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Welcome back! Today on Dana’s Low Carb For Life, Dana covers a controversial article, makes summer breakfast suggestions, and more. So stick around!
Email for registration for The 2nd Annual Low Carb Meet and Greet: firstname.lastname@example.org
Low carb cruise info: lowcarbcruiseinfo.com
[NOTE: this transcript refers to an interview with Lierre Keith that will need to be reposted at a later date due to technical difficulties. Sorry, folks.]
Hey, Gang, welcome to episode 23 of Dana’s Low Carb For Life, brought to you by CarbSmart.com, your smart choice for a low carb lifestyle. This week I have a rant for you. I don’t know if you’ve heard about the controversial article in Diabetes Health Magazine, but it’s been burning up the online low carb community, and I’m going to weigh in, too. We’ll talk a bit about cool summer breakfasts, and I got some responses on my Low Carb Voices question re treats! Plus I have a great interview with Lierre Keith, author of the brilliant, thought-provoking, and exceedingly well-written book The Vegetarian Myth, so you’ll want to stick around for that.
Before we get to all that, however, a few quick announcements:
George Stella promised you a barbecue rub recipe, and bless his heart, he’s posted it in the comments section after Episode 22, at the show page, danaslowcarbforlife.com. Go grab it!
Mark Saturday, August 13th on your calendar, especially if you live in the midwest. That’s the date of the 2nd Annual Low Carb Meet and Greet, with me, Jimmy Moore, and low carb blogger Amy Dungan. From noon till four, we’ll be hanging out in my backyard, eating low carb food and shooting the breeze. This was amazing fun last year, so come check it out! Because the venue is my backyard, we have a limit of 50 people. You can register at email@example.com – we’ll put that email up at the show page – and it’ll be first come, first served. We’ll be asking a $5 per head donation to help defray the cost of food, and the rental of a canopy and some tables and such. I promise lots of great low carb food!
And remember: The Low Carb Cruise sails May 6th, 2012 from Galveston, Texas. The line up of speakers is utterly awesome. This is the coolest event of my year, and I’m betting it will be of yours, too. Registration is going fast! Go to lowcarbcruiseinfo.com, read all about it, and sign up!
Okay, let’s get to the topics at hand. We’ll be hearing about listeners favorite treats, and I’ll have some suggestions for summer breakfasts, plus that interview with Lierre Keith. But first, let’s talk about the Big Low Carb Story Of The Week:
The low carb world has been abuzz with the news that Diabetes Health Magazine recently published an article by a registered dietician and diabetes educator named Hope Warshaw. Ms Warshaw wrote this article, she says, to debunk two what she calls “common old dogmas” regarding diabetes management.
The second “old dogma” she mentions, and the one drawing fire from the low carb community, is the idea that low carbohydrate diets are effective for glucose control. Gee, where could we have gotten the idea that a disease that is characterized by profound carbohydrate intolerance might be treated by not eating carbohydrate?
The low carb community has pointed out, rightly, that this supposed “old dogma” is actually contrary to everything the medical establishment and the American Diabetes Association have been saying for the past few decades, at least. For a very long time, diabetics have been told that since they are at high risk for heart disease, they must eat a low fat, low cholesterol diet, and should base that diet on carbohydrate. No option for controlling blood sugar is offered other than medication in increasing doses, as the disease progresses, and glucose control worsens. If there’s an “old dogma” from the standpoint of virtually everyone in medicine today, that’s it.
But Warshaw is right that advocating a low carb diet is old dogma – if you go all the way back to a time before there was any hypoglycemic medication, or even injectable insulin. Back then it was clear, it was well-known, that the only hope for survival for diabetics was a very low carbohydrate diet. It was a standard prescription, because it worked. But since both injectable insulin and metformin were first developed in the 1920s, it seems unlikely that many doctors who learned that old dogma of prescribing a low carb diet for diabetes are still practicing now. Indeed, the doctors I know who embrace carbohydrate restriction as a tool for managing diabetes and other illnesses all say that they had to discover it on their own; it certainly was not taught to them in their medical training.
Warshaw is actually recommending that diabetics get 45-65% of their calories from carbohydrates. The only solution she offers for the massive glucose load that represents is to cover it with medication.
