10 February 2004
Submitted by eve on Tue, 02/10/2004 - 7:26am. Funny
"...it was great. We went to a different steak house every Friday. But I figured it out when he asked the waiter to leave the lemon out of his water."
"He wasn't trying to take me out to nice places. He was on Atkins."
"Maybe he doesn't like lemon. Some guys don't, you know."
--Two women talking at a restaurant
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Posted by Joe Napalm on Fri, 02/13/2004 - 9:40pm.
And by the way, the above quote is a perfect example of why humans are doomed for extinction.

Doomed, I tell you.

Efreeti Sophist
Its really all common sense
Posted by flutterby on Fri, 02/13/2004 - 8:41pm.
Atkins' diet makes me angry! I'm studying Nutrition and Dietetics, so in 2 years I will be a qualified Dietician/Nutritionist (hopefully!!!)

Anything in large amounts is fattening.... therefore if you eat kilos of meat each day, you will eventually put on weight. Eat 50 bananas a day (not that anyone could stomach that!) and you will eventually put on weight. See the pattern?

The most sensible thing anyone can do is eat everything in moderation, and of course exercise. The reason obesity is in 'epidemic' proportions in the USA and Australia is not due to what's being eating (ok to some extent it is) but the amounts of what's being eaten, and of course the fact that many people spend the night sitting in front of the tv.

Simple equation:
energy in
Ok... thats enough complaining from me....

More applause
Posted by Shade on Sat, 02/14/2004 - 10:46am.
Before Dr. Atkins, someone figured out that calories (energy in) equaled fat when taken in excess. But nobody wants to eat LESS, do they?
So they invented the fiber diet. You eat a lot of stuff, but the fiber goes right through you without being digested. You might as well be eating less, but you don't have to use so much self control. Sadly for this diet, nobody really likes fiber. I mean, how much sawdust and rabbit food can you put up with? So the fiber diet went away.

Then Dr. Atkins realized that the calories contained in meat and fats take longer for our bodies to break down than do the carbohydrates. In fact, they often make it all the way out of our bodies without being absorbed. So, if we make carbs the "bad" things, but tell people to eat meat, they will lose weight, because their total absorbed calories will decrease.

I'd rather just eat a balanced diet that go through all that mumbo jumbo. YMMV
Posted by Joe Napalm on Fri, 02/13/2004 - 9:11pm.

Efreeti Sophist
If you can't have good chocolate, forget it
Posted by S_Kat on Fri, 02/13/2004 - 6:15pm.
I've heard that when you start Atkins, you "go deep" and have no sugars at all for a while to send yourself into ketosis faster (I don't get how that's good). Another thing I don't get about the meat-heavy diets: animals do a great job of concentrating nutrients and toxins from their food supply. Animals tends to depend on feed instead of grass and feed is loaded with weight-gainers. Shouldn't there be residue that would tend to make meat-eaters gain weight?
I'd get sick of steak after a
Posted by Cebu on Fri, 02/13/2004 - 7:04am.
I'd get sick of steak after a while. But that's just me, I'm a chicken person. ISn't chicken a decent source of protein? You never hear about Atkins people gorging on chicken.

Wasn't aware fruit was forbidden at first on Atkins. Don't know much about it. People just have to know that there is no easy way to lose weight. For some people it's never-ending.
Posted by Matt on Fri, 02/13/2004 - 11:41am.
Chicken's decent, but not nearly as good as beef. It turns out that chicken and its avian and reptilian relatives all share basically the same amino acid profile, which is substantially different from that in human muscle tissue, so a lot less of the protein can be observed and used. It's still better than, say, pasta, which has some protein of its own. Beef is where it's at, when it comes to rebuilding muscle tissue. That and whey protein isolate, but that's a whole different ball of wax.

