MOVED TO LIVINLAVIDALOWCARB.COM/BLOG

PLEASE UPDATE YOUR BOOKMARKS TO LIVINLAVIDALOWCARB.COM/BLOG

Sunday, March 25, 2007

'No Flour, No Sugar Diet' Author Takes Silly Unfounded Pot Shots At Low-Carb Living


A book about avoiding flour and sugar--a low-carber's dream!

I live my life by the KISS motto--keep it simple stupid!

That's because simplicity is the most effective way to make something as complicated as something like a healthy diet as understandable as possible to everyone who hears it. People are already confused enough from the health "experts" about how many calories they need to be eating, what kinds of foods they should be consuming, trying to figure out the proper ratio of carbohydrates, fat and protein they should be eating--somebody please make the madness of it all go away! AAAAACK!

Well, that is exactly what syndicated health columnist Dr. Peter H. Gott ("Ask Dr. Gott") has attempted to do with his very simple, yet incredibly effective four-word diet plan and here it is: NO FLOUR, NO SUGAR! That's it! Nothing more, nothing less. Just avoid the white flour and eliminate all forms of sugar from your diet and you will lose and maintain your weight forever and ever, amen. Sounds easy enough, doesn't it?

It's this kind of bare minimum advice that is winning Dr. Gott's No Flour, No Sugar Diet enthusiastic fans the world over. For those of us who are livin' la vida low-carb, we already know how important it is to remove flour and sugar from our diet because these are the kind of carbohydrates that are making Americans fat and unhealthy at a record pace. However, there can also be a case made for avoiding other high-carb foods like potatoes, rice, pasta, processed foods, and junk foods, too. But this is at least a good start.

If the issue of obesity were simply a matter of cosmetics, then it wouldn't be such a crisis right now. But the sad fact that Dr. Gott points out very clearly in his book is that the resulting health problems that have come from the existence and prevalence of obesity alone is unnecessarily having an adverse impact on the quality of life of tens of millions of Americans. In fact, it is leading to hundreds of thousands of deaths annually and nobody seems to care!

As a diet and weight loss advocate myself, I was pleased to see Dr. Gott talk so openly about important elements of living healthy such as keeping a food journal, carefully reading nutritional labels, finding support from people who will help you lose weight, exercising regularly, adequately planning for your new lifestyle change, avoiding the real fad diets, staying focused on the plan, and making your new habits stick for proper weight maintenance for many years to come.

All of this is excellent advice, but...

Unfortunately, Dr. Gott doesn't embrace livin' la vida low-carb as a viable means for permanently losing weight and keeping it off forever because he thinks it is "potentially harmful" to eat the high amounts of protein and saturated fat from animal sources while allegedly decreasing the amount of fiber as well as fruits and veggies consumed with such an "extreme" plan like the Atkins diet. He sounds the warning bell that all of this will lead to an even bigger risk of heart disease, obesity, and maybe even cancer over the long-term.

Puh-leeze, Dr. Gott!

Very simply put, no it does not! If you read any of the latest studies coming out about the healthy low-carbohydrate nutritional approach, then you will very clearly see that there is nothing "potentially harmful" in terms of heart health or otherwise about this way of eating over the span of at least one year and quite probably even longer than that. Sensationalizing low-carb diets as somehow inherently "dangerous" or "unhealthy" is so yesterday's news. Most people are thankfully beginning to realize that dog don't hunt anymore.

Meanwhile, there are PLENTY of studies showing how a high-carb, low-fat intake is indeed leading to an increase in heart disease (likely from the gumming up of the arteries from excessive refined carbohydrates), making people gain more weight specifically in their abdomen area (yes, low-fat diets DO make you fatter--studies confirm it!), and bringing on both such conditions as kidney, esophageal, pancreatic, and even brain cancer in people who would otherwise remain healthy had they simply followed a low-carb diet. It's all in the medical journals in black and white for anyone with eyes willing to see it.

It is the height of hypocrisy and nothing more than a bald face lie to tell people eating protein and saturated fat is unhealthy for them. Again, go read the studies, Dr. Gott! The evidence simply does not bear this out and you should be ashamed of yourself for suggesting otherwise. Talk about making it simple, why do you insist on spreading such unproven nonsense about protein and fat? What are you afraid of people learning about these macronutrients if they wisely begin adding them to their diet in lieu of carbohydrates?

