Lowcarbezine! 23 May 2001

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Hey, Gang!

Hey, it's Memorial Day weekend!  (And, of course, right on schedule, the
weather has turned cold and rainy.  Talk about predictable.)  For my
international readers, Memorial Day is an American holiday, originally
meant for the commemoration of our war dead.  It's always the last
Monday in May.  And it has become the Official First Weekend of Summer.

Me, I'm going out of town for the long weekend, which is why this
newsletter is a little earlier than it sometimes is -- I need to pack!

I promised you more news about the email support lists -- I can tell you
that the webmaster has the basic lists all set up, ready for you to
join.  Now he just needs to create a sign-up page at the website; should
be done within a week or so.  You'll be able to join more than one list,
if you like -- for instance, you may want to join a list for folks on
the Basic Low Carb Diet (Atkins/Protein Power style), and a list for
parents of carb-intolerant kids, or a list for folks on the Careful Carb
Diet and a list for low carb athletes.  Should be fun!

With that, I'll tell you to Read On!  And have a great, safe, low carb
holiday weekend!



All contents copyright 2001 by Hold the Toast Press.  All commercial
reproduction and/or use is expressly prohibited.  As always, feel free
to forward Lowcarbezine! to any family or friends you feel might enjoy
it, provided that you forward it in its entirety.

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Lowcarbezine! welcomes reader input!  If you have a question, a recipe,
a product review, a low carb success story, send it on in!!
mailto:dana@holdthetoast.com   All submissions become the property of
Hold the Toast Press.  If you don't want us to print your letter, just
let us know, and we won't!   However, please note -- although I really
do read all my email my very own self, I get a *lot* of mail --
generally over 200 posts a day (not all of them about Lowcarbezine!), so
I can't promise to answer every post personally. Or I'll never get the
next book written!

We are currently restructuring our ad rates.

If you need a website designed or hosted, please check out the info on
Webbalah at the bottom of this newsletter!  (Hey, *my* website looks
good, right?)


Why Take Supplements?

A reader named Lou wrote recently:

 It seems to me that if this is indeed a healthy way of eating that we
should NOT need to take a bunch of supplements, as well.  If we're
eating plenty of low-carb veggies, berries, melons, eggs, meats, nuts
and seeds, shouldn't we bet getting sufficient micronutrients?  Why
would Mother Nature have designed us otherwise? The only author who says
the food is sufficient is Audette.  The suspicious part of my nature
that the other authors want to make products and scam us -- after all,
once I've bought the book, if the idea works, then there's no more money
to be made off me, eh?  Somehow the species thrived before the invention
the health food store supplement aisle... so why can't we now?

Good question, and one I'm happy to answer, since I'm the Vitamin Queen. 

 First of all, you *can* get by on a low carb diet without supplements. 
The chances of your coming down with any obvious deficiency disease --
scurvy, beri-beri, pellagra, or the like -- are very, very low indeed. 
Heck, polar explorer and low carb pioneer Vilhjamer Steffanson ate
nothing but fresh meat and water for a full year and didn't come down
with any deficiency diseases.  Those of us who take supplements
generally don't take them to prevent this sort of thing, but because we
want to optimize our health, and think this helps.

However, there are many differences between how we live and how our
Paleolithic ancestors lived.  First of all, life was pretty short --
chances were high that you would die of a communicable disease, an
injury, an infected cut, or in childbirth *long* before you reached a
point where simple aging was a health problem.  Fortunately, that's no
longer the case.  Speaking for myself, I take much of what I take
because I want to actually *extend* my life well beyond the normal (I'm
shooting for a lifespan of 120-160; wish me luck!).  Further, I want to
be really, really *healthy* and active and even pretty good looking in
my old age, and I believe that supplements can help with this, along
with exercise and avoiding major self-abuse.

Secondly, our paleolithic ancestors could afford to consume a *lot* more
food than we can, since they got a whole *heck* of a lot more exercise,
and furthermore had only the most primitive clothing and heat in the
winter.  They simply burned more calories, which means they had to *eat*
more calories, which means that along with those calories they got a lot
more micronutrients -- vitamins and minerals and such.  

