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Dieting with a French accent

March 09, 2014

It’s not true that French women don’t get fat, but the best-selling diet book is fun and, who knows, may help some people lose a few pounds.

The other day we came across a yellowing paperback copy of The Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet by Dr. Herman Tarnower. It’s an interesting artifact of dieting as it was practiced 25–30 years ago. Tarnower’s 1,000-calorie-a-day diet was ardently antifat, cutting normal consumption by half. Today, of course, carbohydrates are the forbidden fruit of the diet world. And in nutrition circles, the stress is on separating “good” fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) from “bad” ones (saturated and trans fats). Tarnower was also very strict, detailing exactly what should be eaten during the 14-day weight-loss period and brooking few substitutions.

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