Lowcarbezine! 20 June 2001

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Hey, Gang --

Miss me?  You'll be glad to know that since I've gone to a biweekly
schedule, I've been cooking more, and I've already got *great* recipes
piled up for the next couple of issues. Hope you like the results!

Plus I just got back from the Gulf Coast, where we were visiting my
father-in-law (Hi, Tom!), and ate in some *terrific* restaurants -- as
soon as I put this issue to bed, I'm off to the kitchen to see if I can
reproduce a truly outstanding salad I had at the Bayside Grill.

So read on!  I'm going to go cook.



All contents copyright 2001 by Hold the Toast Press.  All commercial
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Low Fat Fraud Revealed!

Sick and tired of well-meaning busy bodies explaining to you, over and
over, "for your own good", how terribly unhealthy a low carb diet is,
because after all, it has all that fat, and we all know that fat is the
great killer and scourge of mankind?  This is one of the most frequent
complaints I get from readers - all the people who want to "save" them
from their low carb diets.  They don't quite know what to say, because
is  assumed by the majority of both laypeople and medical types that the
scientific evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of a low fat diet for
health, and that low carb diets with an unrestricted fat intake must,
therefore, be unhealthy, even if your weight and your bloodwork say

Boy, have I got an article for you. 

In March, in the highly respected, peer-reviewed academic journal
_Science_, Gary Taubes explored the history of the sweeping
recommendations of low fat diets - and made it clear that the "evidence"
in favor of low fat amounts largely to a lot of wishful thinking and
politics.  Here are just a few of the highlights from the article:

* In 1988 the US Surgeon General's Office started a project meant to
write the definitive report on the dangers of dietary fat -- this, four
years *after* the National Institutes of Health had started telling us
all to restrict our fat intake.  Eleven years later, in 1999, the
project was disbanded with no report being issued.  Why?  Bill Harlan,
part of the oversight committee and a director at NIH said, "the report
was initiated with a preconceived opinion of the conclusions... but the
science behind those opinions was not holding up."

* Despite the overwhelming, media-driven faith in low fat diets for
health, the very concept of limiting fats and fat-containing foods such
as eggs, meat, and dairy products was *very* controversial.  Low fat
diets were aimed solely at decreasing rates of heart disease, and death
from heart attack.  However, scientists who were not so narrowly focused
were concerned about the effects of low fat diets on brain function (the
brain is 70% fat) and cell membrane permeability -- how easily both
useful and dangerous substances can move in and out of cells.  This
second -- the permeability of cell membranes -- was known to have
potential consequences for virtually every system in the body.

* George McGovern, Democratic presidential candidate in 1968, also
headed the Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs.  The committee
was originally aimed at combating malnutrition, and founded a number of
food assistance programs.  However, when that work was done, McGovern
and the committee decided to take a whack at "overnutrition" before they
disbanded -- McGovern had spent some time with Nathan Pritikin, low fat
diet guru, and already thought of dietary fat as a problem.  So his
committee of lawyers, politicians, and other lay people listened to 2
days of testimony regarding diet and disease, and on the strength of
this fairly minimal information, decided to produce the first "Dietary
Goals for the United States."  The goals themselves were written by a
reporter named Nick Mottern, who had no scientific background at all --
not even experience with health, science, or nutrition reporting.  This
was the beginning of US government recommendations to restrict fat

* *After* the Dietary Goals were written and released in 1977, more
hearings of the scientific data were called for.  Robert Levy, director
of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) said that these
hearings were very awkward, because "the good senators came out with the
guidelines and then called us in to get advice."  What would Levy's
advice have been?  In 1969 he stated, "It is not known whether dietary
manipulation has any effect whatsoever on coronary artery disease." 
However, with the Goals already out there, and in the public
consciousness, scientists who testified against low fat were seen as
being tools of food and agricultural interests.  The Dietary Goals --
written by a reporter who is, today, a vegetarian running a health food
store -- have formed the nucleus of all government dietary
recommendations since 1977.

