April 11, 2001
In this issue:|
do you know when Winter's over? Dandelions!|
And I see I have my work cut out for me again this year. Each year I don my armor and beat them back. But then, as Andrew Mason says, "If dandelions were hard to grow, they would be most welcome on any lawn." I think I have to get myself one of those shirts that says, "I fought the lawn and the lawn won."
All of us at Low Carb Luxury want to wish each of you a very joyous Easter and a blessed Pesach (Passover.)
And now... on with the newsletter!
Two weeks ago, sitting at home (watching an episode of my favorite new show CSI), I received a phone call from a good friend. This is a friend out of state to whom I had been giving the basics of a low-carb/no-sugar diet. She was interested in getting healthy along with her family. A history of overweight and the threat of diabetes had prompted her to make a change.
She, in turn, had been relaying much of this information to her husband and teenage and pre-teen children. So she was somewhat distressed to tell me what had occurred in her daughter's classroom at school.
It seems the teacher was giving the class the "basics of good nutrition" which of course was the usual "fat is bad" routine. Her daughter, Mira, was taking this all in stride until the subject of sugar came up. Mira asked the teacher about the roll of sugar in diet and if its empty calories were the only reason to stay away from it. The teacher's replies to the class were actually worse than I'd expect, since most people at least grant that plain sugar isn't great for anyone and that its destruction of teeth is well known. But here's what she actually said:
"Sugar is just one more carbohydrate — necessary for energy and for life. Anyone that tells you to exclude it from your diet is preaching a fad diet that could be dangerous to you!" She went on to tell them, "Sugars help you manage the amount of fat and calories in your overall diet because they tend to be low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol — and everyone's interested in that!"
When Mira asked her about tooth decay, her answer was, "Although sugars and starches can play a role in tooth decay, good dental hygiene is the best way to help prevent cavities. As long as you brush with a fluoride toothpaste and floss regularly you shouldn't have to worry about sugar's influence."
Lastly, Mira asked her, "Aren't sugars linked to health conditions like hyperactivity, diabetes and heart disease?"
To which the teacher replied "Many years of research have shown that sugars do not result in any of these conditions. Sugar has no role in making people sick and in fact, gives you energy to fight off disease!"
Why do we know this teacher's words so precisely? Because the students must keep notes, and micro-cassettes are encouraged. Mira uses one.
Okay, so these are pretty outrageous statements for a teacher to make, but plenty of dieticians would agree with her. Only the last statement worried Mira and made her come home and query her mother. Mira began to fear that she could become ill if she didn't start including sugar back into her diet. Her mother called me and wanted to know the facts. Which is it? Does sugar make you sick, or does it help to FIGHT diseases — even the common cold. She'd begun to remember how her doctor had always had her eat Jell-O and Ice Cream and drink 7-UP when she was sick. All packed with sugar. Was he helping or dragging out the cold/flu/whatever?
I took the time to do some research for her and once I'd finished, I knew I had to share this with all of you as well.
Ever hear of the "Leukocytic Index"? Remember the name — you may want to share this information with doubting family members who still believe a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down...
The Leukocytic Index indeed proves the devastating effect of refined carbohydrates on immunity and may help many people to begin to take this health risk seriously...
More than 20 years ago a large study was published about the effects of refined carbohydrates (of which sugars are the worst) on the leukocytic index. Our white cells are the most important factors in protecting us from invading organisms. The leukocytic index is a measure of how many organisms one white blood cell (WBC) can eat in an hour. Therefore an index of 10 means that that one WBC ate 10 organisms in THAT hour.
The average LI (leukocytic index) in the USA — and remember, the "average" is not super-healthy — is about 13.9.
Within 15 minutes, after an individual eats the amount of refined carbohydrates normally ingested in the standard American's evening meal — about 100 grams, the leukocytic index drops to about 1.4!
Depending on the genetic susceptibility to this problem, it might be better or worse — this is just an average. Diabetics ALWAYS have a LI of less than 2.
That means: the average person loses more than 90% of their immune function within 15 minutes of indulging in this poisonous substance. This deficiency lasts for 2-5 hours after the stress occurs. For those eating high carbs/sugars all day every day, their immune system is at a 90% loss ALL THE TIME.
Now, think about this. You're in the hospital. You've just had surgery. Now more than ever, you need your immune system at its very best. What is routinely given intravenously during surgery? Glucose water!
[ Addendum : Since we first published this, it's been called to our attention that in many or most parts of the U.S., most surgical proceedures are now using Ringers – thankfully! ]
When Ringer's Lactate (which has no sugar) is used instead, the incidence of post operative infection is reduced by two thirds. The only reason I can think of for this kind of persistent ignorance is that there is no money in changing the thinking of operative routine. There is a lot more money in treating the infections that are created by the powers-that-be.
