Lowcarbezine! 22 October 2003

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Hey, Gang -

Hey, I got an issue out right on time for a change! Wonders never cease.

It's a glorious day here in Southern Indiana - September, October, and May are the best reasons for living in the Midwest - so I'm going to send this issue to the webmaster to publish, and go for a walk! Hope you enjoy it!


All contents © Copyright 2002 Hold the Toast Press. All commercial reproduction is expressly prohibited. If you think your friends will enjoy Lowcarbezine!, please forward them the WHOLE ISSUE. Please, do not post articles or recipes elsewhere on the internet without permission. My attorney tells me that I'll have to come scold you and tell you to cut it out if you do.

Low Carb and Calories Revisited

Did you see it? Huh? Huh? On October 13th, Associated Press ran an article, carried in newspapers from coast to coast, detailing a new study that suggests that Dr. Atkins was right all along: People can, indeed, eat more calories on a low carb diet than they could on a mixed, but calorie controlled, diet, and still lose weight. Can't you just hear Dr. Atkins saying "I told you so!" from the Great Beyond?

The study, presented to the American Association for the Study of Obesity, was directed by Penelope Greene of the Harvard School of Public Health. It was paid for by the Atkins Foundation, although the foundation had no control over the design of the study (which is, of course, as it should be.) Here's how it went:

Twenty-one overweight volunteers were divided into three groups. Two groups were given the same number of calories every day - 1500 for women, 1800 for men. One group ate 55 percent carbohydrate, 15 percent protein, and 30 percent fat. The other group ate 5 percent carbohydrate, 5 percent protein, and 65 percent fat. (Notice, by the way, that the percentage of protein remained the same. I've said before that the term "high protein diet" for a low carb diet is misleading. We really eat a high fat diet, and a fine thing it is, too.)

The third group got the same nutrient ratios as the low carb/calorie restricted group - 5 percent carbohydrate, 15 percent protein, and 65 percent fat - but also got 300 more calories per day - or 1800 calories per day for women, and 2100 calories per day for men. Since the study lasted about 3 months, those extra calories added up to 25,000 per customer, or about 7 pounds, if the old 3500-calories-equal-a-pound-of-fat theory of dieting holds strictly true.

The food was supplied for the participants at an upscale Italian restaurant, which sure sounds like a nice way to diet. Every day the participants picked up their dinner, and the next day's breakfast and lunch. The meals looked similar, but were prepared using different recipes. Interestingly, the low carb meals were light on the red meat, heavy on the fish, chicken, salads, and vegetable oils - hardly the "nothing but bacon and cheeseburgers" image many people have of the Atkins diet.

So what happened? Everybody lost weight. The folks on the high carb diet lost an average of 17 pounds, while the low carb/low calorie diet group lost an average of 23 pounds. But what about the folks who got the extra 300 calories a day? They lost an average of 20 pounds apiece.

This appears to be confounding the medical weight loss establishment - comments like "It violates the laws of thermodynamics" and "hard to believe" have been bandied about. Some have tried to explain away the results by suggesting the higher calorie/low carb group was less hungry, and so cheated less, or perhaps got more exercise.

A few thoughts come to mind looking at this study, and the reactions to it.

First of all, the skeptics all sound as if there had never been any previous demonstrations of this calorie-wasting effect of a low carbohydrate diet - yet there have been several studies, starting with Kekwick and Pawan, two well-established and respected English scientists who, back in the 1950s and '60s, showed that people who lost slowly on a diet with as few as 1,000 calories per day when those calories were largely carbohydrate, lost weight easily when those 1,000 calories were protein and especially fat.

Kekwick and Pawan did a second experiment in which they found that on a carb-containing diet of 2,000 calories per day, subjects did not lose at all, but that they did lose weight eating as much as 2,600 calories per day when the carbs were omitted. Then, as now, the medical establishment tried to come up with reasons why Kekwick and Pawan's results couldn't possibly be correct. I sometimes wonder where we'd be now if, instead of trying to explain away Kekwick and Pawan's work, medical researchers had set to work on discovering the mechanism involved.

(To see an abstract of one of Kekwick and Pawan's published studies, go to the Atkins site, here: http://atkins.com/Archive/2002/1/11-175782.html )

Far more recently, and most dramatically, a study of the effect of a low fat/high carb diet versus a low carb/high fat diet on weight loss in obese adolescents was done at Schneider's Children's Hospital in New Hyde Park, NY. To the great surprise of the skeptics, not only did the kids on a low carb/high fat diet have a greater improvement in blood work than the kids on the high carb/low fat diet, but the low carb kids lost twice as much weight as the low fat kids - while eating 66% more calories, on average, than the kids on the high carb/low fat diet.