* Scientific studies were done, trying to prove the by-then-accepted
theory that dietary fat was an enemy.  One of these was the Multiple
Risk Factors Intervention Trial (MRFIT), a $115 million study which
compared the long term health and death rates of men selected for
multiple heart disease risk factors -- high blood pressure, obesity,
high cholesterol, smoking, etc.  Half underwent *serious* intervention
in their lifestyles, including a low fat diet, stop-smoking programs,
and medication for high blood pressure.  The other group went on with
their life -- and diet -- as usual.  *More* men in the intervention
group than in the non-intervention group died during the course of the
study.  However, researchers decided that this did not meant that a low
fat diet was a bad idea.

* The "evidence" that a low fat, cholesterol-lowering diet would prevent
heart attacks and lengthen lives was actually taken not from a dietary
study, but from a study of the cholesterol lowering drug
cholestyramine.  The drug did, indeed, appear to modestly lower death
rates -- in middle aged men who had started out with cholesterol levels
higher than 95% of the population.  Somehow, this was extended to
believing that a low fat diet -- not the cholesterol lowering drug --
was a good idea for *all* people, whether they suffered from seriously
elevated cholesterol or not.

* Dietary fat was also, of course, assumed to be a causative factor for
cancers.  In 1982, a government report said the link was undeniable, and
went so far as to accuse anyone who questioned it of ulterior motives
similar to those of the tobacco industry.  Yet after 15 years and
hundreds of millions of dollars of research, the World Cancer Research
Fund and the American Institute For Cancer Research not only could not
find convincing evidence of a fat/cancer link, they couldn't even find
"probable" evidence.

* Regarding weight loss, the article cites the Women's Health
Initiative, a $100 million dollar study.  Of the 50,000 participants,
half have been put on a very low fat diet -- only 20% of calories from
fat.  After 3 years of this diet, the average participant had lost --
just one kilogram.  And since Americans started cutting their fat
intakes in the late 1970s, rates of obesity have skyrocketed.

* You may have heard of the French Paradox, but there is also the
paradox of Southern Europe, where heart disease rates have been dropping
while animal fat consumption has been *rising*.  The same trend appears
in Japan.  These populations also consume quantities of fresh produce.
Eat your vegetables.

* The substituting of carbohydrate for fat is referred to as a problem. 
"Numerous studies now suggest that high-carbohydrate diets can raise
triglyceride levels, create small, dense LDL particles, and reduce HDL,"
along with causing insulin resistance.  Stanford endocrinologist Gerald
Reaven, who coined the term "Syndrome X" for these
carbohydrate-intolerance health problems, says, "The problem is so clear
right now it's almost a joke."

* My favorite quote in the whole article comes from Walter Willett,
spokesman for the Harvard Nurses' Study, and its follow up studies, the
Health Professionals Follow Up Study and the Nurses' Health Study II. 
These three studies have been ongoing for twenty years, and have
involved almost 300,000 subjects.  The results suggest that total fat
consumption has no relation to heart attack death, that monounsaturated
fats *lower* risk -- and that carbohydrates may well be worse than
saturated fats. They also show the highest rates of breast cancer among
the women with the lowest fat intake.

 Knowing this, and knowing that the NIH has spent over $100 million on
these studies and yet not *one* government agency has taken the results
into account when making recommendations, Willet said, "Scandalous. 
They say, 'You really need a high level of proof to change the
recommendations,' which is ironic, because they never had a high level
of proof to set them."

In other words, fat-caused disease has never been more than a boogey
man, a made-up problem in search of a solution.  All of those people
nagging you about your low carb diet are believing in something that has
as little basis in fact as your average urban legend.  You may now, in
all good conscience, ask them for their scientific proof that *their*
diet is healthy.

Not that that will deter them, of course.  After all, low fat is now a
religion, and the faith of the True Believer is notoriously hard to
shake.  Still, you'll have the good feeling that comes from being the
one with the scientists on your side.



What do you want?  What do you need?  Pure De-Lite Truffles?  ProSlim
Pasta?  Baja Bob's Sugar Free Margarita Mix?  Whey protein powder? 
We've got it all and MORE, at some of the lowest prices on the 'net!!!

Plus we have Dana Carpender's _How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost
Forty Pounds!_ for just $9.99!!

Also -- our own articles, reviews, and much more!  CHECK IT OUT NOW! 


