Friday, May 06, 2005

What Is Dr. Rosenblatt's Motive Behind Trashing Atkins?

This Total Health Communications story entitled "How to Make Sense of the Low Carb Diet Craze" written by a man named Dr. Steven Rosenblatt (who authored a book called "The Starch Blocker Diet"...more on this later) takes a closer look at livin' la vida low-carb and why so many people are flocking to it to satisfy their weight loss and health needs.

Before I get into the article itself, though, let me ask a quick question. What doesn't make sense about doing low-carb? You do it, it works, you lose weight, you look and feel fantastic and the foods you eat are incredibly delicious. Nuff said, right?! Well, the good doctor in this story wants to go even deeper into the reasons why people are so obese in this country and why they shouldn't turn to the low-carb lifestyle to deal with it.

Over half of the population has purportedly been on some kind of low-carb diet at least once in their life and many have lost weight. But Dr. Rosenblatt says: "Unfortunately, for many of these people, the weight loss is temporary."

This is the biggest excuse I always hear so-called experts in the medical profession bring out when talking about the low-carb lifestyle. You can't keep the weight off when you do it. It must not work because everybody gains back the weight. It's so unhealthy for you anyways, so why don't you just start eating a more "balanced" low-fat diet instead?

UGH! Sound familiar? That's what we've been fed time after time in the media about low-carb. Don't blame the method of losing weight and getting healthy on the failure of individuals to stick with it! The way of eating itself is not only effective, but permanent if it is strictly adhered to. My 180-pound weight loss is staying off for good because I continue to eat low-carb although my "diet" is over.

Does this mean you can never splurge on a carb-loaded meal ever again? Of course not. But you now know you cannot eat that way all the time. It's the same concept with low-fat and low-calorie diets, too, but with low-carb you can actually eat foods that you want and like!

Dr. Rosenblatt said Americans are more aware of the "problems related to low carb diets than they were about the hazards of the low fat diet."

What problems with low-carb? I haven't had any in my experience. It's interesting that he also keenly points out there are also "hazards" associated with doing a low-fat diet. I wish Dr. Rosenblatt would have expanded upon those comments a little more to reveal what problems exist when doing a low-fat diet. This is something you have never seen in media accounts about low-fat weight loss recommendations. It's yet another example of how medical experts and the media are depriving people of the information they need to make good decisions about their health.

He goes on to say that while low-carb will help you lose weight quickly, you can't keep it off and it will cause long-term damage to your health.

If you haven't heard this from your friends and family yet, brace yourself for it because it's coming. Oh, that diet is so dangerous, you better be careful. Didn't you know Atkins is a one-way ticket to a grave? Your health will go down the tubes so quickly doing that diet.

Again, I must say, UGH! How can so many people be as uneducated about the low-carb lifestyle that they are willing to buy into the propaganda promoted in the media? It only takes a little bit of learning about low-carb and why it works to be convinced of its tremendous health benefits and long-lasting effectiveness.

This statement by Dr. Rosenblatt shows just how incredibly ignorant he is about what doing low-carb is in the real world: "The simplest reason why low carb diets don't work in the long run is that they're like every other diet: They're boring. After a while, people get tired of them and quit the diet. Unfortunately, after they fall off the diet, former Atkins followers are likely to start eating lots of carbs, yet they keep eating the high levels of protein they've become accustomed to. When they add the buns and fries to those bacon double cheeseburgers, you know what happens: rapid regain of weight."

Okay, I'm breathing slowly to keep my blood from boiling. Three, two, one...okay, I'm better now. Let me clearly state that if Atkins ever becomes "boring," then you need to start getting a little more creative with the way you prepare the foods you eat. It is NOT boring when you put a little thought into what you can eat and spice it up. I provide several examples in my upcoming book of some quick and easy recipes that are sure to satisfy you completely while doing this eating plan. Let's not blame the diet for any disinterest by its participants.

But, while we're on the subject, I'll tell you what's really boring. Stuffing your face with rabbit food and restricting yourself to a certain number of calories or fat grams in a day. Besides being hungry all the time (I did this "diet" for myself back in 1999), you can't keep it up because the food choices are so mundane.

If people get off the Atkins plan, then of course they will gain back the weight. But you can't point the finger at low-carb. People need to be strong and learn to stick with something that's working for them over the long-term. I'm sure many of these people who go back to eating carbs have become so frightened by media accounts of the dangers of low-carb that they decided it wasn't worth it to them. Therefore, we could ostensibly blame so-called health experts and the media for perpetuating the obesity epidemic in the United States!

Another popular phrase used by Atkins opponents that Dr. Rosenblatt so graciously repeats here is that doing low-carb "causes loss of muscle mass."

