Carbophobia

edition 10 vegThis the unedited version of my article from Edition 10 of

The Australian Vegan Magazine

You can order your copy here.


“I’ve given up carbs!” my client announced proudly as he settled into my clinic office for his consult.

“Carbs?” I asked, looking a little puzzled.

“Yep! Not eating any of them.” I could see he wanted a high five but I was still confused, and a bit worried.

“So… you’re not consuming anything that comes from a plant? No fruits and vegetables at all?”

He looked at me as though I’d taken leave of my senses.

“No carbs…” he stressed, thinking perhaps I was hard of hearing. “You know, lollies and cakes and bread and pastry and soft drinks and stuff.”

I breathed a sigh of relief and happily gave him the high five he’d been waiting for. Then I took some time to make sure he understood the difference between healthy and unhealthy “carb” sources.

This conversation took place many years ago and it’s happened many times since. Some people gloat with saintly pride when they conquer those devilish carbs. Others declare shame-filled defeat at having been corrupted by evil incarnate. This irrational fear of carbohydrates is described in the Urban Dictionary as a current “source of great hysteria. Carbophobia has reached such levels it’s become its own religion.” From where I’m standing, carbophobia seems like an ever-expanding nutritional black hole that is sucking people in and making valuable nutrients disappear into thin air. When I ask people to define what they mean when they say “carbs”, the definition is different every time and it’s making less and less sense as each year rolls by. Continue reading