Why are there no lo-carb fast food joints?

MinniePurl, ask and ye shall receive…


Perhaps you should learn what you’re speaking about before speaking. Dr. Atkins was a cardiologist and developed a diet to improve cardiovascular health - and it suceeds greatly. The weight loss stuff was somewhat incidental.

I know who Dr. Atkins was and what his diet recommendations are.

My reference to “atkins sheeple” refers to the ever-increasing numbers of people who claim to “be on atkins”, and now eating very stupid and dangerous diets. One of my cow orkers is typical. We went to lunch and sitting, he announced that he is “on a diet” (he should be too, he’s about 50 lbs overweight). I assumed he was going to order a low-fat low-calorie salad or light entree like grilled fish. Nope, he orders a 20-piece platter of deep-fried chicken wings with “extra bleu cheese dressing please”. He eats them ALL. Dunking each deep-fried and sauce-slathered wing in gobs of full-calorie bleu cheese dressing. He refuses to eat the accompanying celery, saying that it has “carbs”.

According to this site:

He consumed almost 1,500 calories worth of wings, plus about 3/4 cup of dressing (he went through three servings, they looked to be about 1/4 cup each), which added almost another 1,000 calories (12 tbsps at 80 cals each).

So Mr. “I’m in a diet” crams his face with a heart-stopping 2,500 calories worth of fat and cholesterol-soaked protein and wonders why he keeps getting fatter. Cuz, “hey he’s on atkins”.

At this rate, he WILL almost definitely have a heart attack caused by his diet. And yes, I do believe “atkins sheeple” like this will start suing pretty soon. hence my post.

Please note, I am not necessarily bashing the actual Atkins Diet as recommended by Dr. Atkins. I am talking here about people who seem to be mindlessly chanting “all carbs bad, all meat good” while they eat themselves into obesity and heath problems.

That’s one of the problems. A lot of people don’t learn about Atkins and the other assortments of diets out there. They see the word “diet” and automatically assume they will be healthy in all sorts of the spectrum.

Wasn’t it already a fad? My parents told me that it was popular for a short time around when I was born , too. Since I only heard of it for the first time a year ago, it must not have stayed a fad very long last time. Googling “Atkins diet 1970s” seems to support what I was told. Was it this “big” the last time around?

Rules of the Induction Phase of Atkins:

Rule #3: Eat no more than 20 grams a day of carbohydrate, most of which must come in the form of salad greens and other vegetables. (You coworker ate at about 15 grams of net carbs in his three servings of wings and dressing.)

Rule #6: When you’re hungry, eat the amount that makes you feel satisfied, but not stuffed.

While I agree that there are lots of people who are hurting themselves by not understanding the principles involved, you also may be ignorant of large parts of it.

Back when I lost weight with atkins, I’d typically eat, per day, 10-20 slices of bacon, 10 sausage links, half a pound of cheese, misc. meats like summer sausage or pepperoni, and all sorts of stuff that don’t strike you as wholesome health food. My cardiovascular numbers dramatically increased. My triglycerides were cut in 1/10th of what they were, my good cholesterol (I get them mixed up) increased, and the bad cholesterol decreased. My doctor was adamantly against what I was doing, but even she admitted I was in excellent cardiovascular health.

The negative effects associated with eating stuff like sausage, bacon, etc. aren’t because of the metabolic effects of those foods themselves - but rather, they’re able to do damage in an insulin metabolism that’s totally out of whack due to high carbohydrate intake. Once you remove the excess carbohydrate intake, “unhealthy” foods like bacon and sausage don’t elevate blood lipid levels like people commonly believe. I think I have a good grasp on the principles involved, and can explain further, if you’re interested.
I do agree, though, that there are way too many people who try the low carb thing without actually understanding how it works, and they often end up screwing themselves up because of it. That’s just plain ignorance.

Well, each person’s experience of Atkins is different, but I stayed in the induction phase for eight months, but if I hadn’t used the words “Atkins” or “low carb” most people would have simply called my daily diet “healthy”.

4 oz salmon, MY sirloin or chicken (uncooked wt)
2 medium salads (heavy on dark geens and tomato) with blue cheese
1 oz cashews (snack, and kept me regular for some reason)
1-2 cups vegetables (varied)
2-3 cups Coffee (Atkins whould not have approved)
On a heavy day, I might add a second entree: meat, fish, poultry, or egg.
(I also vigorously exercised 45-90 min each day)

Maybe my biochemistry was particularly susceptible. I don’t think any one diet is perfect for everyone. I set out to lose 20-25lb, believing that, at 40, my peak fitness weight from my teens and 20s were no longer realistic, but the first 20 lbs fell off so easily and painlessly that I stayed in induction, losing 35lbs easily, and another 12 more slowlt – far more than I imagined possible. For two years, I’ve been eating a ‘normal’, but still fairly carb averse diet, and I’ve been stable at 7lbs over my lowest “Atkins weight.” My attitude toward food changed permanently. I still eat less all day than I used to consider “one good meal”.