Thirdly, they were eating food that was undeniably *fresh* the vast
majority of the time.  They probably did dry some fruit, and maybe make
some jerky or something, but over all, they were eating foods the same
day they gathered them or killed them.  No canning, no freezing, no
processing, and generally not even much cooking.  They preserved all the
nutrients in the foods.  We know that there is a *BIG* difference
between the vitamin content of a head of broccoli that you pick fresh
out of your backyard garden and eat within the hour, raw,  and a head of
broccoli that gets picked, put in a box car, takes a few days to get to
its destination, then gets put in a truck and driven around for a while,
and then sits in your grocery store for a few days before you buy it and
boil it -- and then pour off the water, along with all the water
soluble nutrients.

Their food may well have been more nutritious to begin with, for that
matter.  It's been *decades* since a Congressional Committee concluded
that American agricultural soils were mineral depleted, while the wild
foods harvested by our paleolithic ancestors would have been grown on
soils which were generally pretty rich.  Some folks say that our soils
can't possibly be depleted, or the plants wouldn't grow -- but remember,
plants need different nutrients to be well than you do.  Just because a
plant can grow without it doesn't mean that having it in that plant
doesn't do you good.  Most fertilizers contain only N/P/K -- nitrogen,
phosphorus, potassium.  We know for dead certain that you need more
minerals than that!  This is why I work a number of more "whole" soil
amendments into my summer vegetable garden -- rock dust, compost,
manure, fish meal -- I want a far broader spectrum of nutrients in my

Remember, too, that our paleolithic ancestors were *far* less picky
about what they ate.  They ate virtually any plant that wouldn't poison
them, whereas many Americans can't seem to get past lettuce and tomato
on their sandwiches, and maybe the occasional green bean.  This tendency
to eat a wide, wide variety of plants no doubt made a *huge* difference
in their nutritional status.  Also, of course, they didn't eat just the
muscle meats of the animals they killed -- they ate the liver and the
thymus gland and the pancreas and the marrow and the brain and the
kidneys and the adrenal glands and the cartilage -- the whole darned
thing.  Then they gnawed on the bones, and got considerable calcium in
the process.  Of course, I know *very* few Americans who eat these
"variety" meats -- heck, half the people I know refuse to buy meat that
still has the bones in it.  Since the organ meats, in particular, are
*far* richer nutritionally than the muscle meats, this adds up to a
*huge* net loss of vitamins and minerals.  Plus cave folks likely ate
nutritious things that most of us don't even consider *possible* food,
like pollen and bugs and such.

Of course, our paleolithic ancestors lived in a different world, as
well.  They didn't have to deal with the various interesting industrial
pollutants that we have today (for instance, around here it's said that
our reservoir is built over a PCB dump!)  They didn't work in sealed
office buildings with lots of copier fumes and nylon carpet (ever notice
the smell of new carpet?  That's called "outgassing", and it's often
toxic.)  They didn't sit in traffic jams, breathing fumes.  They
breathed clean air, and while the water they drank may have had
parasites or germs in it, it didn't have PCBs or other industrial
pollutants, or, for that matter, the chlorine that is routinely added to
municipal water.  (And just as well, too.  Chlorine is not good for you,
but it's a heckuva lot better for you than typhoid or cholera.)

Getting away from our paleolithic ancestors, it's interesting to note
that there's at least some reason to believe that some diseases we
consider genetic are mediated by a genetically abnormal need for a given
nutrient.  Perhaps most notable were some experiments done by a doctor
named Abram Hoffer a few decades back, regarding schizophrenia.  Dr.
Hoffer gave truly *heroic* amounts of certain B vitamins, most
particularly niacin, to people with schizophrenia, and discovered that
many of them became much better, and some of them became downright
normal.  Keep in mind that these doses were truly *immense*, the sort of
dose you couldn't possibly get without using pills.  He theorized that
some people are simply born with a genetic problem using certain
nutrients, and that by flooding the mechanism, you could overcome this
problem.  Interesting stuff.  And stuff that raises the question of how
many genetic tendencies to disease are mediated by abnormally high
requirements for one nutrient or another?