As for sharing your complete ignorance about the so-called lack of fiber on low-carb as well as fruits and vegetables in a low-carb diet, I'll have you know I eat about 50g fiber daily (without even counting, too!) and my amazingly delicious and nutritious low-carb diet is rich in such vitamin-rich non-starchy vegetables as spinach greens, cauliflower, green beans, cucumbers, tomatoes AND even low-glycemic fruits (GASP--you mean you can eat fruit on low-carb? Somebody stop the presses!) as strawberries, blueberries, honeydew, and cantaloupe--just to name a few!

How in the world did I ever lose nearly 200 pounds, keep the weight off for over three years, then get healthy and stay healthy eating this way, hmmm? How indeed.

Additionally, Dr. Gott repeats the ridiculous claims that low-carb "stresses the kidneys and liver" and leads to osteoporosis. Again, check your facts before going off on a tangent you obviously know nothing about, sir! There is no evidence that low-carb causes harm to the kidneys or the liver and there have been very clear studies on the myth about bone loss on a low-carb diet. LOOK IT UP and don't forget to apologize for your mistake later!

This continued assault against low-carb diets really needs to stop, especially from people like Dr. Gott who are for all intents and purposes is promoting the very same principles that the late great Dr. Robert C. Atkins made his entire life's work. If Dr. Atkins had never spoke out so strongly against the impact of garbage carbohydrates like white flour and sugar for nearly three decades, then Dr. Gott would probably have never released this book. That's a fact, Jack!

Frankly it was quite difficult to even get into this book after reading the jibberish about low-carb living and Dr. Gott's all-out assault against the very way of eating that helped me lose my weight and get healthy for the first time in my life. What's wrong with people that they have to tear down the Atkins low-carb diet in order to prop up their own dietary advice. I've just never understood this and probably never will.

Nevertheless, I forced myself to keep reading even as I was biting my tongue at times. Ironically, people who support livin' la vida low-carb will probably like what they see from Dr. Gott regarding the purpose of Dr. Gott's No Flour, No Sugar Diet. Primarily, it is to reduce calorie intake which then leads to weight loss. While he subscribes to the now-defunct "calories in, calories out" theory, this lower-calorie approach does somewhat explain why his plan works for weight loss.

The elimination of sugar from your diet under Dr. Gott's plan does not mean you can't have any of the plentiful array of sugar-free products made with artificial sweeteners like Splenda, aspartame, saccharin, and others--all of which he discusses at length in the book. He does not put any limitations on such things because they can help you get rid of sugar from your diet, an area where Dr. Gott and I strongly agree. I was happy to see him warn people about the nasty stomach-busting side effects of sugar alcohols like maltitol, lactitol, and sorbitol.

Also, for those of you who need direction, Dr. Gott provides a whole list of what you SHOULD eat and what you SHOULD NOT eat as well as two weeks worth of menu plans to help you get an idea about how Dr. Gott's No Flour, No Sugar Diet works from a practical standpoint. Plus, what's a diet book without recipes? Dr. Gott aims to please with plenty of them at the back of the book for everything from breakfast to dessert. Mmmmm.

Where we very sharply disagree, though, is on what constitutes a healthy diet.

Dr. Gott says carbs like whole grains, beans, starchy vegetables like potatoes, and high-sugar fruits like bananas are excellent choices for people when they are trying to lose weight. Frankly, they are not and will sabotage you even before you start due to their impact on your blood sugar levels and ability to reach ketosis.

On the subject of fat, we both agree that trans fats are bad news, but Dr. Gott believes saturated fat is just as damaging to cholesterol levels and heart disease and cancer risk as trans fats are. WRONG-O! The body of research that is building in support of saturated fat intake in conjunction with a low-carbohydrate diet is compelling indeed and I can only urge people to read the data for themselves and draw their own conclusions.

Finally, Dr. Gott says protein intake should be limited to lean animal sources to prevent an overabundance of saturated fat from entering their diet. Sigh. Will we ever get past this stigma that has been unnecessarily attached to saturated fat? Hello people?! It's not the great enemy people like Dr. Gott are making it out to be!

At least Dr. Gott's No Flour, No Sugar Diet does emphasize eating "nutrient-dense" foods that are packed with healthy nutrition. Again, this is something people who are livin' la vida low-carb advocate as well and it's good to see it being recognized by a health expert like Dr. Gott. Although his definition of "nutrient-dense" may be slightly different from mine, mostly he's referring to whole, all-natural foods--perfect choices for a healthy low-carb lifestyle.

