Bacon instead of buttered toast. An ode to the gluten-free lifestyle from 1863


GlutenfreeMcDonalds makes  the Atkins diet easy to follow, says John McDougall, the California-based author of ‘The Starch Solution’.

“Simply drive by a fast food window, order a burger, throw away the bun, and scrape off the pickles and ketchup, and you’re on the diet,” he advises, only half in jest.

Complicated diets are hard for most people. Luckily, most diets share this feature: They advise avoidance of refined sugars and grains.

This because, as Melinda Wenner Moyer’s excellent Aeon magazine piece explains, carbs catalyse the unfortunate sequence of physiological events that causes the overproduction of insulin. The hormone converts food into stored fat, which simply makes us hungrier than before, causing is to eat even more.

However trendy the gluten-free industry makes it, the correlation between good health and low-carb diets has been faddish from as far back as the mid-1800s. In 1863, portly London undertaker William Banting wrote a public ‘Letter on Corpulence’, boasting about his weight-loss success, caused by shunning foods containing “starch and saccharine matter” and swapping buttered toast for bacon.

Jack Kerouac

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life”
– Jack Kerouac