associations. For although many people will tell you they cannot eat fat you will find that it is only
in certain forms and under certain names that they refuse it.
They will eat butter, bacon and suet puddings quite happily but the words blubber, greasy food and
cold mutton fat make them queasy. The truth is that a rose by any other name does not smell as
sweet and we are all extremely sensitive to word-associations, pleasant and unpleasant.
Today the word “fat” itself has come under nearly as strong a taboo as blubber and tallow in years
gone by. But notice that it is not fat itself which is disliked but only what people think of as “fat.”
The man who cuts the fat off his ham will admit to being very fond of steak pudding and the woman
who “can’t stand that greasy Spanish food ” will cheerfully polish off a couple of chocolate sundaes.
In fact, the consumption of edible fats has risen steadily over the years both here and in the United
States, but the rise has been mainly in the consumption of “invisible” fats, contained in bacon, lean
meat, fish, cheese, milk, eggs, ice-cream, chocolate, cakes, biscuits, nuts and mayonnaise.
Visible fat consumption has gone up too but more in respect of popularly approved fats-butter,
cooking fats and oils, margarine-than the unpopular animal fats, lard, ham fat, mutton fat and beef
fat and dripping.
So opposition to fat is apparent rather than real and anyone who starts to eat a high-fat diet can do
so without offending their tastes by choosing-at first anyway-those foods high in “invisible” or
“approved” fats which they like already.
After a week or two on a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet they will be surprised to find that they will
develop a taste for fat of all kinds and will relish the fat crackling on pork and the fat layer on a
joint of roast beef. They will have got back to the ideal diet of their forefathers and will be living on
the fat of the land.
Lately, too, the false story that fats predispose to heart disease has tended to put people off the
visible fats which they think of as “fat” in the obvious sense.
Lastly, the third personal objection: the fat person’s craving for starch and sweet things.
Carbohydrate foods are the cheapest foods and are most readily to hand for snacks. Therefore, if
people are going to overeat, whether for social or emotional reasons, they will probably tend to
overeat starch and sugar.
These are the obvious reasons why fat people tend to eat a lot of sweet things. They like what they
are accustomed to and these things are forever being pressed on them by well meaning friends and
relations. There is, however, a more fundamental reason why a fat person should overeat starch and
sugar. This was hinted at in Chapter Two, where it was explained that a person fattens easily
because his body is unable to deal with carbohydrate properly. Turn back to the discussion about
the block that prevents the fat person utilising carbohydrates and stored fat for energy.
It would appear that owing to this block the fat man on a high carbohydrate diet is nearly starving in
the midst of plenty. Most of the carbohydrate he absorbs is turned into fat and accumulates in his fat
stores and he cannot easily get it out again. The rest of the tissues of his body suffer a relative
deprivation of nutriment and naturally he feels hungry and eats more. Habit, reinforced by the
cheapness and ready availability of starchy and sugary foods, ensures that he attempts to satisfy his
hunger with yet more carbohydrate which in turn forms more fat and still leaves him hungry. The
vicious circle goes on and he gets fatter.
This is so particularly when he is gaining weight or trying to get it off on a low-calorie diet
containing carbohydrate. The reason for this will be explained in a minute, after the fat cycle: