December 7

Help with your Christmas shopping

10  comments

iluvcarbs_blog.jpg
If you’re looking for the perfect gift for one of your misguided friends or relatives, here it is. I’m sure they’re available in all sizes.
I found these shirts in a comment to an old post in a blog I happened to come across while searching for something else. It amazes me that people can be so violent when it comes to the carbohydrate issue. It’s as if their spouses or children are being attacked.
This blog post was written back in 2004 when everyone had oh so briefly jumped on the low-carb bandwagon. They guy who wrote it was obviously worried that carbs were going to disappear from the shelves and he wanted to do his part to keep them there. You might think this was written tongue in cheek, but if you go to the post linked above, you’ll see that it isn’t.

People, we are in a Carb Crisis, and I want to do something about it. Together, we can make a difference. I even made this motivational video:
[The video is no longer available]
That’s right, kids. Tonight we launch the SAVE THE CARBS! campaign. If I could make a button for the site I would do that but I don’t know how. Do you? You should! And then give it to me! Only with eachother’s help can we SAVE THE CARBS!
But here’s an actual constructive idea that I would like to implement immediately. I am going to do so in bold.
I DECLARE THIS THURSDAY, MAY 20TH, NATIONAL CARB AWARENESS DAY.
That’s right. Spread the word. This Thursday everyone–including you–will eat a gratuitous carbohydrate. No, not your daily dose of granola; we’re talking a mega-cupcake, or a big black and white cookie. Thursday, we’re going start a revolution and start it right. And if you have a website, please spread the word. The more people who know about it, the greater the impact we can make. Plus what else do you have to do? It’s not like you have a vibrant social life. [A telling statement] I’m just saying.
So, in conclusion, don’t do it for your country. Don’t do it for your God, or your mother, or your accountant. Do it for the organ that matters most. No, not that one. Do it for your stomach. Only you can save the carbs, America. Won’t you?

Do it for your stomach? How about getting rid of the carbs for your pancreas…and your heart and your brain and your blood vessels and your kidneys and…
Really pitiful.


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  1. I agree that people react badly to the idea of not eating carby food. My mother, who was diagnosed with diabetes in her 30s, insists that she needs to eat bread every day, and has only recently stopped pestering me when we go out to dinner to have some potatoes or rolls (“Oh, come on, you’ve got to have some starch!”). A very overweight co-worker who asked me how I lost the weight (30 lbs so far) said, with much more vehemence than necessary, that she could never stop eating carbohydrates because she’s hypoglycemic, and will get sick if her blood sugar gets below some critical level. A friend of mine says she tried a low-carb diet for a week but “it made her feel weak and sick to her stomach.” (The sad part about her is that she complains of feeling weak and sick almost every day anyway.)
    I’m a little leery of the overuse of the word “addictive” to describe all kinds of behaviors, but I’m becoming more open toward the idea that sugar and grains are at least a little like addictive substances. It makes me sad, because the more I learn about carbohydrates and our physiological response to them, the more convinced I am that avoiding them is the smart course of action. And yet, the more I learn, the less inclined I am to talk to anyone else about it because of just such reactions.
    Too bad they didn’t put some arterial plaque around the heart on that “I Love Carbs” shirt!
    Hi Rose–
    Refined carbs are a lot more than a “little like addictive substances.”
    Take a look at this famous paper written a little over ten years ago. Here is an applicable excerpt:

    Climatic change at the end of the last glacial period led to an increase in the size and concentration of patches of wild cereals in certain areas (Wright 1977). The large quantities of cereals newly available provided an incentive to try to make a meal of them. People who succeeded in eating sizeable amounts of cereal seeds discovered the rewarding properties of the exorphins contained in them. Processing methods such as grinding and cooking were developed to make cereals more edible. The more palatable they could be made, the more they were consumed, and the more important the exorphin reward became for more people.
    At first, patches of wild cereals were protected and harvested. Later, land was cleared and seeds were planted and tended, to increase quantity and reliability of supply. Exorphins attracted people to settle around cereal patches, abandoning their nomadic lifestyle, and allowed them to display tolerance instead of aggression as population densities rose in these new conditions.
    Though it was, we suggest, the presence of exorphins that caused cereals (and not an alternative already prevalent in the diet) to be the major early cultigens, this does not mean that cereals are ‘just drugs’. They have been staples for thousands of years, and clearly have nutritional value. However, treating cereals as ‘just food’ leads to difficulties in explaining why anyone bothered to cultivate them. The fact that overall health declined when they were incorporated into the diet suggests that their rapid, almost total replacement of other foods was due more to chemical reward than to nutritional reasons.

