Monday, November 06, 2006

Nothing 'Revolutionary' About Low-Carb; High-Carb Diets Perfectly Healthy, Dietitian Claims

Dietitian Kathy Goodwin doesn't believe low-carb can be long-term

As if Vee Jefferson's low-carb slam piece that I highlighted last week wasn't enough to get you riled up out of your seat, then perhaps this Market Day column featuring the glorious thoughts and opinions of yet another brilliant registered dietitian will. Oh this is gonna be so much fun, I can tell already!

Straight from The Diet Channel comes the immeasurable wealth of nutritional knowledge from a dietitian named Kathy Goodwin. With 16 years of experience sharing with others her opinions about diet and nutrition, Goodwin recently finished up her Master's degree work in counseling psychology which should come in rather handy when people come to her thoroughly confused and befuddled by the twisted mind games she is playing regarding the facts surrounding livin' la vida low-carb.

On the subject of the continuing popularity of the Atkins/low-carb nutritional approach, something I highlight in Episode 3 of my podcast "The Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Show," Goodwin exclaims that she's not impressed with livin' la vida low-carb because the weight loss is not permanent and she contends it is not healthy over the long-term.

"Many do feel an attachment to Atkins and other low-carb plans because a great number truly do lose weight," she exclaimed. "If the indicator of a successful diet is initial weight loss alone, and not permanent fat loss achieved in a healthy way, then my hat's off to Atkins! Unfortunately, this and many other fad diets will not serve your long term health or your long-term success at weight control."

Don't these people ever get tired of making such patently blatant erroneous statements about low-carb? Apparently not since we see these same arguments used over and over again. You'd think they'd come up with something new and fresh against the low-carb lifestyle, but they just can't do it. Let's just keep beating that dead horse until it turns to glue!

No, Ms. Goodwin, the reason people feel an "attachment" to low-carb is precisely because it has worked where everything else has failed. This may come as a shock to you, but I actually lost close to 200 pounds on the Atkins diet two years ago and have kept it off ever since. GASP! How can this be? It's elementary, my dear, because livin' la vida low-carb is NOT just a quick-fix weight loss gimmick, but rather a healthy, nutrient-dense dietary approach that has me in the best shape of my entire life.

The Atkins diet is the best weight loss method around today despite the constant criticisms about how it's supposedly so unhealthy. WHERE ARE THE DROVES OF LOW-CARB VICTIMS, Ms. Goodwin? If this is such a grave problem with people following the Atkins diet harming themselves, then why aren't our hospitals hemorrhaging from the glut of low-carb dieters irreparably damaging their health, hmmm? Could it be that this is nothing more than a disgustingly dishonest scare tactic to prevent people from taking their weight and health seriously? I shudder to think!

No longer do I deal with such personal struggles related to my obesity such as high blood pressure, difficulty breathing, tight-fitting and constantly ripped clothes, chronic back pain, wheezing, lack of energy, uncomfortable seating at movie theaters and on airplanes, profuse sweating, overeating junk food, constantly feeling hungry, lack of adequate sleep...shall I go on? This "fad" diet you claim I was on really did revolutionize my life forever! All of these problems were negated completely BECAUSE of low-carb, not in spite of it.

Low-fat and other such diets never afforded me these kind of results, so I guess I'm gonna take my chances with it over the long-term. Three years and counting! This is the truth about low-carb you'll almost never hear talked about in the media or from these pompous health "experts" like Ms. Goodwin!

"Do you honestly feel that a low-carb plan is something you can stick with for the rest of your life?" Goodwin asks. "If not, then it's just temporary like the rest of the fads. No more chocolate cake, mashed potatoes, French fries, spaghetti, pancakes, apple pie or other favorites. Forever. Even Atkins admits that if you go back to a higher carb diet again, the pounds will return."

Actually, yes, I do envision low-carb as a diet I can stick with for the rest of my life. It's the diet that's right for me and I plan on doing it forever and ever amen! That's the most important aspect of ANY effective diet program, Ms. Goodwin, regardless of which one you choose. Many people like me (like my fellow triple-digit Atkins weight loss success Kent Altena) are discovering that livin' la vida low-carb gives them exactly the kinds of foods they want without ever feeling deprived. That laundry list of foods you displayed shouldn't be a part of ANY "healthy diet," whether you are on low-carb, low-fat, low-calorie or whatever. Of course if you start eating all of those foods again, you're DEFINTELY gonna gain weight. DUH!

Do dietitians think we're all just a bunch of freakin' idiots or something? Arguing against low-carb by dangling such high-carb crap as chocolate cake, French fries and pancakes in front of people in an effort to mock our lifestyle choice is quite arrogant and sophomoric coming from a person of nutritional authority like a registered dietitian. You would think somebody in Ms. Goodwin's position would applaud a weight loss program that encourages people to make healthier choices in their diet, but I guess not. Do people on a low-fat or low-calorie diet get to eat all of those disgusting high-carb foods you mentioned, Ms. Goodwin? I'm just curious how they fit into your idea of a healthy lifestyle.