Since this has been known for more than 20 years, don't you think it is time for this information to get out to the public? Clearly it hasn't made it into our schools.
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Calling All Chefs!
By Contributing Editor, Andrea K. Rogers
Hello my fellow low-carbers! I have a couple of questions to ask all of you. Have you recently found yourself converting measurements from ounces to cups in your sleep? Can you define the following words: sauté, poach, and puree? Do you know what each of the following is: ghee, kosher salt, and vital wheat gluten? Do you also know why they're used in cooking? Have you been experimenting with different spices and flavorings, even if a recipe doesn't call for it?
What's happened to you— Were you like this before you started low-carbing, or is this a side affect no one mentioned to you when you started this new Way of Life? Shhhhhhh! I won't let your secret out, it's happened to me, too! The Atkins' diet has made us…gourmet cooks! Don't Cry! It'll be okay! Really! I don't think it's anything to be ashamed of! I personally feel that we can still raise our heads in public and look others in the eyes. However, beware! There are those out there (traditional low-fat dieters?) that might become jealous, so let's not brag about it. Here's my theory as to why Atkins dieters and other low-carbers are quickly finding themselves to be: rather good gourmet cooks!
First off, let's take a look at a couple of our traditional cooking ingredients, shall we?
Our low-carb ingredients not only have flavor and versatility, they have FAT! Fat makes cooking fun! Let's say the word again! Fat, Fat, FAT! Be proud! Say it out loud! Ooops! Don't let a low-fat dieter hear you say it; they'll give you a bad look!
Hey, we've all been there, we've tried the low-fat way of life and it nearly killed us! We made FAT the enemy for so many years, it's time to give our friend the credit it deserves! Fat makes things not only taste better, but it adds texture and volume to a dish. Try this: Imagine spraying some PAM on a slab of chicken (kinda bland, huh?), now think of cooking that chicken in some butter or bacon GREASE (oh! Another fun word!), or how about some lard (you're mind explodes with a sensory overload of FLAVOR)! Let's expand our vocabulary, the word for today is: Deep-fry! Can you smell it yet? FAT has numerous advantages, don't be afraid of it, it's not going to hurt you! Fat is fun! Don't go overboard, but certainly enjoy yourself.
2: It's Necessary
But why, you ask yourself? Why do we cook and cook and cook as a dedicated low-carber? Cooking is just part of being a low-carber, my friends, a part that no one really talks about. At first is seems time consuming, then the pounds start to fall off. It's a good balance!
Have you recently found yourself watching FOODTV or logging onto www.foodtv.com, eagerly trying to learn the tricks to cooking with certain ingredients? Do you find yourself looking over a recipe and adding more ingredients or differing the amounts of ingredients in it? Have you been rummaging through old cookbooks trying to find a favorite high-carb recipe you can convert into a low-carb recipe? If you've answered, "YES" to one or all of these questions, then it's happened to you! You're no longer a product of the five-minute-nuke-a-meal generation! YOU'VE BROKEN FREE! Our only other choice would be to gorge ourselves on sugar. Eating and eating but never feeling satisfied (sounds like a bad place to be, to me). But we want to live long and healthy lives! That's NOT A CHOICE! IT'S A DEATH SENTENCE!
We cook because we want to make sure no unnecessary carbs go into our mouths. Yet, because of the popularity of low-carbing now-a-days (Gee, I wonder why? Maybe because it works?!), there are many products out there that help us low-carbers out. Yet, the price tags can be prohibitive to some of us. New technology tends to carry a heavy price, but the convenience is sometimes more than worth it! However, when your budget just can't take another $100 order, then you must rely on yourself. You cook, and you cook something that will satisfy you and taste like a million bucks!
3: It's Fun!
Okay, at first it might be kinda scary. You're going to have to get over your past disasters in the kitchen, you're going to have to take charge and show that kitchen whose boss! You'll have to learn how to braise, poach, and puree, but it's not a hard learning curve. It's fun; even your disasters are learning tools (believe me, I've had more than one- "what do you mean you don't add water to grease? Ouch!"). Your kitchen has become a playground for experimentation and diversity. You can learn to cook with different meats, different low-carb veggies, and learn how to incorporate balance into your diet. Feel like a little soul food? Bring out those bitter greens and smothered chicken recipes! Feel like a bit of New Orleans? Start shoppin' for some shrimp and crawfish! What about some beef? Oh darlin'! You've got a billion choices now! All you need to do is decide what flavor of "Yummy" you want tonight! You have control over your life now. You know what to eat, how much to eat, and when to eat. Doesn't that feel empowering? Maybe even kinda scary?! You're in charge of the kitchen now! So get cooking!
Low Carb Connoisseur has gone Live!