Sorry, everybody. I used to be really into weightlifting.
Amino acids?
Posted by ParU on Fri, 02/13/2004 - 3:42pm.
Amino acid profile? Wait, that sounds like a call for, wait for it, Chemistry Man!
There are 20 amino acids (more or less) that you need in your diet, but only 12 of them are 'essential' (you can't make them from the other ones). So I don't know what the 'profile' is, but 'complete' proteins (those that have all 12 AAs) are such things as beef, eggs and, I believe, chicken and pork. If you want more then go to "http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/" (I can't figure out how to embed that HTML link).
It's Amino world without Chemists
Posted by Matt on Fri, 02/13/2004 - 6:09pm.
It's not about the amino acid profile of the muscle tissue as much as it is about how bioavailable the stuff is. And remember, 60% of the free amino acid pool in a human myocite is L-glutamine, the first amino acid to be lost during exercise. So, since chicken and its relatives don't have nearlly as much L-glutamine (or its close neighbor, glutamate) as beef (and bison, for that matter), it's not as "good" a protein for muscle recovery. Lycine and glycine are high on the list of important AAs as well.
Posted by ParU on Sat, 02/14/2004 - 10:49am.
Glycine?? You're kidding, right? It's the simpliest AA of them all. It's not even an 'essential' AA, as your body can make it from any of the other ones. Plus, I can't believe that you 'burn' individual AA's. Your energy output is first from Carbohydrates (via the Kreb's cycle), then from stored fat, then from proteins (the ketosis thing that KtG mentioned is the 'ketones' from the AA's turning up in your urine, a sign that you're starving and burning protein).
Why yes I did take a graduate course or two in biochemistry (including nutritional biochemistry), now that you mention it.
It's Amino world without Chemists
Posted by Matt on Sat, 02/14/2004 - 6:05pm.
I never used the word "burn." Or if I did, I didn't mean to. I was referring to catabolism, a process started when the pituitary releases... um... damn. That hormone that calms you down. Anyway, it's highly catabolic, and when muscle tissue becomes torn (from weightlifting) or is bathed in lactic acid, glutamine's the first thing to go.

High-intensity exercise tends to burn through glycogen stores pretty quickly, fast enough that lactic acid is produced before fats can be taken up as an energy source. Fats don't provide enough quick energy, much less protein.

Okay, now I really gotta go, or I'll be late for my Valentine's date. My first ever, I'm not too proud to say.
Posted by hypoxic on Fri, 02/20/2004 - 8:26am.
or geez your first just now? Well then good luck. Yeah I'll stay with that.
Cigga what?
Posted by Kris the Girl on Sat, 02/14/2004 - 12:15pm.
I said nothing of ketosis...that would be S_kat. I see how all the K's could confuse you. ;)
Posted by Joe Napalm on Sat, 02/14/2004 - 12:41pm.
"Hey, Grif! 'Chupathingy'! How about that? I like it! Got a ring to it."

Efreeti Sophist
Posted by Joe Napalm on Fri, 02/13/2004 - 12:34pm.
You need both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, though.

American's tend to be heavy on the Omega-6 stuff, which is good - as long as you get lots of Omega-3 stuff, too. If you have em out of whack, like we tend to, you get heart disease and die.

Which is bad.

So if you eat only grain-fed meats and lots of eggs and cereals and stuff you'll do okay body-building-wise (until you die at 47 from a massive coronary) or you can eat free-range stuff and fish (things with lots of Omega-3 to balance things out), too, and build up 30% faster...without the inconvienience of an early death.

Efreeti Sophist
Posted by Matt on Fri, 02/13/2004 - 6:04pm.
Good call on the Omegas. I take an Omega 3-6-9 supplement. Makes a big difference. I'm getting: 3000 mg Borage Oil, 1200mg Canola oil, 900mg Salmon Oil (has EPA and DHA), 900mg Flax Seed Oil, 600 mg Olive Oil, and 300mg Safflower Oil.

Eh, whatever. My knees don't hurt, so it's all good.
Posted by marinerd on Fri, 02/13/2004 - 2:09pm.
I read recently that people who just can't stand to eat fish can get some of that yummy Omega-3 stuff by taking cod liver oil. Does anyone know if that's true?

Later: I answered my own question with this article (among many). Guess I'll keep taking it!
Omega-3 supplementation
Posted by steff on Fri, 02/13/2004 - 4:20pm.
two words: flaxseed oil. muuuuuuch better than that yechy cod liver oil. *makes calvin faces of disgust* really. gah.

and, by the way saint, if you like v8 or various 100% fruit juices, you can sneak in some phytonutrient-y goodness that way. organic is typically better, add a bit of fiber if you go that route, imagine complete nutritional/medical disclaimer here: *disclaimer*
Posted by steff on Thu, 02/12/2004 - 8:45pm.
who cares if he WAS on atkins? so the hell what? i mean, free steak every friday? woohoo - count me in.

...yeah, i'm leavin' that like it is.
Posted by Matt on Thu, 02/12/2004 - 9:59pm.
Mmmm... steak... Chateaubriand or maybe tri tip... rare. So rare, it almost moos. Juicy and soft, with a sprinkling of garlic salt, a thin coat of garlic powder, a layer of rough-crushed pepper...

Too bad my lifestyle doesn't leave much room for steak anymore. Ah well. Small price to pay for pain-free knees and back, though.
The last study I heard stated
Posted by Saint on Thu, 02/12/2004 - 2:03pm.
The last study I heard stated that people who ate carbs and avoided fats could lose weight, even without exercising or cutting overall calorie intake--the theory being that ingested fats convert more easily to body fat. *shrug* Flip-flop, time for everybody to change their diet for another couple years. Then, after everyone has quit eating fats again, a study will come out about how fats are healthier for us, and humans were never made to eat grain anyway, and it will be back to the Atkins diet.

