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Experts slam low-carb trend as rip-off


I've always liked them
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Popular low-carbohydrate diets are leading Americans to poor health and spawning a rip-off industry of "carb-friendly" products, health experts and consumer advocates have said.
They announced a new group, called the Partnership for Essential Nutrition, to help educate Americans about the need for healthy carbohydrates such as vegetables, fruits, beans and whole grains.

"When unproven science becomes a sales pitch, some people get rich and the rest of us get ripped off," Jeffrey Prince of the American Institute for Cancer Research told a news conference.

"Eating vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans, which are all predominantly carbohydrate, is linked to a reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and a range of other chronic diseases."

Prince said low-carb diets that advocate piling on the animal protein and fat are "increasing the risk of developing cancer, heart disease, stroke, type-2 diabetes and other chronic diseases".

The new group includes such organizations as the Alliance for Aging Research, the American Association of Diabetes Educators, the AICR and the American Obesity Association.

Its Web site at http://www.essentialnutrition.org/ is especially critical of programs, such as the Atkins diet, that advocate throwing the body into a condition called ketosis. During this phase the body sheds water as it tries to get rid of excess protein and fat-breakdown products.

"Losing weight on these extreme low-carb diets can lead to such serious health problems as kidney stress, liver disorders and gout," the group advises.

Atkins rebuttal

Dr. Stuart Trager, Medical Director for Atkins Nutritionals, Inc., said the Atkins diet is healthy.

"In fact, the Atkins Nutritional Approach includes spinach, eggplant, broccoli, asparagus and leafy greens, in addition to other high-fiber vegetables and fruits," Trager said in a statement. "Even during induction, Atkins requires five servings of vegetables and/or fruits a day."

The new group published a survey of 1,017 adults, done by Opinion Research Corporation, that showed 19 percent of dieters are trying to cut carbs.

The survey found that 47 percent them believed that low-carb diets can help them lose weight without cutting calories.

"They are confused. They lack an understanding of the basic science," Barbara Moore, president of Shape Up America, told the news conference.

She said a "trickle-down effect" meant other Americans were now eating fewer fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products.

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When unproven science becomes a sales pitch, some people get rich and the rest of us get ripped off.

-- Jeffrey Prince, American Institute for Cancer Research

The U.S. government, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute and American Diabetes Association all recommend getting at least five servings a day of fruits and vegetables. They also recommend eating plenty of whole grains.

The National Consumers League said it found dieters were spending an average of $85 a month on so-called low-carbohydrate products, although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not evaluate or regulate low-carb claims.

"Consumers are paying a premium price for a carb-friendly lifestyle," said Alison Rein of the National Consumers League.

She called for the FDA, U.S, Department of Agriculture and other agencies to issue immediate guidelines on such claims.

Studies show that a low-carbohydrate approach can cause people to lose weight more quickly than a low-fat diet for the first six months, but the low-fat approach catches up after a year.
What about the people that supplement their diet with 2 liters of Diet Coke per day. At some point, that has to catch up to you.

Some low carb dieters take it to the extreme and load up on sausage , eggs red meat , bacon pork and others, without even looking at a vegetable!

It works if properly followed.
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Thank you for a great find. Sounds like you like I are anti-Atkins.

I may have to go to Taco Bell tonight to eat a Bean Burrito with two tacos and nachos just so I can give a big "F YOU" to Mr. Fatkins!
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It depends on how you implement a low-carb diet. If you don't go overboard with fatty-type foods as your protein source, the supposed health risks are minimized. As pointed out, Atkins requires that vegetables and certain fiber be eaten. I remember reading about low-carb diets as far back as 1997 and even in the most radical ones, they encouraged eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice which has a lot of fruit sugars (which gets counteracted by the fat-burning agent in the fruit's juice). I am about 15 pounds lighter at this stage of my triathlon training (205 lbs) than I was at the same stage last year when I was training for the same triathlon, and the reason is that I'm minimizing carbs on non-training days, and even on heavy training days I'm not taking in more than 100 grams of carbs.

One of the best meals you can make is salmon sautéed in olive oil and garlic, served with spinach and a green garden salad. There are very few carbs in the meal, a lot of protein, and a lot of very healthy Omega-3 fatty acids...there is nothing unhealthy at all about that type of low-carb meal. Even many of the so-called experts tend to forget that there are "good" fats...
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The main problem with the Atkins diet is that people who say they are following it aren't. It's not some "I can eat bacon till my stomach bursts diet." People think all they have to do is stop eating carbs all together and they can eat as much other crap as they want, which is dangerous. There is a strict reginend that one has to follow when on that diet, too many people just cut all carbs, even fiber and think they'll be just fine.

This is not to say I'm an advocate of the Atkins diet. My own personal method of staying trim is an extremely low fat balanced diet. In fact you could say that it's not a diet at all. It's a way of life and it serves me well. My arteries are so clean they would make tibor cry (since I'm a Browns fan).
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I don't think have any limits on red meat for any diets is good, but I've seen people have success on low carb diets where the protein staples are fish, chicken, pork, and eggs. My real pet peeve is the people who order a diet coke with a triple cheesburger and chilli cheese fries.
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My real pet peeve is the people who order a diet coke with a triple cheesburger and chilli cheese fries.

Actually, I do the same thing myself when I treat myself to a Big Mac meal or something similar during my once-a-week "cheat" day. I have two reasons: 1.) You still save about 300-400 calories on a large drink by doing diet Coke vice regluar Coke, and 2.) I can't drink regular sodas anymore because they are so damn sweet...ever see how many grams of sugar are in a can of a non-diet soft drink?
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Good call Milli I never looked at it like that. I guess I should I revise my statement to say that irks me for the people who don't give a flip about the diet or weight. I'd take my chances with sugar over phenalphalenne, I've heard some pretty nasty stuff about it. I wonder what Tibs has got to add to this topic with his doctoring knowledge, hopefully he didn't load up on frenology and 19th century medicine practices in school. I'm waiting for someone to tout a Rogan Josh, Fish Vindaloo, Dakshini Gosht, and mango juice.
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