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The Low Carb 
Luxury Newsletter: Volume II / Number 5: March 8, 2001
Issue Date:
March 8, 2001

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In this issue:
  1. Welcome and Overview
  2. Lora's Column"Answering The Critics"
  3. Guest Column"Make Your Cat an At-Cat!"
  4. Richard's Corner"Paradigm Shift"
  5. Recipes!"Cooking with Soda Pop"
  6. Stuart's "Rant""Death By Chocolate"
  7. Letters"Osteoporosis? Not Here!"
A  quick reminder about newsletter subscription e-mail addresses...
Many of you have signed up with your work e-mail address and of course that's fine, but please do your best not to use a work address that sends "Out Of Office" replies to mail. Each time we send a newsletter out, our inbox is flooded with the hundreds of you that have those set up. We realize in some cases in can't be helped, but where you have a choice, please opt not to do this. We now have over 8,000 subscribers, so you can imagine the deluge we get. Thanks for listening.

And thanks for all the wonderful positive feedback we've been getting about The Low Carb Luxury Newsletter. We work so hard at it and it means a lot to know you enjoy it!

This issue is extra large. Sometimes we just can't help it. We seem to have a lot to say sometimes...

And now... on with the newsletter!
___________________________________
lora's 
column

"Answering The Critics"
(or "Enough, Already!"...)

Every single week, I am pointed to (or simply run across) yet another "News" Article trying to save us from the dreaded dangers of low-carbohydrate dieting. Each article makes the mainstream press and scares thousands or hundreds of thousands of potential dieters — whose very lives could be saved by a low carbohydrate eating plan — away from any thoughts of such heresy.

The original article is here. (If this article has expired, you can read our reprint of it in our news section here.)

Well, to put it bluntly, I'm sick of it! When sent this last journalistic gem from HealthScout's Health News, I decided to sit down and answer their charges, item by item. So, read on...

Diabetics: Steer Clear of Fad Diets
By Adam Marcus, HealthScout Reporter
Thursday February 22 03:08 AM EST

Their Comment:
Diabetics who take up fad diets to lose weight may be doing themselves more harm than good, nutrition experts say.

Our Answer:
Hey, it's not often in an article that you can find fault with the very first sentence. BUT, let's look at their leading assumption — that low-carb equals "FAD" diet.

Let's look at the definition of Fad:

From the American Heritage Dictionary —

"A practice or interest followed for a time with exaggerated zeal."   "A craze, furor, or cult."   "Something new to society or mankind taken up with great enthusiasm for a brief period of time."

Well, let's look at that... Mankind has been eating what amounts to our current low-carb diet for millions of years and indeed evolved on it. Do you think primitive man dined on Twinkies and Cheerios? Mankind hunted animals for food and augmented that with the occasional vegetable and fruit that grew naturally — usually the oft-mentioned nuts and berries (traditionally low-carb.) Our DNA is 99.99% identical to that of cave-dwelling man, yet our current diet as a society is radically changed and with that change has come heart disease, strokes, cancer, diabetes and more.

Even putting aside the evolutionary diet of man, let's look at the short term. Sitting on my shelves as I type this are low-carb books (that call themselves that) dating back to the mid-1960's. There's also the original Banting treatise ("Banting's Letter on Corpulence") dating back to the mid 1800's. They persist because they work.

And not a single valid study has ever shown them to be in any way dangerous when followed correctly.

Low-Fat dieting, however, has been around only about a decade and a half. A mere drop of water in the ocean of our history. Yet, we're the FAD?

Read more about this in Dean Esmay's fine essay called "The World's Biggest Fad Diet" (and why you should probably avoid it).



Their Comment:
Meal plans high in protein and low in carbohydrates, such as the omnipresent Atkins diet, boast of serious weight loss, at least in the short run. But dietitians, and even the government, have warned that these heavily biased regimens fail to keep the pounds off over time.

Our Answer:
Fail to keep the pounds off? You mean that when people go off dietary plans the weight comes back? Well, what a revelation!! Don't that beat all? I'm sure, however, that people can do low-fat diets, lose some weight, and when they go back to eating Big Macs, Fries, and Ice cream all day the weight magically stays off?

Give me a break. Anyone who found themselves overweight from their day-to-day eating regimen will be overweight again when they go back to it. The whole idea of low-carb dieting is that it really isn't a diet. It's a way of life. Because you are never hungry; never deprived; and because the variety is so rich and delicious, there's no need to go back to eating SAD (Standard American Diet.) With a diet that restricts calories, the person is always requiring willpower; always hungry; always feeling deprived. Very few people can last that way forever. So they eventually go back to eating the way they used to.

The same holds true for low-fat dieters, except that in order to make foods low-fat, they must be augmented with additional carbs and sugars. So low-fat foods mean stronger insulin responses to handle those sugars. That equals more hunger, and more driving desire for foods disallowed. The additional sugars also mean great damage to the dieter's immune system and a sharp rise in cholesterol, but see more about that below.

In short, of course you'll gain the weight back if you go back to eating the old way. Who ever denied that—



Their Comment:
Meat-rich diets tend to be higher in animal fats, which can increase cholesterol levels and exacerbate the risk of cardiovascular disease in patients with Type II diabetes, who already face a heightened risk of heart and vessel problems, experts say.

Our Answer:
Yep, meat-rich diets are indeed higher in animal fat. Well, duh...   I'm gonna guess that meatless diets have no animal fat. Wow. That's like saying cloudless days produce less rain. It's profound but for no good reason.

You see, there's no good research whatsoever to prove that eating cholesterol causes a rise in body cholesterol in the eater.

So, let's look at the cholesterol myth:

Cholesterol has been demonized and marched through society's courtyard to be publicly stoned. But the truth is — whether or not you know this — cholesterol is essential for life.

Cholesterol is an element from which many of our hormones are made. Vitamin D is made by the body from cholesterol in our skin that is exposed to sunlight. Cholesterol is used in the insulating membranes that cover our nerve systems.

Did you know that your body produces three to four times more cholesterol than you eat? The production of cholesterol increases when you eat less cholesterol and conversely, decreases when you eat a lot. This explains why the "prudent" diet cannot lower cholesterol more than on average a few percent, and when done in conjunction with a high sugar diet, actually raises cholesterol. Let me refer you to a few quotes from and related to the now-famous and often quoted "Framingham Study":

"In Framingham, Massachusetts, the more saturated fat one ate, the more cholesterol one ate, the more calories one ate... the lower peoples serum cholesterol. We found that the people who ate the most cholesterol, ate the most saturated fat, ate the most calories – weighed the least and were the most physically active." [From "Archives of Internal Medicine" 1992, Dr. William Castilli, Director of the Framingham Study.]

Surprise about cholesterol emerged from Framingham, although it was never published in a scientific journal. Buried deep in a typewritten report that is almost two feet thick is a study titled "Diet and the regulation of serum cholesterol." The Framingham researchers assumed they knew exactly why some people had higher blood cholesterol levels than others: It was their diet. To measure this link they selected 912 men and women and compared the cholesterol in their diets to the cholesterol levels in their blood.

To their surprise there was no relationship. The researchers studied the intake of saturated fats, dietary cholesterol, and overall calories. None had an effect. They considered the possibility that other factors — such as differences in physical activity — masked the effects of diet. It didn’t make any difference. There is, in short, no suggestion of any relation between diet and the subsequent development of CHD [coronary heart disease] in the study group..."

Further, Dr. George V. Mann, a participating researcher in the study concluded: "The diet-heart hypothesis that suggests that high intake of saturated fat and cholesterol causes heart disease has been repeatedly shown to be wrong... The public is being deceived by the greatest health scam of the century."

More information about the Framingham Heart Study, as well as some interesting further perspective, can be found online here.

From the European Heart Journal, Volume 18, Jan 1997, "The commonly held belief that the best diet for prevention of coronary heart disease is a low saturated fat, low cholesterol diet is not supported by the available evidence from clinical trials."

In short, the average person restricting carbohydrates to 60 or less grams per day lost weight, raised HDL ('good') cholesterol, lowered LDL ('bad') cholesterol, and decreased levels of fatty substances in the blood that are associated with heart disease.



Their Comment:
And the lack of fruits and vegetables can lead to deficits in antioxidants and other "micronutrients" that fight cancer.

Our Answer:
I tire of hearing this old chestnut. They surely do want the public to believe we dine on 30 pounds of bacon and a tub of lard every day, with nothing much else (oh, that's right, we eat bag after bag of pork rinds too!)

In reality, we eat quite a lot of veggies and fruits. Certainly more vegetables that the average American. In any given week, my family and I dine on all or some of the following: Broccoli, Cauliflower, Asparagus, Brussel Sprouts, Green Beans, Spinach, Turnips, most all of the salad veggies, Tomatoes, Mushrooms, Eggplant, Squash, Pumpkin, Zucchini, Okra, Cucumbers, Wax Beans, Soy Beans, Artichokes, Celery, Cabbage, and so much more. Fruits? Sure, we stay away from those with super-high sugar content (did you know they've been bred to have higher and higher sugar levels over the years?), but we have plenty of the healthy fruits: Cantaloupes, Strawberries, Raspberries, Blueberries, Fresh Pineapple, Cherries, Tart Apples, Blackberries, Plums, Peaches, and more.

We get lots of antioxidants to fight cancer, and while we're at it, we knock out the sugar that can cause cancer. They want so much for our diet to seem unhealthy. They want so much to make it appear we exclude all the foods rich in nutrients. If the press were to report a typical meal for us might be: Chicken Breasts with Salsa, Buttered Asparagus Tips, a Crispy Cool Tossed Salad, and a Dish of Berries for dessert, we might sound (God forbid) healthy! Know what? Our diet is healthy. There's no minimum daily requirement for white flour, sugar, or gummy white bleached rice.



