Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Defending Low-Carb Because It Worked For Me

I got this response today over at about this previous blog post from a guy named Jay from Los Angeles, CA who defended the dietitian who chose to blast the Atkins diet:

You bring up good points Jimmy Moore but your editorial is more about personally attacking Ms Liz Friedrich than it is about a low carb diet. You don't use science to support your facts and at best I think you did a good job correcting Ms Friedrich's grammar mistakes.

I congratulate you on your weight loss, although the amount you lost is at a borderline dangerous rate. I hope it was done in conjunction with a doctor to ensure no harmful adverse effects to such a quick amount of weight loss.

All diets are the same, I believe, or at least similar. They are all looking to minimize caloric intake, thus reducing body weight. This is very important. For you to discourage the food pyrmaid is a disservice as it does reflect healthy guidelines of a lifetime diet.

I am glad you have found success with the low carb diet, but other alternatives may prove just as satisfactory for other people. Until these studies come out that you argue will prove there is nothing wrong with a long term atkins diet, its important for the public to know about the potential drawbacks of a high fat, low carbohydrate lifestyle. Ms. Friedrichs voice provides some clarity to the physical effects of a low carb diet and discusses the long term effects of the atkins diet.

These issues need raising to ensure people like you and I are losing and maintaining our weight in the healthiest fashion.

THANKS for commenting, Jay. But let me correct a few things about your response.

First, I did not personally attack the author of the article who wrote about low-carb. What I did was present the truth about the information she was providing to her readers to help shed some light on her jaded perspective about low-carb living. I never called her any names or addressed her personally in any way other than to point out the error of her remarks.

Second, I am NOT a scientist nor do I claim to be one. But with that said I can use my own personal experience on low-carb to counter the negativity that comes from people like Ms. Friedrich. She opened herself up to scrutiny by being so blatantly dishonest in her review of the low-carb lifestyle. It is obvious to anyone who is a low-carber that Ms. Friedrich has no personal experience doing low-carb and is simply basing her opinions about it on what she has heard others in her profession say about it. That's lazy science if you ask me, Jay! There's plenty of science that proves she is wrong.

Third, there were no grammar mistakes in her column, just a lot of incorrect statements and misrepresentations. That's all.

Fourth, losing 180 pounds in one year is a "borderline dangerous rate?" Really? I suppose you adhere to the notion that people shouldn't lose more than a pound a week or 50 pounds in a year to do it the "healthy" way. Say what?! That's about as idiotic as some of the statements Ms. Friedrich made about low-carb. What about all those contestants on NBC's "The Biggest Loser" who lost WELL over 100 pounds in about 9 months? Was THAT too much too fast too, Jay? Give me a break! As long as people can lose weight, who cares how fast or slow it comes off. The fact is over 180 pounds is gone forever from my body. Period. End of story!

Fifth, my doctor was WELL aware of my weight loss and was one of my biggest cheerleaders. He was skeptical about low-carb before I started losing weight, but he became fully convinced when he saw the amazing results I was having. Now he recommends livin' la vida low-carb to any of his patients struggling with weight, cholesterol, etc. When are people like Ms. Friedrich going to open up their minds just long enough to see the clear evidence that low-carb is working and making people healthier?

SIxth, I discourage people away from the government-indoctrinated Food Pyramid because it obviously has not worked to get people any healthier. Instead we are looking at record obesity rates that show no signs of slowing down. Something is not working, Jay, and our government promoting a failed low-fat/low-calorie/portion-controlled diet is a major part of the problem. The more people can educate themselves about the efficacy of low-carb living, the better off they will be able to manage their weight and get healthy as I did. I didn't need the Food Pyramid to get me where I am today!

Seventh, I have long held the notion that it doesn't matter what kind of diet you choose as long as you are willing to stick with it for the rest of your life. If you feel like eating low-fat foods forever, then knock yourself out. For me, that was not the way I wanted to live, so I chose the liberating option of cutting down on my carbs and the rest is history. You will not find a more delicious way to maintain your weight and live a healthy lifestyle than livin' la vida low-carb. Two years and running...

Eighth, you mention the so-called drawbacks of a low-carb diet, but what about the tremendous drawbacks associated with the low-fat diets. Hungry all the time, nasty-tasting foods, hungry all the time, limited choices, hungry all the time, fat storage in the abdomen, and did I mention you are HUNGRY ALL THE TIME?! Nope, not gonna do THAT ever again. For me, low-carb living is a lifestyle commitment that I will never, ever regret.

Finally, as for Ms. Friedrich's "clarity" about low-carb, she has merely convoluted the waters even more by sharing only one side of the debate. My role in challenging the premises brought forth by Ms. Friedrich is to share with others the other side of the issues that she so conveniently left out. It is dishonest for someone in her position to omit the positive sides of livin' la vida low-carb in a column supposedly dedicated to the "pros and cons" of low-carb. Even you have to admit she conveniently ignored many of the positive aspects of low-carb. Right?

