Doesn't it just burn you up that the media still persists in calling the high animal protein/animal fat way of eating a "diet craze"? Case in point--the following quote from a recent Reuters News article: "Potato and citrus-grower groups have launched multimillion-dollar marketing campaigns after studies showed demand for their products declining due in part to the low-carbohydrate diet craze."
By the end of the article they'd referred to the Atkins-type high-protein, low-carb eating plan as a craze, fad, or trend seven times. And it was only a two-page article. This is a dirty psychological trick the carb-loving (or should I say carb-funded) media is playing on you. Fads, trends, and especially crazes have very negative connotations. Using these words to describe low-carb diets is intended to make you feel stupid for "falling for" a "silly trend."
But before you go out and buy a loaf of Wonder bread to atone for your supposed sins, consider this: Fads are flash-in-the-pan movements that fizzle out almost as soon as they begin. So how can high-protein diets possibly be classified as such when they date back to prehistoric man?
The bottom line is that this is anything but a fad, and that scares the heck out of the sugar and starch pushers out there.
The starch industry is massive, which shouldn't surprise you: Starch--from pasta to peas--is a large component of the modern American diet. We've all been brainwashed into thinking they're essential nutrients and that "you gotta have a certain amount of carbs in your diet." Nothing could be further from the truth. Your body converts carbohydrates into sugar, which has no nutritional value; i.e., there are no amino acids, vitamins, pro-vitamins, enzymes, fatty acids, or anything else of value in it.
The "experts" are worried about their jobs --not your health
An organization called the International Fitness Professionals Association (IFPA) has weighed in through its president, Jim Bell, on the "diet craze" issue. "Complex carbohydrates like fruits and vegetables are absolutely essential," Bell told Reuters. "From a scientific standpoint, your body cannot operate efficiently without them." Show me the science that proves my body cannot "operate efficiently" without fruits and vegetables. You can't, because it's not there.
Bell assured Reuters that he was doing his part to educate members of his group "on the potential ill effects of the diet craze." "Avoiding certain carbohydrates may reduce pounds, but it's also a health risk," he said.
Now, I don't know how much Jim knows about nutrition, but his statements indicate that he doesn't know much. (What exactly does he do as a "fitness professional" anyway?) What he does know is that if people go for the "craze" of the Atkins-type diet--which has worked for mankind for thousands of years-- they will no longer need his essentially useless exercise programs and he will be out of business.
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em
In the meantime, PepsiCo, one of the many companies responding to the "diet craze," is offering low-carb Tropicana orange juice. Does that mean they're going straight and not adding more sugar to their already syrupy-sweet fruit "drinks?" The reason they call these nutrition-free concoctions fruit "drinks" rather than fruit "juice" is because they can't get away with calling an adulterated product a juice.
"Cereal maker General Mills Inc. has acknowledged that higher egg demand suggests some consumers are eating omelets instead of its cereals." Now, isn't that a shame? And Monterey Pasta Co. is whining that they had a quarterly net loss and they blame it on "current diet fads."
So all the players in the latest carbohydrate counterattack are brazenly pushing this "fad" concept. One pro-potato campaign uses the catchy little slogan "Is there too much fad in your diet?" But the potato guys shouldn't even be the ones worrying.
There are foods that are high in carbohydrates that are good for you IF they are prepared correctly. Potatoes are one of them.
Make the most of your potatoes
But french fries, home fries, and pulpy mashed spuds--the ways 95 percent of people eat their potatoes--are not good for you, despite claims to the contrary by Frank Muir of the Idaho Potato Commission. The $2 million the Idaho farmers are spending to convince you that these so-called foods are good for you are not going to change the truth. What they should be spending their money on is telling people how to prepare their potatoes so they are still healthy--by leaving the skins on. And by avoiding the worthless, toxic versions deep-fried in free-radical- promoting vegetable oils the fast food joints are always pushing.
But since McDonald's and all its cousins are one of the potato industry's biggest customers, the potato heads wouldn't want to risk offending them.
Still, as I said above, potatoes are excellent food IF you eat the whole potato and don't throw all the nutrients away, which are in the skin. Grind up the skin and blend it into your mashed potatoes and you will be amazed how much better they taste--and don't forget a big square of butter.
And while there are no legitimate studies that prove you can live a long life on "healthy fruits and vegetables" alone (note the word "healthy" is always stuck on there; you never hear "eat lots of healthy pig fat, butter, and cream"), it is true that they're a welcome addition to any meal. I eat some form of "healthy fruits and vegetables" with every meal--not because I think they will prevent cancer or arthritis or are essential to my diet, but because I like the taste of them.
Let me give you a classic example of an ancient group that never saw fruits or vegetables, healthy or otherwise, in their entire lifetimes. Yet they had perfect teeth when they died (the teeth are an excellent barometer of the overall health of a man-- even dentists seem to have forgotten this): no cavities, no fluoride, no soy, no pasta and no sugar. I'm referring to the ancient Icelanders. They ate shark, seal, whale, fish, and all the fat thereon they could get. They had incredible strength and durability. They spent the majority of their lives on or near frozen or near-frozen water. A vegetarian would never have made it.
Action to take:
Starch and sugar are not essential to your diet and should be avoided except in minimal amounts. I don't care how much counter-propaganda you get bombarded with from the giant starch and sugar cartels. And, believe me, you are going to get an unprecedented avalanche of specious propaganda from this industry since their sales continue to fall. My best advice to you is to turn off your TV and enjoy a nice juicy steak with a baked potato--including the skin--smothered in butter.
"In Low-Carb Era, a Pro-Carb Movement," Reuters News, 2/10/04