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Sunday, October 07, 2007

What's Going On Right Now In The Low-Carb World?

Hey there healthy living enthusiasts and thanks for being here for all the latest news and updates about the incredible and miraculous low-carb lifestyle. Sometimes there's so much going on that you may not have heard about that I have to lump it all together in one big blog post for you like I'm gonna do today.

So many stories, so little time--so let's get started! Here are ten hot stories going on right now in the low-carb world:

1. FDA IS STILL GIVING THE SUPPLEMENT STEVIA A HARD TIME

There's a hotly-contested battle going on right now between health advocates like those of us following the low-carb lifestyle and the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) over the issue of the supplement stevia. This Organic Consumers Association story explains how the FDA has taken a hard line against the plant-based sweetening agent stevia by not allowing manufacturers to call it a sweetener along the lines of Splenda, Equal, and Sweet N' Low. I've blogged about this battle over whether it's a supplement or a sweetener before and I was hoping the presence of a big name manufacturer like The Coca-Cola Company in the stevia standoff would help soften the acceptability of stevia as a sweetener. It doesn't appear that way yet, but the winds of change may be blowing in the direction of sweetener soon enough if Coke has its way.

2. ORIGINAL BIGGEST LOSER RYAN BENSON GAINS BACK HIS WEIGHT

The success of the hit NBC television weight loss reality show "The Biggest Loser" all started back in 2004 when Ryan Benson was crowned the very first winner of the show by losing 100 pounds. What you may not know is the extent to which he put his body through in order to lose those last few pounds before the final weigh-in. He candidly shared the drastic measures he took in those days before the finale at his his MySpace page. Have you heard about this? Here's a quote from his journal:

"I wanted to win so bad that the last ten days before the final weigh-in I didn't eat one piece of solid food! If you've heard of 'The Master Cleanse' that's what I did. Its basically drinking lemonade made with water, fresh squeezed lemon juice, pure maple syrup, and cayenne pepper. The rules of the show said we couldn't use any weight-loss drugs, well I didn't take any drugs, I just starved myself! Twenty-four hours before the final weigh-in I stopped putting ANYTHING in my body, liquid or solid, then I started using some old high school wrestling tricks. I wore a rubber suit while jogging on the treadmill, and then spent a lot of time in the steam room. In the final 24 hours I probably dropped 10-13 lbs in just pure water weight. By the time of the final weigh-in I was peeing blood."

HOLY CRAP! Although he says he has not suffered any ill effects to his health from this, he has put back on the weight and did so rather quickly after winning the $1 million prize for being "The Biggest Loser."

"In the five days after the show was over I gained about 32 lbs. Not from eating, just from getting my system back to normal (mostly re-hydrating myself). So in five days I was back up to 240 – crazy!"

But Ryan did share some real nuggets of truth about maintaining your weight after weight loss that give me hope he will know what to do this time after he reaches goal.

"Maintaining weight loss for me was obviously much harder – as seen in the fact that I have gained weight. Weight loss and maintenance are both the same thing – a complete change in your frame of mind. For many years I have always thought "If I can just lose the weight then I can eat anything I want." Unfortunately this isn't true, you have to keep a similar mind set whether you are losing weight or maintaining weight loss."

Maybe I was wrong when I said that the show was not creating unreasonable weight loss expectations in the contestants. I'm sure Ryan Benson was not alone in the lose-at-any-cost mentality that money can force them into doing. Does it make you as sick to your stomach as it does mine to hear about this?

When I won that local radio weight loss contest back in 2004, the worst thing I did was not eat all day long on the day of the weigh-in. And I thought I was being a rebel doing that! Of course, I ate like a madman when the contest was over and I had won. But I don't think a "Master Cleanse" would have been a consideration for me. EEEEK!

3. THIS IS ONE OF THE FUNNIEST DIET COMMENTARIES I'VE EVER READ!

This Lawrence (KS) Journal World & News column will absolutely speak for itself. If you've ever been on a diet (ANY DIET), then this will make your day. ENJOY!