How about our modern day low carber who wishes to eschew supplements? 
If you're eating a *variety* of low carb vegetables, in pretty generous
amounts, varying your meats, eating a few low sugar fruits, eating nuts
and especially seeds for snacks, you should be okay -- *if* you pay
attention and make sure you're getting enough of the things that you
need a *lot* of.  Most notable, here, is calcium.  Keep in mind that you
need at *least* 1000 mg (1 gram) a day of calcium and that there are
only 204 grams in an ounce of cheese, and 274 grams in a cup of plain
yogurt.  Historically, a lot of dietary calcium came from bones, either
by gnawing on them, or by boiling them up for soup, but most of us
aren't going to do this every day.  Dark green leafy vegetables have a
fair amount of calcium, but they also often contain a chemical called
oxalic acid which binds calcium and makes it unavailable to the body,
reducing the amount of calcium you can absorb from these veggies.  If
you're a fair, fine-boned woman, your chances of getting osteoporosis
are high, and I'd really recommend a supplement if you're not prepared
to be *very* aware of your dietary calcium intake.

If you don't mind swallowing pills, but are unhappy about the idea of
taking individual nutrients, there are concentrates of various highly
nutritious foods.  For instance, I take 6-8 kelp tablets every day
because they're an *excellent* source of all kinds of trace minerals,
but I'm too Americanized to appreciate seaweed as a food.  (Asian
cultures eat many kinds of seaweed, and a fine food they are, too.) 
Many algaes are terrifically nutritious, and available in pill form,
from spirulina to chlorella to Klamath blue-green.  

Liver tablets are a good source of iron and some B vitamins, but you'll
want to be sure they come from a country that doesn't have mad cow
disease -- I know that Argentina supplies a lot of the beef liver for
these tablets, and I've yet to hear of any diseases there.  Bone meal is
no longer recommended as a source of calcium, and it's a damned shame,
because bone meal is some of the best absorbed calcium in the world.  If
you can find it, again, from a part of the world with no mad cow, I
think it's a good idea, but I'll understand if it makes you nervous.  

If you don't have a yeast problem, yeast tablets are fine source of B
vitamins and some minerals.  Alfalfa is available in tablets, and
contains a wide spectrum of vitamins and minerals.  And bee pollen is a
source of just about *everything*.  Think of these things as foods you
don't have to chew, which is, of course, exactly what they are.  But
keep in mind that they *are* foods, and it will take a handful of pills
to get a serving's worth.  

For that matter, pollen and yeast are available in powder or granule
form instead of tablets.  I keep them both on hand.  With pollen, you
can put a spoonful on your tongue and wash it down with water; it just
tastes sort of sweet and flowery. (If you have pollen allergies, start
with *one granule* of pollen at a time and work your way up.  You don't
want to cause a serious attack.  However, some people find that eating
pollen this way lessens their hay fever.) Yeast, on the other hand, is
pretty strong; I find it goes best stirred into savory things -- soups,
stews, gravies, or even a glass of V-8.  (V-8 is one of the few juices
I'll drink now and then, since it's fairly low carb -- about 4.5 grams
of usable carb in one of those bitty little four ounce cans.  I like the
spicy hot kind, myself.)  Still, you may find yeast easier to get down
in tablet form.

Don't want to take a single pill?  You'll have to be careful to eat a
well-constructed diet.  (This would be true whether you were eating low
carb or not.)  Big salads of *dark* green lettuces, raw spinach, red
leaves like raddichio and red cabbage, and finely shredded greens like
collard, mustard, and turnip, are a fine start.  Add a handful of
sprouts to that salad -- alfalfa, mung bean, radish, or maybe best of
all, broccoli sprouts -- and you've upped the nutritional ante even
further.  Of course, eat a wide variety of the other low carb veggies,
from asparagus to zucchini.

Make seeds a regular part of your diet; they're a treasure trove of
minerals.  Pumpkin and sunflower seeds make great snacks, and are a
great source, in particular, of magnesium, but you can also add sesame
seeds to your cooking, and if you get the unhulled ones at the health
food store, they'll add some calcium.  Almonds contribute calcium, too
-- the ones with the brown skin still on them have more than the
blanched ones -- once again, whole foods beat refined foods!  