One aspect of this book that I actually enjoyed was the liberal use of actual letters Dr. Gott has received over the years in regards to his "no flour, no sugar" diet plan. They helped tell the overall story about how and why this diet works from the perspective of real people living this way with amazing success. They found what works for them and now they're doing it. Who can argue with results?

All in all, Dr. Gott's No Flour, No Sugar Diet is not one that should be entirely dismissed even by people on a low-carb diet. If you can get beyond the perplexing bias against livin' la vida low-carb that overwhelmingly pervades certain sections of this book, then it actually has some fantastic information in it. It's just too bad Dr. Gott felt compelled to jump on the anti-low-carb bandwagon to placate his fellow health "expert" buddies.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

8 Comments:

Blogger Science4u1959 said...

Part and parcel of the current situation, which makes it so confusing to the average consumer is the very fact that even experts are not sure what constitutes a healthy diet. In fact they are completely out of touch with reality and the current state of research. Dr. Gott's misguided perceptions about "the big evil", fat, is a good example of that. How the heck is Joe Sixpack going to understand that fat is an essential macronutrient in any healthy diet if the "experts" keep crowing about the (perceived) dangers of fat?

It is so disappointing to hear otherwise intelligent people, who really should know better, brainlessly repeat these LIES over and over again. Doesn't anybody read the published, peer reviewed medical literature? Doesn't anybody do research? Stronger even: are we low-carbers the only persons interested in the truth or what?

And what does all of this tell us about the so-called "experts"? Somebody please save us from the "experts"!

Dr. Gott: READ THE MEDICAL LITERATURE. DO SOME RESEARCH. FYI: IT'S ALL ON-LINE THESE DAYS... I can promise you, it's an eye opener!

3/25/2007 11:16 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

And so we see the current schizophrenic state of nutrition trying to simultaneously follow and reject the same advice, namely the remarkable success of the recent low-carb research. Poor Dr. Gott is caught saying that two peices of conflicting advice are both completely correct. As Jimmy said, he is paying lip-service to the corrupt status quo, while jumping on the bandwagon of current research. This is a pathetic way for the medical community to save face for themselves, but which only results in confusion and disservice to all patients and the public. If one peice of advice is correct, then the opposing advice must be wrong, and can only be rejected. Again we see that the real basis of medicine is not in research but in reputation, not in science but in social forces.

3/26/2007 12:11 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

"Got one foot on the platform, the other foot on a train....." I believe and recommend that Dr. Gott should be committed at once, (involuntarily if necessary) for professional evaluation for schizophrenia. While I am a lay person, with no formal psychiatric training, I feel at least as qualified to comment on the probable state of his mental health as he is to comment on the "extreme diet" which saved my life. Let's face it, a person who simultaneously believes that up is up, and also believes that up is down, cannot be "all there." Ben

3/27/2007 3:18 AM  
Blogger Blaise said...

If it is true, as Dr. Gott says, that it is very harmful
to eat high amounts of protein and saturated fat from animal
sources and that this will lead to a big risk of heart disease,
obesity, and cancer, then ... HOW IS IT THAT MANKIND
EXISTS TODAY?

As the book "YOU: On a Diet" points out,
about 10,000 years ago man developed agricultural methods.
Before that time he consumed very low amounts of carbohydrates
such as breads (flour) and rice.

That is, for hundreds of thousands of years, man was existing
mainly on nuts, seeds, fruits, roots, meats, and water.
To me, that sounds like the kind of low-carb diet that Atkins would
recommend.

Why didn't the human race succumb to heart disease, obesity,
cancers, liver disease, and/or kidney disease on that FATTY
(meats, nuts, seeds) and PROTEIN-Y (meats, nuts, seeds) diet?

Could it be that Dr. Gott has forgotten about the way that
man ate in the years before 8,000 B.C. ?

4/18/2007 12:08 AM  
Blogger Blaise said...

If it is true, as Dr. Gott says, that it is very harmful
to eat high amounts of protein and saturated fat from animal
sources and that this will lead to a big risk of heart disease,
obesity, and cancer, then ... HOW IS IT THAT MANKIND
EXISTS TODAY?

