Thursday, January 24, 2008

Lotsa Lotsa Low-Carb News Catch-Up Time

I admit it...there's so much happening right now that I want to share with you that I can barely find the time to blog about it all. That's why I've decided to just plop it all here for you in one swell foop of a blog post so you can see what all you're missing. It's a lot of stuff, so hang on to your hats folks. Here goes!

In light of my recent decision to hire a personal trainer to help me with my weight lifting, I came across this thought-provoking column about ten things your personal trainer won't tell you. Mine better not be hiding this stuff from me! I'm sure he is just like they all do.

Stop the presses, everyone. Cholesterol could actually be g-g-good for you according to research out of Texas A&M. The researchers found that having LOW cholesterol will cause you to LOSE muscle when you are exercising. YIKES! Please pass the steak and eggs! Hat tip to Chris at the "Conditioning Research" blog for the heads-up on this amazing study.

Although they are no fan of livin' la vida low-carb (remember this asinine report comparing the various diets), Consumer Reports had a pretty impressive story about cutting down on the amount of white in your diet. They're referring to salt and sugar, of course, although there's not much reason to cut down on salt as I've previously blogged about. But sugar is something you want to completely eliminate from your diet, although I wouldn't recommend the low-fat alternatives suggested by Consumer Reports. But at least it's a start in the right direction for them.

Have you been to the "Donate My Weight" web site yet? Here's a guy trying to change his life and helping the needy at the same time. Ben Miller is donating a pound of food to a food bank helping feed the hungry for each pound of weight he loses. Since he began his weight loss efforts at 450 pounds on January 1, 2008, he has lost 20 pounds and counting. You can even join him in this effort while you lose weight and make a difference at the same time. GREAT JOB, Ben! Keep it going, buddy, and I hope you'll have over 200 pounds of food donated by the end of 2008.

I just about fell out of my chair when I read this Business Week story about the diet industry and the columnist Rebecca Reisner acknowledged that the Atkins diet, South Beach and other low-carb plans are "designed to be permanent" and "intended as a years-long plan to reduce carbohydrate intake." WOO HOO! Are we finally moving beyond the childish journalism to describe livin' la vida low-carb as a "fad?" I sure hope so.

On second thought, maybe that same old tired template hasn't gone anywhere yet. Just look at this Detroit Free Press column for yourself and you'll understand why I keep harping on the blatant bias against low-carb that still remains in the mainstream media. This statement really got to me because it misses the point of livin' la vida low-carb: "Today, carbs have regained the respect they deserve, with the realization that carbs do not lead to weight gain unless they are gobbled to excess." That's not entirely true because some of us are so sensitive to carbs that even consuming more than 50g in a day will cause our weight to rise. But worse than that, the blood sugar spikes followed by the insulin release will wreck our health in ways that I don't even want to begin to imagine. I'll be sticking to my low-carb plan, thank you!

And don't even get me started on this McKinney Courier-Gazette column disparaging livin' la vida low-carb as "harmful to the body" leading to cancer, kidney problems, and cardiovascular difficulties. PUH-LEEZ!!! All of the points made in this outrageous hit piece have been duly refuted here at my blog many times, so I'm not gonna bother rehashing all that again now. Suffice it to say, this one's as bogus as they come!

Some people are so ignorant about the low-carb lifestyle that they don't even realize how foolish they look when they go spouting off about what they think it is. Take this Bourland Buzz Blog post for example. In a rant about diabetes, the author Anna authoritatively states "Atkins is 10000% crap and sure you lose weight, but you can't live on that forever, you just can't." Anna, Anna, Anna...I think those hormones from being pregnant have kicked in just a wee bit on the high side because you're not making any sense. As someone who has been eating that "crap" diet for four years and counting, you most certainly CAN live that way forever if you stop with the hyperbole. Can I get you a bowl of Rocky Road CarbSmart ice cream and sugar-free sweet pickles?

I love hearing stories of success and reading about them in the news media. Such is the case with this one about Cassandra Jardine from the UK. Using a "a variant on the Atkins' diet" she was able to lose the weight and bragged about being able to eat fat while cutting sugar as a pleasurable trade-off. The following words of wisdom should be the motto of anyone who is livin' la vida low-carb. You might want to pin these up on the wall or your refrigerator as a reminder of why you are doing this.

