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Where's the Beef


Arizona Daily Wildcat

By Anna Roe
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
November 4, 1999
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High protein, low carbohydrate diets are the new fad diets hitting the nation and I'm sure that many people on the campus have jumped on this bacon loving bandwagon, but I would like to look at this phenomenon from an outsiders point of view to show how potentially dangerous and annoying it really is.

This diet promotes cutting most or all carbohydrates out of a person's diet and replacing it with what is essentially meat: greasy fatty meat. While this seems illogical, the theory behind it is that by eating less carbohydrates you can reduce you sugar levels and the body is forced to use your body's stored fat for energy, thus the loss of weight. This all started in the 1970's from a Dr. Atkins, but faded away, like all fads. In the past month low carbohydrate diet books have hit the number one spot on the New York Times Best Sellers list, it covered the November 1st issue of Time magazine and numerous celebrities endorse the diet.

This diet is sending the message that eating things like McDonald's is OK when you are trying to lose weight. In the Time article they quote one woman boasting that she orders two Big Macs, but no buns. That's disgusting and I'm sure her arteries are thanking her. How good can she or anyone else for that matter feel after eating that? And how good is she going to feel when a doctor tells her that she needs angioplasty?

What's disturbing about this diet as mentioned in Time was that the diet works by making people feel sick because of the high protein intake, so they lose their appetite about four or five days after being on it.

Another thing that is bothersome is that I'm sure that most of the people who go on this diet didn't get in that shape because they ate too much bread and pasta, but now carbohydrates have become the evil culprit that caused them to become overweight.

And where are the fruits and vegetables? I don't know if the dieters forgot that they need vitamins or they just take it in a pill form, but they do need ruffage. You can't tell me that they feel good when they haven't gone to the bathroom for a week and they have all of that meat packed in their intestines. That sounds like a perfect cause for colon cancer.

This diet can also be dangerous for women because high protein diets can suck the calcium out of your bones, which can lead to osteoporosis.

What is most annoying about this diet is that there is no emphasis on exercise. I'm not some gun-ho exercise person, but I do keep active and I know that you need a good diet to keep moving. In sports, they teach you to eat a lot of carbohydrates the day before you perform, for energy. If people cut out carbs, they will get tired. If people are tired, they won't exercise and that is the almighty answer for weight control and feeling good.

Half of America is overweight: a sad, but true fact. Americans always seem to look for an easy way to do things. No one wants to exercise because it's too much work or they don't have the time, but they do seem to have the time to analyze nutrition labels for their carbohydrate content. This diet is the epitome of America's laziness. So before you rush over to a steak house buffet, anyone who is on this diet or is considering this diet to think about the long term effects and not just the immediate ones.

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