Is low-carb or low-fat the way to go to lose weight in the "healthiest fashion" as Jay concluded in his comments? My answer to that question is low-carb simply because that has been my experience and I refuse to be silenced when I have an opinion that can help others find the lasting pathway to weight loss that I did. It shouldn't matter how people lose weight and get healthy as much as the fact that they DO IT!

The time is now for people to decide which pathway they will choose to make it happen. Which way will YOU choose?!

Labels: , , , , ,


Blogger Science4u1959 said...

hi Jimmy,

You are right in your response, of course, but I would like to point something out.

It really does matter what dietary regime one uses to lose weight and maintain weight loss. In choice of the weight loss diet, and certainly in a later phase, the maintenance diet, is of paramount importance not only in order to prevent the feared jo-jo efect but also to maintain and improve health.

Much research and clinical evidence shows that low-carb diets are much more heart-healthy than low-fat diets. So the diet one chooses to lose weight AND maintain weight loss absolutely does matter. Extremely low-fat diets and strictly vegan diets show significant higher incidences of heart deceases and CVE's than high-fat diets. Which, of course, should not suprise us but is certainly not common knowledge. Much of the evidence comes from major mainstream studies, including the often mis-quoted Harvard Nurses Study.

The person you replied to was talking about the (perceived) lack of proof that a low-carb diet is safe. Well, let me go one step further.

What about a NO-carb diet? In fact, there is hard, real, scientific proof that even a NO-carb diet is completely safe and extremely healthy. Let's have a look at one of the healthiest people on Earth, shall we? The Inuit Eskimo's. They, and their dietary habits have been subject of rigourous scientific study since the beginning of the 20th century.

The traditional Inuit (Eskimo) diet is a no-carb diet. It is notable that the Inuit diet described by Drs Vilhjalmur Stefansson and Hugh Sinclair in the 1950s is very similar in regard to percentages of fat/protein/carb intake to the experimental low-carb diets used in recent obesity studies. The Inuit diet was comprised of seal, whale, salmon, and a very limited amount of berries and the partially digested contents of animals’ stomachs. So hardly any veggies and almost no fruits - in essence, a no-carb diet. On this diet, blood cholesterol levels were relatively high as were free fatty acids, but – and this is by far much more important – triglycerides were very low. It is interesting to note that the Inuit were of great interest to research scientists because they had practically none of the diseases we suffer, including obesity, coronary heart disease and diabetes mellitus.

So if anyone wants proof that low-carb or even NO-carb diets are safe... just look at natural, traditional diets. The very diets humanity evolved and survived on, and there's your answer. No deceases, no obesity, no heart attacks... "strange" huh?

Why so many people still ignore such hard and documented facts keeps amazing me. There are mountains of clinical and scientific evidence that low-carb are not only safe but far superior - not only for weight loss and weight maintenance, but certainly also for good health.

And yet, every so often somebody comes by and repeats the same lame statements: "there is no evidence". Well, there is, for everybody to see and read, freely available. Thousands of research papers, mountains of data. Not to mention major scientific studies of ancient tribus and cultures.

The only thing one needs is open eyes and an IQ sufficient to see the difference between "light" and "dark"...

12/15/2005 7:52 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

THANKS again Science for your always educational and enlightening comments. :)

12/15/2005 9:42 AM  
Blogger LindaLCforLife said...

First I want to say congratulations to Jimmy Moore on his weight loss. It's just fantastic. Second, I don't know where Ms. Friedrich and Jay have been for the past few years (heads under a rock, living on the moon maybe?) but there are over 35 scientific studies confirming the safety and health benefits of The Atkins Diet. If either one of you ever read Dr. Atkin's books, which you so obviously haven't, you would find that he backs up everything he says with documented scientific studies that meet the scientific criteria required to be published in medical journals, which is the only thing I take seriously. My husband and I have been on Atkins for the past 6 years. We both have great lipids (my husband's last HDL was 92!, mine is 65, my fasting glucose is 85). I have as much energy now, maybe more, than I did when I was in my 20s. My husband never stops going either. I have a full-time job, jog 4 to 5 times during warm months and do aerobics in winter and have 1 teenager left at home (that will REALLY keep you going). I got rid of my GERD, my allergies almost disappeared when I went on Atkins. My mood is so much better. I feel great!!! I can't say how great it is to be on Atkins LONGTERM!!! and that's pretty good for a 54-year-old, perimenopausal woman who has had 5 children. All I can say to Ms. Friedrich and Jay is you're either living in denial or you've been brainwashed. I feel so terribly bad everytime I see a person who suffers from obesity, and especially the children. It makes me want to cry. Maybe Ms. Fiedrich and Jay need to stop and think twice about the foolish agenda they are pushing and where the hell (sorry) the scientific evidence is to back it up. I suggest you visit and view the "The Soft Science of Dietary Fat" by Gary Taubes, 2001 Science in Society Journalism Award winner, from "Science" magazine if you're really interested in scientific fact.

12/17/2005 4:36 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

THANK YOU, Linda, and welcome to the debate. Your voice is sorely needed to combat these constant lies.

12/17/2005 4:43 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home