Vary your meats, and if you can possibly bring yourself to do it, eat
variety meats often.  Fish and poultry, too, of course.  Remember that
fresh meats are always higher in nutritional value than cured meats like
ham.  Save your bones and boil them up for broth -- add a quarter cup of
vinegar to the water you simmer them in, and you'll get a broth that's
quite high in the most absorbable form of calcium.  

I feel, too, that spending extra money on quality is worthwhile.  For
instance, I buy local small farm eggs, at $2/dozen, rather than the
inexpensive factory-farmed eggs at the discount grocery store.  These
expensive eggs have thicker, tougher shells and thicker, brighter yellow
yolks.  This tells me that the chickens were better fed, and the eggs
most likely have superior nutritional content.  For that matter, I buy
"evaporated sea salt" -- what's left when you evaporate the water out of
sea water.  It's slightly grayish, instead of bright white, but I find
it tastier, and it contains the trace minerals found in sea water along
with the expected sodium chloride.  (It also has no additives -- much of
the salt sold in the grocery store contains -- wait for it -- sugar. 
Yep, no joke.  Sugar in your salt.  Read the label.  Morton's, in
particular, is an offender.)

All of this will assure that your low carb diet is nutritionally
adequate.  However, in my experience, most people don't eat their
vegetables as often as they should, in the variety they should, and in
the quantity they should; they don't eat organ meats, they -- well, they
just don't want to pay that much attention to their diets!  If they're
eating to keep their energy level high and their weight down, that seems
like quite enough attention, thank you.  If you're in that category, I
do recommend supplements.



And that's not all!  $2 off Rosa's Soy Free Bake Mix, $3 off Luigi's
Pizza Kits!

Crackers, Candies, Cereal, all on SALE!  AND MORE!! CHECK IT OUT NOW!!!



Product Review

Oh, I just *love* it when I find a product I really, really like!

You may recall that a few weeks back I wrote that I had tried a lot of
sugar free chocolates, and hadn't had a bad one yet.  Well, I'm afraid
that the same cannot be said about low carb baked goods -- these run the
gamut from quite good to -- well, relatively pathetic.

I'm pleased to say that I have recently tried one that falls in to the
quite good category.  Heck, the downright yummy category!

The nice folks at Synergy Diet have sent me two (two!) loaves of Better
Bakery's Better Cinnamon Raisin Bread, and all I can say is YUM.  I
liked this stuff before I opened the bag -- I could smell the sweet
fragrance of cinnamon wafting out at me, and I knew I was likely to be a
happy, happy girl.  

The texture is *excellent*, especially toasted.  The bread is slightly,
nicely sweet, and the cinnamon is wonderful.  There aren't a *whole* lot
of raisins in it, but then, raisins are quite high carb in their own
right; they've had to keep the raisin levels modest to keep the carb
count down.  There are still enough of them to add a nice sweet note.

The serving size on the better Cinnamon Raisin Bread is one slice, and
the slices are modest-sized -- about 2/3 the size of a standard slice of
bread.  The effective carb count for one slice is 4.5 grams; when
reading the label, keep in mind that Better Bakery has already done the
subtracting out of fiber for you.  Depending on your daily carb limit,
you might even be able to afford *two* slices of toast with your
breakfast!  (You'll need a protein, too, of course.  The bread itself
has 2.5 grams of protein per slice.  I considered the possibility of
spreading it with cream cheese for breakfast, but even with an ounce of
cream cheese on each of two slices, you'd still only be up to 9 g. of
protein for breakfast, which I consider a bit low.  My mother, however,
likes cottage cheese on toast; if you like cottage cheese, this might be
a road worth traveling.)

This product does contain a bit of soy, but not a lot; I haven't been
worrying about it; I doubt you could consider one slice to be even a
half a serving of soy.  The biggest ingredient in the Better Bakery
"proprietary blend" is almond meal, and almonds are a *highly*
nutritious nut.  This says nice things about the nutritional status of
this bread.

My husband has tried the Better Cinnamon Raisin Bread, and likes it just
as much as I do.  For that matter, we had a house guest this past
weekend, who doesn't low carb at all, and she just loved the bread.  

