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Does cutting carbs work better?

July 17, 2008 - Kathie Evanoff
Fad diets and suggestions on what we should be eating is in front of us everywhere.

We see it at the grocery store on nearly every magazine in the checkout racks. We see it on television and hear it on the radio. It’s becoming a huge money maker for less than reputable companies out to make a fast buck on our insecurities. And still, the weight of average America continues to rise.

So it was not surprising that a segment on a morning television show caught my attention this morning. According to the segment, three well-known diet programs were examined over a two-year period to determine which was the best when it came to losing weight. It was no surprise that it was the low-carb diet of Dr. Robert Atkins. Barely any person who has dieted over the past four decades hasn’t tried his ideas at least once.

Yet, while the Atkins diet produced better results that the other two, the vegetarian diet promoted by Dr. Dean Ornish and the low-fat diet of the 1990s, the question of which one was the healthiest was never brought up. And it was interesting that the program’s resident doctor commented that although weight was lost on all three plans, the highest weight-loss recorded was a mere 12 pounds over a two year period.

The resident doctor said it best when he advised that it’s all about the calories. What you eat is equally important, of course. You could eat 1500 calories a day in chocolate, and you would still maintain your weight if that were all you needed, but your body would eventually reject the concept.

No matter what our calorie level, we still need to get in all of those food groups: grains, meat and beans; healthy oils; fruit; vegetables; and dairy. Nature has provided everything we need for good nutrition in all of the foods we are programmed to consume, not just one or two.

Breakfast this morning was an omelet made with two egg whites and one whole egg, two tablespoons of shredded cheese and about a quarter cup mushrooms that I pre-cooked in the microwave for about a minute before adding them to the center of the omelet. By adding a slice of whole grain bread and a glass of fat-free milk, I was ready to go. The only thing I forgot was a fruit and I neglected to pack any in my lunch today too, so I’ll have to make sure to get some fruit when I get home later.

This morning I took the time to prepare a healthy lunch before I left the house. It was pretty simple and didn’t’ take much time. Here it is:

Salad and salmon wrap

1 ½ cups lettuce or greens of your choice 1 chopped celery stalk 1 small diced tomato ¼ cup pre-packaged shredded carrots (or you can chop whole carrots) 3 ounces wild salmon, crumbled (I used packaged salmon) 1 tsp. mayonnaise 2 tbls. balsamic vinaigrette Salt and pepper to taste One whole wheat flatbread, pita, or your choice of bread or roll.

Mix all the vegetables in bowl. In a separate small dish, mix the mayonnaise with the vinaigrette until they are well blended. Pour over the salad mixture and toss well. I found this was too much for one wrap so I stored the rest in the refrigerator for another meal. Stuff your flatbread or pita with the mixture, fold it over and hold it together by wrapping it with a sheet of aluminum foil or waxed paper. This makes a tasty and filling lunch and was just over 300 calories. You could use low-fat or fat-free mayo, but I didn’t see the need since I only used a teaspoon for the entire salad and cut that in half to fill my flatbread.

Dinner was at the office since I had a late meeting and it isn't feasible for me to drive home and then back. Instead, I settled for Subway roasted chicken on wheat bread with provolone cheese and vegetables. I also had them put on a little light honey mustard dressing and picked up a package of their sliced apples. I've had the apples before and they weren't bad, although a bit pricey when compared with just buying apples. But these were pretty bad and I ended up tossing them after taking a couple bites. The apples were brown and they weren't crisp at all, even to the point of being somewhat mushy. I doubt I will buy packaged apples again.


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Breakfast: 2 ounces meat (eggs); ¼ cup vegetables; 1 ounce grains; 1 cup dairy; 60 discretionary calories (two cups tea with sugar). Total breakfast calories: 420