I'm terrible at dieting. I can't live without bread and pasta; I also can't live without meat. The only things I can take or leave are fruits and vegetable--the things everybody universally agrees are good for you.
Posted by Matt on Thu, 02/12/2004 - 5:12pm.
The Atkins-type diets aren't for everyone, the way high-carb, low-fat diets aren't for everyone. The Atkins, South Beach, et. al programs are based on the insulin cycle. Basically, neither fat nor protein stimulate the pancreas, which means no insulin is released. Since insulin lowers blood sugar (and is released in a response to elevated blood sugar, usually created by the consumption of carbohydrates), that drop in blood sugar makes people hungry. So if you don't start the vicious cycle of so-called "insulin spikes" in the first place, you eat less because you aren't as hungry. That's why people tend to "pig out" on candy bars as kids, but rarely on, say, steak.

I read some really compelling evidence that one's optimal diet is linked directly to blood type. It's been shown that human blood types evolved over time. First O, then A, then B, then AB, each relating to a point in human evolution. O is a staunchly hunter-gatherer type, based around proteins and vegetables. A is similar, but able to digest a wider variety of vegetables and some grains that have had very little processing. B is somewhat more agricultural, with a balance between protein, vegetables, and some more grain products, while the AB type is semi-vegetarian to vegetarian.

All I know for sure is, it works for me. There's a book called "Eat Right For Your Type" devoted to this idea, which I haven't read.

Posted by marinerd on Thu, 02/12/2004 - 2:17pm.
I agree about that grain thing. I'm the worst dieter, too, and I have a lot of practice at failing. So I'm trying to figure out a healthy way of eating that makes sense and I can stick with. I didn't think I could live without bread and pasta either; turns out I can. The less I eat of those things the less I crave them.

Good news, though. I was just reading about how dark chocolate has so many anti-oxidants, and we all know how good they're supposed to be for our hearts. Anyway, one of the brands with the most good stuff is Dove Dark chocolate (not the ice cream bars, though--the dark chocolate candy). So I've added an ounce of chocolate to my daily routine, and it's so nice! It even makes me less inclined to eat bad stuff, since I can just look forward to that treat.

I've been really good about going to the gym, too. Everybody in my whole damn family has heart disease, so I've gotta. I'll let you know if I slim down at all, even though my main objective is getting healthier.

And by the way, my friend didn't go crazy because she ate lemons, at least I don't think so. But you never know...
Posted by Joe Napalm on Thu, 02/12/2004 - 3:11pm.
As in most everything else, extremism is bad.

If you moderate your carb ("carbohydrates" being a sciencey way of saying "sugar") intake (which, for most Americans, means a drastic reduction) and have a decent amount of protein in your diet, you can lose a lot of useless weight and not drop over dead from heart disease. You don't have to become a Atkins carbophobe, even. Your average American takes in tons of useless calories through junk and soda and other crap that they really don't need. Cut it out and you'll be healtier.

Also, if you wanna lose weight, excercise. It takes effort, but it actually works.

Another big problem with the diet of people in this country is that the meat we eat comes from hapless critters that have been force-fed grains and antibiotics in astounding amounts. Most folks seem to be under the delusion that this is to make the food better for us, but in reality it makes the food much much worse for us - but it makes it a lot cheaper to produce in mass quantities. It's not so much that red meat is so terrible for us - it's that post-WWII, feed-lot produced, icky nasty red meat is bad for us.

And, no, I'm not a freaky health nut who smells oddly like granola and compost, a Luddite, or a member of the LFFNP (Lunatic Fringe Food Nazi Party)...but I do pay attention.

Efreeti Sophist
Posted by Saint on Thu, 02/12/2004 - 2:37pm.
maybe I could live without bread and pasta, but who would want to? I like all that stuff. Why would I want to live longer, if I can't even eat what I like?

Anyway, it's really hard to give up bread when you work in a bakery. Granted, Wally World doesn't have the best fresh bread in the world (and very little of it is even baked on the premises; most is baked somewhere else, frozen, then shipped out to be packaged and put on the shelves at the super-centers), but it's still not bad. If you don't put on the nasty chemical wash, and you split it and butter it right out of the oven ... mmmm ... or, you bake the bread about half way, then pull it out of the oven long enough to add garlic spread (margarine or butter, minced garlic and onion, salt, a little paprika and parsley flakes for color), some shredded thai chicken or even just ham and turkey, and a variety of cheeses, then finish baking it off so the spread is all soaked in and the cheeses are melted and just starting to brown....

Uh, excuse me, I'll be right back.
Lemony goodness
Posted by Intelligirly on Thu, 02/12/2004 - 1:10pm.
This may be terribly uninformed of me, but just what is so horrible for your teeth about lemons? I truly desire an answer, convoluted sentence structure notwithstanding.