The madness goes farther, however. In a debate with Dr. Richard Bernstein, author of Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution, Warshaw stated that diabetics had a “right” and “deserved” to eat their favorite delicious foods. A WHAT? A right? To eat food that requires them to take more and more medication? They “deserve” to go blind and lose their toes and their kidneys? Quite honestly, this is one of the stupidest, most wrong-headed statements I have ever heard. It is very much analogous to saying that children with peanut allergies have a “right” and “deserve” to enjoy delicious peanut butter sandwiches, peanut butter cups, and peanut butter cookies, so they should go ahead, and just inject epinephrine every time they do. Sound insane? It is. So is the statement that diabetics “deserve” to eat high-carb foods. “Deserve” doesn’t enter in to it, for crying out loud. (My thanks to Fred Hahn of SlowBurnFitness.com for the analogy. It’s remarkably apt.)
Since I talked about “Old Dogma” number 2 first, what’s Old Dogma Number One? That weight loss will lower blood sugar. Warshaw says “Research shows that the greatest impact of weight loss on blood glucose is in the first few months and years after diagnosis.” She goes on to say, “Large studies have shown that with loss of five to seven percent of body weight (approximately 10 to 20 pounds) and 150 minutes of physical activity (30 minutes five times a week), people can prevent or delay the progression to type 2. Once insulin production is on a dwindling course (particularly after 10 years with type 2), weight loss has less impact on glucose control.”
My question would be “Weight loss HOW?” Weight loss with a low fat, low calorie diet centered on “healthy carbs,” which has been – dare I say it – the dogma for thirty years now? Because if that’s the case, then yes, I can see that there would be little long-term benefit from weight loss achieved that way. Especially if we’re talking about 10-20 pounds as 5% of body weight – that’s 10 pounds lost for a 200 pound person, or 20 pounds lost for a 400 pound person. That doesn’t strike me as terribly significant in the long run.
Does Ms. Warshaw have statistics for the long term results with people who have lost weight eating a low carbohydrate diet? I very much doubt it. Indeed, she says: “Countless research studies do not show long term (greater than six months to a year) benefit of low carb diets on blood glucose, weight control, or blood fats.” Ignoring that, and despite, her claim of “countless studies” she doesn’t cite a single one, as my friend and fellow blogger Tom Naughton pointed out, there are few studies of low carbohydrate diets that have lasted longer than six months to a year. So the studies fail to show benefits after the study ended. Big shock.
Ms Warshaw goes on to cite the legendary difficulty of maintaining a low carbohydrate diet. I must be a person of uncommon will, because I’ve found it remarkably easy to remain low carb for nearly sixteen years now. But it should be pointed out that most people find any dramatic dietary change difficult. Indeed, I’ve known for a long time now that most people would quite literally rather die than change the way they eat. I know this because they do it every day. People don’t just drift away from low carbing. They drift away from low fat diets. They drift away from calorie control. They drift away from vegetarianism. Regain rates for weight lost top 95%, regardless of how it’s done. Old habits die hard; big surprise.
However, it seems to me that there is at least some increased motivation to stick with a dietary program that yields results. Not necessarily “I’m miraculously cured and fashionably skinny!” results, but “My A1C dropped dramatically, my blood pressure is down, my blood fats have normalized, I need less medication, and I’ve dropped three sizes” results? Yeah, that’s pretty motivating for a lot of people. Too, I for one find it vastly easier to stick to a diet that doesn’t require me to be hungry all the time, and deal with nasty blood sugar swings. Feeling good is a powerful motivator.
Clearly, some people find the lure of carbs more motivating, or have a difficult time with feeling like the odd one out when the pizza is passed around. That’s too bad. And yeah, if they can’t resist, they’ll have to up their medication to compensate; that beats running high blood glucose levels all the time. But to actually state that diabetics should all get 45-65% of their calories from carbohydrate, and just figure medication will deal with it? And that a low carbohydrate diet is useless? That’s irresponsible in the extreme.
Heck, I might go so far as to call it homicidal.
End Rant. In a few minutes we’ll get to listeners’ favorite treats, but first, let’s discuss a topic dear to my heart: Breakfast. Breakfast is a make or break issue; what you eat for breakfast will make a dramatic difference in your hunger and your blood sugar all day long. Few things are more effective in aiding smart dietary choices than not feeling hungry! So be careful about breakfast, will you?
Those of you who have followed my work for a while know that I rarely tire of eggs for breakfast. Heck, I love eggs so much I have 30-some chickens! (And, I might add, a very big yard.) However, I know that not everyone agrees with me. And sometimes, on a sultry summer’s day, a smoking_hot omelet is more than a body can bear. So here are some ideas for cool summer breakfasts you might prefer:
* You can eat eggs cold, you know. Boil up a dozen and stash them in the fridge for a quick, cool, grab-and-go breakfast.
