Sunday, February 04, 2007

Atkins Low-Carb Diets Encourage Eating Fruit

Low-glycemic fruits are recommended for a low-carb diet

This Fredericksburg, VA-based Free-Lance Star column about how important exercise is for the sake of brain function included some rather lamebrained information perpetuating the myths about fruit consumption when you are livin' la vida low-carb that are obviously NOT based on any low-carb program I am familiar with.

Here's the quote from the article:

Low-carb diets are all wrong. "It makes me crazy," the medical expert in the story said, when his patients tell him they can't eat fruit and vegetables because they're on a low-carb diet. "Almost all the anti-aging nutrients come from carbohydrates."

If somebody is telling their doctor they can't eat any fruit at all because they are on a low-carb diet, then apparently they haven't read any of the same low-carb diet books that I have. Certainly, there are a few high-sugar fruits that are not recommended for low-carbers to consume, including bananas, raisins, and even orange juice, especially during the weight loss phases because they will kick you out of ketosis just as fast as a sugary candy bar will.

I have blogged about some of my favorite low-glycemic fruits such as yummy blueberries and strawberries as well as melons and cantaloupes that have been and still are an essential part of my Atkins low-carb lifestyle. It makes me scratch my head in bewilderment whenever people ask me if I eat fruit now that I've lost weight. Um, I've been eating fruit throughout my low-carb journey, so DUH!

This may surprise people, but fruit is allowed on the Atkins diet

The truth is you can get all the healthy benefits of eating fruits on the low-carb lifestyle just as Dr. Robert C. Atkins suggested in his program. In fact, right now I'm looking at pages 496-497 in Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution and Dr. Atkins has an entire list of RECOMMENDED fruits to be consumed on the low-carb lifestyle along with their carb counts.

Look at these 21 fruits with LESS than 8g carbohydrates:

- applesauce
- apricot
- avocado
- blackberries
- blueberries
- cantaloupe
- cherries
- cranberries
- fig
- grapes
- honeydew melon
- lemon juice
- tomato juice
- mango
- papaya
- pineapple
- plum
- raspberries
- strawberries
- tangerine
- watermelon

Yep, that low-carb diet sure is devoid of fruit, ain't it? NOT! I suppose if you never even cracked open the book to begin with, then you would automatically ASSume fruits are not allowed. But clearly that is not the case with the real Atkins diet to anyone who bothers to actually read all 540 pages of it! How much more arrogant can you be than to spread lies and misinformation about something you know nothing about (remember Vee Jefferson)?

The article went on to say that people should "avoid the bad carbs by all means" including white flour, sugars, and corn syrup as well as hydrogenated fats (aka trans-fats). Excellent! That is all very good advice to follow indeed.

So, in the end, check out what foods are recommended:

Green leafy vegetables, lean protein from seafood and poultry, beans, soy products, whole grains, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, berries, nuts, ground flax, garlic, herbs, green tea, non-fat yogurts with fruit, red wine, dark chocolate and cocoa.

Hmmm, what do MOST of those foods listed above look like to you? Can you say LIVIN' LA VIDA LOW-CARB, baby! Take away the whole grains, beans, and soy products and you will probably not find that many low-carb supporters who will disagree with any of those other food choices. See, this constant drumbeat of negativity about low-carb living really has become pointless because they agree with us a lot more than they even realize it!

Now go get you a bowl of some low-carb fruit to sit down, relax, and enjoy a healthy snack while you ponder over this newfound understanding and realization of the most amazing nutritional approach known to mankind--that would be livin' la vida low-carb!

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Blogger Lowcarb_dave said...

What about the anti-anging properties of saturated fat?

This guy is short sided.

There are plenty of vitamins and minerals in meat.

They don't seem concerned about those health benefits?

Meat and eggs is the very basis of the Atkins Diet.

That is where the majority of calories and macronutrients, vitamins and minerals come from!

Trying to get what you need by digesting fruit and vegetables will leave you ill and sick - just like how most vegans look.

What about all the vitamins that are fat soluable???

Just pushing fruit and veggies, is short sighted. Since they are only a portion of the diet, and must be rationed in carb amounts through the different phases of the Atkins Diet.

2/04/2007 9:39 PM  
Blogger Scott K said...