Their Comment:
"In the long term, we don't know how [fad diets] are going to affect a person's health," says Karmeen Kulkarni, a diabetes clinician at St. Mark's Hospital in Salt Lake City. "When you cut out a whole set of foods, you always are concerned about it."

Our Answer:
Okay, if you're talking about a real fad diet, that's true. The only evidence we have about low fat dieting is anecdotal — in the sharp rise of obesity (to staggering levels) and the sharp rise of diabetes since the introduction of low-fat dieting.

As for low-carb, as I mentioned earlier, mankind developed on a diet that did not include processed sugar laden foods. Our species subsisted for millions of years on a diet of fresh meats and fresh plants (roots, nuts, berries, etc.) How long term do you need for evidence? Doesn't the beginning of our species qualify?



Their Comment:
Kulkarni reviewed the impact of fad diets on the blood sugar disease at a symposium yesterday in New York City hosted by the American Medical Association.

Some 58 million American adults are overweight, and the number of people who are obese is up nearly 50 percent from the early 1990s, Kulkarni says. Half of all Americans are on some kind of diet.

Our Answer:
Those statistics, frighteningly, are pretty much correct. Might we reiterate that that sharp rise came with advent of low FAT dieting? And the comment that "half of all Americans are on some kind of diet" should include that 3/4 of those people are on some form of LOW FAT diet. Low CARBING dieters make up only about 20% of those on structured plans.



Their Comment:
Diets such as the Atkins plan can lead to dramatic weight loss, at least for a week or so, as the body sheds water that the now-missing carbohydrates used to store.

Our Answer:
At least for a week or so? So you're telling me that I am 103 weeks overdue for the weight loss to stop? That I have lost 106 lbs of water weight? Indeed, we completely agree that there is water weight loss in the first 3-7 days of the diet. A diet high in sugar causes water retention. That condition is relieved with the reduction of sugars in the diet. This is not a negative. The body's water-retention rate normalizes on a low-carb plan.



Their Comment:
But the majority of people who go on these rigid programs drop them almost immediately, either because they crave fruit, vegetables, bread and other sources of fiber, or because they don't like the side effects, which can include bad breath.

Our Answer:
Again, there are millions of people who "flirt" with diets, don't really learn what they need to know, or go from diet to diet. Many believe their propaganda that the diet is a NO Carb diet and try eating only meat. Of course there's no variety there and no one would be able to stick to that. But that's NOT what a low-carb (not NO carb) diet is about.

And once again, we do eat fruits and veggies. If you leave this plan because you are missing those, you're not understanding what low-carbing is about. There's no need to miss them. There's also no need to miss bread. There are quite a number of low-carb breads on the market and many of us make our own. We simply use higher protein grains, soy or nut flours, or a combination. To say that it's necessary to eat bread made with bleached white flours with all their nutrients stripped is ludicrous.

In point of fact, today's low-carber enjoys smarter versions of breads, pastas, desserts, and other traditionally high carb fare. We simply make them with smarter ingredients.

They also like throwing in that we get no fiber in our diets. What are they talking about— Grab a nutrition book and look up the fiber counts of the items we use as standards in our cooking: salad greens, the aforementioned veggie and fruit list, whole wheat bran (as well as oat bran, rice bran, etc), nuts, flax seed, etc. I am quite sure I eat more fiber now than I ever did when consuming gummy rice, white bread, and Hostess Donuts. We encourage fiber because it not only makes us healthy and keeps us regular (in the bathroom!), but it's a "free" food for us that we get to subtract from the carb counts of labeled foods.



Their Comment:
Diabetics might notice near-term improvements in their blood sugar levels when they start low-carb diets, Kulkarni says. But she says those gains will fade when normal eating habits resume.

Our Answer:
Once again, they assume "normal" eating habits resume. Hmmmm... Of course blood sugar levels normalize on this diet. Many a diabetic has been able to reduce or stop their medications once they have stabilized on their low-carb sugarless regime. I hear from hundreds of them. They have to rely on the person ceasing the diet for them to find fault with it. Didn't they just make our case—!!



Their Comment:
Foods low in fat often are doped with sugar and aren't necessarily low-cal, Kulkarni says. They can also strain the body's metabolism, she says, and promote not only weight gain but insulin resistance — serious pitfall for established diabetics.

Our Answer:
Totally true. Now how does that statement in any way argue against low-carb dieting? We completely agree that foods marketed as low-fat have their sugar levels boosted to make up the difference in taste and texture. They've once again made our point. And hey, I thought they didn't believe in insulin resistance. Insulin Resistance is at the very core of the low-carb diet.



Their Comment:
Anne Daly, president-elect of health care and education for the American Diabetes Association, agrees. "Putting [diabetics] on these diets is ludicrous for their health," she says.

Our Answer:
Because heaven forbid you should normalize their blood sugars? Huh? Two comments ago, you just admitted blood sugars improve when the patient low-carbs.



Their Comment:
People with Type II diabetes have the same risk of heart attack as someone who's had one already, Daly says, so loading up on saturated fat and cholesterol makes no sense. Diabetics also face increased risk of kidney problems, and excess protein can exacerbate renal trouble.

Our Answer:
First, let's face it, the increase in people having Type II diabetes in the first place is directly due to the food America eats. Twenty years ago, Type II was so rare that the average person had never heard of it. It has become common place only in the last decade and a half. The same amount of time low-fat diets, and the increase of sugar added to every food on the grocer's shelf, have been in place.

And again, it's high sugar not high fat that causes heart disease risk and higher cholesterol rates. Sure, in the presence of high sugars, fat – especially saturated fat – can cause higher cholesterol elevations. But only in the presence of high sugar. And high sugar alone can cause this reaction.

Then we're back to the old low-carb diets will destroy your kidneys. There's never been such a case. Not one. Nope. Find one and show me. In reality, a high protein diet can indeed exacerbate the problem if someone already has kidney disease. But low carbing doesn't take a healthy kidney and destroy it. In fact, true low-carb diets are not really high protein diets. They have been so labeled because of their RATIOs. We eat about the same amount of meats we did before low-carbing. But their ratio to sugars is far greater because we eat very little sugar. Our diet is actually Low Carb/Normal Protein/Slightly Higher Fat. And we stress the healthy fats — especially the valuable essential fatty acids (Omega 3's and Omega 9's) and totally remove all dangerous, artificially created TRANS FATS like those in margarine and other hydrogenated products.

Once again, we've taken the healthier route, and they demonize us for it.



Their Comment:
What's more, fad diets that cut out fruits and vegetables can lead to deficiencies in potassium, folic acid and magnesium that are vital to keeping blood pressure and other functions in check, she says.

Our Answer:
Once again, the "we eat no fruits and veggies" comment. I've answered this one to death. It's nearly universal that blood pressure goes down on a low-carb diet. In my personal experience, after 10 years of being on medication (Ziac most recently) for high blood pressure, I was able to go completely off it with perfect pressure after low-carbing. And if you're going to say it was the obesity that caused it and my new more normal weight is why I improved, let me point out that I was able to cease the BP meds only 6 weeks into the diet — while still at least 75 lbs overweight. And while I'm at it, let me add, I was able to go off of all meds in this time period — those for high cholesterol (I was on Zocor), and those for acid reflux (I was on Prilosec.)



Their Comment:
And diets that exclude dairy products can wreak havoc on the skeleton, especially in people with low bone mass to start.

"What do somebody's bones look like two years later when they haven't had a dairy product?" Daly wonders.

Our Answer:
Do they know what they're talking about at all? First off, a quick visit to our recipe section (or a fast chat with any low-carber) will tell you that we make extensive use of cream, cottage cheese, sour cream, and nearly all the cheeses. We simply avoid milk in large quantities because it's high in milk sugars (lactose.) We get tons of calcium. Did you know there's more calcium in a serving of broccoli or spinach than there is in a glass of milk? And that they are rich in Vitamin D (which is artificially added to milk)?

Furthermore, sugar and white flours leach calcium from the bones. They are antinutrients - meaning they carry calories only, but no nutrients of their own. Therefore in order for the body to metabolize them, it must break down some of its own resources to get the minerals necessary to metabolize these bleached, stripped, non-foods.

But go ahead, lay osteoporosis at the feet of low-carbing. Why not? It's a great scapegoat for just about everything. I expect to hear it causes crime and homelessness next.



Their Comment:
But Hope Warshaw, a Virginia nutritionist who's studied the impact of fad diets and diabetes, says there's "no question" that many diabetics are turning to fad meal plans. Some, she says, are even being steered to the diets by misinformed physicians, a trend Warshaw says she doesn't support.

Our Answer:
It's true — many more doctors are now recommending our low-carb eating plan. Know why? Because they are the ones in the trenches seeing the patients come in. Seeing Mary Jones who had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, fatigue, food allergies, out of control blood sugar, who is now normalized and feeling great because she started low-carbing. My own doctor saw this in me. I get letters from physicians all over the country every day. Several visitors have told me they were handed a prescription pad sheet with only my website address printed on it. You can't fight the truth forever. When something works and continues to work, you can't continue to suppress it. Eventually the people discover the world's not flat as they were told.



       Lora
___________________________________


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Guest 
Column

The Atkins Diet for Cats:   Make Your Feline an "At-Cat!"

Cat By Contributing Editor, Andrea K. Rogers
Note: Dog lovers are encouraged to read on!

One look at that title and you may think, "Eh?" Well, as I sit here writing this, my husband's cat, Jubal, is clawing and kneading me, letting me know how much he loves me (if he loves me that much, why is he clawing me—?). Last May we had another addition to our family, not a baby, but a kitty (Jubal didn't appreciate that very much). We visited some wonderful in-laws they let us take him home with us. Over a five-hour drive from St. Louis to K.C. the little guy just curled up into a ball and went to sleep. His name is Lazarus. He was rescued by my father-in-law on the day he was to be euthanized. If you read Robert A. Heinlein, then you'll know why we named him that. Well, anyway, he had a hairball problem. Okay, maybe HE didn't have a problem with them, but WE certainly did. Hairballs are not something you really want to discover at 5 AM, if you know what I mean!

So, being a happy little consumer, I went to the local pet store in search of a hairball remedy. What did I see? Science Diet came out with a new dry food that helps to prevent — HAIRBALLS! Yeah! I thought my search had come to an end, until I read the back of the bag. My throat went dry; my heart skipped a beat and my mouth tasted like a sour ball. On the back of the bag the creators of the product described the wonderful "discovery" that helped to cure hairballs. They increased the amount of carbohydrates to be 36% of the formula. Eh?

Carbohydrates? Aren't cats carnivores? Wait a sec; if carbs are bad for me, what the heck am I feeding them to a carnivorous animal for? Then the light of a thousand light bulbs shined down on me (or maybe it was the clerk raising the blinds in the store) and I hastily put the bag back and ran home (ok, I drove, but "ran" makes it sound so much more dramatic). I plopped myself in front of the computer and began the search for a better way of life, feline life that is.

Two weeks and a pile of printout later, I had what I needed. No, not a cure to hairballs, I had found something even better. I had found a way to increase the lifespans of my three cats. I was going to put my cats on the Atkins' diet for cats. As you know, everybody has their own particular metabolism and dietary needs, the same goes for cats. Only, cats have absolutely NO need for ANY carbohydrates. They are carnivores, not omnivores. Even foods sold over the Internet proclaiming to be raw meat foods include grains and carbs that are unnecessary. The best way to feed your cat is to make the food yourself. But, it helps if you know what you're doing. Nutrition is a science, not a toy, my advice is to do your own research; to experiment; and most importantly, listen to what your cat has to say. They will let you know what they like and don't like. But be careful not to make your judgments too soon though, you'll have to transition them so they accept the change easier, then give them a couple of months to get their digestive tracts into the routine of digesting REAL NUTRIENTS! I have written a more informative article on this subject which Lora has been so kind to post on her website.

You're going to have to decide whether tacking on another 10 - 20 years to your cat's life is worth making your own cat food every week to two weeks. Hmmmm... decision made, well that's wasn't too hard. However, I will be honest, it's tough the first two months. It's an adjustment for you and your cat, just like going on the Atkins' diet (or other low-carb diets) was, but after that transition phase, it becomes just another thing you do for your cats. There is one warning I would give. Be careful of the mealtimes you set for them. When they get to the stage where they love the food and won't eat anything else, they won't be afraid to wake you up and tell you it's time to feed them. I made the mistake of making my mealtime at 5 am and 5pm. Weekends are the worst!

This diet is a heck of a lot easier and cheaper overall, and they don't use their litter boxes as much (less waste to get rid of and less water needed to filter and digest unusable byproducts). The benefits are well worth the initial pains-in-the-back. Your cats may not think so for the first month or two, may even resist eating the food. Remember, being a carbohydrate addict is hard for everyone, human or feline. They're going to go through withdrawal just like you did. Give them time, give them love, and most of all, don't give in to the carbohydrate's so-called "easy" way of living.

Just to let you know, I'm still looking for the no-carb cure to hairballs. If somebody out there finds it, let me know! My three babies Tandy, Jubal, and Lazarus are healthier than they've ever been! Their eyes are brighter, their coats are shiny and bright and they have more energy than we know what to do with. The best diet to feed them is some fresh hearty mice (fresh meaning alive), but that might gross you out too much, so keep it real; feed them what makes sense. "The perfect diet for a cat is one which is as close to what it would eat in the wild". Your cats will thank you for it. Puuuurrrrrrrrrrrrr!

P.S. Dog lovers don't loose hope! There's plenty of info out there for a raw meat diet for dogs. I'm not a big dog lover; blame it on too much time spent with spoiled poodles, but the info's out there! The sources listed at the end of the article, or even the article itself, will prove themselves to be very helpful to you in getting started on the Atkins Diet for Dogs!

       Andrea
___________________________________



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richard's 
corner

Paradigm Shift
(Look out baby, here we come!)

Webster defines "paradigm" as: "the generally accepted perspective of a particular discipline at a given time."  There can be little doubt that for the last decade and a half the generally accepted perspective for "healthy eating" has been to consume a low-fat diet. (And look where that's gotten us!) But do you feel the change in the air?