A Taxing Time In The Kitchen
In Honor of April 15th, I couldn't resist:
Okay, okay, now everyone wants more side dishes. It seems we've been offering lots of breads, desserts, main dishes, and specialty foods, but no real sides to speak of. We hear you and have been testing recipes to beat the band. Here you go! These are terrific!
Cheesy "Potato" Kugel
Spicy Zucchini Boats
Brooklyn Green Beans
Two Steps Forward; Three Steps Back
"With devotion's visage and pious action, we do sugar, or the devil himself."
— William Shakespeare's Hamlet: Act 3 Scene 1
It appears on the surface that things are beginning to look better. Richard wrote a bit about this in our March 8, 2001 issue in his column called "Paradigm Shift".
Suzanne Somers is fighting breast-cancer — by way of alternative medicine. In a recent interview she said that it is something she is doing for herself, and that she is in no way telling other people what is best for them. Her solution includes a low carbohydrate diet, with the rationality that cancer requires high levels of glucose to survive. A spokesman for the AMA, when asked to comment said he "didn't believe that Ms. Somers has all the facts." It is evident to me that she knows that in spite of what cancer requires to survive, the first thing the AMA wants the doctor to do in cancer treatment is flood your body with sugar. I find this typical of the politics of the AMA. Anyone who goes out and does their own research (and finds that hard science conflicts with the AMA's recommendations) and concludes that another means of healing might be best for them is immediately attacked for those conclusions. And the reason is.... what? What if she's right?
With all of this research on the positive effects of low carbing finally seeing a wisp of light in the darkness of dogma, I imagine that the amount of money being spent to lobby politicians to keep them in line is astounding. Every time another study shows the benefits of the elimination sugar and empty carbohydrates in a person's diet, I imagine phone calls being made to senators and congressman. Phone calls from representatives of the sugar industry, the cereal and bread companies, the drug companies, and of course, the AMA.
"Be plain in dress, and sober in your diet; In short, my deary, kiss me, and be quiet."
— Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689–1762)
At the heart of the AMA's intent lie the seeds of conceit, and a penchant for greed. To be proven to have been incorrect about its cancer treatments, as well as the entire low fat concept, would be a disaster for them. Consider the number of deaths that can be attributed to the consumption of sugar and other carbohydrates pushed upon us by the AMA. It is staggering. Any evidence showing that they were aware of this and failed to act upon it would drive a stake through its heart. This is why they will threaten, coerce, discredit, or stop by whatever means necessary, anyone who would seek to expose this.
As I have stated before, it's most often not the doctors I blame (most adhere to established dogma because they believe it to be correct), rather I place the blame at the feet of the upper echelons of the medical establishment. Corruption always floats to the top, with the depth, breadth, and height being too large to comprehend.
What scares the hell out of me is how far this conspiracy must go for it to work. The AMA says "Let them eat cake" with the unspoken follow-up "and taste the profitable hand of death".
I have been eating low carb for about 3 months. For the last month or so, I have been noticing extreme hair loss. Have you ever heard of hair loss being associated with a low-carb lifestyle? I am really getting quite worried because I can't figure out what's causing this.
Dear Donna —
What you describe is called "Telogen Effluvium". The good news is, it's normal in about 10-15% of dieters. The better news is, it's temporary.
Telogen effluvium is when a stress (such as dieting/weight change) causes noticeable shedding of hair after the stressful event. The hair loss is always delayed, usually 3–4 months after the "stressful event". The event can be a physical stress such as an illness (especially with a fever), sudden weight changes (the most common), or a major surgical procedure. Sudden severe emotional stress can also trigger telogen effluvium, including the death of a loved one, a divorce, or a job termination.
It's all about something called "Transition to Resting Phase". In telogen effluvium, the stressful event causes a high proportion of hair follicles to halt their growth phase prematurely, and to begin a transition to the resting phase at the same time. 3–4 months after the stressful event, a high proportion of follicles shed their hairs all at about the same time, as they prepare for a new cycle of growth.
The confusion comes in here — What triggers the hair loss begins 3–4 months before the loss of the hair actually occurs. Usually, the person losing hair has recovered from the event (or stabilized from the weight change or dietary change), and then they start shedding their hair in clumps! The condition is almost always temporary, and new hairs soon grow back in. Within a few more months the normal random cycle of hair follicle growth and rest resumes.
Usually telogen effluvium results in random hair loss from all over the scalp. Often the effect is not noticeable to others, although seeing the increased quantities of shed hairs is disturbing to their owner. Treatment for telogen effluvium includes waiting for the new hairs to grow in, and styling to give a fuller look in the meantime.
Rest assured this phenomenon is not restricted to low-carbing, and in fact because our diet is high in protein, we often recover more quickly. Make sure your diet is TRULY TOTALLY sugar free. Sugar great exacerbates the condition. It also helps to do the following:
Thanks for all your letters, everyone! I get hundreds of letters each week and try to answer as many as I can.
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.|
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