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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

National Osteoporosis Society: Atkins Diet 'Fad' Leading To Increase In Bone Fractures

The people who oppose the low-carb lifestyle seem to keep coming out of the woodwork. This Scotsman story details the concerns of a bone advocacy group in the UK that claims the Atkins diet is causing too many people to eat an unbalanced diet putting themselves at risk for bone fractures, according to a new survey.

The National Osteoporosis Society (NOS) sent out a warning this week about how "fad" diets like the popular low-carb diet plans are preventing people in Scotland from eating a balanced diet that includes calcium, vitamin D and other essential minerals for preventing broken bones.

Specifically targeting the Atkins diet, the NOS said their survey of 250 people found that people have mistakenly cut out milk, fruit and bread from their diets because of the low-carb craze while eating more convenience foods than they did in 1986.

Hallelujah, the message of low-carb is getting through in Scotland! Hurray for the Scots for realizing that eating too many carbs will harm your body through weight gain and the onset of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Is it such a bad thing that they are finding a way to keep their weight under control? Apparently so!

NOS spokeswoman Jackie Parrington said these survey results have her group "worrying" about the effect that low-carb has had on society.

She's worried, huh? Low-carb is suddenly depriving people of calcium, vitamin D and other important minerals, eh? Why? Why would livin' la vida low-carb cause this deficiency when low-carbers get LOTS of these things in popular low-carb foods such as cheese, leafy vegetables, and low-carb milk?

This idea that the Atkins diet is resulting in a higher risk of bone fractures is fearmongering at its very best. I would argue that my bones are much stronger than they have ever been in my entire life since I started my low-carb lifestyle and I fully expect them to stay strong for many years to come.

Actually, a study published last year in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a high-protein, low-carb diet helps your body absorb protein from your stomach which raises calcium levels in your urine and distributes calcium throughout your body. How about that, Ms. Parrington?

Plus, I take a daily calcium and vitamin D supplement to further add these important vitamins into my healthy low-carb eating plan. Duh? Why do groups like the NOS raise such a ruckus when it's not as bad as they portray it.

Even still, Parrington proceeds to lecture us all about how "important" these things are for bone health.

"Calcium, vitamin D and other important minerals to build and strengthen our skeleton can be obtained from many different foods, like cereal, bread and fruit. This is another reason why it's important to eat a balanced diet."

I hate to disappoint you, Ms. Parrington, but you couldn't pay me enough to eat such high-carb foods as cereal, bread and many sugar-loaded fruits. If this is what you call a "balanced diet," then your scale is way off. Low-carb living is incredibly balanced because it gives me everything I need nutritionally without having the excessive carbs that will lead me back to morbid obesity again. Never again will I eat what you call a "balanced diet" because that made me fat! Period!

While 80 percent of the Scots surveyed pay attention to the nutritional content of the foods they eat, Parrington is greatly disappointed in this.

"This is very concerning as it may mean our bodies are not getting enough of the vitamins and minerals they need."

Say what? The vast majority of those surveyed ARE paying attention to what they are putting into their mouths, Ms. Parrington! It is very likely those same people who are livin' la vida low-carb who become such nutritional label hawks that they could quote you all the pertinent facts about what's in a food product better than your average Joe. Rather than this being "concerning" it should be encouraging that so many people are taking a vested interest in their health.

Not content with people being more health-conscious than they were two decades ago, Parrington repeated her desire for everyone to follow her recommendation to eat a "balanced diet" (translated -- a low-fat, reduced calorie, high-carb diet!).

We shouldn't be looking at the low-carb diet, but rather what the low-fat diet has done to public perception about food as the culprit in reduced calcium intake.

The survey found that over one-third of young women don't drink milk at all because they are worried about the high fat content it has.

Did you get that? The high FAT content has them worried! They're not concerned over the carbs, but rather the FAT! Now who planted this seed in their heads that fat is bad for them, hmmmmm? Gee, I can't imagine who could have come up with such a thing! Could it be people like Parrington and other low-fat advocates?