Over the past few weeks, I've been made aware of an array of products, attitudes, and commentary that lend credence to this feeling of change... It leads me to the inescapable conclusion that the Low Carb Way of Life is actually gaining a measure of acceptance in the "real" world.

As a reader of this newsletter and visitor to our website, you already know about the health benefits and the weight loss potential for a lowered carbohydrate nutritional regimine. But — many times over — the rest of the country doesn't "get it".

Let me share a few recent observations with you. . .



In the workplace:

Last Wednesday, a coworker strolled into my office bearing some sort of silver container. He's more interested in the new laptop on my desk, but I'm interested in what's in the can... What's he drinking? Imagine my surprise when I read the side of the can label — "Low Carb Shake".

Hmmmm.... he's not a low-carber. He's shown some interest and asked a few questions, but is clearly not "one of the enlightened"...

I ask him where he got it. He replies that "they were giving them away free at the "Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Bodybuilding Contest" in Columbus, Ohio. They gave him four of them. And I noted without a doubt, he seemed to enjoy the drink.



The ever-present info-mercial:

You've seen the info-mercials for Diet-ZX, Weight-Away, and oh-so-many others... Used to be the typical line about how you could take one of their miracle pills and the weight would simply fall off as you slept (with no other changes in diet or exercise, of course!) And while their implications remain along the same too-good-to-be-true lines, the recent trend is to note they can "Boost the effects of your low-carb diet!" (They can't — don't fall for it.) But the point is, they recognize us as a "force" — a group not to be ignored. A group with money in their pockets (don't give them any of yours!) It seems their philosphy is, "If you can't beat 'em, at least grab some extra money from them"! :)



A Recognized Treatment:

A friend was recently diagnosed with a mild case of Multiple Sclerosis. Since it's now suspected that MS is an autoimmune disease, I brought up immediately that a lower-carb diet might be of great benefit to her. Noting she was a bit skeptical at first, I spoke with her about Montel Williams (an outspoken MS sufferer), and that he espouses a low-carb, no-sugar diet. This got her immediately looking into the diet, and getting the information from our website. (Various scientific research studies strongly support the argument that MS is caused mainly by eating foods which are not compatible with our ancient genes. Detailed statistical studies have clearly shown that MS occurrence correlates very well with the consumption of dairy products, grains, artificial fats, and sugars.)



In the Marketplace:

Two weeks ago, Lora and I were walking through a Wal*Mart SuperCenter (we were there to purchase more Splenda-sweetened Blue Bunny yogurt.)

As we rounded an aisle, I come face to face with a nearly life-size poster/stand-up of Cindy Crawford that I couldn't help but notice (okay, I'm a guy, and she is Cindy Crawford!) But the amazing part was that Cindy only held my attention for a short moment as the words "Low Carb" grabbed and held my notice.

It seems that Cindy — long time proponent and ad-lady for many low-fat grain based products — was promoting the latest Low Carb bars!

A week earlier, we'd been shopping in Canada (most of you know we go often for products we can't get here in the states.) We came back with some terrific finds (reviews on the way), but what opened our eyes the most were the words "For Carbohydrate Reduced Diets". Not "Sugar Free" or "Low Calorie" or "Low Fat". But they were actually acknowledging us as an accepted plan of healthy nutrition. Take a look at a couple of the labels!



On Television:

I'm watching TV the other day and a commercial for a Low Carb product (yes, really) comes on. It's for Carb Solutions. There are these ladies at a shower opening gifts. One woman offers a second some little pastry wrapped appetizers (looked like little "pigs-in-a-blanket".) The second woman says, "No thanks, I'm low-carb!" The first woman becomes a demon tempting her (a little weird, but that's another story...)

On Montel this week (yes, we watch Montel once or twice a week), he has women on being belittled by their mates for being "fat". (One of the women is downright skinny and most are close to normal weight — my opinion is that these men should be ashamed and make us all [men] look bad.) But toward the end of the show when giving advice to get healthier, there's no mention of low-fat. The comment is, "watch your carbohydrates and your processed foods."



These are only a handful of the many examples of paradigm shift. So far, it's a small step, but I think we can expect this snowball to get bigger and bigger as it rolls down the societal mountain. Several years from now you can look back to 2001 and be able to say, "I was there when ..."

       Richard
___________________________________





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recipes

Cookin with Soda Pop

While going through some of my parents' possessions a few weeks ago (they passed away two years ago), I discovered my Dad's old self-written cookbook. He adored experimenting in the kitchen — especially when Mom wasn't around! He liked cooking with Pop. He said it was concentrated flavor, with fizz for a kick, and he managed to come up with some interesting — if somewhat unconventional recipes. Most of them delicious. And they didn't end up in his "book" unless they made the grade. So I made the decision to wade through them, find those that lent themselves well to low-carbing (it's amazing how many of them do!) and share them with you all for this week's issue.

