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    The Low Carb Luxury Online Magazine   Low Carb Connoisseur
    February 9, 2004    PAGE 1       > About LCL Magazine      > Cover Page      > Inside Cover      Feature Pages:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11  12     

  Featured Articles
 The Low Carb Paradox
 Low Carb Aphrodisiacs
 The Measure of Love
 Delightfully Romantic
 Cosmetic Surgery: Part III
 Valentine's Day Treats
 Interview: Jonny Bowden
 The Bear Facts
 Overcoming Negativity
 A German Vacation
 Make It Low Carb!
 Snapshot: Schlotzsky's Deli



   Low Carb Energy magazine



                The Low Carb Paradox by Debbie Judd, RN

Debbie Judd is a nurse for Drs. Michael and Mary Dan Eades authors of Protein Power. Debbie writes for Body Trends, as well as with the Eades answering literally hundreds of emails, phone calls and letters regarding the Protein Power plan.

                                          "Those who look only to the past or present
                                                        are certain to miss the future."
                                                                                John F. Kennedy

The Low-Fat Craze

In 1988, when the Surgeons General handed down their nutrition guidelines, it asked Americans to drastically reduce the amount of fat in their diet, and to increase fiber. After all, fat was pegged as the "bad guy" who was at the root of America's high incidence of cardio-vascular disease. Out of this cry for help, the public responded, and so did a low- fat industry. A plethora of low-fat diets emerged overnight. Entrées stripped of their fat were being found on menus ubiquitously. New creations were blossoming. Low-fat cakes, breads, cookies, muffins, candy, desserts, entrees, casseroles — everywhere! The U.S. consumption of wheat flour was at a high of 147 pounds per person by 1997. The fad became a trend, and twenty years later, the "Gross National Girth" of America is pushing 68%. America has become an epidemically obese population, and something needed to be done.

The Dr. Atkins Revolution

In the backdrop, Dr. Atkins published his first low carbohydrate book in 1972. Not gaining popularity due mainly to the barometer being focused on low-fat, his approach was ridiculed as a pseudo-scientific fad. After all, how could a high-fat diet be healthy for you? The Surgeon General believed it wasn't. Americans had been called upon to do their part to support a low-fat lifestyle, and they were responding.

Scientists were busily studying the metabolic pathways of nutrition. Why is a nation that has been eating low-fat so… fat? Studies began looking at the macronutrient composition of meals. Low-fat meals usually meant high carb. The $11.4 billion-a-year bread industry had taken over, and now consumers were stressing their metabolic systems with an overload of sugar. The research supported the link between high carbohydrate diets and obesity. Terms such as syndrome X, metabolic disorder, hyperinsulinemia, and metabolic resistance were the buzz words in the medical and public communities.

The Low Carb Craze

Atkins has now swept the country. Nutrition gurus and researchers are saying, "Maybe he was right after all." Millions of low carb dieters have quickly shed pounds after failing to do so by other means. Researchers and medical experts are now recommending "cut those carbs" and America is responding. Sound familiar?

Hang on, because the low carb rage is here to stay and the industry is responding. Low fat products — move aside. Food scientists are figuring out how to strip the carbs out of almost everything we eat. Last year, big-time companies such as Atkins Nutritionals, CarbSense and Keto Foods were introducing low carb packaged food at a rate of almost two products a day. Estimates show that revenue connected to the low carb industry could reach the $20 billion dollar mark.

My hat's off to those business entrepreneurs for rallying, stepping up to the plate, and winning blue ribbons for their creative efforts. Low carb breads, muffins, pizza crust mixes, biscotti, cookies, ice cream, desserts, pasta, ketatoes, chips, decadent chocolates, condiments, powder mixes… wow!

Where will it stop?   ...or will it?

Ten years ago, it was a challenge to follow Atkins' low carb plan, because the choices were limited-meat and fibrous, crispy vegetables. No complaints from low carb followers anymore! The choices are abundant, and now at our fingertips. Fast food, family and fine dining restaurants are all featuring low carb choices; low carb malls and specialty stores are populating almost every city; many low carb products and snacks are even available at 7-eleven convenience stores!

A Nation that Loves to Eat

Let's face it, people like to eat. It tastes good, it's a social focus, it relieves stress, it's cause for a celebration, it's the reason holidays were created — so we could eat. And forget about the intrinsic messages our bodies send us, like telling us when we're full. Just ignore them. After all, you can afford to eat more-you can eat all the low carb food you want, right?

With the soon-to-be abundant amounts of low carb products available to us, what do you think is going to happen? How many helpings of low carb pasta can you afford around your waist? Just because they are low carb (or low fat) doesn't mean there are no calories in those foods. We're back to those heaping plates of spaghetti — just with low carb pasta this time.

Keep it in Perspective

These products should be used as a convenience to augment our busy lives and low carb lifestyle. Instead, my concern is that they are going to be a replacement for healthy meals. What about grandma's baked chicken dinner with green beans, mixed greens salad and scalloped potatoes? What about learning how to portion-control those foods with excess sugar, starch or even fat? What about getting together for family dinners? What about discussing the nutritional value of different foods with our children? As we are going now, I fear the only thing our children are going to learn is where to buy a bag of low carb chips.

In my low carb nutrition practice, I have seen it already. As the intake of low carb products and snacks goes up, the sooner the weight loss plateaus. People are eating sometimes more than triple the portion allowed, just because it's low carb and "that's the diet I'm following."

The message: Take heed, all of you low carb followers. I'm not by any means saying don't use the products… but don't get trapped into the mindset that low carb means "throw all caution to the wind." Don't forget the basics of good sound nutrition, read your labels, learn how to control your intake amounts, savor each bite, and eat for the right reason — optimal health.

                                                           Debbie Judd, RN

Copyright © February 2004  Debbie Judd, RN and Low Carb Luxury
Title photo Copyright © 2004 Neil Beaty and Low Carb Luxury


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