Monday, May 30, 2005

Seattle Sutton Delivering Very Unhealthy High-Carb Meals

Eating healthy enough to lose weight can be hard to do, so let us make it easy for you.

So goes the thinking behind a place called Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating. With corporate offices in Ottawa, Illinois and delivering 6 million meals through 223 distributors in nine states, mostly in America's heartland, this business is being heralded as the next great trend in helping Americans lose weight and get healthy.

In this story that appeared in, this new meal-delivery program was lauded and praised for offering people a convenient way to lose weight. As I was reading the article, I couldn't wait to read what this "new" plan was all about. But then I found out what it was all about in a quote from the founder herself, Seattle Sutton.

"There is no other bottom line on weight loss than how many calories you consumed versus how many you expend," she said. "The low-carb craze is over — I knew it would be."

Are you kidding me? Is she making the zero sum gain argument about calories that I just educated another low-calorie advocate about on Sunday? Yep, she sure is. Plus, she took the opportunity to get her opinion in about livin' la vida low-carb. What are these people so scared of when it comes to the healthy way of eating we have chosen as an alternative to the failed low-fat/low-calorie diets?

Sutton added in the article that people need to eat "healthy portions" while "monitoring calories" in order to lose weight. This lady just doesn't get it, does she.

Despite all its fanfare and grandeur, this is nothing more than a repackaging of the same old failed eating programs that have held Americans down for so long that most of them have just given up. Putting a worn out pair of sneakers in a pretty box with a bow on it doesn't change the fact that you're still getting old shoes. The same goes for low-fat/low-calorie diets.

The President and Founder of Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating is a registered nurse and started this business in 1985 after treating so many patients with weight problems. Describing her meal plans as "revolutionary," I couldn't help but examine the nutritional content of the foods she was serving people to see what the big deal was. Boy was I disappointed, but not surprised after her "low carb craze" comment!

According to the web site, "all meals are low in fat (30% or less of total calories), low in cholesterol (300 milligrams or less), sodium restricted, and meet guidelines established by health and nutrition experts." Uh-oh! Do we have just another low-fat/low-calorie diet on our hands? OOOOOOHHH NOOOOOOO! Not THAT again!

Even more scary was a quick perusal of the carbohydrate content of these "healthy" meals. You have the option of either the 1200 calorie or 2000 calorie plan. You know, I think I'd die if I had to restrict myself to just 1200-2000 calories a day! Yikes! But I digress.

For the 1200 calorie meal plan, there are an incredibly high 180 grams of carbohydrates! But wait, it gets a lot worse when you look at the 2000 calorie meal plan. That one has a whopping 274 grams of carbohydrates. All the while you are required to drink two glasses of fat-free milk (Have you tasted this stuff? It's like white-colored water.) and, of course, eight glasses of water per day. Hey, this isn't new! And it's NOT healthy for you either!

Sutton said in the story that she enjoys hearing diabetics ordering her meal plans because she knows she is helping them deal with their disease. But low-fat/low-calorie diets can only get diabetics to suffer through their condition. Livin' la vida low-carb can help them overcome it!

But what about the ease and convenience of having healthy meals delivered to your home?

While I'm sure it's nice to have fresh gourmet meals prepared for you daily, there's a much better company to go through than Seattle Sutton's (UN)Healthy Eating. It's called Atkins At Home. This company features absolutely scrumptious low-carb foods that will keep you on your low-carb lifestyle without the fuss of making food for yourself. You won't have to worry about staying on your program because they have plans for 20 net carbs or 40 net carbs per day depending on which phase of livin' la vida low-carb you are in. The foods you get from Atkins At Home will help you lose weight while consuming the most well-prepared and tastiest meals you'll find while doing Atkins.

Sutton said one thing in her speech to a group of senior citizens that completely applies to the low-carb lifestyle.

