The Cheesecake Factory intros low-carb:
June 30 — RESTAURANT NEWS:
The Cheesecake Factory has announced a low-carb version of its
original cheesecake. It has 6 net carbs per serving and is
sweetened with Splenda. Look for it at your local Cheesecake
Factory or order online.
Starbucks announces 'Frappuccino Light':
June 29 — NEW PRODUCT:
Coffee giant Starbucks is launching a new 'Frappuccino Light' drink line! The new Frappuccino (an iced coffee)
uses Splenda instead of sugar. However, don't believe any "low-carb" claims — the new drinks still pack
20-60 carbs (depending on flavor and size). The light moniker stems from a 30-40% reduction in the number
of calories. As part of the product launch, Starbucks will be offering free samples of the Frappuccino
Light beverages in all of its North American stores.
Popeyes Chicken tests low-carb items:
June 24 — RESTAURANT NEWS:
Popeyes Chicken, second only to KFC in fast-food chicken sales, is now testing no-carb items in
300 of its stores. The "naked" items include both Popeyes Naked Chicken and Popeyes Naked Chicken Strips.
If you were wondering what makes the new item naked, here's the description from Popeyes:
The new Popeyes Naked Chicken offering is an old favorite with a modern twist. The bone-in chicken
is marinated, seasoned and then fried to a crisp, golden brown all without batter and breading.
However, low-carb dieters won't be able to munch on one of the trademark Popeyes Biscuits... No
low-carb version has been announced.
Hershey to intro 'Carb Alternatives' candy:
June 17 — NEW PRODUCT:
Hershey this summer will add a new "Carb Alternatives" line that will join its sugar
free candy and Hershey's 1 Gram Sugar Carb Bar as a new option for consumers following
low-carb diets. Hershey's Carb Alternatives line will include low-carb versions of some
of the most popular brands in the world, including: Hershey's milk chocolate with almonds,
Reese's Miniatures, Hershey's Kisses, and Kit Kat Miniatures.
Conference Report: Kingsbrook:
Recently, Neil and I attended the Kingsbrook Conference on Nutritional & Metabolic Aspects of Low Carbohydrate
Diets held in Brooklyn, NY. Afterward, Daisy Whitney of Lowcarbiz
(a trade magazine for the industry) asked us
a series of questions. We felt our readers would benefit from these answers as well, so we are printing them
1. What was the single most important thing you learned at Kingsbrook?
For some time now, I've been searching for additional information and studies on the effects of fructose (and more importantly, high fructose corn syrup) on human dietary response. We've suspected that even though fructose has been touted for years as a safe "sugar" for diabetics because it doesn't trigger a rapid rise in blood sugar, its cardiovascular consequences may outweigh the benefits for diabetics, who already face a higher than average risk of developing heart disease.
At this conference, Dr. Khosrow Adeli confirmed my suspicions. A wealth of animal studies supports the idea. Feed a lab rat fructose at levels comparable to those in human diets, and it develops insulin resistance, even if it stays lean.
The lipogenic effects of fructose become more apparent as the biochemistry behind it is explained. Fructose appears to increase free fatty acid flux and suppresses hepatic insulin sensitivity. The results are a transition from an insulin sensitive state to an insulin resistant state.
2. How would you describe the state of low-carb medical research today and what still needs to be done?
Much of what we are hearing now is not new research, though a lot of it is newly updated. We're now seeing the re-presentation of studies that date back many years. But with the new interest in low carbohydrate dietary approaches, older studies are being revisited. There are certainly new studies as well, but many of these are quite recent and cover only the short-term. With additional media attention and more funding, the longer term studies will continue.
The most important thing that remains to be done is the job of educating the public at large, who have become desensitized to the "latest studies show..." approach. Too many people still make their day-to-day dietary decisions based on outdated information that's been ingrained.
3. What are some of the new things that you learned at the conference?
That SO MANY studies have borne out the validity of a low carb approach, whether compared to low fat, or to simple caloric restriction. Dr. Eugene Fine's dismissal of the "A Calorie is A Calorie" theory was enlightening and gave us a new argument against those that claim a metabolic advantage is against the laws of thermodynamics.
4. What does the industry (i.e. low-carb food makers, retailers and distributors) most need to know about these findings?
5. How can the industry apply these findings?
I'll answer these two together:
For the industry, it's important that they understand it's not just about "the bottom line" numbers on a nutrition panel. For low carb to work, we can't magically adjust the numbers by discounting sugar alcohols and decreasing serving sizes. Ingredients count and what they choose to put into those low carb specialty products will, in the end, be a determining factor in the success of this segment of the industry.
Neil's Photo of The Month:
Click the image below to download a 1024 x 768 image to use as wallpaper!
Copyright © July 2004 Low Carb Luxury. Photography
Copyright © 2004 Neil Beaty.