So this shock and amazement at the results of this new study are, shall we say, somewhat misplaced. It's already pretty clear that - despite cries of "the laws of thermodynamics!" - a low carb diet does, indeed, confer some sort of metabolic advantage. It's time for the medical establishment to stop trying to prove that the earth is really flat, and to start studying just exactly how this calorie-wasting mechanism works.

Secondly, it seems to me that the low carbers who got the extra 300 calories per day weren't really needed to show some sort of metabolic advantage. After all, the low carbers who ate the same number of calories as the low fat group lost an average of 6 pounds more than the low fat dieters, fully a 35 percent greater weight loss. You'd think that right there was enough to demonstrate an advantage - some difference in the number of calories burned between the two groups.

Thirdly, I'd like to point out that the low carbers who were eating more calories were still eating a reasonable number of calories, as were the subjects in all the studies that demonstrate a metabolic advantage for a low carb diet. There is every reason to think that a low carb diet will allow us to eat enough calories so that we can feel satisfied and comfortable, and still lose weight. There is no research I am aware of indicating that we can eat unlimited calories and still lose weight. Eat 7,000 calories per day, and the chances are you will not lose weight, and may even gain, even if you're eating a very low carbohydrate diet.

And finally, I'm glad that this study dents the reputation of a low carb diet as being composed only of red meat and butterfat. Despite the constant cracks about pork rinds and bacon, it seems to finally be coming to the public attention that a low carb diet embraces a wide variety of healthy foods, including fish and poultry, vegetables and low sugar fruit, nuts and seeds, monounsaturated oils, and, yes, red meat, eggs, butter, and cheese.

I only hope that this study, coming, as it has, when the whole world seems to have discovered the benefits of a low carb diet, will finally lead to the research needed to determine why a low carbohydrate diet speeds calorie burning, instead of another long and tedious debate about why the results of the study can't possibly be true.

Reader Review of 15 Minute Low-Carb Recipes

Quick and Delicious Low-Carb Recipes

One of the challenges of low-carb eating is to get away from the sauteed-chicken-or-hamburger/salad-on-the-side kind of dinner. Low-carbers tend to fall into this habit, then get bored and fall "off the wagon." No more excuses, even on week nights, with Dana Carpender's new cookbook. I'm able to put a delicious and legal meal on the table in a half hour, one that my whole family will eat with pleasure. These recipes are wonderful, and accessible for the average cook. Most of the ingredients are available at a regular supermarket - only a few may require a trip to the health food store, or checking at online low-carb markets.

I thought her first cookbook, 500 LowCarb Recipes, was a winner - this one is another jewel in her crown! Bravo, Dana!

Mary B. Thorpe, Arlington, VA United States October 10, 2003

Thanks, Mary! And thank you to all of you who went to Amazon.com and reviewed 15 Minute Low-Carb Recipes! (But, Mary, a half an hour? Making 2 recipes, maybe? ;-D)

See this and other reviews of 15 MinuteLow-Carb Recipes, http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/159233041X/lowcarbohysoluti , and if you've bought it, post your own review!

Please know, though, that 15 Minute Low-Carb Recipes is available in bookstores everywhere!

Low Fat Foods Revisited

I have long scorned low fat packaged foods, knowing that many of them simply replaced the fat with sugar and chemicals - fat free salad dressings, for instance, tend to be nothing but spicy corn syrup, and fat free ice cream usually has more sugar than the super-premium kind. And of course, many low fat products are just plain nasty.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I discovered that Philadelphia Lite Cream Cheese actually has fractionally less carbohydrate than Philadelphia Regular Cream Cheese. I made this discovery when I went to buy cream cheese to try out a new cheesecake recipe (and a fine, fine recipe it turned out to be, by the way; see below!) and, in the spirit of inquiry that has long characterized my approach to food in general, and grocery shopping in particular, I read all of the cream and Neufchatel cheese boxes in the dairy case. (Neufchatel is, so far as I can tell, identical to lite cream cheese.) First, I learned that the store's own brand of cream cheese had 2 grams of carbohydrate per ounce, instead of 1 gram per ounce for the more expensive Philly, and the Neufchatel had the same. But the Philly Lite had "<1 g" of carbohydrate per ounce - not a big difference, but a difference nonetheless, and one in the lite cream cheese's favor.