"The greatest asset you have in life — especially at our age — is your good health," Sutton told the senior citizens in the audience. "It's not your new car; it's not your new home; it's your health."

While her conclusion about healthy eating is dead on, it's too bad she's bought into the low-fat/low-calorie lie that continues to exist in society today.

05/30/05 UPDATE: I received the following correspondence from the Minnesota franchisee for Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating today.

Good morning,

I'm sure you will receive an official response from the corporate office, but in the mean time, perhaps I can offer a little more background on the company and its philosophy.

Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating has actually been in business for 20 years. Its roots are in the Chicago area, however, in recent years it has expanded into a number of other major markets including Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis, Indianapolis and St. Louis. The company has tens of thousands of documented cases of dramatic weight loss and health improvements from clients as a result of being on the plan.

While there are many schools of thought in the nutrition world, Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating chooses to follow some specific nutritional guidelines as presented by a number of health and nutrition experts including the American Heart Association, American Dietetic and American Diabetes Associations. These guidelines include a recommended balance between the three forms of nutrients that you're obviously well aware of: protein, carbs, and fat, in addition to being low-fat, low-saturated fat, low cholesterol, calorie controlled, and sodium restricted. The guidelines of this plan have provided success to hundreds of thousands of clients over the years.

As I mentioned, while there are many different schools of thought about nutrition, the above are the guidelines that have proven successful for our clients. If you'd like to read for yourself some of the personal testimonials from our clients, please visit our web site at

I'm glad to read that the low-carb lifestyle has been effective and successful for you personally. My personal hope is for every individual to find a nutritional plan that works for them, and to maintain it for a lifestyle of good health!

Thank you again for your e-mail.

Stephanie Keegan
Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating of MN
11255 Highway 55
Plymouth, MN 55441

Here is my follow-up response to her addressing my original concerns with Seattle Sutton's comments about low-carb:

Dear Ms. Keegan,

Thank you for responding to my blog post about Seattle Sutton. I too often encourage people to get healthy in the best way they can find. For me it was low-carb, but for others it could be something else.

However, my concern is with the leader of your organization openly ridiculing the way of eating that tens of millions of people just like me have chosen to lose weight and restore their health. If Seattle Sutton really believes that people can do any weight loss method they choose as long as they stick to it, then why did she make the flippant remark about low-carb? I didn't hear her make the same kind of comments about Weight Watchers or Slim-Fast, for example.

While I appreciate the earnest and genuine concern that you have for your customer's health as a franchisee of Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating, I think you should be quite alarmed by the ill-advised statements coming from your corporate head. She ought to be ashamed of herself for mocking a healthy eating lifestyle such as low-carb.

Thank you very much for your response. I await the 'official' response from your corporate headquarters soon.

Jimmy Moore, 'Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Man'
Spartanburg, SC

We'll let you know if we hear anything from any other franchisees or from the corporate offices for Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating.

05/31/2005 UPDATE: We heard from another foot soldier for Seattle Sutton, this time from the state of Michigan. Here is what he wrote us:

Dear Mr. Moore,

The bottom line in weight loss is, in fact, calorie intake vs. calories expended. Creating a calorie deficit is the only proven way to lose weight. One way or another, every successful diet plan – even Atkins – accomplishes weight loss by reducing calories.

A good composite article written by Kathy Goodwin, R.D. can be found here In the article, she references several studies and authorities on health, nutrition and weight loss.

Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating has helped tens of thousands of people lose weight over the last twenty years by providing the variety of foods recommended by health and nutrition experts including The American Heart Association, The American Cancer Society, The American Diabetes Association and others. The right variety of proteins, carbs and fats, in the right quantities, is the key to weight loss and long term health benefits.

Wallace Duvall
Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating of Michigan
Sterling Heights, MI 48313

And here is my response back:

Dear Mr. Duvall,

Thank you for your response. But I vehemently disagree with your premise that there is only one "proven way to lose weight." While you can absolutely lose weight by reducing your calories and fat, it's not the only way. The low-carb approach has helped me as well as tens of millions of other people find a deliciously-satisfying way to lose weight and, most importantly, keep it off as long as we adhere to the program.