Reader Letter and Family Success Story!

Dear Dana:

 I am a long-term low-carber and thought I had read everything, but you
are giving me more "ammunition" to support what I am positive is the
solution to the health problems in my 
family. I have just ordered your book! 

My grandfather and father died of diabetes-related illness. We always
assumed that they "gave" themselves diabetes by eating too much and not
exercising. In January of 2000 my brother and I simultaneously and
independently began reading low-carb diet books and both decided to
start eating low-carb. After five to ten years of progressively
worsening blood sugar swings and slowly mounting excess weight that
refused to submit 
to my old low-fat, extremely low calorie (but high sugar!) diet, when I
reduced my carbs I began to feel fabulous immediately. I gradually
reduced my carb intake and in a year lost about 30 pounds. My little 
brother (always a skinny thing, amazingly! - he's a drummer who used to
eat organic-vegetarian) "cured" his "chronic fatigue" and severe

 The next on the agenda was our extremely overweight older sister who
gained ten pounds in three months on weight-watchers while walking 5
miles a day! In December she was diagnosed Type-II and sent to the
"nutritionist" who gave her a diet plan that only emphasized requiring
her to eat 240 grams of carbs a day divided into 6 meals accompanied by
a list of recommended foods (low-fat, of course) which included snacks
of cookies and candy! My significant other, a physician who is very
impressed by my success and has begun 
recommending low-carb to his diabetic and overweight patients, joined me
over Christmas as we encouraged my sister to ignore her doctor and try
an Atkins-style diet. Over the protests of her husband who was sure she
would drop dead, she concurred (it made sense to her!). At her six-week
check, her doctor, who didn't know she was low-carbing, was amazed at
her blood sugar and cholesterol levels and told her to keep doing what
she was doing.

The sad part to this story is that my ex-husband, also a physician, is
remaining stubbornly skeptical. (He never once related my regular "dizzy
spells," stomach problems, and panic attacks to hyperinsulinia and
derided hypoglycemia as a "crock disease.") Because he also has diabetes
in his family, I suspect that the chronic depression and other problems
that contributed to the dissolution of our marriage may be
insulin-related for him as well.

 Certainly our children are at great risk for diabetes. My 18-year old
daughter (who once weighed 
over 300 pounds) was put on phen-phen without my knowledge. Fortunately
she had no side effects, as far as we know. She is now happily losing
weight on a low-carb diet with my help. (Last night she tested her
ketones for the first time and we got really excited when the strip
turned dark purple and I explained that it meant she 
was burning fat!) My 12-year-old son, tall and gangly, will be the tough
one. His dad feeds him pop-tarts, yogurt, and granola bars and I despair
of convincing him it isn't too early to start eating low-carb,
especially since he has some ADD-type symptoms that may be related to
our family disease. At my house, he gets low-carb meals and a good
example from me and his sister.

I look forward to more of your great articles. Thanks, Dana. I believe
that my dietary changes have changed my life and I will never eat any
other way.

Peggy Holloway

Peggy, thanks so very much for sharing this story.  You might see if you
can get your ex to look up the article in _Science_ -- I suspect a
skeptical physician will put more stock in a scientific journal than in
*anything* his ex-wife says, no matter how intelligent and well informed
she might be.

Oh, and I want to *smack* that nutritionist.  I have absolutely *zero*
patience with anyone who claims to have any knowledge of nutrition, yet
feels that cookies and candy are an essential part of a "healthy" diet
-- especially if, at the same time, they're telling you to steer clear
of eggs!


HTT Webmaster A Low Carb Success Story

Okay, so I don't always do everything I tell you to do.  You know how
I've always told you to get your bloodwork done, just in case you're in
the minority who experience a worsening in cholesterol levels on a low
carb diet with unlimited eggs, red meat, and cheese?  Well, I've gotten
my blood work done several times since going low carb six years ago, but
my husband, who went low carb with me by default, hadn't ever had his
blood work checked.  Yep, flying blind.  Dumb, I admit.

