So I got into a bit of a 'discussion' on the Weighty Matters site with a woman who calls herself CarbSane. It was essentially a lesson in arguing with a zealot. Now I will admit, I'm low carb biased. But CS, is a strange one to deal with. Argue a different interpretation of a study and she will sidestep, or berate.
My point in commenting in the first place was to say that the initial commenter was wrong in calling Gary Taubes a snake oil salesman. He is not trying to sell anything other than his book and frankly he could have made more money writing a diet book based on some stupid premise (eat a grapefruit and mars bar at every meal and you'll lose weight) and made more money. Instead, he researched a wide-ranging topic for 5 or more years and came up with a very intelligent book.
Argue if you want with his conclusions, that's fine. But the commenter's insistence that he is a con man makes little sense. A con man tells people what they want to hear. Sure the low carb community wanted to hear what Taubes said but it's a far smaller community than the mainstream.
Personally, I think Taubes makes a fairly compelling case that carbohydrates, especially refined grains and sugars are more important to watch if you want to lose weight than calories. And my own experience of losing 30 pounds WITHOUT counting calories convinces me that he is correct. Also, the studies that I have looked at show that not only does the low carb calorie unrestricted diet result in as good or better weight loss than other diets, it also seems to improve a lot of other health markers (hdl cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure) again as well or better than other diets.
Do I think that means someone could eat a 5000 calorie diet a day and not gain weight as long as the carb count is very low? I don't know, but I think there is reason to believe that IF you could get someone to eat that much without raising increasing the absolute amount of carbs, it may be possible. The point that Taubes is making is not that you can eat 5,000 calories a day, it's that you can eat as much as you want (ie. to satiety) and not gain weight and possibly lose weight if you restrict the carbs. My personal experience has shown that to be the case.