Thursday, August 10, 2006

Dufus Denver Doc Says Atkins Diet Is A Crock

Reif believes Atkins is a "fad" and carbs are the "foundation" of your diet

One of the most underappreciated and highly-ridiculed professions in this country has got to be the field of chiropractic. These remarkably talented and brave men and women dedicate themselves daily to helping their patients improve their health through non-traditional methods that do not involve surgery, medicines, or any of the other typical medical treatment options you would get if you went to see your primary care physician.

Chiropractors are trailblazers in the field of medicine just as people who are livin' la vida low-carb are paving the new way when it comes to diet and nutrition. While my own personal chiropractor has been open to the low-carb message by agreeing to carry my book and giving me opportunities to speak with his patients about my low-carb weight loss success story, not every chiropractor is so friendly towards low-carb living.

Allow me to introduce you to Dr. Sean Reif. This chiropractic doctor in the Denver, Colorado area shared his healthy eating tips in a recent column he wrote for, a division of The Rocky Mountain News and The Denver Post. Unfortunately, in that same article he also used that opportunity to show the whole world what a big fat dufus he is when it comes to sharing his misguided opinions about the Atkins diet.

Dr. Reif says he regularly advises the athletes he counsels to eat a 65/20/15 ratio of carbohydrates, fat, and protein to maximize their performance.

"The protein-rich Atkins diet is a fad," Dr. Reif boasted. "Proteins are harder to digest and metabolize and may not provide the energy needed for a long, strong run."

Apparently Dr. Reif has never met anyone like my friend Michael Whitt (aka Low-Carb Runner) who lost over 100 pounds by livin' la vida low-carb and regularly runs in marathons now. Here's what Michael has to say about the fallacy of having to load up on carbs before running a race as Dr. Reif suggests:

"I get tired of people saying that low-carb followers do not have energy to run and stuff like that," he noted. "I am a big runner, 5 & 10k runs, and I can for one tell you that I actually run better on low carbs than when I carb load."

Actually, the comments by Whitt are back up by this scientific study from 2005 that shows most athletes have stopped buying into the "carb-loading" myth they've been told for years and are now turning to low-carb when they train. Sorry to burst your bubble, Dr. Reif, but you are waaaaaaay behind the times with your dietary recommendations.

But he didn't stop there.

Dr. Reif went on to say the "foundation staple to our diet should be grains: rice, bread, and pasta."

Oh, really. That's not what author Dr. Anthony J. Burlay says in his book "The Foundation Diet." If you want to know what the staple to our diet was for our early human ancestors, then you will notice it included very few carbohydrates at all: vegetation, fruits, nuts and what could be "captured or found."

Here's what Dr. Burlay says happens to the body after eating high-carb foods like rice, bread, and pasta.

"After eating a meal rich in carbohydrates, your body secretes hormones that cause storage of the extra blood glucose in the liver as a storage material called glycogen," Dr. Burlay explained. "When this reserve gets filled up, the rest starts getting stored as fat. By changing your approach to eating, this process can reverse and cause fat burning."

Yikes! That "foundation staple" in Dr. Reif's diet advice appears to be a one-way ticket to getting fatter and fatter! EEEEEK! I don't think I'll be following that tip of his anytime soon.

He also urged people to eat lots of fruits and veggies such as bananas (29g carbs each!), kiwi (TOO HIGH IN CARBS!), mango (DITTO!), pear (NOPE!), peach (UH-UH!), spinach, sprouts and kale (Okay, those are all good choices), carrot juice (YUCK and TOO HIGH IN SUGAR!), and broccoli as well as cabbage (both of these are fine, too!).

I will credit Dr. Reif for suggesting the consumption of essential fatty acid-rich fish, protein-loaded hunger-satifying eggs, healthy fat-enriched nuts while shunning sugary foods. EXCELLENT!

But then he turns right around and makes some boneheaded suggestions like eating soy tofu and less butter. UGH!

I bet you can guess how Dr. Reif suggests we all eat, right? You get one guess...still thinking?'s not very hard at all because it is the typical answer we hear from people offering their unsolicited nutritional advice.

"Eat a balanced healthy diet."

You know, I wish I had a dollar for every time I've heard that phrase. I would be a gazillionaire by now! But what does that mean, Dr. Reif? I get all the balance I need in my diet on my low-carb lifestyle. The debate over what constitutes a "healthy diet" is one that will never end, but it doesn't mean people are forced to stuff their faces with excessive carbohydrates as suggested by Dr. Reif.