So I bought the Philly Lite, and used it for my cheesecake, which was exceedingly yummy. I also used plain yogurt in place of the sour cream, after running the nutritional analysis and discovering that the substitution wouldn't add even 1 gram of carbohydrate per slice. I got a cheesecake with an excellent flavor and texture, with no more carbohydrate per serving than if I'd used the higher fat products. Further, the cheesecake ended up with 328 calories per slice instead of 407, or almost 20% fewer calories. Please note: This was not a low fat cheesecake! 73% of the calories in the cake came from fat. But it was, indeed, lower calorie than the full-fat version would have been, without being any higher carb.

It was a thought-provoking experience, to say the least.

Again, do not think I am advocating a low fat diet; I'm not. However, many low carbers have learned that they also need to keep an eye on calories, and in the context of a low carbohydrate diet, fat is the exandable-and-contractable fraction of our diet. What do I mean by that? Just this: We all have a certain number of grams a day of protein we must get - for most of us, that will be between 65 and 100 grams per day. Taking an intermediate figure, if your protein requirement for the day is 75 grams, at 4 calories per gram, that's just 300 calories that are going to come from protein. (This, of course, doesn't include any fat calories that come along with those protein calories.)

We also have a certain allotment of carbohydrate we ought to be getting every day, and most of us aren't willing to give up a single gram - nor should we, since those vegetables, fruits, nut and seeds, etc, bring a lot of variety to our diets, not to mention some vitamins and minerals, and all of our fiber. Say you can eat 40 grams a day of carbohydrate and still lose weight, that's another 160 calories (again omitting any fat that comes along with those grams of carbohydrate.) So we're up to 460 calories.

All of the rest of the calories in this hypothetical diet, whether you eat another 1000 or another 5000 calories per day - will come from fat. That's what I mean by fat being the expandable-and-contractable fraction of the diet - it's the part of the diet you can eat more or less of, at your discretion, depending on how many calories you want.

Using our example of 460 calories from protein and carbs combined, and a hypothetical limit of 1800 calories per day, that leaves 1340 calories that you'll need to get from fat. 74 percent of your calories would be coming from fat, hardly a low fat diet. Yet with fat being very calorically dense, and many of our favorite and most nutritious low carb foods being very high in healthy fats, and therefore calories, it's not difficult to overshoot the mark.

So here's what I think I'll do: I think that, over the next few months, I'll do some re-examination of reduced fat products, to see which ones - like most of the fat free dressings - are "filled" with extra carbs, and which reduce calories without adding a bunch of sugar to our daily carb count.

I will report back with data as I have it. I'll also let you know if it makes a difference in my own weight!

Reader Review of 500 Low-Carb Recipes


Simply stated, I love this book. I am not a great cook, so when I decided to do low-carb eating, it was challenging for me to find things to eat. I quickly became tired of bunless burgers, and the like!

500 Low-Carb Recipes solved this problem for me. It has delicious recipes in a variety of categories, and most of these are very easy to prepare. My husband has actually said that since I got this book, I've been cooking some really good meals!

The beginning portion of the book is very helpful, with a very thorough section on ingredients, as well as other useful information such as how to determine the usable carb count, low-carb specialty foods available and more. And the recipes! Suffice it to say that there really are recipes for chocolate chip cookies, cheesecakes, breads, etc., that not only taste good, but are healthy!

I am still losing weight and, even more importantly, feeling much better--all while enjoying scrumptious food prepared with this book's recipes.

tawneetoo, Oregon, USA , March 25, 2003

Thanks, Tawnee! Glad to hear you're starting to get into cooking - few things yield such great results and satisfaction for so little work!

To see this and other reviews of 500 Low-Carb Recipes, visit Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1931412065/lowcarbohysoluti

However, be aware that 500 Low-Carb Recipes is available everywhere!

Send In Your Holiday Recipes!!

Last year Lowcarbezine! went to a weekly publishing schedule over the holidays, to help support our readers through the biggest carb-gorging season of the year. It was so well received, we're going to do it again - we'll be going weekly as soon as I get the latest cookbook turned in, which should be sometime in the second week of November, to help you to get through to New Years Day with your resolve - and your waistline! - intact.

But we need your help! Send us your best holiday recipes - cookies, candies, desserts and other treats, festive holiday main dishes or side dishes, party beverages (alcoholic or non), and hors d'oeurves and other party foods! We'll publish just as many as we can fit.

And maybe, just maybe, I can talk my publisher into a "Best of Lowcarbezine! Low Carb Holiday Cookbook!"

