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Is Oprah Winfrey Finally Coming Around To Low-Carb?

Posted Feb 19 2009 6:30pm


Oprah’s weight struggles may be leading her towards low-carb solution

The entire world seemed to come to a standstill in December 2008 when it was revealed that television talk show host Oprah Winfrey had ballooned back above 200 pounds again after attempting some rather extreme diet and exercise programs over the years with up and down results. Even with her very close associations with so-called health “experts” like Dr. Mehmet Oz and Bob Greene, this weight thing has become somewhat of an albatross around Oprah’s neck that she’s been unable to get under control no matter what she seems to do.


Oprah shared her weight struggle in the January 2009 edition of “O”

The January 2009 issue of O Magazine showed on the front cover a picture of the current 200-pound 54-year old Oprah looking at her 160-pound skinnier self from 2006 and asking the question “How Did I Let This Happen Again?” She lamented the weight gain and scratched her head wondering what in the world is going on when she seemed to be doing all the “right” things to get her obesity under control. Could there be more to this problem than meets the eye?


The February 2009 issue of “O” named the “best” diet among several

Almost on cue, in the February 2009 issue of O Magazine, the front cover showed the headline “The Top 5 Diets: Which One Works Best” which caught the attention of quite a few of my readers who were standing at the checkout of their local grocery stores in recent weeks. Why? Because when you open up the magazine, lo and behold it names LIVIN’ LA VIDA LOW-CARB the BEST diet overall since it produced the most weight loss and weight maintenance of the diets examined.

This was not a new revelation, but rather a regurgitation of three older studies we’ve covered previously.

1. This July 2008 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine from Israeli researchers showed the Atkins low-carb diet produced the most weight loss, increased HDL “good” cholesterol, decreased triglycerides significantly, lowered A1C levels–a key diabetic marker, and decreased C-reaction protein–a sign of inflammation. The other diets in the comparative study included the low-fat diet proposed by the American Heart Association and promoted by people like Dr. Dean Ornish and the Mediterranean diet. This was a significant study as it added another layer of evidential support to the healthy low-carb lifestyle.

2. This March 2007 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association from Stanford researchers concluded the Atkins dieters were able to comply with the diet more than the others and experienced many of the same improvements in weight and health as the Israel study participants did.

3. The third study published 2008 in the Journal of Exercise Physiology compared people following a low-fat diet compared with those who simply exercised and found that the low-fat dieters lost more weight, but it was mostly in the form of muscle while the exercisers maintained and even grew muscle mass. They conclude that diet and exercise must go hand in hand.

So, to have this kind of cutting-edge research FEATURED in Oprah’s magazine is a pretty big deal. The column is called “Battle of the Diet Plans” and concludes that a low-carb diet and exercise plan is “a good place to start” for anyone wishing to lose weight and keep it off for good. They added that people need to find the plan that works for them even if it means trying several different ones before discovering what works.

What does this mean for Oprah? Is she FINALLY coming around to the low-carb side of things? Well, if you take a gander at her current meal plans, then they are certainly low-carb in nature. Yes, they’re low-fat, too, but you can’t deny that eggs, salmon, green veggies, chicken, and salad are low-carb foods. Perhaps she’s on a journey of discovering the healthy benefits of high-fat, low-carb right now, though, in light of her yo-yo weight. I’m encouraged by some things happening behind-the-scenes right now in the low-carb world, too.

You’ll recall the release of an extraordinary Canadian documentary film entitled My Big Fat Diet featuring Dr. Jay Wortman by filmmaker Mary Bissell last year. Word has it that producers from the Oprah show inquired earlier this month about getting a review copy of this film to watch. Additionally, Tom Naughton’s FAT HEAD movie is also rumored to be under review by producers of the show for possible consideration as a feature on an upcoming show.

Could it be that we may actually see an entire episode of Oprah dedicated to the subject of livin’ la vida low-carb? I’m not getting my hopes up too much about it since I’ll believe it when I see it for myself, but there would be plenty to discuss between Dr. Wortman and Tom Naughton’s documentaries as well as C.J. Hunt’s In Search Of The Perfect Human Diet release in final post-production now. This could be a landmark moment for low-carb in 2009.

Let the producers know you’d be interested in seeing an upcoming show on low-carb by sharing your request with them. If enough of us share our passionate desire to see the positive message of healthy low-carb living shared prominently on such an influential program as Oprah, then maybe it could happen. Combined with the story in O Magazine about low-carb diets, this could be the time to do it!

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