Because many of these recipes are heated (some boiled or baked), we strongly recommend using only Splenda sweetened drinks. (In Daddy's "cookin' days" there was no aspartame so it wasn't an issue.) For the recipes below, we recommend (and have used successfully here) the following soda brands:
  • Diet Cheerwine
  • Diet RC
  • Diet Rite and all Diet Rite specialty flavors
  • Slim Jones Diet Sodas
  • Clearly Canadian Diet varieties
  • (And in Canada, the Diet "Crush" brands)


Black Cherry Pot Roast

  • 4 to 5 lb Beef Chuck Roast
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 1 teaspoon sweet basil
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • Garlic salt and pepper to taste
  • 12-oz Diet Rite or Jones Black Cherry Soda
  • 2 Tablespoon vinegar

Place roast in large roasting pan. Sprinkle sliced onion, basil and thyme over top. Add bouillon cubes, garlic salt, and pepper, Diet Rite Black Cherry Soda, and vinegar. Cover tightly and braise in 325° oven, four to five hours, or until very tender. Turn meat several times during cooking to retain moisture. If necessary, add water during cooking. About 45 minutes before meat is done, add low carb veggies if desired (green beans, diced cauliflower, turnips, etc.)

Remove meat to hot platter and remove fat and bones as you wish. Skim fat from liquid and thicken for gravy with Arrowroot powder or Xanthan gum if desired.

Serves 6 — 1 carb per serving.



Hawaiian Ribs in Cola Sauce

  • 4 to 5 lb pork spareribs (2 lean racks)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh (NOT CANNED) Pineapple - diced
  • 1 Tablespoon liquid sweetener
  • 16 oz Diet Rite or Diet RC cola
  • 16 oz Diet Cheerwine (use all cola if Cheerwine is unavailable)
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar Twin
  • 2 Tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 1/3 cup vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Sesame seeds (optional)

Cut ribs into 3 or 4 rib portions. Place in shallow baking pan and sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Cover with foil, molding securely to edges of pan. Bake at 375° for 1 hour.

While ribs are baking, dice fresh pineapple to measure 1/2 cup (dice into very small squares) and add liquid sweetener (preferably liquid Splenda). Allow pineapple bits to sit in sweetener while ribs cook.

Take ribs from oven and remove foil. Drain off excess fat drippings. Drain pineapple pouring "juice" into a large bowl. Set pineapple pieces aside. Pour Diet Rite and Cheerwine (reserving 1/3 cup) into bowl with juice and add Brown Sugar Twin. Stir to mix. Combine arrowroot powder with 1/3 cup reserved soda and stir until smooth. Stir into Cola mixture, add vinegar, ginger, and remaining 1/2 tsp salt. Cook and stir over medium heat until slightly thickened and somewhat "clear". When ribs have been drained of fat, pour 3 cups of sauce over ribs. Return to oven and continue baking about 45 minutes or until ribs are tender. During this baking time, turn ribs several times and baste with pan liquids. Add pineapple bits to remaining sauce in saucepan and heat gently. Arrange ribs on a hot platter, top with pineapple sauce mix. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.

Serves 6 - 5.8 carbs per serving.



Ken's Special Filet of Sole

  • 2 lbs fillets of sole
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 cup Diet Soda (see below)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Oat or Soy Flour
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup seasoned low-carb bread crumbs *
  • Paprika

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place fish fillets in buttered shallow baking dish. Mix chopped onion, ginger, caraway seeds and 3/4 cups diet soda. Pour over fish and bake at 325° for 20 minutes. Melt butter in saucepan and blend in oat or soy flour until lightly golden. add remaining 1/4 cup soda and stir until smooth. When fish has baked 20 minutes, pour liquid from baking dish into saucepan and cook and stir until smooth and somewhat thickened. Add sour cream to sauce. Arrange fish on ovenproof platter. Pour sauce over fish and sprinkle with seasoned low-carb bread crumbs. Sprinkle with paprika and brown briefly under broiler. Garnish with asparagus spears or lime wedges.

Serves 4 — 3 carbs per serving.

SODA CHOICES: Diet Rite Lemonade, Diet Rite Tangerine, Pink Grapefruit, or Slim Jones Orange.

* We recommend making low-carb bread crumbs from your own home-baked loaf (see recipes below) or from Irene's Health Bread (it makes fabulous bread crumbs for light dishes.)

Gabi's World-Famous Bread

1970's Style Gluten Bread

Get Irene's Bread at The Low Carb Connoisseur.



Cream Soda Griddle Cakes

  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 cup soy flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tablespoon oil or melted butter
  • 6 heaping tablespoons of cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup Diet Cream Soda (Slim Jones)
  • 1 Tablespoon heavy cream

Mix all ingredients together and whisk well to mix. Fry in *lightly* oiled non-stick skillet to make 3-4" pancakes.