So, last week we finally got him into the local docs-in-a-box to get a
basic check up, including a cholesterol and triglyceride test.  The
results?   My 36 year old husband has total cholesterol of 199, with HDL
(good cholesterol) a magnificent 62, and triglycerides  an extremely
healthy 83.   It's gonna take a silver bullet through the heart to kill
him.  And thank goodness for that, because I really like the guy.

Thank goodness, too, because the man really, really loves his ribeye
steaks, heavy cream in his coffee, gobs of butter on his vegetables, and
big chunks of just about any kind of cheese.  If he'd turned out to be
in that minority that needs to limit saturated fats along with carbs, I
would have had a tough ol' row to hoe, getting him to change his diet
yet again.

Instead, I'm dazzled once again by the terrific good health we're
achieving eating just exactly the foods we've been told would kill us. 
Low carb rocks!


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

A diet book without a hidden agenda - what a concept!, 

Dana Carpender's 'How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost Forty Pounds'
is one of the best books on diet and nutrition I've ever read -- and
I've read a lot of them. Carpender manages to accomplish a rare feat in
such books by being both credible and thoroughly engaging. 

The book contains fairly comprehensive information about the connection
between insulin and obesity, and how a low-carb or carb-controlled diet
can help. All of the popular related diets are summarized.  Most authors
of diet books (understandably) have the ultimate goal of persuading the
reader to  choose their diet over a competing diet. In contrast,
Carpender does not endorse one kind of  low-carb diet over another,
rather, acknowledges that every individual has to be the ultimate
decision-maker about what works best for his or her body and lifestyle.
This is incredibly refreshing  - especially for us cynics who have tried
it all and are tired of authors and doctors who claim to have the magic
bullet that works for everyone. Carpender even does what no doctor who
wants to sell only their books and products would do - encourages
experimenting with mixing plans and creating  hybrid programs customized
to one's lifestyle and body. 

Also, Carpender comes across as honest and passionate, and provides a
good bibliography if readers wish to research the topic further. This is
a good book for anyone interested in low-carb or carb-controlled eating,
and would also make an  excellent gift for those who don't like boring
diet books, are convinced that low-carb is unhealthy, or are searching
for an alternative to the high-carb/low-fat diet that does not work for

Sara from Salt Lake City, UT

Wow!  I just *love* people who call me "both credible and engaging"! 
And yes, passionate would describe me pretty well...  Thanks, Sara.

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!


Product Review

COOKIES!  Everybody loves cookies!  (Okay, our British friends love
bikkies.  Same thing, different name.)  But up till now, if you wanted
low carb cookies, you made them yourself.

But the nice folks at Synergy Diet have so very kindly sent me a box of
Granny Oats low carb oatmeal cookies, and boy, have I been enjoying
them!  Good flavor, sort of cinnamony; good texture.  Remind me a bit of
Archway oatmeal cookies, without the raisins.  These are a very nice
little something sweet; I especially like them with a cup of tea.

Granny Oats cookies are *little*; each is about 1 1/2 inches in
diameter, and the box says that there are four cookies in a serving --
this would be one good sized regular cookie.  How many grams of carb in
those four little cookies?  Ten, but three of those are fiber (these
have not only oatmeal but wheat bran in them, making them a good source
of fiber), and another three are the polyols or sugar alcohols with
which they're sweetened -- and theoretically, we don't digest or absorb
much of either one.  So figure about 4 grams a serving, or 1 gram per
each bite-sized cookie.

I even like the packaging on these -- there are three separately wrapped
smaller boxes inside the outer box.  This lets you open just one at a
time, keeping the others fresh far longer.  Good idea.

The only problems I can think of with the Granny Oats cookies are that
the combination of all that fiber with the polyols seems to increase the
tendency of each to cause, er, social embarrassment.  Don't eat these
with lunch if you have a big business presentation that afternoon!  And
that these are so tasty, over-indulgence is a real temptation.  You'll
really need to keep in mind that not only are these not carb-free, but
that they *will* punish you if you eat too many!

But all told, I like the Granny Oats cookies a *lot*.  Now, if Synergy
would just send me the chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies from the
same line... (hint, hint!)

Get 'em at Synergy Diet http://www.synergydiet.com 


That's it for this week!  See you in two weeks!

Dana W. Carpender

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