4. DR. JONNY BOWDEN BUSTS UP 7 COMMON NUTRITIONAL MYTHS

Friend and fellow health advocate Dr. Jonny Bowden, author of two fantastic books that should be on the shelf of every low-carber--Living The Low-Carb Life and The 150 Healthiest Foods On Earth--has penned an absolutely brilliant column for iVillage.com entitled "7 Nutrition Myths Busted" that will shed some light on some of the dogmatic statements we hear so often from the so-called health "experts." Here's what Jonny lines up and shoots down one-by-one:

1. The food pyramid is for everyone.
2. There is a perfect diet that will work for everyone.
3. All low-carb diets are like the Atkins Diet.
4. Stress does not make you fat.
5. Metabolisms are all pretty similar.
6. Blood type does not make a difference.
7. A balanced diet will provide you with everything you need.


See what Dr. Bowden has to say about each one of these. You'll be pleasantly surprised! :D

5. US NEWS & WORLD REPORT ENDORSES LIVIN' LA VIDA LOW-CARB?

So I'm flipping through the September 27, 2007 issue of the magazine US News & World Report when I see an article called "Health Tip: Considering Low-Carb?" and my eyes are drawn to it for obvious reasons. It's a quickie four-sentence blurb about what people who are considering low-carb need to do if they choose this diet plan. WHOA! This just goes to show you that at least for one major publishing outlet, they've taken on the old adage if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Low-carb ain't going anywhere, so they might as well tell people about it! WOO HOO!

6. OMEGA 3 FATS REDUCES RISK OF TYPE 1 DIABETES IN KIDS, STUDY SHOWS

An exciting new study published in the September 26, 2007 issue of Journal Of The American Medical Association found that kids who consume more omega 3-rich fatty acids from such low-carb foods as flax seeds, walnuts, fish oil, canola oil, tuna, mackerel, sardines, salmon, bluefish, swordfish and free range eggs have a reduced chance of having Type 1 diabetes (juvenile diabetes). Get the full scoop about this exciting new regarding fat consumption for kids at the About.com Diabetes web site. I personally love my salmon, walnuts, and fish oil supplements. Free range eggs are still a bit out of my price range right now, but I'd get 'em in a heartbeat if money was no option.

7. IF YOU WANT TO THINK FASTER, THEN YOU NEED TO EAT MORE CARBS, STUDY SUGGESTS

Did you read about the study claiming a low-carb diet slows down cognitive function? Yep, these Australian nimwits at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization-Human Nutrition contend that "very low carbohydrate diets may offer less benefit than a high carbohydrate diet for improving cognitive function." Oh really? You might want to pick up a copy of Dr. Larry McCleary's outstanding new book called The Brain Trust Program about the BENEFIT to brain health that a ketogenic (low-carb) diet has. This conclusion that people need to "eat more carbs" was extrapolated by one of the researcher from this study I recently highlighted. In a word: WRONG-O!

8. BARILLA PASTA COMPANY STANDS BEHIND THEIR THRASHING OF LOW-CARB

To follow-up on a previous blog post where I suggested the whole wheat pasta company Barilla may not be a friend of the low-carber may just happen to be true. After seeing this link about the "dangers of low-carb diets," an e-mail was sent to the company challenging their opinion about livin' la vida low-carb and requesting clarification about why they believe low-carb is dangerous.

Here's how a company spokesperson responded:

Thank you for sharing your point of view on our website content.

We want to assure you that Barilla takes the issue of nutrition and health of our consumers very seriously. As such, we would never publish erroneous information. All of the low-carb diet information on our website comes from notable nutrition, medical and/or research experts and is footnoted with the specific resource. The information is posted on our site to merely present facts to help consumers make their own educated decision on how they eat.

We wish you all the best.

Thank you,

Consumer Relations
Barilla America, Inc.