* Yogurt. The label on plain yogurt will say it has 12 grams of carbohydrate per cup, but that’s how much carb was in the milk they made it from. Those obliging yogurt bacteria have digested much of that lactose, and turned it into lactic acid, which is why yogurt is tangy. You can assume that commercial plain yogurt has about 3_4 grams of carb per cup, which fits into all but the most restricted low carb diets. I like to add a drop or two of liquid sucralose (Splenda) and a capful of either vanilla or lemon extract.
* Greek yogurt is reported even lower carb. This is because the whey – that clear liquid that sometimes separates out from yogurt – is drained off, taking some carbs with it. This draining of the whey also means that Greek yogurt has more protein per cup than regular plain yogurt. I have become very fond of Greek yogurt! Fage yogurt is the most popular, but I buy Greek Gods brand, their “Artemis” variety, in the green tub. This is the only Greek yogurt in my local grocery stores that not only is made from whole milk, but has added cream. It’s decadent! Fage makes a full-fat yogurt, but none of my local groceries carry it.
You can eat yogurt as_is, or add lovely berries, and even a handful of chopped nuts. Yum. I eat my Greek yogurt with a little vanilla and sweetener, sliced strawberries, and a handful of chopped toasted pecans.
* Cottage cheese. Serve it plain, with berries, or with chunks of cantaloupe. If your mornings are hectic, buy the pre_cut chunks of cantaloupe in a tub at the grocery store.
* Smoothies go down nicely on a sultry morning. Since Carb Countdown (now Calorie Countdown) stopped being distributed around here, I’ve learned that cottage cheese makes good smoothies. Three-quarters to one cup of cottage cheese, with a quarter cup of water, a quarter cup of the sugar-free syrup of your choice, any additional flavors you may want – a spoonful of cocoa powder perhaps, or a spoonful of instant coffee crystals, or some vanilla extract (or any other flavor you like.) Add a few berries, if you wish; frozen ones work wonderfully in smoothies. If you don’t use the frozen berries, you’ll want to add ice cubes – my blender is happier if I add them one at a time, while it’s running, and wait till it’s pulverized to add another.
* Cottage cheese has 6 grams of carb per cup. For a lower carb smoothie, I sometimes use unsweetened almond milk, with only a gram per cup. I add a shot of heavy cream, to add fat, and always add whey protein, since the almond milk and cream aren’t great sources. Then flavor the same way you would a cottage cheese smoothie.
* All smoothies benefit from a smidge of xanthan or guar. Go easy, though, or you’ll wind up with something that’s more pudding than smoothie – but then, maybe you’d like that!
* If you have a source of eggs that you are confident are clean and fresh, you could add a raw egg or two to your smoothie. That Nice Boy I Married likes eggnog, made with cream and half-and-half, raw eggs, vanilla and such. So you know, the egg board website – incredibleegg.org – states that the rate of infection is 1 in 20,000 eggs. I personally am unafraid of clean, uncracked, fresh eggs; I make mayo with raw egg yolks, but make up your own mind.
* If you’re in a tearing hurry, keep some individually wrapped cheese chunks in the fridge __ Laughing Cow, Swiss Knight, BonBel, whatever. Grab two or three and throw them in your purse. Eat on the way to work, or at your desk.
* Custard makes a wonderful, cool breakfast, and since it’s basically eggs and cream, it’s highly nutritious. Don’t want to heat up the kitchen baking custard for an hour? You can bake custard in your slow cooker, so long as you have a big, round one. Pour your custard mixture into a Pyrex casserole that fits in your slow cooker, cover tightly with foil, and place it in your slow cooker. Now pour water around the casserole to within an inch of the rim. Cover the slow cooker, set to low, and let it cook – most of my slow cooker custard recipes cook for four hours.
* Tired of all those dairy products? Consider baking a low carb quick bread, muffin, pancakes, or the like. Even low carb cookies tend to have enough protein to keep you going all morning long. Make a batch on the weekend to serve as breakfast (and snacks) all week.. If you’re not going to eat these up pretty quickly, consider freezing them in individual portions __ low carb baked goods go moldy a lot quicker than commercial ones, because there’s a lot more there for the mold to live on! Don’t have a recipe? Get one of my cookbooks out of the library (or buy one, I won’t protest.) Or try converting one; this is how I’ve come up with most of my recipes for low carb baked goods. My most common substitute for flour is a 50/50 mixture, or thereabouts, of almond meal and vanilla whey protein. Allergic to almonds? Buy shelled pumpkin seeds at the health food store or Hispanic grocery (where they’ll be labeled “pepitas”) and use your food processor to grind them to cornmeal consistency. Store nut and seed meals in the fridge!