To suggest the old notion that weight loss only occurs by creating a "calorie deficit" has been proven otherwise with the success of programs like Atkins. Not only do people livin' la vida low-carb have the opportunity to eat more calories than those on a low-fat/low-calorie diet, but the foods we can eat are much more enjoyable than the fat-free offerings that are available on your plan.

While you portion control your foods for your clients, low-carbers are allowed to eat nutritious foods in the amount that makes them feel full. This isn't rocket science and I have proven with my own weight loss success that it can be done. Call me and others who have permanently lost weight on low-carb miracles of science, but you cannot deny the fact that low-carb is another weight loss alternative to people who have not had good experiences doing low-fat/low-calorie diets.

Thank you for your response, but the president of your company has shown her ignorance of nutrition and health by refusing to acknowledge the outstanding benefits that come from a low-carb lifestyle. Even worse, she has ridiculed it and she must be held accountable for her insane statements. I look forward to hearing the response from your corporate offices very soon.

Jimmy Moore "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Man"
Spartanburg, SC

This latest response from the Michigan representative for Seattle Sutton confirms what I expected: Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating is nothing more than yet another low-calorie/low-fat advocacy group who loathes anything and everything to do with low-carb. That's a real shame because we know there are alternatives that really work.

I still haven't heard from the head honcho yet. I'll update you if I do!

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Blogger confused said...

I find it ironic that you title your article 'Seattle Sutton Delivering Very Unhealthy High-Carb Meals' then go on in the article to take issue with the fact that the Seattle Sutton rep dissed low-carb dieting!

To me, it comes off as a petty squabble between two competitors and any concern for the well-being of the dieters kind of gets muddled in your quest to discredit the other party.

Maybe I'll just flip the old saying "put your money where your mouth is" -to- "put your mouth where the money is" and seeing Adkins is bankrupt, go with Seattle Sutton.

8/07/2005 9:44 AM  
Blogger George said...

A review of Seattle's meals by a couple of consumers is available at -- It gives a pretty good overview of what to expect from this diet.

2/05/2007 4:36 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

This Jimmy guy is a moron. He has so many contradictions in his blogs that I can not begin, nor do I have time to address them all. I will say that I do like the way he is asked a question, but doesn't answer it; he just goes off into a tangent to create a misdirection so as to not have to answer.

8/18/2007 3:58 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

THANKS for your comment, Michael! I appreciate hearing every perspective on all the issues I discuss at my blog. Take care, my friend!

8/18/2007 4:01 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Jimmy, let me clarify my position. Maybe moron is a harsh word to use. Maybe the low carb lifestyle has worked for you, and that is great and impressive. But, as you do not like someone speaking ill of your choices; why do you feel it necessary to speak ill of the other diets or lifestyle plans they have chosen? As for credibility, it is ALWAYS a good idea to answer any and all questions put forth. If you don't answer them then people will question your credibility.

I may be wrong, but do I see advertisement on your site from low carb advocates? If I am correct then that explains why you MUST push the low carb lifestyle and degrade the other plans. As we all know Ford does not advertise on the Toyota web site.

8/18/2007 4:12 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

THANKS for your comments, Michael. I allow any and all points of view on my blog without prejudice. My philosophy is rooted in the free expression of ideas which is why your comments have been posted.

But I'm happy to address the issues you brought up. Yes, low-carb has worked for me which is the very reason I started this blog. But anyone who has read my blog beyond one or two columns will tell you that I am all for people finding the plan that works for them, working that plan exactly and then keep doing it for the rest of their life.

