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Old 12-10-2011, 08:54 AM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,653 posts, read 14,645,930 times
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Carbs are now a "problem" because Americans wanted them to be. Back in the 1990's, low-fat diets were all the rage. You could eat starches, but you couldn't have your tasty eggs and bacon, or your fatty prime-rib steak. Staple meals were made "low-fat" by reducing butter or lard, replacing them with margarine. Cooking oil was targeted as being too fatty and alternatives that were lower in grassi were preferred.

Then, around 2002, the Atkins diet suddenly became a national sensation (even though it is much older than that) and eggs, bacon, steaks were no longer verboten. In fact, you were allowed to eat them in pretty much any quantity (or so the populace thought). But even inhale the smell of bread, pasta, or a humble crouton and your diet was destined to fail. The economy was more prosperous then and meat did not cost as much, and meat has always been viewed as superior to starchy foods - after all, the Catholic Church has traditionally banned "flesh meat" on Friday, not flour or fufu. In most regions of the U.S., the local food culture has long consisted of meat, potatoes, and vegetables - in fact, in the early 20th century, new immigrants were often discouraged from eating the saucy, mashed-together foods of their impoverished countries of origin, and social workers suggested that the "American way" of separating foods was the ideal way to eat. Holidays may feature starch-loaded cookies and cakes, but the centerpiece is always a slab of meat - Thanksgiving turkey, Easter ham - eaten by itself with no starch "carrier". In other cultures, the most esteemed foods are likewise meat, but the difference is it is served and eaten with rice, couscous, tortillas, bread - but in the U.S., foods are strictly separated. Giving up the traditional starch, potatoes (or bread), did not seem overly difficult for many Americans, especially when they could replace it with bacon or eggs. The Atkins diet concurred better with the traditional eating habits of the American people, and therefore it was more readily adopted, especially after suffering under the austerity of low-fat diets.

The Atkins diet seemed to fade away around 2005, especially with the controversial death of its founder, but various other alternatives low in carbohydrates emerged - the Zone, the South Beach diet, the Paleolithic diet, the low-GI diet, and starches continued to bear their stigma.

Personally, I don't pay much attention to what I eat. I don't eat much complete garbage (frozen ready meals, candy, etc.), but I do consume a lot of pasta, rice, and potatoes, and even have a bowl of sweetened breakfast cereal in the morning - and guess what - my weight is the same as it was 6 months ago. If I want to lose weight, I consume fewer calories. If I notice I am gaining weight, I either get more exercise, eat smaller portions, or both. Fad diets are fooey, at least to me.
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Old 12-10-2011, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
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Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
mostly in lower amounts - plus animals had different amounts of fat and sat fat. IIUC corn fed animals are worse on those measures than grass fed, and wild (hunted) animals are better than even grass fed.
Good points, plus people had to actually go out and do the work to acquire the plant foods and hunt the animals. Different from hopping into the SUV and driving half a mile to a supermarket.
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Old 12-10-2011, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
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Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
er simple starch, so yeah.

white bread, is of course not in the same category as whole grain bread.
I was thinking more along the lines of a food in its natural state vs. refined, but yes, they are both simple starches.
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Old 12-10-2011, 03:37 PM
 
2,540 posts, read 3,269,273 times
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Originally Posted by tvdxer View Post
Personally, I don't pay much attention to what I eat. I don't eat much complete garbage (frozen ready meals, candy, etc.), but I do consume a lot of pasta, rice, and potatoes, and even have a bowl of sweetened breakfast cereal in the morning - and guess what - my weight is the same as it was 6 months ago. If I want to lose weight, I consume fewer calories. If I notice I am gaining weight, I either get more exercise, eat smaller portions, or both. Fad diets are fooey, at least to me.
This pretty much sums it up for me too!
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Old 12-10-2011, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,132 posts, read 26,109,154 times
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Originally Posted by tvdxer View Post
The Atkins diet seemed to fade away around 2005, especially with the controversial death of its founder, but various other alternatives low in carbohydrates emerged - the Zone, the South Beach diet, the Paleolithic diet, the low-GI diet, and starches continued to bear their stigma.
Dream on. First, Atkins died from a slip and fall. Second, the Atkins diet is as popular now as it ever has been, though it's spun off other low carb variants like South Beach. I doubt there are any fewer dieters following a controlled carb regimen than there were 10 years ago. It remains popular because it works.
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Old 12-11-2011, 02:01 AM
 
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
22,528 posts, read 45,850,121 times
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Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
Dream on. First, Atkins died from a slip and fall. Second, the Atkins diet is as popular now as it ever has been, though it's spun off other low carb variants like South Beach. I doubt there are any fewer dieters following a controlled carb regimen than there were 10 years ago. It remains popular because it works.
Here, here! I thought the same thing...
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Old 12-11-2011, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,653 posts, read 14,645,930 times
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Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
Dream on. First, Atkins died from a slip and fall. Second, the Atkins diet is as popular now as it ever has been, though it's spun off other low carb variants like South Beach. I doubt there are any fewer dieters following a controlled carb regimen than there were 10 years ago. It remains popular because it works.
I didn't judge Mr. Atkins either way. I simply said his death was controversial. That does not mean the opposing side is right. And Atkins is not as big now, or in 2005 or 2006, as it was in 2003, when it was EVERYWHERE. Bakeries and others in the starch business were actually suffering economically because of it. I did mention the spin-off diets, and that carbs still have a bad reputation - and I don't see where in my text you inferred that there are fewer low-carb dieters than in 2001. In fact, there are probably scores more because the Atkins Diet didn't really take off until 2002.
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Old 12-11-2011, 08:43 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,132 posts, read 26,109,154 times
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Originally Posted by tvdxer View Post
I didn't judge Mr. Atkins either way. I simply said his death was controversial. That does not mean the opposing side is right. And Atkins is not as big now, or in 2005 or 2006, as it was in 2003, when it was EVERYWHERE. Bakeries and others in the starch business were actually suffering economically because of it. I did mention the spin-off diets, and that carbs still have a bad reputation - and I don't see where in my text you inferred that there are fewer low-carb dieters than in 2001. In fact, there are probably scores more because the Atkins Diet didn't really take off until 2002.
You said it "faded away" in 2005. That's certainly not true. It's alive and well. However, many Atkins aficianados still prefer the 2002 edition over the current one.
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Old 12-11-2011, 09:18 AM
 
Location: Wine Country
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Atkins is popular because you can lose a lot of weight right off the bat. But it is very hard to stay on that plan for a lifetime, let alone a few months. I know people who go on and off it over and over again which I would imagine is very dangerous considering all the saturated fat one is ingesting.
I do believe though that Atkins and South Beach have brought to light that proteins should be consumed more and carbs less which is healthier.
Eliminating foods groups is never a good idea because it is really hard to sustain.
And the bottom line is most people eat less calories when on Atkins because all the fat is so filling that they end up eating less.
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Old 12-11-2011, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,132 posts, read 26,109,154 times
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Originally Posted by Luckyd609 View Post
Atkins is popular because you can lose a lot of weight right off the bat. But it is very hard to stay on that plan for a lifetime, let alone a few months. I know people who go on and off it over and over again which I would imagine is very dangerous considering all the saturated fat one is ingesting..
They've not yet done any studies to show the effects over the long haul. However, most people on Atkins don't generally experience elevations in cholesterol or other blood lipids so it doesn't seem to have much of a negative impact in that regard. In fact, lower sugar consumption seems to reduce tri-glycerides. You can always have your blood tested if your'e worried about it though. However, yo yo dieting is never a good thing. The best course is just to watch your weight and regulate your carb intake if you see an increase in pounds.
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