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May 2004 Issue
Should You Buy Foods Labeled and Marketed as "Low-Carb"?
by Michael Fick
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The Low-Carb Machine is playing you for a fool (not "us"; Harvard, Quackwatch, convinced me not to believe, buy, or eat The Machine's nonsense. If you want pie, buy a freakin' slab of PIE, not double-cost, taste-numbed crap with sorbitol substituted for some of the sucrose). This low-carb scam contributes to obesity (successful weight management via low-carb diets is very rare), diabetes (because of the obesity), and premature death (because of the obesity and all the grease in low-carb diets).

You should be ANGRY at the insulting, money-grubbing Low-Carb Machine, rather than supporting it. Don't you find it insulting to pay up to four times as much for this stuff even though it often suffers in both taste and texture and doesn't improve your health? SUCKKKKKER!" (BOY am I going to hate writing an apology if the ongoing research proves all the sources from Harvard to Quackwatch wrong . but I'll do it.)

"They" make low-carb foods by replacing white bread with soy flour or wheat protein, adding fiber (and violating FDA regulations by ignoring the carbs in fiber to falsely lower their "net" carb count), using artificial sweeteners, adding nuts, and chemically reducing carbs in beer (they now call it "low-carb" rather than "lite" as they did decades ago, and charge more for it because of the Atkins craze). Those substitutions are healthy if you don't eat more calories than before, but they don't help you lose weight because they save very few, if any, calories. Many people believe the hype, eat more low-carb calories than they did with normal food, and thus gain weight. And if you eat too much of their alcohol sugars, you may pay the gas tax . . . er, toll . . . inherent in alcohol sugars.

Low-carb restaurant fare? Come on, folks; it's marketing, just like every other commercial product we buy. Subway's low-carb wrap, for example, has over 100 calories more than their low-fat subs that craze produced.

The FDA is on to the food manufacturers. Just as they have forced them to begin including trans-fatty acids in food labels, they are about to tell them how their labels must address low-carb claims. They've already ordered food manufacturers to stop labeling many foods as "low-carb" until the term is defined It's one case of big gum'mint working for us rather than against us.

The premiere pizza industry trade paper commented on the pizza sales slump brought on by the low-carb craze. I e-mailed the publisher, asking him to join other similarly impacted food industries such as citrus growers in educating the public to the fallacies of low-carb eating. I found his response alarming and revealing, but not surprising. He answered that the low-carb movement "does invite the opportunity to market an add-on Atkin's friendly menu, not completely revamp menus. With all the attention the beer companies, Subway Sandwiches, BK, YUM Brands and others are creating with national marketing, restaurant operators should capitalize on the opportunity." He added that Harvard, Johns Hopkins, et. al. say low-carb is healthy and effective. I countered that the very institutions he referenced still say low-carb diets like Atkins are not and cannot even be made safe or effective. He did not respond.

Do you want to choose your diet -- and set the course for your children's lives -- based on marketing, or on health science? Your diet is your call, but for goodness' sake don't subject your kids to this nonsense. It's irresponsible.

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