Thank you all.

I love Mike!
Posted by peegee on Thu, 02/12/2004 - 1:28pm.
AFAIK, the citric acid eats away at the outermost protective layer of your teeth. Many carbonated soft drinks cause similar problems. And one shouldn't brush one's teeth to soon after enjoying such treats as scrubbing away at your teeth in such a weakened state damages more than it helps. Drink some water, or even better milk, let the teeth recuperate, then brush.

\end sermon
That is
Posted by Jon on Thu, 02/12/2004 - 1:43pm.
/Bart Simpson voice
You guys don't get it...
Posted by ParU on Thu, 02/12/2004 - 12:00pm.
It wasn't the lemon that was the Atkins bit, it was all the steak places. Though lemons do have 'carbs' (the hip term for carbohydrates). And I saw on TV that the Atkins bit has decrease Orange Juice consumption by something like 20%, which is hitting the Florida growers hard.
It's Amino world without Chemists
Posted by marinerd on Thu, 02/12/2004 - 1:07pm.
I think people get excited about any so-called easy way to lose weight. Just remember, kids, all carbs are not created equal. Eating an apple isn't the same as eating a donut.

I had a friend years ago who liked to eat lemons. She had messed up teeth, too. Then she went crazy. Be careful!
Crazy lemons
Posted by Apple on Thu, 02/12/2004 - 1:12pm.
"I had a friend years ago who liked to eat lemons. She had messed up teeth, too. Then she went crazy. Be careful!"
That explains a whole lot about my youngest nephew. He eats lemons, he has horrible teeth, and he's a bit crazy. I was sure that the "bit crazy" part had nothing to do with me, and now I have proof. Sort of. Kinda?
Yes, but
Posted by steff on Thu, 02/12/2004 - 12:53pm.
it seems to have been the lemon that tipped her off. which... yeah. hardly something that was gonna put him over the edge.

yes to lemon in water, no to lemon in tea (well, except certain types of light black teas and one or two of the stronger green teas, but never in iced and certainly never in white since... um... nevermind). because we know how i get about the tea.
I never used to like lemons in my water
Posted by umrguy on Thu, 02/12/2004 - 9:41am.
And then I came to Rolla, and experienced the water (which isn't as bad as it could be - St. James, the next town over, as just one example, has all its water smell heavily of sulphur). I don't squeeze the lemon into the water, though, I just drop it in (if it isn't already) so that you get just a hint of lemon.

-There's someone in my head, but it's not me.-
Lemon water
Posted by Kris the Girl on Thu, 02/12/2004 - 8:34am.
I don't like lemon in my water. I always forget to ask for no lemon, though, so I generally end up eating it separately. I like lemons all by themselves, mmmm.
Yes, I know it's bad for my teeth. No, I don't care.
I've never understood the diet thing...eating healthy, sure, but dieting? Nah. Now I'm going to go get me some potato salad for breakfast. You kids have fun posting. ;)
Yay, lemons
Posted by Desert Fox on Thu, 02/12/2004 - 12:12pm.
I like to eat lemons straight, as well, although I learned the hard way that eating half a dozen of them one after the other isn't too bright. Neither my teeth nor my GI tract were very happy with me for a while.

As for Dr. Atkins and his weird "carbs are the devil" diet, I think I'll stick to eating what I want, since I'm mostly vegetarian and not really into too many super-unhealthy foods anyhow. Better an ugly old corpse than a young, lovely one! My opinion, blah, blah, etc.


"Life is too short for grief. Or regret. Or bullshit." -- Edward Abbey, Vox Clamantis in Deserto
Posted by Joe Napalm on Thu, 02/12/2004 - 8:56am.
Kris, that's the kind of comment that usually sets an angry mob of fat people after me...

...which is my favorite sort of angry mob, as they tend to get winded pretty quickly.

Efreeti Sophist
Posted by Apple on Thu, 02/12/2004 - 7:58am.
I agree with the friend. Huh? People on Atkins can't have lemon in their water??
Not that it really matters...
Posted by Faithful Lurker on Thu, 02/12/2004 - 9:34am.
... but there's nothing in the Atkins approach that forbids putting a lemon in water. I suspect he just didn't like it.

(Yep, I tried it. Durned if it didn't work, too.)
I wouldn't know.
Posted by Mike on Thu, 02/12/2004 - 9:48am.
Well, this page says absolutely no fruit at the beginning so maybe he was playing it safe.

I'm still flipping through the prion pages. Apparently they're like ice-nine for proteins! Stanley Prusiner won a Nobel for his research, you know.
Atkins forbids fruit?
Posted by Mike on Thu, 02/12/2004 - 7:57am.
Maybe it's just a golden time for bargains on meat, what with all the mad cow and chicken virus scares going on. Mmm, prions...
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