Last updated on April 9th, 2017
Saturday Short Takes
Google Alerts has brought me a diversified set of low-carb stories from around the world. Let’s take a look!
1. Goodbye to Bread
First up is Kim Poindexter writing in the Tahlequah Daily Press, who testifies that “Low-carb diets work, but say ‘bye to bread.” Kim was told by her doctor that she had Type-2 Diabetes and needed to lose weight. So she went on a low-carb diet and has so far lost 32 pounds. She notes that although she practices yoga, swims, and lifts weights, none of that mattered without the proper diet. Despite the success of her new way of eating, Kim hates saying goodbye to bread and pasta.
I wish Kim good luck. I can’t say I share her sorrow over ditching bread, pasta, and other high-carb foods. Once in a while I will have a small piece of bread with gobs on butter on it; this is usually at a restaurant with fresh-baked bread. However, I can and have resisted that indulgence. We have no bread in the house. We do have pasta (my still-at-home daughter likes it), but I never think about it eating any. The trick is to focus on the foods you do get to eat, and get the fullest possible enjoyment from those. And just say goodbye to bread and all the other starchy stuff.
By the way, Tahlequah is in Oklahoma.
2. Carbs Aren’t Evil, Just Misunderstood
Next, Alan Christianson, NMD, asks “Are Carbohydrates Evil?” in an article for Newsmax. Alan (yes, I’m on a first-name basis with all of these strangers) starts off with the curious claim that people today “are much more wary of carbohydrates than fats.” He offers no support for the claim, and while I’m dubious, I hope he’s right. The main point of the article is that carbs — while not necessary to sustain human life, and perhaps implicated in the obesity crisis (though not the “clear perpetrators”) — have their good side. They aren’t evil, just misunderstood.
That good side is preventing insomnia and depression. According to Alan, a diet “too low” in carbs results in too little serotonin, an important mood-enhancing chemical, being produced. He doesn’t say what “too low” is for daily carbs, but he promises a follow up article. Apparently, “too low” must be fewer than the 40 – 50 grams of carbs that I usually eat in a day because I’ve been sleeping like a baby, thank you! While Alan is not for saying goodbye to bread, he does warn against eating “a loaf of Wonder Bread” per day. That seems prudent.
3. Pure Propaganda?
Finally, this week’s award for Deceptive Practices in Journalism goes to “High-protein diets increase risk of weight gain, study finds,” by Heath Saul in The Independent, a UK publication. The article’s lead cites the Atkins diet as its only example of a “high-protein” diet. At the bottom of the article, well below the fold, and after many paragraphs of gruesome findings from the study of high-protein diets, we finally get a couple short paragraphs quoting a spokesperson from Atkins, who rightly points out that Atkins is not a high-protein diet and doesn’t align with the diet studied.
The basics of the Atkins diet are readily available, and bear out the spokesperson’s statements. So why does the article even mention Atkins? Apparently ignorance is not the excuse. Is it maliciousness, or cynical link-baiting?
(Update: Zoe Harcombe has critiqued the study in question, finding it underwhelming.)
Either way, that’s it for this week. Let us say goodbye to bread, and to The Independent.