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Carbohydrate Addict's Diet

What It Is

The remarkable success of The Carbohydrate Addict's Diet -- by Rachael Heller, MD, and Richard Heller, MD, and first published in 1993 -- led to a handful of best-selling books. Each is based on a single theory: Many overweight people are "carbohydrate addicts." Among these people, biological processes that convert food into energy fail to perform as they are supposed to and, the Hellers say, "for reasons that are not yet clearly understood, sustained high levels of insulin in the blood result." The elevated insulin, according to their theory, makes carbohydrate addicts crave food throughout the day. But a big question -- why does this condition create carbohydrate craving? -- is not answered.

Given the premise, the Hellers claim that this is not a diet for everybody -- only for those with this metabolic imbalance that they call "carbohydrate addiction." However, their "documented research" shows that 75% of overweight adults identify themselves as "carbohydrate addicts," but they maintain that the actual figure may be as high as 85%. Alas, these theories on addiction and the related figures are not founded on scientific research.

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