* How about cold cuts? Spread ham, turkey, or roast beef with your favorite low carb condiments, top with a slice of cheese, roll up, and eat.
* As the mention of cold cuts implies, remember you don’t have to eat “breakfast foods” for breakfast. I recently had some very nice turkey salad for breakfast. You could do the same with tuna salad, chicken salad, or egg salad. The nice thing about this sort of salad – as opposed to a green salad – is you can make them in advance and stash them in a snap top container in the fridge. Come breakfast, just pull out the container and spoon some onto a plate. Easy!
Hope this gives you some ideas! So this week, our question for Low Carb Voices will be, What’s your favorite summer breakfast? Have a great idea for your fellow low carbers? Let us hear about it. Call (412) 385-DANA, that’s (412) 385-3262, and tell us about your favorite summer breakfast!
Speaking of Low Carb Voices, I got some responses on my question about favorite low carb treats, and favorite non-food treats. People posted ‘em at the show page, Dana’s Low Carb For Life.com, and I thought I’d share ‘em with you.
Jan M says
Okay, here goes. My favorite treat is an entire 7_ounce slab of Goya Cream of Coconut, eaten like one big candy bar. That’s about 1400 calories of fat, 14 grams of carbs, and 7 grams of fiber (7 net carbs).
Wow! That sounds awesome! I’ve never tried that. I didn’t realize Cream of Coconut was solid; I’ll have to look for some at my local international grocery, Sahara Mart.
Judy Smith writes
Hi Dana, my “reward” is ice cream,,,, gasp. Really ice cream. I make my own and here’s how.
Vanilla ice cream
2 cans Thai Kitchen coconut milk
1 T vanilla
6 T xylitol
1/2 t liquid sucralose
Mix the above ingredients together in a bowl. Pour into your ice cream maker and process. My ice cream maker is a cheapie from Walmart and I freeze my container before using. As a matter of fact I keep it in the freezer when I’m not using it so it’s always ready. When I make chocolate I add 2/3 cup cocoa powder to the mix. Strawberries for strawberry ice cream, I add 1 cup of fresh sliced strawberries. I also made cherry ice cream with 1/2 cup chopped pitted sweet cherries.
After the ice cream is processed (about 45 minutes) I divide the ice cream into 6/ 8 ounce containers. Perfect for a after dinner snack. I have NOT had any weight issues eating this recipe in any flavors I have made. Any boy is it yummy.
Wow. My Donvier cylinder is in the freezer. I have GOT to try this! If you want to see this recipe, it’s posted in the comments for episode 22, at the show page, Dana’s Low Carb For Life.com.
And Carol Petter writes
I’m a faithful listener to your podcast. Regarding treats, here are a couple of my faves:
(1) Non_food: I bought an inversion table some weeks ago (look on Craig’s list for a good price) and I hang nearly upside down for about 10_15 minutes/day. (I control the angle.) Very relaxing and rejuvenating, especially when listening to your podcast.
(2) Food: I chop up walnuts and/or pecans, add some unsweetened organic coconut, some cinnamon and some dry sweetener. I keep a jar in my cupboard so that’s it’s easily available to sprinkle on some cream or full fat yogurt along with some in_season berries. Yum.
Thanks for all you do, Dana. Keep up the good work.
Such fabulous ideas. I have a slant board, Carol; same principle. I need to start doing that for 15 minutes a day again. It does such great things for my posture!
Time for my interview with Lierre Keith! If you haven’t read her book, The Vegetarian Myth, it is highly recommended, especially if you have come to low carbing through the experience of being a vegetarian, and are still conflicted about the change. Once again, my interview ran long, and we’ll be splitting it into two segments. Hey, gotta keep Kevin-The-Producer busy, right?
Thanks so much, Lierre. We’ve been in email contact for a while; it is very, very good to finally speak with you. I know the listeners will be anticipating the second part of the interview.
That’s it for this week!
If you have any friends you think might like the show, please steer ‘em to the show page at Dana’s Low Carb For Life, and if you like it, how about leaving a review at Itunes? We’d love it.
Remember that this week’s question for Low Carb Voices is still What’s your favorite summer breakfast? Call (412) 385-DANA, that’s (412) 385-3262, and let us know!
Don’t forget to check out the blog at Hold the toast.com, and join my facebook fan page at Dana Carpender’s Hold the Toast Press
And of course, 300 15 Minute Low Carb Recipes is now available at Amazon.com, or order through CarbSmart.com along with your other stuff. If you’ve already got it and you like it, go review it!
That’s it! Remember, till next week, stay low carb for life!