, rightly or wrongly, the approach of registered dieticians, how do you account for the lower obesity levels before we had the holistic approach/diet being peddled by people like yourself? Did we somehow lose the holistic “knowledge” that you and others are now trying to cram down our throats? I suggest to you that you have a vested interest in people not accepting simple truths about their lifestyles, just like the billion dollar miracle diet/exercise industry of which you are just another offshoot.

        • Kindly prove that obesity levels were lower before holistic nutrition… what nonsense. Nobody is cramming anything down your throat. It’s the registered dieticians who have been wrong for decades, along with their pandering to the processed food industry that has done most of the damage. And the exercise industry is certainly not to blame, as they are not promoting any “miracles” — just exercise, which may be too bothersome for couch potatoes.
          The author of the book is not touting any “miracles” either. Just sensible nutrition. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it and don’t follow her advice.

      • Now this is sensible advice! Thanks for posting.

  13. Really? You are going to dismiss the theories presented by Turner as “bunk”, and claim unscrupulous peddling in the same breath that you are offering us 20 issues of Macleans for $20.00?? You dumb fart!!

    • You are embarassing yourself Nancy with playground crudity. I somehow doubt that you subscribed so more importantly there is no relevance to your comment.

  14. I have just bought the book and am reading it. So far the things I am reading make sense. I do believe we eat far to many carbs in the average North American diet and I agree with what was said earlier that paying attention to what you eat will help you lose weight on its own just because you are …well, paying attention.

    This isn’t my first diet, change in diet, attempt to lose weight, workout session at the gym, etc. But this is my first time being 50+ and my first time struggling to get the results I want. You think there might be a connection? Just ask almost any 50+ year old woman and you will get a yes.

    My biggest concern with what Dr. Turner is promoting in her book is “How easy is this going to be to carry out?” Even if this is the answer I am not so sure I am going to be able to easily find Ezekiel bread, Allegro 4% cheese, unpasteurized miso paste, Zevia All Natural Ginger Root Beer, almond butter, goat yogurt and several other things. Maybe they are more readily available than I think because I have clearly been buying the wrong stuff at my neighbourhood grocery store for decades now. Along with this eating pattern I am going to have a whole bunch of other rules to follow. And how do I get these tests done?  I don’t know about everyone else but my experience with some other eating plans has been less than stellar because like most humans, I tend to do what is at least somewhat easy and familiar to me. And of course I my hormones are out of whack. I am a menopausal woman. hahha

    There has got to be an easier way.

  15. Whatever happened to balanced journalism? This attempt at an article breaks half the rules covered on day-one of journalism school. Smarten up, Belluz!

    • And you are an authority because you edit which national newspaper/publication?

      • Phillip please do some research prior to dismissing anything based on mediocre journalism….there is an incredible amount of information on the topic that supports the book…from extremely credible resources.

  16. Julia, I am amazed at some of the comments on this article. You are 100% right and yet there sadly are people out there who, for whatever reasons, are in denial or believe that they are so infallible that they could not possibly be wrong in their thinking. Perhaps they need to justify their unhealthy preferences or, despite all the claims to the contrary, they DO have a personal or financial stake in the success/popularity of yet another worthless book and fad diet?

  17. Very disappointed with Maclean’s (and the authors) article and comments. With the number of people who are developing diabetes rising daily, it is important to spread awareness about carb and sugar sensitivity. It is sad that this article describes the notion of carb sensitivity as one of the dumbest fad diets. It is the furthest thing from a fad. It should be described as a revelation. One day this author will regret sending out such a poor message, especially as studies continue to show that processed foods (especially refined flour and sugar) have so many negative affects on the body. Our ancestors definitely never had access to processed carbs, so what makes anyone think all of our bodies suddenly developed an ability to break down unnatural refined foods? “We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons”. Mad Magazine

  18. I think that the author of this Mclean article is contradicting herself. First she says that what is written in the book is not going to work and that the syptoms described in the books are felt for any human. After that desqualification and doubts spreads in our mind she describes one of the diets recomended in the book and states that anyone eating that would lose some pounds. After reading that I’m like whaaaaat! is this person writing about?

    well she needs to make up her mind about what is written in the book, does it work or doesn’t?
    We can not just get on with life without taking care of ourselves. Our health is our most precious asset. In order to have dreams, love, life, we need to be healthy.
    I would reccommend the author of the book to condense it though.
    I’m not friend of people that writes just to create noise to maintain her/himself in the media. It is better to be true to common beliefs

  19. Well it seems that the writer went into writing this article with a specific bias and put very little effort into challenging this bias in exploring the topic of the carb sensitivity diet. There is really little left me to comment on. It’s all been said really. However, just out of respect to your fellow journalists, if you want to write a scathing article about a topic you look down your nose at, the least you could have done (if not thorough research) was to use proper grammar. Please note. “There ARE reams of evidence-based literature” NOT “There is reams..” .