As the book "YOU: On a Diet" points out,
about 10,000 years ago man developed agricultural methods.
Before that time he consumed very low amounts of carbohydrates
such as breads (flour) and rice.

That is, for hundreds of thousands of years, man was existing
mainly on nuts, seeds, fruits, roots, meats, and water.
To me, that sounds like the kind of low-carb diet that Atkins would
recommend.

Why didn't the human race succumb to heart disease, obesity,
cancers, liver disease, and/or kidney disease on that FATTY
(meats, nuts, seeds) and PROTEIN-Y (meats, nuts, seeds) diet?

Could it be that Dr. Gott has forgotten about the way that
man ate in the years before 8,000 B.C. ?

4/18/2007 12:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter much what people used to eat, my friends. I've lost 50 pounds in 5 months and have more energy than before doing as Gott and Ornish recommend. I don't eat any flour, sugar, rice or potatoes and a minimal amount of red meat and fat and it works. Plus, I'm an 50 y.o. female who's been overweight all her life! Tell me something that can do that other than Gott and Ornish. In controlled tests of diets, most folks lose an average of 10 Lbs a yr. on Atkins and who knows what it does to cholesterol to eat in that way... yes, some fats are not a problem, like Omega 3's, so it's a bit more complicated than some will have you believe. But you can't argue with success, folks. God knows I'm not. I'm headed for 100 lbs by the end of the year and glad I am NOT doing what Atkins suggests.

6/09/2008 11:05 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Congratulations on your chosen nutritional approach, but don't dis my Atkins diet and those of us who have chosen it as our healthy way of eating. Keep doing what works for you and those of us on Atkins will do what works for us. Take care!

6/09/2008 11:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have any of you taken a biology course? unsaturated fat consist of carbon chains that have hydrogen attached to them, with atleast one double bond, the double bond(s) make the carbon chains flexible and therefore liquid at room temp. Thus your healthy fats like olive oil, canola, etc. (minus palm kernel and coconut oil)Because the carbon chains are flexible it allows the molecules to move fluidly within your body. When Hydrogen is added to the unsaturated fats, whether natural or man-made (hydrogenated) you decrease the fexiblity of the carbon chain, which is what makes it a solid at room temp. When ingested there is a higher risk of the saturated fat clogging your arteries along with other substances. If this buildup ever dislodges and makes it wayto your heart, you have what we know as cardic arrest or a heart attack. Hydrogenated fats, which are man made saturated fats change the molecular structure of the carbon chain, flipping two molecules around, this will give you trans fats, which has been proven to cause serious health issues. Carbohydrates metabolize in your body as glucose, which your cells use for energy in everything you do. Glucose is sugar, but sugar, like a proper water-salt balance is vital for optimal health. There are simple carbohydrate which consist of monoscharrides (one-sugar), or single chains. These can be broken down in your body very easily and is what contribute to the sudden spike and drop of energy levels when you consume candies or so forth. Polyscharrides (many-sugars) are complex carbohydrates. It takes a longer time for your body to breakdown this type of carb, and contributes to a steady level of energy throughout the day. With out carbohydrates your cells will eventually need to dip into your fat storage for energy, this is why you will lose weight on Atkins, but at what cost? Because it is not a natural source of energy for your cells, eventually there are consequences. Yes you look good on the outside, and trust me I am not judging any of you. I am a personal trainer and used to be a weight loss consultant. I have had a few clients that have done atkins. One woman suffers from kidneys stones now, another couldn't get the weight off. This is because we are only meant you use our fat source when we were nomadic human living day to day, not knowing when we would find our next meal so if it happened to be days energy from fat takes longer to use up than from carbohydrates, therefore it is more efficent. I am not just saying atkins is unhealthy but any diet that goes in excess is. Ideally your body need all three major sources, protiens for cell membranes, synthesis of DNA, rNA etc, Carbohydrates for energy, cellular respiration, Unsaturated and a very small amount of saturated fats for insulation, cushioning of organs, back up energy etc. I really do hope that more of you will do you research before listening to what the media says. If you understand how the human body works then you will have a better understanding of what you need to do to lose weight. I know that it can be frustrating but exercise and a well balanced diet has stood the test of time, there is an old saying that goes " there are two roads in life to take, one is easy and it's only reward is that it is easy." Best of luck to all of you.

3/07/2009 10:12 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home