Okay, but what about all the FACTS about how healthy a controlled-carbohydrate nutritional approach can be not only for weight management, but also for controlling many aspects of health, too, Barilla? If you're about helping educate consumers, then perhaps you should learn the fine art of sharing ALL the information and putting it out there on the table. Of course, you can't do that because your products, even the whole wheat pastas, are NOT healthy for people on a low-carb diet.

And even if they were marginally good, your utter disdain for those of us who choose to live this lifestyle makes me want to spend my hard-earned money elsewhere. Can you say Dreamfields anyone? :P

9. NUTRITIONDATA.COM CREATES A DIETING & WEIGHT LOSS CENTER

When you have time to check it out, there's an exciting new resource for people losing weight called the "Dieting & Weight Loss Center" brought to you by NutritionData.com. It's not all explicitly low-carb (as you will quickly notice by all the annoying Alli ads when you go there, but it's just another place for information about diet and health that you may want to take a look at. They were nice enough to link to my blog, so apparently they don't mind sharing a variety of voices on the subject. :)

10. GERMAN RESEARCHERS SAY CUT THE SUGAR, EXTEND YOUR LIFE BY 25%

Finally, I've got an exciting new study to share with you that was published in the October 3, 2007 issue of Cell Metabolism. Read the recap about the study in this Reuters story about how researchers in Germany restricted sugar intake in worms and they lived to be 25% older than those worms that consumed sugar. The only thing that irked me about the study was when one of the researchers said that the "body needs glucose (sugar/carbs)" which is not true as I have previously blogged about. I have a feeling that somewhere today Connie Bennett has got to be smiling. ;)

So there you have it! Ten scrumptious low-carb stories for you to chew on to start your week off right. Feel free to comment on any or all of them in the comments section below. THANKS for reading and I look forward to your reactions!

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2 Comments:

Blogger size8jeans said...

The only problem with #4 subpoint #6 on blood type is that the blood type diet says I should be a vegetarian. Yeah right! And a lot of other people should be vegetarians too since I have the second most common blood type.

10/08/2007 9:04 PM  
Blogger Pot Kettle Black said...

Hey Jimmy,

On Stevia: I don't care. It's the only non-sugar sweetener I don't really like, even if the FDA says it's not a sweetener. I know you don't like aspartame, but Stevia just has "that taste" and the flavored ones, don't get me started.

On Biggest Loser: Folks who pay attention to big weight losers who do it with calorie restriction are unsurprised. As to the really sick behavior in the final week: well, what would you do for $1 Million? I could do the Master Cleanse (I did it for four days in 2000, for free).

Johnny Bowden: #6. I'm not saying that he's completely wrong, but Eat Right 4 Your Type is bad science. Eat LC if you are insulin resistant. If you aren't, good luck.

US News: "A low-carb diet may not be a good idea for people with diabetes, kidney stones, high cholesterol, or women who are pregnant." That's the final line. Two real zingers in there: Diabetes and High Cholesterol. I dunno about stones or pregnant (not my problem), but LC is the PERFECT diet for diabetes, and it'll lower your cholesterol too. Go figure.

Think Faster: I think they are talking about in the short term. Clearly, ketogenic diets = brain protection in the long term. But I think the researchers' contention is that a quick shot of the glucose will help improve cognition. I think this is in Taubes book, as a matter of fact.

Barilla: It's a company founded on carbs. That's all they sell. And the process to "lock" carbs is patent pending, so they can't move into Dreamfields territory. So, if everyone goes LC, they are out of business. It's not like they're gonna switch the line to quinoa pasta anytime soon (like anyone wants to eat that anyway). Beef can breed for low fat. Barilla is trapped in high carb. They shouldn't go quietly. If I owned stock in them, I wouldn't want them to.

Nice link on the Germans. The nation that brought us "A calorie is a calorie", reducing diets and more exercise is finally making amends.

10/09/2007 10:01 AM  

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