One very, very important rule: Do NOT send recipes from already existing cookbooks! That's a copyright violation. If you've changed a recipe, even a little, to make it your own - for instance, substituted Splenda for the sugar - then it's a new recipe, and it's fine. But if you just copy a recipe out of your favorite cookbook and send it in, and we publish it here, we could get in trouble, and might even end up having to close down Lowcarbezine!, which would break my heart, and hurt a lot of folks. So no copyright violations!!

Send your favorite holiday recipes to mailto:recipes@holdthetoast.com

Upcoming Personal Appearances

Upcoming Personal Appearances

Looks like I'll be doing an East Coast publicity tour in November. All of you in New York and New Jersey, come on out, meet me, and get your books autographed! (Gonna be fun! I love book-signings anyway, and I'm a Jersey girl originally, you know.) Mark your calendars!


11 AM
Mrs Greens
666 Lexington Avenue
Mt. Kisco, NY. 10549

Mrs Greens
780 White Plains Road
Scarsdale, NY. 10583


Wild By Nature
198 Main Street
East Setauket, NY. 11733

Wild By Nature
369 West Main Street
Huntington, NY. 11743


724 Route 202
Bridgewater, NJ 08807

240 Nassau Park Blvd.
Princeton, NJ 08540


45 View Hwy 9 South
Manalpan, NJ 07726

3PM Wegman's
15 Woodbridge Center Drive
Woodbridge, NJ 07095

Combined Reader Success Story and Product Reviews

Sheila Butler, whom I know from Trinity Episcopal Church here in beautiful Bloomington, Indiana, sent me a great email recently that included her and her husband, Prince's, success stories, plus a bunch of product reviews. I just had to share!

Sheila writes:

I got your new cookbook, (15 Minute Low-Carb Recipes) haven't had a chance to try anything but I have read it cover to cover and it looks fabulous.

Prince and I are almost at the end of 5 months with only one indulgence meal in all of that time. I have lost 21 lbs and Prince has lost about 25 lbs. I seem to be speeding up and he is slowing down. By far the easiest weight I have ever lost. It so helps having Prince do it with me and he is becoming quite the chef. He makes the absolutely best pancakes, I accused him of giving some of the boys' ones. He uses any of the low carb mixes but he adds a little salt and a little Splenda as well as some cinnamon and it is amazing how much that salt helps the flavor.

A chip that I absolutely love is the Carb Solutions Nacho Chip. Much more like the texture of a Pringles but tastes like Nacho Doritos. They are $2 a bag at Wal-Mart but you get 2 servings to a bag for 3 carbs a serving. They also have Barbeque but I find these too sweet and they are 4 carbs a serving. One serving is really filling though often I just eat the whole bag. Nature Zone on the West side sells many low carb items too and they often have samples to try. I tried the Keto tortilla chips, corn, excellent, but I felt the carb count was too high for the amount you got. The microwaveable pork rinds from Wal-Mart are favorites at our house-- I love them with cream cheese and salsa. You find the chips by the pharmacy department, they have the best buy on chocolate too, I buy it in bulk.

Oh, another product you might want to try - it is called Soy Slender, it is a sugar free soy milk sweetened with sucrolose. The chocolate is to die for, tastes just like chocolate milk to me. Prince raves on the Cappucino if you like cold coffee and the vanilla is like a vanilla milk shake and pretty good on low carb cereals. It runs about $2 a quart and for some reason since I have been drinking it (about a quart of chocolate a day) my weight has dropped much quicker. It counts for about 1 carb for 8 oz glass. I know you don't like soy products much but I love this stuff. Prince says it glumps him up worse than milk, he says he talks funny for about an hour and feels like he has mucus in his throat. I don't have any problem with it at all. I find it in the health food aisle by the freezer section. It is a shelf milk but tastes best ice cold or hot. Makes great hot chocolate for only 1 carb and tastes so much better than Swiss Miss.

There's a low carb bread from Bread of Life called Carb-Lite. They have hamburger buns, hot dog buns, rolls, bread and cinnamon raisin. The bread is only 1 carb per slice and is excellent toasted.

Wow! Sheila, this is so helpful for so many folks. Thanks so much for the terrific story and product reviews - right now I don't have a lot of time to go out looking for new products!

Another Reader Product Review

Cathy Sparks writes:

Yikes!! At your recommendation we purchased a small bag of Keto Tortilla chips and were sorely disappointed. At our local "low carb" establishment, they had free samples of the Atkins Crunchers at the check-out counter. My husband picked up a few of the cool ranch flavor and said they were world's better than the Keto brand. He said the deciding factor was the big "CRUNCH" that the Crunchers had. Just a side opinion in case you hadn't tried them.