  20. Exercising will help you tone up your body and build muscle. Being active gets you away from
    the temptations of the fridge and it also provides a natural mood
    boost: much healthier than chocolate. Many dieters also find that
    exercise provides extra motivation to stick to a healthy eating plan if you’ve just been jogging for an hour, you’ll be reluctant to undo
    that hard work by eating junk. Thanks.


  21. For a well researched book in support of the carb sensitivity paradigm please read WHY WE GET FAT.

  22. I’m a Nutritional Therapist and I think you are too harsh. She is trying to simplify complex issues. Many symptoms such as addictions, nervous system disorders, etc… are a combination of blood sugar fluctuations, food sensitivities and poor liver detoxification. You may want to read the book called “Optimum Nutrition for the Mind” by Patrick Holford. A detox program is simply to support the liver with the nutrients it needs so that it can properly detoxify. Feel free to look up the nutrients that are needed for the different liver detoxification pathways. You may also want to look up how xenoestrogens can over stimulate our hormone receptor sites and lead to cancer and hormonal imbalances. It’s very sad that you are so critical without considering the amount of education and knowledge a person has in order to write such a wonderful book!

  23. I’m actually quite sad that I’m joining this conversation one year after this article was written, but as it stands, I only recently bought the book and started trying the diet….and merely stumbled upon this article while doing a google search. Needless to say, it’s quite disturbing to see such poor journalism in a reputed magazine such as this. I decided to try this diet for many reasons in addition to wanting to loose a few pounds and get in better shape….but I’ve only been following it for 2 weeks, and am seeing a drastic difference in how “well” I feel overall. Furthermore, my education is in medical sciences – so I’m sure I can also vouch for the fact that some of the theories this diet considers are pretty factual….which makes one question the background of the journalist who actually writes this “Science-ish” column. I urge you to please be more careful when throwing unqualified opinions around.

  24. What the book does, is educate people on HOW to eat healthier and provides good examples via the recipes. If only our MD’s could/would do that, as opposed to simply prescribing medications for depression etc that actually contribute to the vicious circle, we’d see a lot healthier society. This book doesn’t promote a fad diet per se, it actually guides you into a healthier lifestyle and how can that be construed as negative?

  25. Dear Julia,
    I am assuming that you have little to no scientific training. I am an undergrad student who just finished studying about certain aspects of the metabolism based on sound biochemical principals. I must admit I have not read the entire book, so I can’t say if it is garbage as you seem to claim, but I am sure you didn’t either so we are probably on equal grounds. I did read a little bit of it and was intrigued by how it seemed to be based off of certain studies, just dumbed down so people like you could hopefully understand it. I was hoping she might site some articles so I could look into them, but sadly she didn’t at least not that I could find. Different sugars are used by the body in different ways. For example if you eat 100 grams of fructose vs 100 grams of glucose, your body WILL take more of those fructose molecules and turn them into fat than it would glucose which will most likely go to your liver which contributes to diabetes and fatty liver disease. There is a difference between fat accumulating in the liver and fat accumulating in fat cells. I am assuming this was here reference to belly fat. There is no way to target actually belly fat of course though, like you stated. All of these are facts backed up with peer reviewed science and seem to be the premise of the book. There were many problems with the atkins diet which is one of the worst ones I have seen for so many reasons. The only way I would do something like that was if I had Alzheimer’s or something similar. I haven’t studied anything about detox diets so I can’t say anything, but I would probably agree with you that they aren’t worth looking into. And no. We would not all be thin because even though we start a diet, we clearly don’t stick to them. One thing I like about the idea of monitoring what KIND of calories we eat is that fructose also doesn’t produce a response with gastrin/cck which affect how hungry you are which is probably a large reason people stop following a diet or overeat: they feel like they are still hungry even after eating. If I seem a bit harsh towards you, I am sorry, but if you take it upon yourself to call someones work “The dumbest” anything, you have lost any respect I could possibly have for you. Mind you, had you backed up ANYTHING you said with actual science, it would bear looking into, but you didn’t. You just called someone an idiot. One excellent resource you or anyone wanting better overall health could look at (although the guy who gave the presentation did go a little overboard in emphasizing his point) is a video called Sugar: The bitter truth. I don’t agree with 100% of what he said, but he at least based his claims on studies and pointed out the faults in studies that opposed his claims. It was recommended to my class by my biochemistry professor who has a PHD on the subject, so it probably is pretty good. Anyways, I hope you start writing better pieces than this, although a brief glance at a resume of your other works tells me very quickly that you are a hack. Have a good day.