Nutritionist Joy Barnett, was Honorary Secretary of the Food Education Society, when she wrote the companion for Dr Richard Mackarness’ Eat Fat Grow Slim EAT FAT AND GROW SLIM, published in 1960.

His foreward can be regarded as a recap on the diet and this segways neatly into Joy Barnett’s first chapter, ‘ ‘ A New Way of Eating’ .


Pearl barley
Breakfast cereals
Crispbread (thinner Norwegian crispbreads xcepted)
Macaroni and other pasta
Rice (except a small serving of boiled rice with appropriate dishes instead of potatoes), Rice pudding
Cakes and buns of all kinds
Dried vegetables such as peas, beans, lentils
Dried fruits such as prunes, figs
Canned fruits in heavy syrup
Confectionery of all kinds
Jam, honey and marmalade (unless sweetened with saccharin)
Ice cream
Malted milk and other bedtime drinks
Soups and sauces thickened with flour


Broad beans
Sausages which have any bread or cereal content

Many people will be aghast at several foods on this list!


Meats of all kinds including offal, bacon and ham
Fish of all kinds, especially the ‘fat fish’ like herring, salmon and sardines.
Vegetables of all kinds (except those listed for caution)
Salad greens of all kinds Including chicory and tomatoes
Fruit of all kinds (except those listed as enemies or for caution)
Dairy produce, including cheese, and especially cream cheeses, butter, single and double cream, milk.
Fats and oils, including butter, the fat of meat, lard, dripping, olive oil and frying oils.

Again, many people will look askance at ‘frying oils’.

Joy Barnett confesses to being a ‘fatten-easily’, herself, who lost weight on Dr Mackarness’ Eat Fat, Grow Slim diet.

She says: ” Let us not call this a diet. It is a new way of life, giving us – the fatten-easily’s – freedom from excess weight and freedom to enjoy the fat of the land, into the bargain. The beauty of this way of life is that not only can we lose weight easily and steadily, but that we need not put it on again’ “(her italics).

None of the recipes are carb-counted. There are a lot of offal recipes and a section of ‘economical recipes’ which often reheating leftovers, which certainly ISN’T recommended for meat, poultry, game and fish these days. Joy Barnett does seem to assume that women were the only people cooking and that they had all the time in the world, to make their own stocks.

The recipes seem sound, with occasional forays into haute cuisine. From a social history perspective, the book cost 12/-6 in 1960. For anyone reliant solely on a supermarket for fresh or frozen fish, turbot, brill, whiting and Dover sole would be pretty much impossible to find. These fish would need to be sourced from a fishmonger or fishery.

Joy Barnett talks about pheasant as being ‘ a treat’ and states that: ” rabbit has become so rare nowadays that one hardly ever sees it”. Though supermarkets don’t sell it, butchers and game dealers certainly do. A couple of wild pheasants, can be cheaper than a small organic chicken.

The book would be great for someone merely reducing their carbs. There are certainly enough recipes for someone on a low carb diet. Those on a ketogenic diet may find it a bit more difficult to use. It’s Stuffed full of recipes and has some amusing 1960s illustrations.

BUY if you can find it an affordable price.

Recipes which can be considered low carb include: Ratatouille, stuffed artichoke, fish and bacon rolls, grilled sprats, Finnish onion soup, potage Dubarry, casserole of beef, American pot roast, filets Mignons, steak tartare, poerkoelt, daubes, veal Toscana, gammon and chicory, ham with red cabbage, baked cod, fried eels, foil-baked salmon, fried oysters, crayfish in paprika butter, chicken casserole, fried chicken, braised partridge, baked pheasant, Spanish eggs, Taraba, kebabs, asparagus with Parmesan cheese, braised sprouts, courgette salad, stuffed peppers and melon salad.

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