However, if I had merely been “exercising and eating healthy” instead of being on Atkins, I’d have eaten bread and many carb rich veggies, and I wouldn’t have had the same results. I’ve had plenty of time since to learn the effects of even modest amounts of starchy foods on my body

I think it’s pretty much human nature (at least for some humans) to cheat, cut corners, engage in wishful thinking, etc. The history of fast food and nutritional labelling has shown that restaurants and manufacturers will do what they can to encourage such wishful thinking, and generally prefer to sell more appealing, less healthy recipes, hidden behind -er- “carefully crafted marketing” than healthier recipes that don’t appeal as much to the consumers pre-existing tastes

I rarely eat “faux foods” (low carb recipes that mimic high carb foods), though I often make them for friends who request them, I think they are based on a flawed premise: sure, get rid of unnecessary carbs and sugars [diet soda is fine) but faux foods only reinforce your desire for the real thing. Few vegetarians who cling to meat substitutes will stay vegetarian, though there are some excellent meat substitutes today.

The change has to be in the dieter, as much as the diet. I ate a pretty rich, fat and protein diet during my first week of Atkins, but the real benefit of that was that it eased the transition. I’d never have eaten floured or breaded buffalo wings back then, and even stretched commercial blue cheese dressing with feta, mayo, sour cream or other lower carb ingredients.

My background is in molecular biology (which includes many years of biochem courses) and medicine (which only requires one sketchy biochem course). I must admit that there is a lot in Atkins that I don’t understand. However, quite a bit of of conventional medical wisdom in this area is equally unsupported by studies, even though billions have been spent trying to confirm it.

My favorite example is anti-cholesterol drugs: they have NOT been shown to have appreciable health benefit, yet have been widely (and expensively) prescribed for 15-20 years. (Just last month, the New England Journal had an article saying that one drug had “more health benefits” than another, but in reality, it only had fewer detrimental side effects. The day that an anticholesterolemic is shown to actuallty improve mortality and morbdity, it’ll be front page news – but 25 years of research and follow-up hasn’t shown that. IMHO, using current drugs to control blood cholesterol is probably like putting ointment on smallpox rash.

Similarly, I believe the McGovern Commission results have been amply confirmed: lower fat diets are probably good for the heart. That doesn’t mean that it’s good for weight loss, or that carrying around an extra 50lbs isn’t worse for you (in many ways) than a (often temporary) increase in the % of dietary calories from fat. Dean Ornish did some great studies with ultra healthy diets, but even he had huge problems with compliance, despite 25 years of “health craze”. It’s possible (but unproven) that a more “acceptable” diet, like Atkins, might save far more lives (or improve health and productivity, because weight loss alone increases activity, decreases joint problems, and has other benefits against major causes of death, like pulmonary embolism)

In short: Atkins may not be for everyone, but you can hardly blame it for all the people who harm themselves by not really following it - atkins himself railed against their corruption of his diet. Many terrible things have been done in the name of religion, even when church leaders actively fought them

Bringing up the cholesterol thing reminds me of something that seems sketchy with modern medical wisdom.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but this is my understanding: Most (80%+) of the cholesterol in your system is produced by your liver. The rate of cholesterol production in the liver is governed primarily by blood insulin levels. And so, when people have high cholesterol, typically, it’s because the 80% that their body produces is being overproduced because of high carb intake, leading to high insulin levels in the blood. Dietary cholesterol on top of that is very minor.

So they did studies that showed, basically, that high carb and high fat diets are worse than high carb and low fat diets. They came to the right conclusion - high carb and high fat diets are bad - but for the wrong reasons (as far as cholesterol). They concluded that the dietary cholesterol, which is a small amount compared to what you manufacture, was to blame - and sent people on high refined carb diets with reduced dietary cholesterol, where they have marginal improvements at best - because the problem was never the dietary cholesterol, but the insulin imbalance in their system that lead to increased cholesterol production.

So it seems like a lot of medical wisdom is taking studies and drawing conclusions based on preconceptions - a diet high in carbs and fat is bad… and leads to elevated cholesterol… so it must be the fatty, cholesterol rich food causing the problems, because that’s what “common sense” says.

Wait a minute: you say you’re in the induction phase, you criticize people who don’t stick to Atkins, and yet you’re eating cashews, which like all other nuts, aren’t allowed. :confused: