Lowcarbezine! 30 August 2000

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Hey, Gang!

Omigosh, it's Labor Day Weekend!  The summer's gone!  How did that
happen?  Wasn't it Memorial Day just a minute ago?

I considered doing an article about Labor Day barbecues, but I did one
about Memorial Day picnics, and 4th of July barbecues, and I was afraid
I would become dreadfully redundant.  So I'll remind you right here of
the components of a good low carb barbecue:  Lots of burgers, chicken,
ribs, salmon, shrimps, or whatever else you like on the grill.  Big
piles of raw veggies, with dip.  Coleslaw with sugar-free dressing.
Maybe a couple of other salads. Ultra-light beer.  Diet soda and/or iced
tea.  A can of roasted peanuts, or a bag of pork rinds, or both.
Sugar-free fudge pops or sugar-free ice pops.  Minimal ketchup and
barbecue sauce.  A big pile of napkins. Plenty of charcoal. Lots of
friends and family.  A happy, sociable dog.  A Frisbee, a boom box with
some cool tunes, and plenty of sunshine.  A body of water is optional,
but nice.  And the contrasting realization that yes, you do have another
few weeks of summer left, officially, but really, it's fall.

I'll start on the fall-type recipes right away!  Have a great holiday.

Read on!



All contents copyright 2000 by Hold the Toast Press.  All commercial
reproduction and/or use is expressly prohibited.  As always, feel free
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mailto:dana@holdthetoast.com  However, please note -- although I really
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generally over 200 posts a day (not all of them about Lowcarbezine!), so
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Frequently Asked Question

What the heck is a "glycemic index", and what does it have to do with us
low carb dieters?

The glycemic index is a measurement of how fast and how high blood sugar
rises when you eat any particular carbohydrate.  The general rule of
thumb -- not always true, but true at least 70-75% of the time -- is
that the faster and higher blood sugar goes up, the greater an insulin
release, and the faster and harder it comes down.  Ouch!

As such, the glycemic index is not a terribly useful concept for those
on a very low carbohydrate diet like Atkins or Protein Power.  However,
it is an *extremely* useful concept for people who are on one of the
hybridized, reduced carb/insulin controlling diets.  It is also a useful
concept for those who have reached their goal, and are carefully
integrating a few carbs back into their diet, since the lower the
glycemic index of the carbohydrates they add back, the less likely they
are to get back into serious trouble.  And it can be useful for parents
dealing with overweight, carb addicted kids, since children do need a
few more carbs than adults.

How exactly is the glycemic index of a food determined?  A group of test
subjects is assembled, and a fasting blood sugar test is done.  Then the
subjects all eat a carefully measured portion of the food to be tested
--  measured, that is, for carbohydrate content, rather than volume.  In
other words, the test subjects would need to eat a whole lot of, say,
cucumbers, but nowhere near as much of, say, Lucky Charms.  Then their
blood is drawn every half hour for several hours, and their blood sugar
tested each time.  Finally, the results of all those blood sugar tests
of all those different people are averaged, to arrive at one glycemic
index value for that food.

Each food is rated on a scale of one to one hundred, with one being a
very mild impact on blood sugar, and 100 being quite a strong impact.
Depending on who's doing the research, the "reference food" rated 100 --
the food all other foods are compared to -- is either glucose or
standard grocery store white bread.  (Glucose, for the record, has a
stronger blood sugar impact than white bread, bad as white bread is.  On
the glucose-as-100 scale, white bread is a 70.  On the
white-bread-as-100 scale, glucose would come in at about a 130.

Research into the real-life blood sugar impact of various carbohydrate
foods has laid one myth to rest:  the notion that complex carbohydrates,
or starches, are somehow gentler to the blood sugar than simple
carbohydrates, or sugars.  *All* carbohydrates are sugars; "complex
carbohydrate" just means "a whole bunch of sugars linked together."
Depending on the sort of processing, some complex carbs are absorbed
*more* quickly than some of the sugars, and spike blood sugar worse.
For instance, white table sugar, on the glucose scale, has a glycemic
index of about 64 -- bad enough, and of course, it has *no* nutritional
value whatsoever; not a vitamin or a mineral in sight.  But a baked
potato, the dieter's darling, has a glycemic index of 85!  To be fair,
the potato also contains some vitamins, a bit of fiber, and a smidgen of
protein.  That doesn't change the fact that that potato will spike your
blood sugar six ways from Sunday, and put you on a blood sugar roller
coaster so wild, it should have one of those signs that says, "You may
not ride unless you are *this* tall"!

Some of the *worst* glycemic index offenders are among the "healthy"
complex carbs that dieters have been gorging on for the past 20 years --
not only baked potatoes (and potatoes in general), but virtually all
cold cereals, whole wheat bread in a loaf, muffins, even rice cakes, are
exposed as the blood sugar bombs they really are.

We still don't completely understand why different carbohydrate foods
have such different glycemic indices (do you like "indexes" better?),
but some of the factors that effect carbohydrate absorption have been
identified.  We know, for instance, that the more fiber a carbohydrate
contains, the more moderate its impact is likely to be, because that
fiber acts like a sponge, holding some of the carbohydrates and slowing
their absorption.  We know that combining a carbohydrate with fat,
protein, or both will blunt blood sugar spikes, so that super premium
ice cream has a gentler impact on blood sugar than fat free frozen
yogurt, and protein enriched pasta or whole wheat pasta are both gentler
on your blood sugar than plain old white flour pasta.  And we know that
the way a food is processed can change its impact *dramatically*.  For
instance, brown rice has a glycemic index of 55 (glucose scale), but
rice cakes are a 77, and  Rice Krispies have a glycemic index of 82!  We
also know that while white bread has, as I mentioned, a glycemic index
of around 70, pita bread -- made from much the same ingredients -- is a
57.   Go figure.

Another important point to keep in mind if you decide to use some of
these less dangerous carbohydrate foods:  eating them with lots of very
low impact foods, like proteins, low carb vegetables, and fats, will
lower their blood sugar impact still further.  One of the worst things
about low fat/high carb mania is that it not only encourages people to
eat far too many carbohydrates, and of the worst kinds, but also insists
that they leave out the very foods, like meat and fats, which could most
effectively buffer their impact on blood sugar.  The result, of course,
is killer blood sugar swings, huge insulin releases, and all the
nastiness that goes with it.

How do you use this information?  Well, for the most part, I personally
don't use it at all.  I can't eat even the low impact carbs with any
regularity without starting to gain weight -- if you're doing well on a
basic low carb plan like Atkins or Protein Power, you should probably
ignore this information until you're looking to move on to maintenance.
Even then, be careful -- add only one small serving of a low impact carb
every couple of days, then add another, etc., until you find a level
where you neither gain nor lose.  "Re-carbing" with low impact carbs in
this way is less likely to start you gaining and craving again than
adding back the high impact carbs.

But maybe you're one of the people who gave a basic low carbohydrate
diet a good shot; stuck with it for a few weeks -- and felt *lousy*.
Never got that big rush of energy the rest of us keep raving about.  You
might do better on a diet that includes a little less protein and fat
(note the words "a *little* less), and a couple of small servings a day
of these low impact carbs.  That's the basis of my Careful Carb Diet,
one of the main programs in my book, _How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and
Lost Forty Pounds!_.  I first devised the Careful Carb Diet for my
friend Rob, who has both severe carbohydrate intolerance and severe
kidney damage -- it was important to get Rob's  insulin levels down, but
also to keep him out of ketosis.  The diet worked great for Rob,
dropping his blood pressure, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol
dramatically, and losing him 20 pounds.  (You can read Rob's story, in
his own words, at http://www.holdthetoast.com/rob.html )

Since then, I've known many people who have done very well on the
Careful Carb Diet, especially folks who have only gained a bit of weight
as they've grown older (as opposed to people like me, who have battled
with their weight all their lives), and whose main concerns are health
-- bloodwork, mood and energy swings, blood pressure, that sort of
thing.  Indeed, I've known people who could lose weight with as much as
100-150 grams a day of carbohydrate in their diet, so long as they stuck
to the low impact carbs.  (Lucky stiffs. Me, if I ate that much carb,
even low impact carb, I'd be gaining by the day!)

How do you incorporate the low glycemic index carbs into your daily
diet?  Heck, how did you incorporate nasty, high impact, blood sugar
wrecking carbs into your diet?  How different do you think it can be?
You might, for instance, have your tuna salad stuffed into half a whole
wheat pita at lunch, and add a half-cup of protein enriched pasta along
side your meat, vegetables, and salad at dinner. That's two servings
right there, and I wouldn't suggest more than three in a day for anyone!

Another important reason to know about these least damaging carbs is for
your children/family.  Anything you can do to cut down on the glut of
highly processed high impact carbohydrates they're subjected to is all
for the good, and that definitely includes quietly switching over to
protein enriched pasta, serving sandwiches on whole wheat pita, and
serving brown rice instead of potatoes.

If you'd like to try to incorporate some of the low impact carbs into
your diet, you could, of course, by my book and try The Careful Carb
Diet. Go to http://www.holdthetoast.com/order.html to find the order

You could also check out  _The Glucose Revolution: The Authoritative
Guide to the Glycemic Index -- The Groundbreaking Medical Discovery_, by
Thomas Wolever, MS (Sheesh, and I thought my book had a long title!)
_The Glucose Revolution_ is at
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1569246602/lowcarbohysoluti  I
haven't personally read this book, so you'll have to decide for yourself
whether it's for you.  You could also check out _The G Index Diet: The
Missing Link That Makes Permanent Weight Loss Possible_, by Richard
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0446365769/lowcarbohysoluti .  I
have this book, and while it wasn't a weight loss breakthrough for me,
personally -- as I keep emphasizing,  I can't even eat the low glycemic
index carbs in any quantity and lose weight -- it is a pretty easy book
to understand, and might be helpful

By now, I can feel your impatience.  "Which carbs are low impact?!" I
hear you cry.  Here's a list, by no means exhaustive:

Whole grain barley
100% whole grain rye bread (the dense, chewy stuff)
Whole wheat pita bread
Protein enriched pasta ( http://www.pavico.com has a good one)
Whole wheat pasta
Bean soup (provided it doesn't have a bunch of corn syrup added)
Legumes of any kind except lima beans (prepared without sugar of any
kind, of course.)
Winter squash
All Bran cereal (the spaghetti-shaped kind -- for some odd reason, the
shape seems to matter.)
Brown rice
Yam or sweet potato

If you'd like a longer list, here's the longest list I've been able to
find on line: http://www.mendosa.com/gilists.htm .  Or you could get
Thomas Wolever's _The Glucose Revolution Guide to the Top 100 Low
Glycemic Foods_ http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1569246785/

The glycemic index, or blood sugar impact, of various carbs is a good
concept to know about, but it's not a cure all.  Use even these carbs
carefully, and with moderation.


CarbSmart - Smart choice for a low carb lifestyle - is proud to sponsor
Hold The Toast's Lowcarbezine! For the month of July, we are selling
Dana's book _How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost Forty Pounds!_ for
$8.99 - that's 30% off of cover price! We have all of your favorite low
carb products on sale for at least *20% off list price*! Come visit us
at http://www.carbsmart.com .


Rotisserie Chicken Follow Up

A couple of weeks back, in an article about fast and easy low carb
meals, I mentioned rotisserie chickens as one of the best fast foods for
us.  I got back a couple of emails from folk who said they'd heard that
these chickens were marinated or injected with seasoning solutions that
contained a lot of sugar.

Well!  I couldn't let something like that rest!  So I put on my
Investigative Reporter hat, and did a little research.

First, I called the deli at my local Kroger -- since Kroger is the
largest grocery store chain in America (they run over 2800 grocery
stores under a dozen different names), it seemed a good bet that their
chickens would be typical and representative of the great mass of
grocery store rotisserie chickens out there.  The nice deli lady
informed me that they do not marinate nor inject the regular rotisserie
chickens in any way, they simply sprinkle a seasoning on the outside, no
more than a teaspoon or two over each.  This seasoning mixture does,
indeed, contain sugar.  However, I refuse to sweat it.  Why?  Because 2
teaspoons of *pure sugar* sprinkled on each chicken would add only 8 g
of carb to the whole finished chicken, and this stuff is not pure
sugar.  Sugar is not even the biggest ingredient, salt is.  It also
contains onion, garlic, paprika, and some other stuff.  Therefore, I
find it hard to believe that this seasoning is adding more than 5-6
grams of carb to the whole darned chicken, or less than 2 grams in a
quarter-chicken serving.  I have bigger things to worry about,
especially on any day I'm busy enough to buy a rotisserie chicken for
dinner!  If you want to avoid even those minimal carbs, you can, of
course, remove the chicken skin.  (Me, I like it too much!)

Then I checked out the Boston Market website, and found that the carb
counts they give for their rotisserie chickens is right in line with
what I figured for the Kroger chickens -- 1-2 grams per serving.  Again,
I can live with this.  However, several of their other chicken styles
were much higher in carbs, especially the teriyaki chicken, and the
barbecue chicken.  (We won't even talk about the chicken pot pies!)
Stick with the rotisserie stuff.

So there you have it:  Rotisserie chickens, while not as pristine and
carb-free as God originally made them, are still a good low carb choice
for a fast, easy, tasty dinner.

I feel better now, don't you?


Cruise!!!  Cruise!!!  Cruise!!!

Come cruise the Caribbean with me!  You know you want to!!  We're going
to have whole lot of fun, learn a lot, get away from *WINTER* (which
*is* coming, you know!), get rid of the holiday stress, get the New Year
off to a *great* start, sample new low carb products, learn way-cool
breathing exercises to accelerate metabolism -- all on an outrageously
luxurious and beautiful floating resort called the Carnival Victory, the
newest, largest, and most luxurious ship in the Carnival fleet!  You
have to see this ship to believe it!  And we're going to Mexico, Grand
Cayman, and Jamaica!  How cool is *that*?!

So come meet me!  Get an autographed preview copy of my second book!
Meet new low carb pals!  Knock off another five pounds!  And have a
*ball*!  We sail on January 7th, 2001 (You'll want to be in Miami by the
evening of the 6th -- we can arrange that, too.) for a full week!

But you want to get your reservations in *now*.  Why?  Because just like
with airlines, you get a better rate with cruise lines if you *book in
advance*.  At this point, we're moving toward the winter Caribbean
cruise season, and prices will only go up.   So book now!!  Your deposit
is fully refundable through October 15th, should anything untoward
happen.  Check out all the details of the cruise at
http://www.holdthetoast.com/cruise.html .

C'mon, which would you rather be doing come the second week in January?
Shoveling snow?  Or sailing blue waters with me and a whole bunch of low
carb diet pals?


Want Low Carb Ice Cream?

How's that for a silly question?

Dreyer's Ice Cream (*not* Breyer's Ice Cream) is exploring the potential
market for a low carbohydrate ice cream made from eggs, cream, and
Splenda.  A representative of the company has been quoted as saying that
if he can find 100 people who say they're interested in such a product,
he'll present the idea to the company.  So go to
http://www.dreyers.com/globals/page_contactus.html and send them an
email saying you want low carb ice cream!  (I've already been, of
course.  I said something along the lines of, "A hundred people?  You
only want a hundred people?  I can get you a hundred people by the end
of the week!"  And I'm betting I do.

You *do* want low carb ice cream, don't you?


You can read this and other reader reviews at

And you can read the first chapter of _How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and
Lost Forty Pounds!_ for FREE at http://www.holdthetoast.com !  You can
order the book through the order page on the website, through
Amazon.com, or -- and this is a *very good deal!* through Carb Smart, at
http://www.carbsmart.com .

If you'd like to order the book through a local bookstore, you should be
able to do so virtually anywhere in the USA -- just give them the title,
_How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost Forty Pounds!_, and the ISBN
(0-9668831-0-1), and tell them it's available through Baker and Taylor
-- that's our wholesaler!

International readers, I'm afraid you'll have to order through the
internet, or by sending us a check or money order here at Hold the Toast
Press -- we don't have an international wholesaler yet. :-(  But we've
shipped as far as Japan!  We'd be happy to ship to you!


Product Review

Remember my recent article about snacks, when I said that snacks didn't
have to come out of cellophane bags?  It's true.  Now they come in
mylar. ;-)

Introducing  Protein Chips!  Yep, chips made from
various protein concentrates. Vitamins added.  Spiffy, huh?

My pal Andrew DiMino, at Carb Smart (which, by the way, carries my book
at a discount!), was kind enough to send me not one but two brands of
protein chips to try, with two different flavors of each.  I now have
tried Lean Protein chips, and Chip's Chips.

How are they?

First of all, the texture is pretty good -- very crisp and "chippy".
The two brands are so close in texture that I can't really distinguish
between them, but yes, these qualify for the title "chip".  They do lack
the oily mouth feel of your standard potato chip or corn chip -- they're
closer to a corn chip in texture, but they're not exactly like a corn
chip, either -- but for those of you who desperately miss eating
something crunchy out of a bag, and who never warmed up to pork rinds,
these are a worthwhile option.  They would also do well as something to
scoop a dip with, or perhaps build a plate of nachos on -- but then,
pile crumbled chorizo, melted cheese, sliced jalepenos, olives, etc. on
almost anything, and it's likely to be improved in the process!

Now, about flavors.  I've tried the Lean Protein in Cool Ranch, and Sour
Cream and Onion, and the Chip's Chips in Nacho and Barbecue.  In my
opinion, the Lean Protein folks need to dial up the flavoring a notch;
the Sour Cream and Onion flavor is very faint, and the Cool Ranch only a
bit less so.  Of the two, the Cool Ranch was the clear favorite among
all my testers, and is my favorite of all the chips I tested.  (Indeed,
I have one cyberpal who has ordered a case of Cool Ranch!)  The Chip's
Chips flavorings are considerably more pronounced;  I like the Nacho
better than the Barbecue, but both are good.

I would note that the Lean Protein chips are a bit lower carb; they list
0 grams of carb on the bag, as opposed to 4 grams per bag for Chip's
Chips.  I'm guessing that the extra carbs are in that extra flavoring
they have -- up to you which is more important; the extra flavor, or the
lower carb count.

Both brands of protein chips have a good, hefty whack of protein in them
-- 40 g. per bag for the Chip's Chips, and 38 g. per bag for Lean
Protein.  Both have added vitamins and minerals, as I mentioned
earlier.  This makes them suitable for a fast lunch-on-the-go, if you
should so desire -- easy to keep in your purse or attaché case, too.

My one reservation is that both brands of protein chips contain soy
protein isolate, a substance with which I am *not* entirely
comfortable.  I do eat some soy -- it's just so useful in a low carb
diet -- but I try to keep my soy intake to a minimum.  (Every time I say
this, I get questions as to why I avoid soy, since the government is
pushing it.  Hey, they push carbs, too.  (Further, the FDA's chief
toxicologist has refused to put soy protein isolate on the Generally
Recognized As Safe list.)  Soy has been strongly linked to thyroid
dysfunction, and tentatively linked to brain deterioration and genital
malformation in male infants.  It's also one of the most thoroughly
genetically engineered foods on the planet.)  Still, I have no doubt
that a bag of protein chips is a far better choice than a bag of potato

These are a good snack option for the low carb dieter who's
chip-crazed!  Get 'em from Carb Smart, at http://www.carbsmart.com .
Tell Andrew I sent you!


Dana W. Carpender

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