This is a real winner, folks.  If you've been missing cinnamon, you want
this product.  Heck, since it freezes well, you may as well order two

Get it from Synergy Diet:  http://www.synergydiet.com


Reader Review of _How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost Forty Pounds!_

Get the whole scoop without reading ALL the books!
I've been low carbing for about 8 months, and have read LOTS of the most
recommended books. I could have saved myself a great deal of time
learning the different approaches if I'd read Dana Carpender's book
FIRST! Now I know what to concentrate my reading on. Just ordered
another copy to give to my sister and her family, so that
they can learn more, too.

 amy in tucson 

Thanks, Amy!  One of the things that thrills me most is when someone
tells me they found my book so helpful that they bought a copy for a
friend or family member.  :-)

You can read this and 24 other reader reviews of _How I Gave Up My Low
Fat Diet and Lost Forty Pounds!_ at Amazon : 
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0966883101/lowcarbohysoluti --
and of course, you can also order the book!

If you'd like to read the first chapter of the book for FREE, plus find
a bunch of other useful low carb info, visit:
http://www.holdthetoast.com .  You can also see my smiling face and my

Or, for that matter, you can visit
http://www.webbalah.net/carbsmart.html , and order
_How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost Forty Pounds_ from Carb Smart,
where it's at a discount.  Low Carb Grocery has it at a discount, too --
http://www.lowcarbgrocery.com .  Low Carb Pharmacy has it, too --
http://www.lowcarbpharmacy.com .

If you'd like to buy the book from a bookstore, you'll probably have to
special order it.  If you're in the USA, this shouldn't be a problem --
just tell them that you want to order _How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and
Lost Forty Pounds!_ by Dana Carpender, and that the ISBN is
0-9668831-0-1.  You could also tell them that they can order it through
Baker and Taylor; one of the country's biggest book wholesalers.  We do
ship to Canadian bookstores.

If you're outside of the US, your best bet is to order from Amazon.com.
We can ship internationally from here at Hold the Toast, too, but we're
not set up for it big-time like Amazon is.  If you're a book wholesaler
outside the US and interested in carrying _How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet
and Lost Forty Pounds!_, we'd love to hear from you!


FREE Better Cinnamon Raisin Bread is available at
http://www.synergydiet.com/  Use the coupon code "cinnamon" without the
quotes, on your next order of $25 or more and our shipping staff will
add a
FREE Better Cinnamon Raisin Bread to your order upon departure!

Synergy Diet introduces the FIRST SOFT Low Carb Cookies from Granny
Visit http://www.synergydiet.com/granoatoatco.html for another exclusive
from Synergy Diet.

Synergy Diet carries ALL Domestic lines of quality low carb goods AND
exclusive lines of ready-to-eat low carb products.  Be sure to check out
Better Bakery at http://www.synergydiet.com/protbarandsh.html or call us
toll free 1-877-877-1558.  We are open 7 days a week.


Frequently Asked Question

Last week I wrote about the emerging evidence that a low fat diet does
*not* prevent breast cancer (and our high fat/low carb diet won't cause
it.)  This week, a related question:

Don't I need to eat a low fat/high fiber diet to prevent colon cancer?

Once again, no.  This notion has been widely promulgated by medical
types and the mass media, with very little actual science to back it
up.  Now the research is in, putting the nail in the coffin of low
fat/high fiber diets for colon cancer prevention.

In April 2000, the New England Journal of Medicine carried not one, but
*two* studies regarding the effects of a low fat/high fiber diet for
preventing colon cancer.  One study was done at the National Cancer
Institute, and involved 1,905 people, who were assigned one or another
diet to eat for four years.  These people's precancerous growth were
then counted.  (Fun job, huh?)  The other study was done at the
University of Arizona, and involved 1,303 patients.  The food tested was
a cereal high in wheat bran.  Once again, the precancerous growths in
the participant's colons were then counted.  (Untreated, about 5-10% of
precancerous growths, also called polyps, will turn into cancer.)

The results?  No protective effect was found in either study.  The folks
eating a low fat diet and lots of fiber had just as many precancerous
growths as the controls.  This echoes the Harvard Nurses Study, which
found that colon cancer rates among the 88,757 participants were
unaffected by fiber intake.