He also suggests eating from a wide variety of foods to get the vitamins and minerals your body needs each day.

"Excluding foods or food groups can lead to nutritional deficiencies and periods of bingeing," Dr. Reif exclaimed.

So how much sugar do I need to eat, Dr. Reif? What about white flour? Can you give me a number on getting the right balance of that food you think I shouldn't exclude from my diet? How many potatoes does my body "need" each day? What about Twinkies? Doughnuts (how about this lovely meal?)? Potato chips? Hmmm? We wouldn't want to exclude ANY food according to YOU! Is there ANY food that people could live without for the rest of their lives?

Can you answer these questions for me? It sounds to me like you are claiming these foods and all foods for that matter are ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY for the body to get the nutrients it needs and to prevent you from needlessly overeating. I am SERIOUSLY interested in your answers. I contend there are some foods my body just doesn't need and I won't be eating until the day I die.

With all due respect, all this mumbo-jumbo dietary advice of yours, Dr. Reif, is nothing more than the same-old, same-old that we've been forced to believe as the gospel truth for the past three decades. But times have changed and the low-fat lie has had the lid blown off of it and completely exposed as a fraud. It's time to get with the times and stop burying your head in the sand about the healthy benefits of the low-carb lifestyle.

Even your fellow chiropractors would disagree with you on your erroneous conclusions about low-carb living. The Atkins diet is NOT a crock and has actually helped people like me lose a whole lot of weight and keep it off while vastly improving our health. There are 180 pounds off of my former 410-pound body...FOREVER! If livin' la vida low-carb didn't do that for me, Dr. Reif, then what did?

At the end of his column, Dr. Reif ends with an affirmation quote that I could not agree with more.

"Make wise food choices. Minimize junk foods, fast foods, and empty calories from soda and beer."

I preach that message daily here at my "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" blog, Dr. Reif. My only suggestion for you is to educate yourself a little more about what the low-carb life is all about and learn why it is so healthy and effective for the millions of people like me who have made this our permanent lifestyle change.

As an alternative healthcare activist in your noble profession of chiropractic, I wouldn't expect anything less than a thorough examination of the facts about this wonderful way of eating so you can make informed decisions about how to best counsel your patients when it comes to healthy nutrition. With studies showing obesity tied to a rapid increase in back pain, I would fully expect a chiropractor like yourself to arm yourself and your patients with ANY possible way to get the weight off. Wouldn't you agree?

You can e-mail Dr. Reif about his opinions of livin' la vida low-carb at


Blogger Science4u1959 said...

I don't know what he keeps under that hat of his, but I fear it's mostly sawdust. And he certainly could stand to lose some weight, judging from that picture...

8/11/2006 1:41 AM  
Blogger Ronald said...

The Atkins Diet is amazing by itself. Not because it works so well. But how it brings out the worse in the medical community.

8/11/2006 12:36 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

It is funny, Ronald, how they fall all over themselves criticizing this way of eating without ever offering a shred of evidence WHY.

This is quite ironic considering their profession is based almost TOTALLY on proof. Go figure!

8/11/2006 12:39 PM  
Blogger LCforevah said...

Is it my imagination, or is he FAT in his picture?

Why should anybody take advice from a person who hasn't managed to maintain his or her optimal weight?

8/11/2006 12:42 PM  
Blogger Newbirth said...

I *do* carb load before a big race or some such, but for everyday exercise, low-carb provides enough energy. In fact, if I eat a lot of carbs (like 65% as he recommends) my everyday energy is LOWER than on low-carb.

I'm at a church conference right now and allowed myself some real ice cream last night. The problem was, I overdid it a bit and wanted to fall asleep during evening worship. The lesson: only a LITTLE ice cream tonight because my body just can't handle the sugar.

8/11/2006 1:20 PM  
Blogger Kent said...

Maybe I am not a world class athlete, but running a half marathon must mean I am some sort of athlete. I haven't ever saw the need to screw my body (even @ goal) with cheap, easy fuel (carbs) when I can eat much less and have long burning furnance to push me further. I would much rather run 13 miles fueled by nuts or the like than having to keep dumping wood (carbs) on the fire to keep it stoked and prevent a blood glucose crash. I look at these runners almost addicted to goo or gel in somewhat amazement to keep their carbs up and prevent bonking. I might not beat all the carb-fueled runners, but I certainly am beating the former carb-friendly self.

8/13/2006 1:31 PM  

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