Uncoding the Da Vinci Diet

Jul 29, 2004

A baker in Portland, Maine, who lost nearly half his customers to the low-carb craze, has tapped Dan Brown's best-selling novel "The Da Vinci Code" for an Atkins alternative called the "Da Vinci Diet," which he hopes will bring people back to bread, reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

A little math theory kneaded with biblical lore from the book has transformed Stephen Lanzalotta into a dietary sage, answering the "carbohydrate question" with a series of lectures promoting his diet. Lanzalotta argues that people have been eating bread for too long for it suddenly to be the reason everyone is fat.

The Da Vinci Diet, which is not published (yet), consists mostly of Mediterranean foods --fish, cheese, vegetables, meat, nuts and wine, in addition to bread. Lanzalotta uses a complicated formula he created that relies on the value of phi, a number discovered by ancient mathematicians, used to build the pyramids and featured prominently in Brown's book. The value, 1.618, aka the "golden ratio, has long fascinated artists, philosophers and mathematicians. Taking into account factors including body type, the diet typically breaks down to 52 percent carbs, 20 percent protein and 28 percent fat. That's fewer carbohydrates and more protein than current federal guidelines