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'The F-Factor Diet' Gets An 'F' For Snubbing Low-Carb While Espousing Its Truths

Posted Oct 01 2008 8:32pm

Dietitian Tanya Zuckerbrot says eat your fiber, but don't cut out foods

There's not a doubt in my mind how healthy consuming fiber is as part of my healthy low-carb lifestyle. When I lost 180 pounds on the Atkins diet in 2004, my adequate consumption of delicious sources of fiber was a major part of my success. For people who complain about constipation on low-carb, there's no better cure than big gulps of water and enough fiber to allow your bowel to shake, rattle and roll!

With high-fiber low-carb foods such as coconut flour, ChocoPerfection chocolate bars, NexGen low-carb muffins, Konjac brand shirataki noodles, GoLower nut bars, and Atkins Advantage bars, there's no reason why anyone who is livin' la vida low-carb can't get PLENTY of fiber in their diet.

The subject of fiber is somewhat controversial within the low-carb community, but I am convinced fiber is an excellent addition to your diet especially during weight loss. That's why I was attracted to and intrigued by a new diet book centered around fiber consumption. It's called The F-Factor Diet: Discover the Secret to Permanent Weight Loss.

Oooh, the "secret to permanent weight loss" is certainly a compelling a bold claim to make. But nutritionist Tanya Zuckerbrot is convinced she can confidently back up that claim made by her book with the principles she shares in it. And I must say, some of what she writes about is right in line with what I personally believe regarding a healthy weight loss diet.

Here are ten solid examples of where I agree with Zuckerbrot:

1. Eat a moderate-fiber, low-carb diet for first 2 weeks
2. Consuming too many carbohydrates leads to weight gain
3. "Whole wheat" or "whole grains" foods not necessarily healthy
4. Don't skip meals or snacks during your weight loss
5. Fat-free foods with sugar are foolish
6. Adequate protein intake is a must
7. All carbs turn to sugar inside the body
8. Non-starchy vegetables are preferred over potatoes
9. Beware of hidden sugars in so-called "healthy" foods
10. Keep a journal of the foods you are eating

As much as I agree with all of those wonderful things which are contained within the pages of The F-Factor Diet, imagine my disgusted surprise at some of the hyperbolic mischaracterizations of low-carb diets espoused by Zuckerbrot elsewhere in the book. In light of our many areas of agreement, this was utterly shocking to say the least.

Here are ten things Zuckerbrot thinks are true about low-carb:

1. Cut out all fruits and veggies (WRONG!)
2. This diet has made us fat (No, high-carb has!)
3. You crave carbs when you don't eat them (NOT true!)
4. Never get to eat bread, pasta, or rice again (Don't miss it!)
5. Portion control your diet (just eat when you are hungry?)
6. Dietary fat increases heart disease risk (Studies say otherwise!)
7. Atkins is a fad diet (Well, I lost 200 pounds on that fad!)
8. It fails because you go back to old habits ( Not all of us fail!)
9. Can't have fiber on low-carb because it's carbs (You subtract them!)
10. Saturated fat leads to heart attacks (Not if you keep carbs low!)

These are some fundamentally flawed arguments being made about livin' la vida low-carb in this book from someone who is supposed to be more knowledgeable about nutrition than most average, ordinary Americans. That's what disappoints me about this book which could have been a nice addition to my health book collection, but has been incessantly tainted by the blatant unabashed bias against low-carb.

As much as I can appreciate all the wonderful tips and suggestions, delicious recipes at the back of the book, detailed menu plans for the various stages of weight loss and weight maintenance, and all the like in this book, I cannot in good conscience recommend this as a resource for people desiring weight loss and improvements in their health. If she's lying about some things, then what else is she withholding the truth about.

Can somebody explain something to me? Why is it that health experts like Zuckerbrot feel the need to publicly flog and snub their nose at livin' la vida low-carb in their diet books and then turn right around and espouse the very truths that make up that particular way of eating? Hmmm?

Sounds preposterous and hypocritical, but it is happening more and more over the past couple of years. Why not just recommend low-carb by name rather than being so coy about what you believe nutritionally? Millions of us have changed our lives forever on the amazingly healthy and delicious low-carb lifestyle, so stop trying to beat us. Join us instead.

I don't have any problem at all with you advocating the basic principles of low-carb living in your The F-Factor Diet, Ms. Zuckerbrot. I know you are given the unique opportunity to speak about health on both television and in print, so people are familiar with who you are and place their trust in you. So why not flash them those beautiful pearly whites of yours and admit that the low-carb lifestyle fits right in line with the overall message of your book? Is that too much to ask?

No antagonism, no hyperbole, and no more outright lies. Overweight and obese people deserve to have the truth as it relates to a healthy diet, which is what I try to provide them on a daily basis at my blog. Weight loss is hard enough without having to deal with ignorance from those who should know better. I challenge you to remember that the next time you decide to write a book about diet and health.

Labels: book, F-Factor Diet, fiber, health, low-carb, review, Tanya Zuckerbrot, weight loss

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