When your life has been radically changed by something as remarkable and so powerfully effective as low-carb living, it’s virtually impossible to look at the world in the same way ever again. Prior to my beginning the Atkins diet in 2004 when I weighed in at over 400 pounds and was on three prescription medications for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and breathing issues, the subject of diet and health was barely even on my radar screen.
Sure, I thought all the usual conventional wisdom about nutrition at the time: eating fat will clog your arteries, whole grains are an essential part of your diet, you must eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, everything in moderation, yadda yadda yadda. Sadly there are too many people walking around in 2011 who STILL think all of these things and many more are true. It’s why I continue to promote the message I first discovered for myself nearly eight years ago because there is a lot of work left to be done. If only people could catch a glimpse of things through my eyes for a few moments, then maybe they’d understand.
About six months ago, I saw something while watching television that caught my eye. Because my television allows me to pause the television screen and rewind, I decided to pull out my iPhone and take video footage of it. Then a few days later I saw something else that made me do a double-take on what they were claiming about diet and health and so I recorded it again. Over the past few months whenever I noticed anything oddball mentioned about diet, health, and low-carb, I captured it on film. Now that I’ve got quite a few blurbs that are as short at 9 seconds to as long as a couple of minutes, I thought it would be fun to share the low-carb life lessons I’ve learned just from watching television! ENJOY!
Christine loves watching various programs on The Food Network and we occasionally get some good ideas for making low-carb recipes with a few tweaks of their recipes (it would be AMAZING to see either a low-carb or Paleo chef on their again someday–they were idiots to let George Stella stop his “Low-Carb & Loving It” program). I enjoyed this little segment where a lady was excited when she came upon some food that prompted her to state emphatically, “And this is great because it’s low-carb, right? It’s all low-carb. That’s fantastic!” WOO HOO! Go low-carb!
Actress Angie Harmon is probably a nice enough lady, but this “pour one more” advertisement for milk just drives home how utterly clueless people are about what is truly healthy. She tries to appeal to mothers by saying they can only get these “key nutrients” for their families by having them drink low-fat milk. What she doesn’t tell people about 2% milk is it is loaded with carbohydrates. Plus, store-bought milk is pasteurized and homogenized which destroy so many of the healthful properties that come from drinking milk. Furthermore, removing the healthy fats is just adding insult to injury. That’s why if you’re gonna drink milk it should probably be raw milk (aka “real milk”) which surprisingly had very little impact on my blood sugar when I consumed it in a recent n=1 experiment. If you do “pour one more,” then try to make it raw and full-fat the next time!
You might recall the media frenzy earlier this year surrounding Congressman Aaron Schock after he appeared on the cover of the June 2011 issue of Men’s Health baring his washboard abs. He’s the youngest member of the U.S. House of Representatives and made the media rounds defending his decision to appear in the magazine without his shirt on. Rep. Schock (R-IL) was on The Today Show and interviewed by host Matt Lauer about any recommendations he had for people wanting to lose weight. I couldn’t help but smile when I heard him say, “If they cut back on carbs and start eating healthy, do it with a responsible exercise regimen…(they could lose) 10 or 20 pounds.” Don’t you know I’m working on getting an interview with Congressman Schock on an upcoming episode of “The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show” podcast.
There was a HUGE study released in June 2011 on low-carb, high-fat diets conducted by Johns Hopkins researchers looking at the impact on heart health. The bottom line: “High-fat, low-carb diets do not hurt the heart over a short period of time.” Of course, they still warn about the long-term impact of eating this way (media spin to keep their high-carb advertisers happy) but this is a great step in the right direction for the low-carb message.
Did you catch that screen full of foods when the dentist talked about “healthy diets?” Go back and look again and pause at four seconds in to see these what these “healthy” foods are. Pasta, fruit and fruit juices are the foods that are “hard on your teeth” because they are “high in acidic content.” I wonder if you’d have these same issues with tooth erosion if you removed the wheat and sugar (even the natural ones from fruit and fruit juices) from your diet? Dentist Weston A. Price would no doubt agree.
If you’re a fan of NBC-TV’s The Biggest Loser (I haven’t personally watched that show in over four years), then no doubt you’ve seen the adorable host named Alison Sweeney from Days Of Our Lives fame. In this “The More You Know” PSA spot on NBC, she pretends to know something intelligible about nutrition when she encourages people to “make half your grains whole, choose fruits or veggies, drink water and eat lean meats.” This is some really bad diet advice for people to follow. Sadly, because she is affiliated with a weight loss television program and it’s all the conventional low-fat, high-carb wisdom promoted by so-called health “experts” all the time, people will blindly follow it. And the ruthless cycle continues.
Back in September 2008 I first reported how The Corn Refiner’s Association got so fed up with the negative publicity around high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) that they did a huge ad campaign promoting the fact that it’s “the same as table sugar.” When this didn’t fly with the general public, they decided it was time to try to confuse people by changing the name of HFCS to a more friendly-sounding phrase in “corn sugar.” This television commercial the Corn Refiner’s Association put out is supposed to be clever and convincing for people to consume HFCS-sweetened foods and beverages. The actor states, “Whether it’s corn sugar or cane sugar–your body can’t tell the difference. Sugar is sugar!” That’s EXACTLY the argument I would make for people to NOT consume it. HFCS, corn sugar or whatever the heck you want to call it DOES act like sugar in the body (and some would argue the impact of HFCS is far worse!) which is why it should be avoided. Unless you enjoy blood sugar and insulin spikes, fatty liver disease, diabetes, obesity…need I go on? We’ll see if this initiates another contact from The Corn Refiner’s Association President Audrae Erickson. BRING IT!
I feel sorry for people with diabetes. Too many of them are being misled by television ads like this one. It’s paid for and promoted by AmMed Direct, a diabetes testing supply company who would love nothing more than to keep diabetics taking insulin, testing their blood sugar and spending money on the products they sell. While there’s nothing wrong with capitalism and making a profit, it is disingenuous of a company to push free cookbooks with diabetic recipes that offer a “triple treat” of what looked like mostly desserts and “cheesy potato skins” knowing these foods will do little to nothing to bring about proper blood sugar control. No doubt these recipes follow the American Diabetes Association’s much-heralded low-fat diet recommendations for controlling diabetes. Yet this kind of willful misleading of innocent diabetics angers me because it merely makes the complications from this terrible disease even worse. Don’t be fooled!
And finally, in the OMG department we have a product that would be a hysterical joke if it wasn’t an actual product for sale to consumers–have you seen the WhoNu? cookies! Yep, these Oreo clones are advertised as “nutrition-rich cookies” but loaded with 25g carbohydrates for three cookies. Heck, even four Oreo cookies contains just 24.5g carbs! They talk about the fiber and calcium contained in the cookies, but you can get those nutrients in your diet without the sugar/carb rush that comes from consuming these so-called “nutritious” cookies. The first time I saw this on TV I thought it was a skit on Saturday Night Live or something. Unfortunately, it’s for real. Buyer beware!
I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for even more low-carb life lessons to share from watching television in a few more months. Things like this are impossible to ignore when you look at the world through the prism of livin’ la vida low-carb. We are making the world a healthier place, but we must continually battle the nonsense that pervades our culture regarding diet and health. That’s what I plan on doing for many more years to come!