"I've learnt that I don't need starch to keep going until the next meal: it's padding I don't need, both on my plate and around my waist. And I've discovered that making controlled choices makes me feel better about myself rather than dressing up despair as defiance."

You know I recently told you about a truly fascinating new documentary about low-carb living called Fat Head that was filmed not just to educate about the follies of the low-fat hypothesis (which it does VERY well!), but to also respond to the exaggerations and "load of bologna" as the filmmaker Tom Naughton calls it from Super Size Me filmmaker Morgan Spurlock. I even interviewed Naughton at my blog to talk about his film and share how we can help get it shown in theaters. Well, since that time, there has been this Houston Chronicle story as well as Part 1 and Part 2 of an interview with popular culture blogger Michael Blowhard. The more exposure for a film like this, the better!

When the research in favor of a controlled-carb nutritional approach keeps coming out like it has over the past few years, it's becoming more and more difficult for the anti-Atkins people to keep up their negative rhetoric and here's another new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in January 2008 that pours cold water on the low-fat lie. Dr. Manny Noakes (who I met and blogged about her work previously) from Australia's CSIRO found that a higher protein intake by women resulted in greater weight loss and health benefits that met or surpassed all other diets. It's another notch in our corner proving the viability of the healthy low-carb lifestyle.

Speaking of good news for the low-carb lifestyle, have you heard about what is happening over in Sweden right now? Just last week, a major Swedish medical board started recommending low-carb (what they describe as LCHF--low-carb, high-fat) diets for the overweight and Type 2 diabetics to follow after deliberating about it since 2005. The hero in this is the tireless work of a very courageous physician named Dr. Annika Dahlqvist who had been castigated and ostracized for daring to promote low-carb to her patients. Now they're saying a collective OOOPS and giving Dr. Dahlqvist the praise and adoration she deserves for following the science rather than the dogma that pervades much of the worldwide medical community.

This Swedish story as well as this single English language story from a radio station in Sweden are the only mentions of the fact that the National Board of Health and Welfare now admit that a diet low in carbohydrate and high in fat and protein was found to be more beneficial for diabetics and the overweight. Avoiding bread and potatoes and eating more butter and cheese has long been declared the best method for treating those with Type 2 diabetes by Dr. Dahlqvist. While weight loss is always acknowledged as a benefit of livin' la vida low-carb, the blood sugar normalization and ability to quit insulin in very short order is often missed.

Sweden is like the first country in the world to have a major medical board to officially admit that low-carb is suitable treatment for diabetes and overweight, although the decision this month to embrace low-carb by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) comes closest. I have been in contact with Dr. Dahlqvist about conducting an interview with her about this celebrated accomplishment in her home country of Sweden. Stay tuned!

Are you still drinking that 2% or skim milk? Then perhaps you need to read this Vancouver Sun column about two studies published in the American Journal of Epidemiology about how low-fat and fat free milk actually INCREASES the risk of prostate cancer and tumor growth. EEEEK! Full-fat milk or even heavy cream sure sounds pretty good right about now, doesn't it? A previous study I highlighted from the same researcher Dr. Song Yi-Park even found that consuming full-fat dairy and meats will protect men against the risk of prostate cancer growth. Sure makes me glad I'm livin' la vida low-carb!

We knew when Gary Taubes released his blockbuster book Good Calories, Bad Calories in September 2007, it was gonna shake up the health establishment and make them rethink everything they thought they knew about nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle. One of the targets of Taubes was the infamous low-fat diet promoter Ancel Keys who almost single-handedly was responsible for getting this way of eating approved as national public policy in the United States. this Minnesota Monthly column chronicles this "food fight" that Taubes brought to the forefront, although the spin on the story is especially anti-Atkins. But at least they're talking about it!

If you have been diagnosed with "high cholesterol," then look out for the new FDA-approved over-the-counter cholesterol-lowering statin drug that is coming called Mevacor, according to this Business Week story. Keep in mind the last major drug that the FDA approved to be sold as OTC that is now causing all sorts of trouble for users: the weight loss pill called Alli. Run as fast as you can AWAY from this new OTC cholesterol medicine. You don't need it! Just eat a low-carb diet and your lipid profile will improve dramatically!