Hey, Cathy -

I've tried the Atkins Crunchers, and I do think they're quite good, but to me the Keto chips are much more like regular tortilla chips, both in flavor and texture, than the Crunchers, or indeed, any other low carb chip I've tried.

However, I haven't seen them in anything but the 4 serving bag - are you sure you didn't get the dreaded Keto Keeters, instead?

It's good to know, though, how other folks feel about these things. So folks, looks like you'll just have to do your sampling yourself.

Reader Review of How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost 40 Pounds!

Easy to understand

Having tired of all the promises most weight loss books have, I began to look for books that aren't hyped as much but do have loads of truth in them. I have found that the best weight loss books are those written by "normal" people. This book is such a book. Easy to understand, informative and just plain good, I would highly recommend it along with a few other I have read including "Fatass No More". These types of books are the best because their authors have gone through what most of us go through. Great book with good advice!!!

A reader from NYC, October 13, 2003

To see this and other reviews of How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost 40 Pounds, visit Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1592330401/lowcarbohysoluti

Amazon.com is great, but please know that How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost 40 Pounds is available at bookstores everywhere!

Cooking Low Carb!

Margarita Cheesecake

I saw Emeril make a Margarita Cheesecake on his show one night, and I had to decarb it the very next day! Fabulous. You can make this with cream cheese and sour cream, if you like, for added richness, or with Neufchatel and plain yogurt, for a lower calorie count with no increase in carbs. Remember: This cake has actual tequila in it, and the filling isn't heated, so you may not want to serve it to kids, and certainly shouldn't serve it to recovering alcoholics.

1 1/2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin

1 cup Splenda

3/4 cup boiling water

1 1/2 pounds Neufchatel or lite cream cheese

1 cup plain yogurt

1/4 cup lime juice

2 teaspoons grated lime rind

1/4 cup tequila (I used Sauza, which I find far smoother than Cuervo.)

1/2 teaspoon orange extract

Sweet-and-Salty Almond Crust (see following recipe)

Combine the gelatin and Splenda in a saucepan, and pour the boiling water over them. Stir over low heat until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Turn off the burner.

Put the softened cream or Neufchatel cheese in a mixing bowl, and beat with an electric mixer until very soft and creamy. (If you have a stand mixer, you can start the cheese beating before you dissolve the gelatin, and just leave the mixer mixing on its own.) When the cheese is very smooth and creamy, add the cream cheese or yogurt, and beat that in well, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Now beat in the lime juice, grated lime rind, orange extract, and tequila. Now, go back to your saucepan of gelatin. It should still be liquid! If it's not, you'll need to heat it again gently. Beat the gelatin mixture into the cheese mixture and make sure everything is every well combined. Pour into the Sweet-and-Salty Almond Crust, and chill for at least 4 or 5 hours, and overnight is better.

Run a knife around the cake, between the cake and the pan, before removing the rim. Slice with a thin-bladed knife - dipping the knife it hot water before each slice is a good idea, although not essential.

Garnish with paper-thin slices of lime, strips of lime zest, or both.

12 servings, each with 11 grams of carbohydrate and 2 grams of fiber, for a usable carb count of 9 grams. Made with Neufchatel or lite cream cheese and yogurt, this will have 328 calories per serving. Made with cream cheese and sour cream, it will have 407 calories per serving

Sweet-and-Salty Almond Crust

Emeril made his crust with crushed pretzels, to get that salty note so characteristic of margaritas. We're not going to use pretzels, of course, so I came up with this crust instead. It's great with the margarita-flavored filling!

1 1/2 cups almonds

1/3 cup vanilla whey protein powder

1/4 cup Splenda

1/4 cup melted butter

1 tablespoon kosher salt (I like kosher salt for this because the larger grains make a real contribution)

Preheat oven to 325. Have a springform pan assembled and well-sprayed with non-stick cooking spray on hand.

Put your almonds in your food processor, with the S-blade in place. Run the food processor until the almonds are ground. Add the vanilla whey protein powder and Splenda, and pulse to mix. You may need to open the processor and run a knife around the bottom edge, to get everything into the path of the blade. Now, turn the processor on and pour in the butter while it's running. Let everything blend - and once again, you may need to do the knife-around-the-bottom-edge-of-the-processor trick. When the butter is evenly distributed, turn the processor off. Add the kosher salt, and pulse the processor just enough to distribute the salt through the mixture.

Press firmly into the prepared pan, making sure you cover the seam around the bottom - but don't expect to be able to build it all the way up the sides or anything. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until lightly golden, and cool.

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


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To request a full-text version of this issue by e-mail, just send a message to: htt031022@holdthetoast.com (Message and subject can be blank.)