You keep hearing me say this, but I sincerely believe the tide is turning in favor of the healthy low-carb lifestyle. It has been rumbling in the research realm for several years and is now FINALLY spilling over into the mainstream through various media outlets. It's not an overwhelming embracing of carbohydrate restriction for weight and health management, but is certainly one step closer to acceptance.
Today I have seven cutting edge low-carb diet and health science news stories to illustrate this point. If you support livin' la vida low-carb and strongly believe that this way of eating deserves recognition for the improvements it is making in the lives of real people, then be encouraged by these and spread the word! We ARE making a difference as more and more people begin understanding how low-carb living can improve their life forever.
The editors of Prevention magazine actually extols the virtues of watching the kind of carbohydrates that diabetics should be consuming by looking at the glycemic index. A strong case is made for paying better attention to the GI in foods, although the glycemic LOAD is much more relevant in my opinion. Nevertheless, we see that there is a clear delineation about carbohydrates being made in an MSNBC story and that's a very good thing!
This New York Times story should be shocking news to anyone using traditional measures for taking on their diabetes (that would be the high-carb, low-fat dietary recommendations along with lots of insulin shots that the American Diabetes Association promoted prior to their change of heart to also encourage low-carb diets that happened this year). It turns out that a diabetes study yielded HIGHER DEATH RATES among those participants who injected themselves with multiple shots of insulin (visa vi from eating too many carbohydrates and requiring the additional injections). Many of these were from heart attacks and the researchers conducting this study were floored. This sad incident merely adds to the argument that low-carb supporters have been stating for years that higher insulin levels in the body are the REAL culprit in heart disease and NOT dietary fat. The truth is there for anyone willing to see it.
This is a continuation of a study published in the November 9, 2006 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine that I actually first blogged about previously from Harvard researchers Thomas Halton and Dr. Frank Hu looking at the long-term health impact of livin' la vida low-carb on the general population. Now they have turned their attention to Type 2 diabetics to see if consuming a low-carb diet will help or hurt their disease over the years. The results of the study are encouraging: a high-fat, low-carb diet does NOT increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes in women and actually "may modestly reduce the risk of diabetes." YEAH BABY! This was published in the February 2008 issue of the journal American Society for Nutrition.
Cause and effect should always go into any decision that we or our government leaders make because the "unintended consequences" of taking certain actions can sometimes be worse than anyone expected. Such is the case with low-fat diets in this Medical News Today story. Echoing what reproductive endocrinologist Dr. Gil Wilshire stated in June 2006 when he called for a moratorium on the low-fat dietary recommendations until more LEVEL 1 scientific evidence can be presented in support of it, Dr. Paul R. Marantz, Elizabeth Bird, and Dr. Michael H. Alderman all from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine say that "these dietary guidelines might actually be endangering health...[as] currently developed and issued." WOW! You can say that again! The most telling quote from them about how low-fat diets have failed to produce weight and health improvements over the years was this: "When the prevailing message fails to achieve its intended aims or achieves the wrong ends, the solution is not to abandon the enterprise but to reshape the message to achieve desired outcomes." Yes--and that means promoting low-carb alongside low-fat diets so that people can decide which nutritional approach will work best for them. It's time to make this happen in the United States of America! Are you listening up there in the USDA office, Dr. Wansink?
Anyone who watches the hit NBC-TV show "The Biggest Loser" on a regular basis like me knows that famous chef Rocco DiSpirito was a guest this week during one of the challenges for the contestants. They were to create a three-course meal using Rocco's recipes and making them even more "healthy." Of course, that's code word for low-fat, low-calorie, low-salt and the dishes were judged accordingly. But Rocco appeared on a CRN Digital Talk Radio show called "What's Cooking" this week just before low-carb cooking friend and author Judy Barnes Baker and said something remarkable about "The Biggest Loser" segment I wanted to share with you. He said the producers of the show made him cook with zero fat and zero salt because they wanted to see "maximum weight loss." However, he did say at the end of his interview that anyone who thinks that sugar doesn't matter needs to realize that it provokes insulin that will make your body store fat. EXCELLENT! And I know Judy loved that perfect lead-in! :D
We are very fortunate to have some strong voices on behalf of low-carb living out there in the mainstream sharing their philosophy regarding diet and health with the masses. Take Adam Campbell and Cassandra Forsythe, for example. Adam writes for Men's Health magazine and recently released a fantastic book with low-carb research giant Dr. Jeff Volek from the University of Connecticut called The TNT Diet. Interestingly, Dr. Volek is Cassandra's boss as she works in the research lab pursuing her doctorate at UConn. Adam and Cassandra teamed up for a column for Men's Health again on the MSNBC site looking at the so-called "health" foods that are out there and put them in their proper place. If you've ever been on a diet before, then no doubt you have eaten at least half of the food on this list! Find out why it didn't do you a lick of good (if you didn't already know!).
Finally, we have more research confirming that livin' la vida low-carb is an excellent way to manage epileptic seizures as I've blogged about previously here and here. Johns Hopkins researchers are convinced that adults suffering from this condition should follow an Atkins-styled low-carb diet to best control their disease. The story said about a third of the participants couldn't stay on the diet because it was "too tough to do." I don't know about you, but if I could control my seizures by eating a high-fat, low-carb diet then I would probably FORCE myself to eat that way even if it wasn't as pleasurable as it is. That's just crazy to me! Thankfully, those patients who did try it and stay on it saw remarkable results. And the doctors encouraged them to stay on it for many years to come--a virtual admission that livin' la vida low-carb over the long-term ain't so unhealthy after all! Hmmmm...but we knew that already!
I'm more about the low carb diets than the ketogenic diets like Atkins. I believe that we need a certain amount of healthy carbs from fruits and vegetables and even a slice of whole grain bread to function properly. I've tried both low carb and Atkins and the straight Atkins diet makes me physically ill. But I guess they don't affect everyone the same way because I have friends who love it.
I can appreciate your position, but I would argue that the Atkins diet DOES allow healthy carbs like fruits (low-glycemic blueberries, strawberries, cantaloupe, honeydew, raspberries, etc.) and vegetables (non-starchy green leafy, green beans, cauliflower, brocolli, squash, etc.). Plus, there are FABULOUS low-carb breads out there that are absolutely divine.
But you bring up a GREAT point--we're all different. Therefore, our diets should not be the same. My motto has always been to find the proven plan that works for you, follow that plan exactly as prescribed, and then do it for the rest of your life! That's it! I'm so happy to hear livin' la vida low-carb is working for you and I wish you nothing but continued success for many years to come. :D