Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Best Reasons to Start a Low Carb Diet

I have a few new Examiner posts you might find interesting. One that I think came out rather well was "Best Reasons to Start a Low Carb Diet". I wrote that as part of the Examiner's BEST OF project and it was published yesterday. Links are below. I've marked the articles I published earlier on this blog as RERUNS so you can skip over those if you caught them the first time. All other posts are new.

Best Reasons to Start a Low Carb Diet

Are Diabetics Suffering for No Reason? (rerun)
Don't Have a Heart Attack. Dark Chocolate is Good For You!
Carbohydrates Clog Your Brain (rerun)
A Day At The Farmer's Market
Vitamin K(ale)

Fellow low carber and columnists Jamie Van Eaton has a new "best of" post too...
Five Best Low Carb Breakfast Ideas
Happy Reading :D

Meet "Space Doc"

I stumbled on a very interesting website today. Created by Duane Graveline, MD, MPH, Former USAF Flight Surgeon, Former NASA Astronaut, and Retired Family Doctor, it documents his disastrous experience with statins along with his take on low carbohydrate diets.

"No more than 40-50% of our daily caloric intake should be from carbohydrates and it should be from the complex variety and for fats we must return to the natural fats that were the foundation of the American diet five decades ago.

We also should remember that our strongest antagonists in what I chose to call "back to basics" diet will be the food industry for there is relatively little profit in basic foods. I fondly remember the words of Doctor Paul Dudley White, cardiologist to the presidents back in the mid-fifties. When pressed to support the politically motivated "prudent" diet of fat and cholesterol restriction replied, "See here, I began my practice as a cardiologist in 1921 and never saw a myocardial infarction patient until 1928. Back in the MI-free days before 1920, the fats were butter, whole milk and lard, and I think we would all benefit from the kind of diet that we had when no one had ever heard of corn oil."

Today most people have forgotten all about Dr. Dudley White and his prophetic words of advice. If Dudley White had been in control of our dietary destiny then, cardiovascular disease would probably not be the immense problem it is today."

When you get a chance stop by this interesting and informative website.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Better Use for Sugar: Gasoline!

While not ready for prime time, new technology is in the works that can convert sugar to gasoline at an efficiency rate of 65%. It works by passing the sugars over nano-sized metal catalysts and requires very little energy input to run unlike current fermentation processes. Better yet, this method results in gasoline, NOT ethanol, which can be damaging to metals and rubbers used in car parts.

"An alloy of the precious metals platinum and rhenium triggers the first step of the conversion. Dumesic and his colleagues deposited 2-nanometer-wide specks of this alloy onto surfaces made of pure carbon. When a liquid mixture of water and plant sugar flows over the platinum-rhenium particles at the right temperature and pressure, the metal atoms act as catalysts to cleave chemical bonds in the sugar, releasing oxygen and leaving behind a mixture of molecules containing carbon and hydrogen — the principal elements in gasoline and diesel."
Full story

There is still a lot of work to do on this process and catalyst costs may be an issue, but hopefully this line of study will result in getting sugars out of American's diets and in to something much more useful that wont cause obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Cancer Support Event Fail

The Denver Zoo was host to the recent "Paint the Zoo Pink" event to support the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. According to a 9 News article, "The Denver Zoo's hippos, Bert and Mahali, eagerly supported the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation Sunday afternoon. Their jobs during the event were very important: they had to open their mouths wide and eat two pink sponge cakes which were dropped in whole." (Full Story)

While fund raisers like this are very helpful in raising money and awareness about the cancer battle, there is a slight problem with this particular event detail. Sponge cake is made from refined flours and sugars, which are the two of the leading suspects in the rise in cancer rates over the last 20-30 years. Refined carbohydrates are behind all the diseases of civilization...heart disease, diabetes, strokes, type 2 diabetes, and yes, even cancer. Gary Taubes in "Good Calories Bad Calories" carefully outlines the available information on tribes of people in various corners of the world who were observed during a switch from their native diets to Western foods. Things went from cancer being so rare that in the few instances it did occur, it was seen as very remarkable and was closely studied by health care workers to having obesity, cancer, diabetes and heart disease being common, and even rampant in populations who didn't even previously have words for these diseases.

As long as the medical community seems to be steeped in denial about the cause of diseases of civilization (including cancer) I fail to see how throwing cake at innocent herbivores is supposed to help. The 9 News story provided this quote...
"Breast cancer survivor Hollen Ferrendelli said she hopes the hippos' afternoon dessert will push our legislators to make health care a top priority during the coming legislative session."

So who exactly do I have to throw pink-tinted baked goods at to get people to realize that the very food they may be eating is increasing their risk of getting cancer? I don't have any hippos handy, and I wouldn't want to harm my cats by having them eat garbage after all the time and effort I took getting them on their own version of the Atkin's diet. I guess I could throw Zingers at the squirrels, or better yet, some anti-low-carb doctors and a politician or two.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

New Food Pyramid

BlueSojrn from the Active Low Carb forum has come up with a great new food pyramid for low carbers. View it on my Examiner post here.

It's perfect for Barry Groves "Natural Health and Weight Loss" fans since it lists FAT at the base. Unlike the USDA grain-based food pyramid, following this one wont make you SHAPED like a pyramid :D

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Best of the Forums: Why There is Resistance to Low Carb

Those of us who have had success on a low carb diet are often confused when we see so much resistance to this way of life. It is hard not to be confused when so many of us lose weight, control our blood sugar, reverse heart disease and more. Forum poster Advantagec recently put his feelings about the situation on the Active Low Carb Forum.

"LC provides an effective way for most people to lose weight and maintain the loss with relatively little effort or discomfort. There is plenty of evidence that it works. There is plenty of evidence showing that flour, sugar and starches are detrimental to health.

So why is LC not the gold standard of weight loss? Why does the recommended "balanced diet" still include loads of carbohydrates?


Who profits financially when someone buys an Atkins or Protein Power book for 25 cents or a few bucks, signs up on a free message board and then embarks on a new way of eating? Nobody makes any significant amount of money from it.

On the other hand, look at the money involved in WW, Nutrisystem, weight loss clinics, and weight loss surgery. How about the lobbies for sugar and HFCS? All of that is big money. For those with financial interests aligned with these companies or industries, ineffective weight loss efforts are the gift that keep on giving. When WW helps a 25 year old lose those 30 pounds they have gained a customer for life.

The financial interests of a relatively small number of people stand in the way of the health interests of a huge number of people. It's a shame."

My comment to his post?

"The breakfast cereal industry alone is worth billions. I think they will do anything to keep people hooked on their tasty poison."

Monday, September 8, 2008


After the scale not budging for months, I got on the scale this morning to discover I unexpectedly dropped 3 pounds. Woo hoo!
I had temporarily lost "custody" of my youngest cat Xena. Technically she is my oldest son's cat, and while he was going to college, moving, deciding not to go to college, etc... she stayed at our house. A few months back, he finally decided he was in a nice apartment and wanted his baby. That lasted a little while before he went out of town with friends and needed us to kitty sit. Now he has decided to join the army. Not only do we get to keep Xena, he just asked us if we can keep his OTHER cat, Zeus. Cookie will not be happy, though Xena will enjoy having seeing her buddy again.

Xena is now 13 pounds. Up a little since living with Calvin. While I told him she needed to be low carb to keep off the weight, I have no doubt she was eating pizza and french fries right along side him. Grrrr.
Speaking of Cookie, she turned 19 a couple of days ago. She is pretty darn spry for the cat equivalent of 88. Here is a cool age chart I used to come up with that number. CHART
We put our youngest son on low carb over the summer. He has adapted well to the "legal" food choices and lost 20 pounds. He will still eat chips, pizza, and drink sugary sodas if given the chance, but I just don't keep those items in the house. Fortunately, Sam's sells big tubs of pork rinds and hot salsa by the gallon...Max's new favorite treat.
My skinny vegetarian friend went to her doctor lately complaining about weight gain. Sure, she still looks plenty skinny to me, but I guess if you are normally very skinny, blimping up to just skinny would be annoying. Anyway, he doctor told her that at 40, weight creep was common (especially around the middle) and if she wanted to combat it, she needed to CUT HER CARBS. I guess I shouldn't have laughed, but she thought I was insane when I went on a low carb diet. Now her much respected doctor is telling her what I have been for the last year. I am just glad to know the good news is getting out the the GP's.
I have a couple of more posts up on the Examiner site. One is a recipe I posted on this blog last year for Chicken and Squash Stir Fry. The other is about common salad mistakes. Stop by and check them out. As always, your feedback is much appreciated.

I will be posting some old recipes as well as new content in the upcoming months both here and on the Examiner site. I will post links so they are easier to find.