Have you seen the January 2008 issue of Better Nutrition magazine? It's not available online, but if you can find it on newsstands, then pick it up. There's a great article in there on a woman named Kat James who wrote a book called The Truth About Beauty that highlights--GET THIS!--the BENEFITS of low-carb living on your skin and how you look. WOW!!! She calls it "low-impact eating," but it's basically livin' la vida low-carb in a nutshell. I'm trying to get my hands on a copy of the book and may try to get an interview with James as well. Check it out!

Now here's some good news from researchers who question whether the dietary recommendations are good for our health or not. With the creation of the 2010 Food Pyramid already well underway under the direction of the USDA's new Director of Nutrition Policy and Promotion Dr. Brian Wansink, researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine say the way we've been doing it is all wrong. Yeah, no kidding! Look at their reasoning for being concerned:

"The previous priority given to a 'low-fat intake' may lead people to believe that, as long as fat intake is low, the diet will be entirely healthful. This belief could engender an overconsumption of total calories in the form of carbohydrates, resulting in the adverse metabolic consequences of high-carbohydrate diets [and] an increasing prevalence of obesity in the United States has corresponded roughly with an absolute increase in carbohydrate consumption."

BINGO! This is the message that people like me and others have been trying to get out there and I sincerely hope that Dr. Wansink heeds this warning from these researchers responding accordingly when those 2010 dietary recommendations are released. In the meantime, there should be a moratorium on the current low-fat recommendations as Dr. Gil Wilshire previously proposed. Once again, my fellow blogging friend Chris from the "Conditioning Research" blog is spot on in covering this story.

Why is it that people who find success on low-carb will then be quoted in the media as saying there's no way they could keep eating this way for the rest of their life? That's what happened in this Tampa Bay Online article about a man who lost 65 pounds on low-carb after his doctor figured out his body was carbohydrate intolerant. Okay, GREAT! So what's with this statement? "You can't go low- to zero-carbs forever, it is about having enough carbs to let your metabolism help you maintain normal weight or lose extra pounds." Ummm, if you are not able to handle carbs, then why would you eat them just to satisfy some imaginary need for them, hmmmm? Just asking!

Then we see in this Pittsburg Post-Gazette column that the best diet is what works best for YOU (OUTSTANDING!), but then it goes off and dumps on low-carb living. The so-called health "expert" in this story is quoted as saying some pretty ignorant things about this way of eating demonstrating he doesn't have a clue what he's talking about.

"My concern is for the long term. If you can lose 20 pounds doing the Atkins diet, fine. But what diet are you going to do the rest of your life? For example, the Atkins diet eliminates many fruits or vegetables for life. South Beach says there are some good veggies and some bad, but there's no evidence that is true. All fruits and veggies are good for you...That's what concerns me in the long term. In the long term, what you need is a well-balanced diet, fruits and vegetables, calorie control and exercise."

Oh, really! I eat more fruits and veggies now than I did when I wasn't on the Atkins diet. There are higher-sugar fruits and starchy veggies that would send my blood sugar levels skyrocketing, so I avoid them. They're NOT good for me, so I'm healthier as a result of steering clear of them. It's just being smart rather than following some mindless eat-all-fruits-and-vegetables nonsense. What a copout!!!

Have you heard the latest "cure" for diabetes? It's weight loss surgery, according to this MSNBC story on a new study out of Australia. The crux of this "cure" is for the patients to lose weight and the researchers think the LAP-BAND is the only way for that to happen. Yo, have you heard of livin' la vida low-carb? Sure sounds a lot less invasive than weight loss surgery and stabilizes blood sugar levels, too. Our medical researchers have a warped sense of treating disease these days. It's either a pill or surgery! UGH!

And last, but not least, let's end on a high note with a column by one of my favorite people in the world, Dr. John Briffa from the UK. It's entitled "Why Do Scientists Refuse to Recommend Lower-Carb Diets for Diabetes?" and is absolutely brilliant. I have a lot of respect for what Dr. Briffa has to say ever since I interviewed him last Fall and realized his passion for low-carb is as strong as mine. He raises some excellent questions in that column, so don't miss it.

WHEW! See, I told you I had a boatload of news backing up that I have been dying to share with you. Not enough hours in the day to squeeze it in sometimes, but that's a good thing. As always, if you see something you think I might be interested in sharing at my blog, then please e-mail me anytime at THANKS for reading and keep on livin' la vida low-carb.