If that's low-carb, then GREAT! If it's low-fat, that's AWESOME, too! My concern is when low-carb living is not granted that same respect in return from those who oppose it as a healthy alternative. The latest research is confirming that low-carb is at the very least equal to low-fat diets for weight loss and actually better for your health. Again, I've highlighted much of these studies at my blog.

You're right, I don't like someone speaking ill of low-carb without getting their facts straight. Too often we just hear about how "dangerous" the low-carb "fad" is because of all that meat, eggs, and cheese. My response is read the book and you'll find out that low-carb is radically different from that misconception.

If someone wants to do the Seattle Sutton diet, then let 'em go for it! But they shouldn't dismiss low-carb just to make their diet look better in the process. That's my only purpose in challenging the promoters of such diets. Again, if it works for them, I have no problem. Grant me that same courtesy.

Incidentally, I answer every single comment and e-mail directly that comes my way. I have nothing to hide and simply share from my knowledge and experience on this amazingly healthy lifestyle change.

Sure, there are some ads on my blog for low-carb products and companies, but that has nothing to do with the content of my blog. I wrote about low-carb here long before any sponsors came on board. It's what I have always done and will continue to do as long as I am granted this platform to speak.

THANK YOU again for sharing your comments and I wish you well in your chosen journey to better health, Michael! Take care! :)

8/18/2007 4:32 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

I believe that the advertising and your book has much to do with your blog content. I don't see any ads for low calorie diets. If you had those ads then the low carb companies would remove their ads from your site. People would want to know "why does he have ads for low calorie diets if he believes in the low carb diets?". Do you see my point? I trust Consumer Reports because the do not accept any advertising. I can not say the same for your blog.

I beg to differ with you on whether you answer any and all questions.

I do not advocate any method to lose weight, other than exercise, because I do not have the knowledge to do so. I am only questioning your motives and methods of advocating your lifestyle.

I believe that the "weight loss issue" is like Religion and Politics. You just can't argue them.

8/18/2007 4:47 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Again, thank you for your comments, Michael. Actually, I did inquire with Weight Watchers about becoming a sponsor, but they declined. But I do have Jillian Michaels and The Biggest Loser as sponsors who don't explicitly advocate low-carb nutrition. So I don't understand where you are going with your argument. Again, find what works for you and then do it. That's all. :D

Consumer Reports got it wrong about diets because they used the Food Pyramid as the basis for their conclusions. Of course, low-carb won't measure up with that as the measuring stick.

While I appreciate your sharing your concerns about my blog, Michael, the fact is this has always been a web site about what I think of the issues concerning diet, health, nutrition and whatever else is on my mind.

What I blog about are the latest health news and information along with my opinions about them. I make no apologies for doing that because there are plenty of others doing the same thing on behalf of the low-fat and every other diet out there.

You are welcome to visit here anything and engage in the discussion of ideas. It's the freedom of the Internet and I embrace it for all it's worth.

Argue your points anytime and I'm happy to let my readers and myself respond. That's where true understanding and learning can take place. I'm glad you have chosen to make this a part of your education about health and you are welcome to comment anytime.

8/18/2007 5:01 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Just an FYI. I ignored any fad for dieting and used the time tested method of watching calories. I lost 50 lb eating anything I wanted, by just counting calories. Exercise allowed me to eat more that day. It isn't rocket science. I used a program on my palm pilot that is still available for free (palm pilot only) called BalanceLog to catalog the calories and exercise. I targeted 2 pounds a week and it worked like a charm. You do have to be very dilligent counting calories because most people under estimate the calories they eat in one day by a minimum of about 20% (my guess based on trying this myself).

I believe that most people don't want to accept the fact that all you have to do is count calories because they want some kind of a magic bullet. In fact, most people I know that are "on a diet" don't want to hear anything other than thier favorite fad of the day, even after they fail losing weight.

Anyway, I agree with the plan that counting calories works because it worked for me and still does (my sister also lost 40 lbs counting calories).

12/08/2007 9:44 AM  

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