The National Cancer Institute study produced a quote that is perhaps my
favorite evidence of how belief in the virtues of a low fat/high fiber
diet has reached the level of religion with many medical folks.  Dr.
Arthur Schatzkin said, "It was very disappointing.  A positive result
would have been a very strong statement."  Huh?  Since when is the
purpose of medical research to produce a "strong statement"?  You can
tell that Dr. Schatzkin just *knows* that a low fat/high fiber diet is
the One True Right and Only Diet, and is looking for "Scripture" to back
it up.  Hey, Doc, you got your strong statement -- the statement was, "A
low fat/high fiber diet does jack to prevent colon cancer."  Time to
reconsider your faith.

More to the point, Dr. Tim Byers of the University of Colorado School of
Medicine said, "There may be many reasons to eat a diet that is low in
fat and high in fiber, fruits, and vegetables...but preventing
colorectal adenomas...is not one of them."

All of which is, of course, tremendously cheering to your average low
carber, besieged on every side by concerned friends and relatives
explaining how dangerous this diet is, and how he/she is going to die
hideously of colon cancer, breast cancer, heart disease, and high blood
pressure, all at the same time.  But there's more.

A few months later, in July of 2000, word came out of a study that had
just been presented to the annual meeting of the Society for
Epidemiologic Research.  What did that study say?  That the consumption
of non-fiber carbohydrates -- what you and I call "usable carbs" or "net
carbs" or "effective carbs", and keep to a minimum in our diets --
*increases the risk of colon cancer.*

The study was done at the Univeristy of British Colombia, and involved
analyzing data on the consumption of carbohydrated by 490 immigrant
Chinese with colon cancer, and comparing their diets with those of 1,100
healthy immigrant Chinese, who served as the controls.  All subjects
were between the ages of 40 and 80.

The researchers adjusted for age, saturated fat intake, fiber intake,
calcium consumption, body mass index, level of exercise, and family
health history.  The conclusion was that the folks who ate the most
digestible, absorbable carbs had a greater rate of colon cancer than
those who ate the least carbs.

Interestingly, the risk was different for men than for women.  Women
with the highest carb consumption had more than *seven times* the risk
than the women with the lowest carb consumption, while in men a high
carb diet only doubled the risk.  Further, the location of the cancers
varied by sex, as well -- women had a higher risk of cancer in the right
colon; men, in the left colon.  

Either way, not only does a low fat/high fiber diet *not* prevent colon
cancer, but the high levels of carb generally found in such diets
appears to *increase* the risk.

Does all of this mean that fiber is completely useless in our low carb
diets?  No.  Fiber serves two very important purposes for us.  First of
all, by eating our few grams of absorbable carbs in forms that combine
them with fiber (non-absorbable carbs) -- vegetables, low sugar fruits,
nuts, seeds, some reduced carb/high fiber baked goods -- we get to eat a
greater volume of food, which is psychologically pleasing to most of
us.  Further, fiber is just about the *only* time-release mechanism
available for carbs -- by sitting in the stomach/intestine like a
sponge, fiber slows the release of the absorbable carbs into the blood
stream, blunting the blood sugar highs and lows, and moderating insulin

(This is, no doubt, why early research into the virtues of whole grains
versus refined (white) grain products showed lessened rates of some
diseases in some populations that ate a lot of fiber:  They were getting
less dramatic blood sugar swings, and therefore were somewhat less prone
to hyperinsulinemia.  (Of course, whole grains also contain more
vitamins and minerals than refined grains.)  Unfortunately, the
premature assumption was made that this meant that whole grains were
positively *good* for you, when it now appears that they are simply
*less* bad for you, an important distinction.)

The other important function of fiber in our diets, of course, is to
prevent/alleviate constipation.  I get comments often from folks who are
happy with their low carb diets, except for being constipated.  The best
approach to alleviating this problem is to eat plenty of salads and
other low carb vegetables, and drink lots of water.

But prevent colon cancer?  No.  You may tell all those desperately
concerned people that *you* are concerned about *their* risk of colon
cancer from their low fat/high carb diets.


MEMORIAL DAY SALE!!!  Rosa's Soyfree Bake mix/5.95 lb, Aunt Pearl's Soy
Bake mix/3.95 lb, Luigi's 4 pack pizza 9.95, chocolate bars- 4 flavors
.69 each!!  http://www.lowcarbnutrition.com 



That's it for this week!  See you next week!

Dana W. Carpender

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