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Blogger Rachel said...

Wow, Jimmy! So much great information, so little time! :) No, really, you do a fantastic job of finding the best information out there, and it saves me countless hours trying to look things up myself! You are a wealth of information. And I must say, I enjoy your humor, too..."one swell foop" made me laugh! :)

1/25/2008 3:46 AM  
Blogger iambeth493 said...

Outstanding information as usual. I am always amazed at how ignorant the "experts" are.

1/25/2008 8:08 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

THANKS Rachel! Sometimes it gets a little overwhelming trying to keep up, but I wouldn't trade this job for nothin' in the world. I like to have some fun while educating about livin' la vida low-carb (can you tell?). :D

I appreciate that, Beth! It's truly remarkable how those "experts" keep getting it wrong in the face of so many facts that prove it. Are they REALLY that idiotic? :P

1/25/2008 10:05 AM  
Blogger April Allen said...

Great Information, Jimmy! There's nothing wrong with putting it all together in one writing! After all, you have to have some time for yourself...we don't need any "burnout" here! I'm glad I have the internet this time around because everything you are doing is helping me a lot with getting started.

1/26/2008 10:37 PM  
Blogger Didirina said...

Hi Jimmy-

I'm new to your show and blog, but I'm trying to catch up. I did manage to actually read the article from the Detroit Free Press that claimed that carbs were no longer out of favor and had regained their rightful place in a "healthy" diet. I found it interesting that there was one comment posted as a response, which cheered me greatly:

"It is disappointing that repeating food industry talking points is now passing for journalism at the DFP. Here's an idea - maybe Ms. Fernau could earn her salary and actually research her articles instead of reprinting brochures mailed to her by pasta and potatoe peddlers.

While the "low-carb fad" is having its death knell sounded by the grain and starchy food lobbies, the USDA is revising its guidelines to eliminate refined wheat products and focus on whole grains and leafy vegetables, the American Diabetes Association is recommending controlled carbohydrate nutrition to its members including eliminating starches in all forms. The nutrional science proves that controlling carbohydrates and getting sufficient protein and fat in the diet is far and away the most healthful diet that the human body can consume. Its the diet your body was designed to eat.

Read Michael Pollan's or Gary Taubes new books to get factual, unbiased information on what you should put into your body. File this article in the garbage along with your other junk mail."

HA! Thanks for all you do!!

1/26/2008 11:44 PM  
Blogger Natty said...

Controlling carbs is the way to go but lose the Splenda, everyone. It goes through a chlorinating process that will leach into your body! Yuck! Use Stevia and flavored Stevia instead, available at your local health food store. Just because the FDA says Splenda is ok should not make you feel good about it. Why did it take such an unheard amount of little time for the FDA to push Splenda through when it takes years to get an ok from everything else? Beacuse it's backed by the trillion dollar sugar industry. Money talks, people!

1/27/2008 8:18 AM  
Blogger I'm a Fat Man said...

Thanks for a great post. I've got everything saved now to so that I can read at my leisure.


- MR. F

1/27/2008 12:46 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Great post, Jimmy! I enjoyed checking out the articles. One personal note: I have a lap band, and it has helped me tremendously with low-carbing. I have lost over 100 pounds in the last two years (still have a ways to go!) slowly and easily. My weight loss was slower at first as I tried to eat "bandster portions" of carby foods in the hopes that I could still eat food like that, but NOPE! I am mostly carb-intolerant. How the band helped me: eliminating bread as a possible food choice. I CAN'T eat it, it will not go down. Once I got rid of the other carby foods, and started eating full-fat good low carb foods, my weight loss sped up. I never want to live without my band, but I realize this is a choice that few people need to make, or even should make. It would have been nice to be able to just low-carb, but I just could not stop "cheating" until I got the band.
Keep up the good work of low-carb blogging!


1/27/2008 4:19 PM  
Blogger Ben said...


Thank you so much for sharing my 'Donate My Weight' story with your readers. I really appreciate your kind words and your support!


1/28/2008 7:25 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

My pleasure, Ben! One of my readers told me about what you are doing and I just HAD to share about it. KEEP IT UP!!! :D

1/28/2008 9:24 PM  

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