"And if we did it by merely replacing milk and cheese and fatty meat with carbohydrates, with pasta and potatoes and rice," Taubes says, the theory was that we would live longer, and be thinner.
So, one of the top goals listed in the original dietary goals: eat more carbs.
"In retrospect, it's kind of amazing, but this was the thinking at the time," Taubes says.
Now, to be fair, the kinds of carbs the authors of the guidelines had in mind were whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
But this message was lost in translation. What did Americans hear? Fat is bad; carbs are good.
I have memories of going to the store as a kid and finding "FAT FREE" on my candy - and thinking "well, it must be healthy," and then proceeding to have all the sugar.
Sugar absolutely made me who I am today.
And carbs. Because pasta. With fake butter. Because dieting, right?