Isn't that an ironic twist to this story? The very person representing a group assailing so-called "fad" diets like Atkins for causing people to alter their diets and leading to more brittle bones is simultaneously advocating a way of eating that has been found to have such an effect on people that they avoid the very products they are promoting. Isn't that a perfect illustration of a health paradox? Does Parrington even realize it?

For those of you who are on low-carb, what do you think about this notion that you are putting your bones at risk for fracture and getting osteoporosis prematurely because you're not eating enough calcium? Apparently people like Parrington don't have a clue what low-carbers actually eat or she just doesn't care! I dare say people who are livin' la vida low-carb eat MORE calcium through the cheese they consume than the average person. I don't have any data to back up my claim, but I know I eat a lot of cheese as part of my healthy low-carb plan.

You can e-mail Jackie Parrington from the National Osteoporosis Society (NOS) at j.parrington@nos.org.uk. Tell her how much healthier you eat on your low-carb lifestyle than you ever ate before. I think she needs to know just how wrong she is with her assumptions about low-carb!

6 Comments:

Blogger Newbirth said...

I also take a calcium supplement. When I eat cottage cheese I can get all the calcium I need, but I'm tired of it after eating it every day for so long.

I hope to have a bone density test done this summer. I'll ask my doctor and see what the cost is since I have to pay out of pocket up front and get reimbursed for part of it later.

4/12/2006 10:32 PM  
Blogger Lowcarb_dave said...

From what I read, it is actual the opposite to what that person claims. A high protein diet is actually beneficial for bones!

So I agree with your blog post Jim.

I even think that calcium suppliments are completely uneccessary.

But that's up to the individual.

4/13/2006 12:28 AM  
Blogger Newbirth said...

Calcium is necessary for me. I track my calcium intake and yesterday was only about 750mg which isn't anywhere near the RDA, and about half of what I need as a woman.

4/13/2006 12:36 AM  
Blogger Science4u1959 said...

It has been scientifically proven, many times over actually, that a low-carb diet increases and improves bone density and stimulates calcium absorption - AND that a low-fat, low-cal diet DECREASES bone density and increases the risk of osteoporosis and cancers. So the entire story of Ms. Parrington is pure BUNK and the proof is in the scientific literature. I thought that the "low-carb diets causes bone density loss and osteoporosis" theory was only popular in extremist vegan circles, but now even the National Osteoporosis Society seems to fall for such unscientific nonsense.

Which, of course, only further proves that institutions like this (like the AHA or ADA) are of absolutely no value or significance.

A nice references that completely blows this BS theory out of the water:

Kerstetter, et al. Low protein intake: The impact on calcium and bone homeostasis in humans. Journal of Nutrition, 2003; 133: 855S-861S.

4/13/2006 4:48 AM  
Blogger TESS said...

I THINK SHE IS JUST FULL OF ?? HOT AIR? I SELDOM EAT MORE THAN 35 CARB PER DAY AND I GET HALF OF MY CALCIUM IN THE FOOD I EAT-THE OTHER I TAKE A SUPPLEMENT FOR AND IF I ATE MORE CHEESE I WOULD BE ABLE TO GET IT ALL, BUT AS WITH SOME LOW CARB LIVING PEOPLE CHEESE IN LARGE QUANITIES STALLS ME. COTTAGE CHEESE HOWEVER, WITH ARTIFICIAL SWEETNER AND NOTS IS MY DAILY DESSERT. I THINK INDIVIDUALS WHO SPEAK AS SHE DID ARE MORE VOCAL BECAUSE THE LIES THEY HAVE BEEN LED TO BELIEVE IN,(LOW FAT LOW CALORIE) ARE BEING SHOWN TO BE THE WRONG APPROACH AND THEY ARE UNABLE TO ADMIT THEY ARE WRONG. FOR THIS REASON THEY ARE INTENSIFYING THERE ATTACK ON LOW CARB.

4/13/2006 8:12 AM  
Blogger Newbirth said...

I used to eat cottage cheese every day. The kind I use has 60% of the RDA of calcium in a one cup serving. But I got tired of it so now I need a supplement because the yogurt I eat every day doesn't have enough.

My packet with calcium has 1200mg calcium, plus a full day's worth of vitamin D to absorb it.

4/13/2006 8:51 PM  

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