While I by no means have a bodybuilder figure (yet!), I can say with all integrity that I have never been as strong as I am today. I workout every day and lift weight several times a week as part of livin' la vida low-carb. It is just plain junk science to claim any dangers with exercising and strength training while doing low-carb. I am living proof that this is a big fat lie and is yet another attempt to discourage people from doing the low-carb lifestyle.

Addressing the key element of low-carb, Dr. Rosenblatt said ketosis, or the fat burning mode during low-carb, is harmful in various ways:

- Insufficient glucose to fuel the brain

My brain and other parts of my body are doing fine without sugar, thank you.

- Your body's attempts to eliminate ketones (by-products of ketosis) puts a strain on the kidneys.

My kidneys have actually improved since being on low-carb because I'm getting better urination flow (TMI!) from the additional water I am drinking.

- Diets high in protein can increase calcium loss from the body, increasing the risk of osteoporosis.

Take a pill! You can get all the calcium you need in a supplement.

- Diets high in animal protein are usually high in saturated fats, which increase the risk of heart diseases.

Who says you only eat animal fat and protein on low-carb?! Nuts are good sources of good fats and so are many other foods. Furthermore, your body needs fat to lose weight (gee, what a concept!) when you are doing a low-carb plan.

- Diets low in carbohydrates are usually extremely low in fiber, since carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables and grains provide most of the fiber in our diets. Low fiber diets have been associated with increased risk of type II diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer.

What evidence is there that eating a low-carb lifestyle has very little fiber. In fact, I'm eating more fiber now than I've ever eaten before. It is a key element to being successful on Atkins. Furthermore, it will help keep you regular and you don't have to count dietary fiber carbohydrates in your total carb intake. In addition, I supplement my eating plan with two daily fiber pills to make sure I'm getting enough fiber on a daily basis. By the way, I don't have diabetes or cancer and actually have a better chance now of never having either of these conditions thanks to the healthy alternative low-carb has offered me.

The claim is made in the story that "all of us need and want carbs."

No, all of us don't want and need carbs, Dr. Rosenblatt. Only people who wish to remain fat and unhealthy want carbs. People who are livin' la vida low-carb have lots of energy and a positive outlook on life because we know we are doing something pro-active about our health without the dangers associated with overconsuming carbs. We are extremely satisfied with the foods we eat on low-carb.

At the end of his article, Dr. Rosenblatt peddles a so-called starch blocker supplement as part of his "Starch Blocker Diet" book. After trashing the low-carb approach for the entire story, it's not until the last few paragraphs that we finally see his true motivation for attempting to discredit the Atkins lifestyle. He's trying to sell his weight loss product and books.

I think it is highly unethical for a medical professional to write an article like this one allegedly as a public service to educate the masses about health issues when all he is trying to do is get them to make him money.

Shame on you, Dr. Rosenblatt!

Labels: , , , , , , ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would have gone for the jugular - you were simply too kind! Dr. Rosenblatt states that protein is used for ketosis....WRONG....ketosis is stimulated by fat, both stored and dietary. FAT is what makes ketone bodies, not protein!

Where protein comes into play, specifically dietary protein, is in the production of glucose - called gluconeogenesis. By using protein on an as needed basis, the body makes all the glucose it needs without any excess!

Every study to date on Atkins and Atkins-type diets clearly shows that muscle mass is spared on low-carb...the opposite of very low calorie diets and/or calorie-restricted low-fat diets!

5/06/2005 7:23 PM  
Blogger Jonny Bowden said...

Jimmy, you are right on with this one. I am an associate editor for the magazine this was printed in, Total Health, and it is a magazine I am proud to be associated with since it normally puts out excellent information from very good sources. And it's heart is in the right place. but this article was junk. It repeated every stupid, unsubstantiated myth about low carb. The author obviously knows no biochemistry, and stated demonstrably incorrect information in several places. I called the editor about this and asked for a chance to write a rebuttal. I would LOVE to debate this Dr. Rosenblatt, but I doubt he'd want to debate me.

5/06/2005 8:45 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

And yet these are the kind of comments that your average Joe and Jane read about low-carb on an almost daily basis. That's what is so dangerous about letting these medical "experts" spout off like they do as if they are the final authority on all things regarding health. In the arena of ideas, these myths need to be refuted time after time in order to turn the tide in favor of the healthy benefits of low-carb. It's an uphill battle, but we must endure and continue to educate people on low-carb while encouraging them to stick with regardless of what they read from people like Dr. Rosenblatt! By the way, I sent this post to him today and posted it as a book review for Rosenblatt's book at If he happens to respond (don't hold your breath!), I'll post his comments here. THANKS for commenting at my blog.

5/06/2005 10:01 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home