Goodwin contends the mechanism behind what makes low-carb living work is about the lack of food choices which leads to lower calorie consumption.

"The Atkins diet essentially eliminates several foods and food groups like fruits, cereals, breads, grains, starches, baked goods, dairy products, starchy vegetables, and sweets. The basic weight loss formula is: calories burned must exceed calories consumed. Easily done when the majority of the foods on a typical day's menu are eliminated. There's nothing revolutionary about this regimen."

Again, this shows that Ms. Goodwin is absolutely clueless about what low-carb is. The Atkins diet does not eliminate ANY food groups as is so commonly misstated by those who seek to tear down this way of eating. As an active low-carber for the past three years, I can tell you I have eaten plenty of low-glycemic fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, and melons, great-tasting low-carb and even zero-carb breads, yummy low-carb baked goods, and oh-so-delicious sugar-free, low-carb sweets that leave me wondering why I ever ate sugary desserts in the first place!

This notion that the food choices are so mundane that you can't help but cut down on your calories is ridiculous. I eat about 2400 calories daily with a wide variety of delicious and nutritious foods as part of my low-carb lifestyle. Nothing is "eliminated" and I have greater flexibility in my food choices NOW then I ever did when I ate the nasty-tasting low-fat foods.

Losing a whole person like I did, Ms. Goodwin, convinces you that this way of eating indeed is "revolutionary" like nothing that has ever been tried before. I don't mind sharing with others the miracle that has happened in my life as a result of the Atkins diet because I will never be the same again. Throw your sharpest criticism at my low-carb lifestyle all you want, but you'll never convince me or the millions of others who have made low-carb their preferred method of eating healthy that it is anything but the most amazing "diet" that has ever come along in the history of mankind.

What's amazing is how people like Ms. Goodwin routinely go around talking about how the Atkins/low-carb way of eating is going to fade away into obscurity when the reality is that this way of eating has been around since the beginning of time. Guess what? It's gonna be here long after the proponents of the low-fat lie vanish from the limelight and are proven to be the frauds that they really are. Science will continue proving livin' la vida low-carb is an excellent way to not only lose weight but get healthy, too. It always has and it always will.

I almost fell on the floor laughing when Goodwin trotted out the "but in other countries with high-carb diets" argument.

"The idea that a high-carb diet is responsible for obesity and illness (a concept supported by low-carb plans) is completely contradicted by many population-based studies," she crowed. "For instance, in Japan, carbohydrates compose the overwhelming majority of daily caloric intake. High carb foods like grains, rice, and vegetables are daily staples of Japanese life, and intake of high protein, high fat animal products is minimal. In contrast to the reported 'evils' of carbohydrates touted by low-carb plans, Japan has some of the lowest rates of obesity, heart disease, cancer and diabetes in the world. Enough said."

Um, no, that's not the end of the story, Ms. Goodwin. You see, consuming carbohydrate from sugar, processed foods, starchy vegetables like potatoes, and white flour DOES lead directly to obesity, heart disease, cancer and diabetes, among MANY other health conditions. Add to that the constant swings in your blood sugar with the impact that has on your body and it's a recipe for disaster.

If people in other countries want to eat that way and suffer the consequences, then so be it. But most of my fellow low-carbers will attest to the fact that they have never felt more in control of their body than being on a low-carb plan. That's the kind of freedom from the dietary bondage that livin' la vida low-carb brings those enslaved by carbs. 'Nuff said!

Finally, Ms. Goodwin thinks she knows the definitive answer as to why the Atkins/low-carb diet is just a passing fad.

"If these plans [low-carb] worked in the long run, the release of new diet books wouldn't even be necessary. The followers would have actually been capable of maintaining weight loss by eliminating high carbohydrate foods for over 25 years. Their long term weight loss success stories would have spread worldwide as the cure to obesity. Paradoxically, as more and more diets appear, the weight loss industry continues to get richer, and America continues to grow fatter."

Does this lady even hear what she's saying? She claims the release of new low-carb diet books is evidence that low-carb is ineffective over the long term. Okay, let's use this same logic, Ms. Goodwin, and apply it to the plethora of diet books that have come out about the low-fat diets. There are many more of these kind of books out there than there are low-carb ones. If high-carb/low-fat/low-calorie diets are the great weight loss miracle that proponents say they are (and studies like this and this have shown they clearly are NOT), then why haven't THEIR success stories "spread worldwide as the cure to obesity?" They have done nothing but made the world's population FATTER as all these so-called diet gurus keep getting richer and richer off of the fatness of America.

I agree it is disgusting that the weight loss empire has grown as large as it has, but you can't put the onus for that on low-carb diets like Atkins. The fact is the media and so-called health "experts" like this Goodwin lady have not accurately shared what low-carb living is really all about. Instead, they choose to use their newspaper columns and magazine articles to lambaste and malign this healthy alternative to the low-fat diets that don't work for everyone.

I've said it many times before and I'll say it again. Low-carb is not necessarily for everyone, but it is an excellent choice for people who are tired of being told they have to eat low-fat, lower their calorie intake and cut their portions. I'm here to tell you the truth: YOU DO NOT! Take it from a man who used to weigh over 400 pounds and was able to dig himself out of that rotten existence to become an athletic and energetic man enthusiastic about life and sharing the amazing health benefits of livin' la vida low-carb.

Forget about the doom and gloom message you hear from people like this dietitian Kathy Goodwin and start living the good life that will get your body looking better than it ever has while making you feel absolutely amazing in the process. That's the REAL secret that they don't want you to know about livin' la vida low-carb. But the cat's out of the bag now! :)

Send Kathy Goodwin over at The Diet Channel your thoughts about her negative comments about livin' la vida low-carb by sharing your comments using their contact page. Let's give this dietitian an education in low-carb she'll never forget! Let me know if you receive a response from her.

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Blogger Newbirth said...

I have one for Ms. Goodwin: If low-carb is so unhealthy than how come my body fat dropped 15% and I am now eligible to join the National Weight Control Registry? Hmmm? I lost 60 pounds and have so far kept it off.

Yes, Jimmy, I applied. They sent me a packet of stuff to sign and info. on my weight and requested pictures for proof. It will be mailed back tomorrow!

11/06/2006 8:53 PM  
Blogger grain free and lovin it said...

First off I really want to thank you for this forum and the information you supply.

I understand where Ms. Goodwin is coming from, having studied nutrition for two and half years at a very respected university and maintaining an A average in all my nutrition courses. Eventually, however, I decided the field of nutrition was not the right choice for me and chose another career path. (This is to give you an idea of where I am coming from)

My point is that in university we are given nothing but the low fat/low cal rhetoric as the only healthy alternative. The problem with nutritional studies, however, is that they are all obsevational. That is we cannot control all the factors and compare two like groups, the only difference being diet choice. So we have communities like the Seventh Day Adventist, who are vegetarians and as such eat low saturated fats and very little to no trans fats,don't drink or smoke,and who are more active than most, being compared to the general public, who includes everyone from regular fast food eaters, to alcoholics and heavy smokers, to couch potatoes. And of course, they experience better health, but this does not prove that a vegetarian diet is better. Correlation does not equal causation. (Incidently, this is a very old study and still used for all sorts of health claims in regards to the health benefit of a low calorie/low fat grains based diet.)

What this should mean for the scientist/nutritonist is that the jury is still out.

Interestingly, when scientists looked for a vegetarians over 100, they could not find a one. And before someone points to the Japanese as eating a semi vegetarian diet. I lived there, as a vegetarian at the time, searching for vegetarina meals; they are not vegetarian or anything close. They eat a lot of meat and fish (and drink copious amounts of green tea, which may be the real reason for how thin they are). Moreover, the only grain they eat, in any large amount, is rice and a serving is a handful, not a couple cups of it. And to reiterate, comparisons of the Japanese diet with the North American diet is also clouded with other factors, more exercise, less smoking, and less fast food. Of course, all this is changing. Mcdonalds is now everywhere.

But, let's be real, if you are able to maintain a low fat/low cal diet than you will be thin. The problem is very few people are able to follow the diet; especially when high fat foods are availible. It's not in our genetic makeup to turn down nutrient rich foods when they are availible. As hunter and gatherers, which everyone was until 10 000 years ago, we would have eaten what we could when we could; this would have allowed for survival in lean times.

This brings me to another point. If we take evolution into consideration than our bodies are adapted to a diet with very little grains and no processed sugars. Agriculture is only 10 000 years old; this is not enough time to have adapted to a grains based diet, and the insulin response it garners. (Processed sugar production is only a few hundreds years old.)

Of course now, there are powerful grain and sugar industries that have a vested interested in perpetuating grains based diet
These groups can be as unscrupulous as any diet book seller and are infinitly more powerful.

From my own experience, it was only when I cut out the starches and sugars did I have any hope in controlling my eating habit. All a grains based diet ever did was make me want to eat more.

The "sense of wellbeing" caused by a rush of glucose to my blood only made me want to consume more after the insulin had kicked in and the high worn off. I would imagine heroine addicts experience a similiar reaction.

It seems overweight nutritionists and vegetarians are forever giving low fat/ low cal lectures. (I am not overweight, luckily I discovered low carb before my weight got out of control. I have lost ten pounds, but many inches on LCD)

As the cliche goes, the proof is in the pudding. Let's see the studies that demonstrate the dangers of LCD. Let's see the testimonials, although these can be fabricated, let's see the death certificates.

Don't be discouraged Low Carbers

11/07/2006 1:51 PM  
Blogger Science4u1959 said...

What a stupid, misinformed woman. Her information about Japan, incidentally, is completely wrong. Do these people actually visit and research the dietary habits of the countries they are crowing about?

Well, I do, and I can assure you that the average Japanese diet is more low-carb than ever.

The rather dramatic improvements in heart health that the Japanese have achieved are due to the fact that they eat more meat, fish, and vegetables than ever!

The sad fact is that uneducated imbecils like Kathy Goodwin, who do their research by proclamation instead of investigation have simply no clue what they are talking about!

Somebody should legally prosecute these people for medical misconduct!

11/09/2006 9:41 PM  

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