    Addictive indeed.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  2. For those of you looking for the counterpoint to the “I love carbs” T-shirt, I recommend heading here… http://xkcd.com/store/ and purchasing the “XKCD college-style shirt”.
    It says simply XKCD. No one knows what it stands for, but a lot of people ask. At which point I reply “Xtreme Ketogenic Carbless Diet”.
    This invariably brings the question “What does that mean?”. It’s a great opportunity to spread the low carb message, especially with people who knew me 50 pounds ago.
    It is a good idea. I wondered myself what it meant because I clicked on the link before I read the rest of the comment.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  3. Hi, Dr. Eades,
    I can’t seem to find an email link, but I wanted to share this little news item I ran across this morning. It’s from my radio station’s daily info sheet, and when I read it, I knew you and your readers would truly appreciate it. And who knows, you might even consider doing an interview with this couple!
    All the best, and Merry Christmas.
    Mike in Mississippi
    COUPLE CELEBRATES 80 YEARS OF MARRIAGE _ Congratulations to Melvin and Minnie Lou Scott of Palestine, Texas. They’re celebrating their 80th wedding anniversary. At the age of 100 and 99 respectively, Melvin and Minnie Lou may be the oldest married couple in the United States, having celebrated eight decades together last month. While the pair’s habits of EATING BACON ALL MOST EVERY DAY (my emphasis) and doing their own yard work may not be recommended for anyone their age, they do offer some key advice to a lengthy successful marriage. Minnie Lou says, “If people want to stay married, I guess I would tell them to live right, stay off dope and live a clean life.”
    Hi Mike–
    Thanks for the charming story. If that’s all it takes to live forever – eat a lot of bacon and stay off dope – I should have a lot of years left.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  4. 2 Things, we should all buy the shirts and wear them ironically, if that is possible. I know my family would get it.
    Two, we should DEFINITELY have a Carb Awareness Day. We should make veryone aware of how dangerous they can be.
    Keep up the good work,
    Dave

  5. i’m sorry but that person is an idiot. the whole basis of his arguement is that because carbs taste good and that if we don’t eat carbs wonderful companies like Krispy-Kreme is going to go out of bussiness. Krispy-Kreme is going under because people are finally realizing that they are just about the worst thing you can take into your body. by consuming them not only do you get a huge insulin spike (and the associated inflammation) you also screw up your fat metabolism pathways with a dose of trans fat.
    “Anything in excess is a bad thing”, yes obviously dogmas apply to every and all situations no matter how little understand you have on the subject. why is it that people without any biochemical training and without the basic knowledge of the how the body works are allowed to comment on nutrition and misinforming hundreds of people? baffles me
    Hey Justin–
    I baffles me, too. And I absolutely loathe the expression “anything in excess is a bad thing,” especially when applied to dieting. The other one I hate is “moderation in everything,” which, of course, is simply an excuse people use to fool themselves about the sorry condition of their own nutritional health.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  6. About the comment about carbs being addictive – they are. When I first started Atkins, I went cold turkey, from God only know how many carbs down to 25-30g a day. And I had withdrawal symptoms, mostly a constant craving for what the diet said I could not eat. I think I now understand a bit of what drug addicts go through while withdrawing. The cravings and beginning of ketosis are why so many people give up on low-carb around the third day – their bodies are screaming for what they are addicted to.
    Carbs…yes…very addictive.

  7. like Victoria I too had terrible withdrawl symptoms when I began Atkins, headaches, shakes, sweats just as well I was on leave from work at the time because there is no way I could have managed to get to work. I thought so this is what being a sugar addict is all about. After the initial 3 hard days of getting off mostly all carbs except for those allowed on induction I felt superhumanly great! on the fourth day I woke with a whole heap of energy and funnily enough a total aversion to all things sugary. I can’t even eat a normal bit of bread anymore it is too sweet & sugar just tastes like I imagine poison tasting. Very interesting article written obviously by his addiction! like most addicts it becomes the substance you deal with not the person.

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