22 carbs in entire recipe. Divide by number of pancakes to get count for your serving.



___________________________________





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Stuart's 
Rant

Death By Chocolate

As you may have heard, there was another school shooting recently. This sort of thing was unheard of just a few short years ago when  I  was in high school. Sadly, it's now become commonplace. When someone mentioned it in passing the other day in the workplace, it was a "tsk-tsk" comment grouped with mention of a traffic snarl. Where's the shock?

Last week I happened to be watching an old video of The Breakfast Club (don't ask why...) In this cult-classic movie, one of the students receives detention because he brought a gun to school. Detention?

Had he carted a firearm into school today, he'd be brought up on charges and jailed. So what's changed just in the last few years?

It goes without saying that there are a great many things contributing to this disturbing problem... but I absolutely promise you that one of them is the huge increase in dietary sugar. Sound absurd? The sheer tonnage of sugar making its way down our children's throats is staggering compared to just that of only a few years ago. According to the USDA, sugar consumption has increased by 28 percent since 1983, fueling soaring obesity rates and other health problems. In fact, the average American consumes 20 to 25 teaspoons of added sugars per day, but for teenagers, the numbers are even scarier. Most teenage males consume an average of 34 to 44 teaspoons of sugar per day.

Sugar consumption in the USA is so high that it has also caused a social problem through its deleterious effects on behavior, especially in children, who are displaying increasingly severe behavioral disorders and learning disabilities. In a recent study conducted by Dr. C. Keith Connors of the Children's Hospital in Washington, DC, a 'deadly' link was established between the consumption of sugar with carbohydrates (such as breakfast cereal, cake, and biscuits) and violent behavior, hypertension, and learning impediments. In other studies, chronic violence in prisons was remarkably reduced simply by eliminating refined sugar and starch from prison diets. Singapore in 1991 banned sugary soft drink sales from all schools and youth centers, citing the danger that sugar poses to the mental and physical health of children.

Most of us here are well aware that sugar consumption can cause moderate to severe mood swings in susceptible people — especially youths. Now add all that to the hormonal mood swings and emotional sensitivity of being a teenager in the first place. It is killing our children, and in so many ways... Whether in the slow leaching of life from their bodies from malnutrition, or the explosive charge of a gun...

As you may be able to ascertain, I'm mad as hell about this issue. And it remains beyond my control.

I don't have children yet — I've been married only a year and a half, but when I do, I cannot help but fear for their safety in school. I won't personally be feeding them sugar, (or high-carb, nutritionally empty foods), but that won't protect them from those kids who are out of control from sugar. As a parent, I'd find myself pretty powerless here.

Two more children are dead. More are wounded. And after starting this article, yet another shooting has occured (in Pennsylvania.) What shall we put as "cause of death"? Will it be death by Snicker's Bar?

       Stuart
___________________________________


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letters

Dear Lora,
My mother is considering low-carb dieting after seeing the success that I have had with it (I've lost 62 lbs.) The problem is this: My mother has been told by her doctor that she needs to be very wary of osteoporosis now that she is past menopause, and her friends have been warning her that low-carbing will CAUSE osteoporosis. Can this be true? Where do we go from here?

  Best Wishes,
  Celia Jackson

Dear Celia —

The prospect of osteoporosis is a justifiably frightening one. Osteoporosis can be painful and debilitating. But the good news is that a healthful low-carbohydrate nutrition plan can be just the ticket to actually AVOIDING it.

Here's a quote from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2000; 72: 466-71):

"Research conducted jointly by the University of Pittsburgh, the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and Creighton University, Omaha, shows that a high-fiber, low-fat diet may significantly lower the amount of calcium the body can absorb. The 142 women between the ages 42 and 54 who participated in the program were classified as either premenopausal or perimenopausal. The former reported having had a menstrual period within three months of a physical exam; the latter reported no menses within the prior three months. Calcium absorption among participants ranged from 17 to 58 percent, but women who consumed low-fat diets absorbed 20 percent less calcium than the others did.

Researchers found that women who are better able to absorb calcium had higher body mass index ratings and higher blood levels of vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin necessary for calcium absorption, among other important functions. These results show that supplementation alone may not be enough to boost calcium levels and protect bones from osteoporosis. Diet also plays a key role. Unfortunately, women on low-fat diets excrete most of the calcium they consume. However, eating a low-carb diet with plenty of butter and cream and vegetables rich in calcium provides the body with plenty of fat and calcium, ensuring that this and other important minerals are absorbed."

Share this information with your mother. I think you'll both feel better!
                             

Thanks for all your letters, everyone! I get hundreds of letters each week and try to answer as many as I can.

___________________________________




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Thanks for reading! Keep your suggestions and questions coming in — we always want to hear from you! Remember, we can't address every request and query, but the ones we hear about the most or offer the greater potential to help others will surely make their way here.

       Lora

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