I actually avoid the term "low-carb" as often as possible because of all the disinformation out there about it. If someone asks about my macronutrient intake, I inform them that it's "high fat, moderate protein, and fairly low in carbohydrates," or tell them the foods that I eat "meat, vegetables, nuts, fruit, tubers, squashes." It's funny that the people that will agree with a low-carb diet when you list out the foods are against the same when using the term "low-carb". That's the nature of the beast though.

2/05/2007 9:02 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Excellent point, Dave! These people don't want to give any credence to meat consumption because many of them are vegetarian freaks. And that's putting it nicely.

As to your point, Scott, I hate that we have to dance around this issue of how we eat. That's why I refuse to sidestep the term "low-carb" because that was the way I lost and now maintain my weight.

I can certainly understand describing "low-carb" for people without using that exact word for it as many low-carbers are attempting a stealth approach.

But I disagree with that method because I'm not ashamed to educate people about what low-carb REALLY is. Sure, it's sometimes hard to overcome the negativity that floats around out there, but that's no reason to surrender.

THANKS for your comments!

2/05/2007 10:50 AM  
Blogger Jeff Hamlin said...

You have no need whatsoever for carbs of any kind, "Low GI" or not. All carbs break down to sugar at some point as it is, not to mention all the plant toxins which negate any benefit you think one might receive from eating any kind of fruit or vegetable. Owsley Stanley is right. Now if only I could overcome carb addiction, I'd be set for life.....

Too bad Atkins changed to please the masses.

2/05/2007 6:22 PM  
Blogger Lowcarb_dave said...


I can tell you, in non low-carb circles I have been condemned and scorned because I chose the Atkins diet.

I understand your committment to promote your success, but you have to admit the constant critisism can be a pain.

People simply will dismiss everything I say, and angrily attack and argue with me.

In the end closing my blog was partly to get away from the constant attacks. I have left a few weight loss forum boards, because of the closed minds. Not all minds were closed, but just enough of them would constantly bait and harrass me.

Heck I still have my weight loss journey to complete, I don't need the negativity.

2/05/2007 6:35 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

I guess I have a thicker skin than most people, Dave. :) But I can understand how it could discourage others. At least nobody was telling me how awful my diet is as I was having success. That would have royally sucked!

2/05/2007 6:46 PM  
Blogger Lady Atkins said...

Hey, some of us do eat soy as part of our low-carb diet! Don't knock it. It is neither a miracle health food or the evil things other people have made it out to be. I've found a wonderful grape-nuts-like soy cereal that I put in yogurt - like I used to do with grape nuts as a kid.

Besides, I actually LIKE tofu. :)

2/05/2007 9:08 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

THANKS for your comments, Lady Atkins. I know many low-carbers who like soy products and I certainly did not disparage anyone who uses them.

But there is a segment of the low-carb community that does not approve of soy products for their own reasons. Perhaps some of them would be happy to share their objections here so we can all learn what's wrong with it.

2/05/2007 9:29 PM  
Blogger Scott K said...

I disagree with you a bit regarding side-stepping the "low-carb" thing. My take is this: If I can inform someone of proper nutrition by telling them what to eat (meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts, oils, seeds, tubers, squashes...i.e, not grains, not much dairy, not sugar, not artificial sweeteners), that is going to accomplish far more than saying "low carb" and getting shut down immediately. If I turn them off before the third word comes out of my mouth, I've lost them. So I tend to tell them what to eat, knowing that intake is going to normalize to a low to moderate carb diet. It can't do anything is nearly impossible to eat high-carb when eating natural Paleolithic foods. If one isn't metabolically deranged, I highly doubt that they can overeat most fruits and vegetables. If I can convert someone to a non-grain-based diet, they're going to be pretty low carb and I never had to utter those two words that might have prevented their interest in a change to begin with. They'll figure it out on their own later: "Hey, I don't eat that many carbs...this low carb stuff really works."

2/06/2007 9:13 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Oh, I agree with you, Scott. If you can describe how you are eating and convince people, then that's great. But I've already put myself out there publicly as a "low-carb" success both locally and on my web sites and podcast.

So it makes sense for me to do it (there's no hiding the name "Livin' La Vida LOW-CARB") and be proud of it. There's no doubt to your point that this way of eating can be effectively described without ever using the LC word. It's like a curse word nowadays, isn't it? :)

2/06/2007 9:31 AM  
Blogger Science4u1959 said...

