Scientists justifyably dislike anecdotal evidence--the experience of a single individual like Eisenhower. Nonetheless, such cases can raise interesting issues. Eisenhower died of heart disease in 1969, age seventy eight. By then, he'd had another half-dozen heart attacks or, technically speaking, myocardial infarctions. Whether his diet extended his life will never be known. It certainly didn't lower his cholesterol, and so Eisenhower's experience raises important questions.The fact that Taubes is willing to argue against anecdotal evidence as anything more than a starting place is good, and lends him credibility in his stance. What I haven't liked, however, is his constant references to himself as a lone voice of dissent. I hope once I get into the meat of the book that he'll focus more on the evidence and less on his own words. Judging by the impressive 66-page bibliography, I suspect this to be true.
As I mentioned above, I'm skeptical of Taubes' claims regarding this diet; however, in the interest of open experimentation and to legitimately show that I'm not completely discounting his claims, I'm going to try to follow a low-carb diet suggested in his book for the summer (3 months). My roommate has been on this diet previously and has volunteered to do it with me to help keep me motivated and to make sure I'm following the diet faithfully and safely, and I'm going to continue reading this book as I do so. I know that the results of this little mini-experiment will be highly anecdotal, so this isn't meant to be damning evidence for or against the hypothesis. This is for my own edification and curiosity. If this diet ends up helping me, great. If it does not, that's fine too. At least I'll have some solid information regarding the diet and what's best for me.
I plan on utilizing this blog as a way to track the diet and how it works for me. Trust me, not everything I write will be about this diet or my thoughts on Good Calories, Bad Calories, but I'd like to keep up with it in this way to keep myself honest and see how I've been doing. Since tonight and tomorrow there are graduation parties galore, I plan on starting the diet officially on Monday. At this point I will weigh myself and utilize the Wii Fit to track my weight and progress throughout this diet. We'll see how it works.
In the meantime, I'll keep reading this book and post my thoughts on it as they come up.