When it comes to alternative eating and low-carb diets, what is the appeal of alternative diets? When it comes to low-carb diets, stories from those adhering to the diets suggest there is more to the story than calorie counting. Some are drawn to low-carb diets for a variety of reasons, including self-care. Check out the abstract below, and then click through to the main article to learn more:
Making sense of low-carb diets
The appeal of alternative diets – stories of carbohydrate-conscious eaters regarding motives, credibility of dietary advice and the authority of experiences
Peer-reviewed research by: Marjaana Jones & Piia Jallinoja
Low-carbohydrate diets promote the idea that reducing carbohydrate intake is a key to a healthier life and more natural way to eat. The proponents of these diets form food communities, which share common ideas about food, put forward their own ‘alternative’ expertise and challenge mainstream dietary advice. This study focuses on the perspectives of self-identified followers of low-carbohydrate diets. We explore their rationales for choosing the diet and how they navigate between different sources of dietary information. The data consists of open-ended responses (n=996) to a food survey published in a leading national Finnish newspaper. The responses have been analyzed using thematic narrative analysis. Our results highlight how uncertainties and disappointments can increase the appeal of ‘alternative’ diets and expertise. Low-carbohydrate diets are used as a form of self-care, illness prevention, risk management and weight loss by people with chronic conditions and lingering symptoms. They offer a sense of control, an alternative to medications and bring together communities of like minded people. The stories intertwine with health populist discourses, casting doubt on traditional experts. In a world of complex food systems and conflicting information the diets offer clear explanations. Additionally, the results emphasise the credibility and authority of lived experiences.
Click here to read the full open-access article, published in 2021 in the journal Food, Culture & Society.
Full Reference //
Marjaana Jones & Piia Jallinoja (2022) The appeal of alternative diets – stories of carbohydrate-conscious eaters regarding motives, credibility of dietary advice and the authority of experiences, Food, Culture & Society.
This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).Knowledge Stitch amplifies open-access peer-reviewed academic research. If you have research you would like readers to check out, click here to suggest your work.