What's wrong with soy? Depending on how it was produced, quite a lot can be wrong with it. If it's produced the modern way, like most soy products, the disadvantages are numerous.

Soy has been shown to produce adverse affects in every species it is fed to. In animal experiments, soy has been linked to thyroid dysfunction, growth and reproductive abnormalities, failure to thrive and increased mortality. In humans, soy has been linked to increased breast cell proliferation (suggestive of increased breast cancer risk),(Petrakis NL)(Hargreaves DF) impaired iron absorption,(Shaw NS)(Hurrell RF) impaired immune function,(Zoppi G, et al)(Zoppi G, et al)(Alexandersen P) altered thyroid function, (Ishizuki Y, et al)(Duncan AM)(Watanabe S)(Ham J)(Persky VW), precocious puberty,(Freni-Titulaer LW), and growth and reproductive disorders (Strom BL)

Numerous studies show that the regular consumption of soy foods can lower testosterone levels, an effect that appears to be especially pronounced when these products are consumed as part of a low-fat diet.(Habito RC)(Raben A)(Gardner-Thorpe D)(Zhong) Given that testosterone is a critical hormone that plays an important role in growth, repair, sex drive, immune function, and that low levels of testosterone have been linked to increased heart disease risk, men should be wary of anything that lowers testosterone.

According to some "experts" studies "suggest" that soy may protect against heart disease, osteoporosis, colon cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, hair loss, and prostate cancer. It should be pointed out that the number of studies providing clear evidence that soy protects against any of these conditions amounts to a big fat zero. Researchers have simply found soy to affect some related aspect or biomarker of these conditions, which is enough for the soy spin doctors to step in and claim 'benefits' and 'protection' from soy consumption.

The claim that soy can protect against heart disease is a classic case in point. The FDA approved heart-healthy claims for soy, not because of any clinical evidence that soy lowers CHD mortality (no such evidence exists), but simply because soy can lower cholesterol levels. That, of course, doesn't mean jack, especially when one considers that dietary cholesterol-lowering has repeatedly shown itself to be an abysmal failure at lowering CHD mortality in randomized clinical trials.

Others have suggested that soy is a preferred and/or even superior protein. Absolute nonsense! Actually, it is well-known that egg and whey proteins are the gold standard proteins - that is, if your gold standard is digestibility and bioavailability. If your criteria for a top protein source is testosterone reduction, thyroid impairment, possible menstrual cycle disruption, phytate and trypsin content (anti-nutrients that impair the absorption of nutrients and the actions of digestive enzymes), and a high aluminum content, well yes, soy is your protein!

As for the claim that soy consumption is responsible for the lower rates of CHD and certain cancers in Asian populations, don't some people ever learn? Myopic focus by Western researchers on isolated aspects of Oriental eating habits is one reason why the utterly useless and rapidly disintegrating low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet paradigm came to the fore in the first place. There could be numerous reasons why Asians suffer lower rates of CHD and certain cancers that have absolutely nothing to do with soy, including increased long-chain omega-3 consumption, more temperate dietary and lifestyle habits, etc, etc.

Furthermore, studies involving thousands of Japanese and Chinese participants show that they do not devour the copious quantities of soy products that we have been led to believe. Recent studies show that the median intake of soy protein among Chinese women is ten grams, a lot less than the 25g-plus amounts currently being promoted for 'disease-fighting' purposes. (Shu XO) The Japanese, whose low rates of CHD and breast cancer are enthusiastically cited by soy advocates, appear to eat even less; a recent survey of over 4,800 Japanese adults showed that the average intake of soy protein was 8g among men, and 6.9g among women.(Nagata C)

These amounts are easily surpassed by misguided Westerners consuming modern, non-traditional soy products like soy protein powders, soy milk, soy sausages and burgers, soy yogurts, etc, etc.

It should be pointed out that the problems with soy stem from its isoflavone and anti-nutrient content. Condiments such as soy sauce and miso, in the amounts typically used, do not pose a threat, as their isoflavone and anti-nutrient content is negligible.

As for such junk as soyburgers, soy milk, soy yogurt, soy chips, and tofu, don't be a soy boy - eat real food instead!

So why should we risk the adverse effects of eating this garbage?

2/09/2007 1:51 AM  

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