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Laura Dolson

Low Carb Diets

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Have a Low-Carb Easter

Wednesday April 16, 2014
easterWhat are your Easter food traditions? Glazed ham? Chocolate? Let's see if we can find some ways to cut back on carbs while enjoying the day. I've written up some suggestions for a low-carb Easter with links to recipes all over About.com's Food and Drink Channel to help you out.

Photo © Carol Kramberger

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Low-Carb Passover

Friday April 11, 2014
altYou'd think low carbers would have an edge at Passover. After all, we don't really go in for bread (leavened or not) at any time of the year, and we tend to make most of our dishes without flour. To a large extent, it's true that there are advantages to eating low carb at Passover. There are a couple of potential snags, and I try to help you get around them. I wish a joyful Low-Carb Passover to all who celebrate.

Photo: Mitch Hrdlicka/Getty Images

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Should we Eat a Plant-Based Diet?

Monday April 7, 2014
tofuA couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the Second Low-Carb Revolution, where the medical community is very slowly, inch by inch, coming around to the value of carbohydrate reduction. But there are certainly still vocal people who think that everyone should eat lots of carbohydrate, and believe me, I hear from them. One loosely organized group is made up of a few vegans, who have been fighting low-carb eating for years (sometimes using underhanded tactics such as misrepresenting the cause of Dr. Atkins death).

More commonly, anti-low-carbers simply misrepresent the facts, or nutrition research. Readers have alerted me to two videos making the rounds right now that are either opposed to carbohydrate reduction, or think that's it could be OK if the diet is vegan. And of course they want to know what I think about this. Should we be eating a plant-based diet for optimum health? Read More...

Are You Missing Important Nutrients?

Wednesday April 2, 2014
altWhen we change our diets, we may wonder whether we're getting adequate nutrition. A low-carb diet, after all, can be healthy or unhealthy, depending on our food choices. There are 5 specific nutrients that people tend to get less of on a low-carb diet. Find out what they are, low-carb foods to include in your diet that are rich in these nutrients, and why eating food is better than taking pills. Check out: Are You Missing Important Nutrients? .

Photo © Vladimir Bikhovskiy

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Spring Clean Your Diet

Friday March 28, 2014
springSpring is a great time to clean out, dust off, and rake away the debris that collects over the winter. It's also a good time to look at what we're doing for our health. Have we let some of our resolutions lose some of their resolve? Have we let some "trigger foods" into the house to sabotage our way of eating? Let's clean out the pantry, tune-up, and renew, starting today! Here's some help: Photo © Chris Leschinsky/Getty Images

The Second Low-Carb Revolution?

Monday March 24, 2014
nutritionThis is the second of my reports from this year's ASBP Obesity Conference and Nutritional and Metabolism Symposium. I think there will be two more.

When I first started writing this site for About.com in 2005, I met my editor over the phone. His first words to me were something like, "so, isn't the low-carb diet a fad that's over?"

He had a good reason for asking -- it sure seemed "over" to a lot of people - just another diet fad that had come and gone. The surge in popularity of the low-carb approach, triggered by Gary Taubes' 2002 article in the New York Times, "What If It's All Been a Big Fat Lie?" seemed to be waning, and the advice to follow a low-fat diet was reasserting itself as the only healthy way to eat. Pasta companies and bakeries were rejoicing as the customers they had lost came flocking back.

My answer to my editor at the time, though, was an enthusiastic, "No! The science continues to build and grow -- it's only a matter of time before it becomes mainstream." Read More...

Eggs! Spring! Hooray!

Thursday March 20, 2014
turkeyThis morning I had a treat for breakfast - turkey eggs! I am very fortunate to have a connection with a local farmer who keeps hens that are able to run around, be happy, and eat a variety of foods. The big surprise this week is that I guess she also keeps turkeys, and I had a bonus - three beautiful brown-speckled turkey eggs! It turns out they are delicious - very rich and lovely.

I certainly connect eggs with this time of year, and apparently so did our ancestors, as spring holidays like Easter and Passover have eggs incorporated into the celebrations. The reason is light -- during the winter, poultry that aren't exposed to artificial light don't lay many eggs. In spring, the hens really ramp up production, and imagine how happy our ancestors were about that! It seemed entirely fitting to get my lovely turkey egg present this week, at the beginning of spring.

Eggs, of course, have all the nutrients necessary to bring new life into the world, and they are really good for us, too. Don't believe the old stories about too eggs being bad for us -- that has been totally debunked.

Learn more about egg nutrition: Eggs Really Are Incredible.

Photo of Turkey Eggs © Gwen Ashley Walters at the Pen and Fork Blog

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Barriers to Weight Loss

Monday March 17, 2014
weightI just returned from this year's Nutrition and Metabolism Symposium and the American Society of Bariatric Physicians' spring Obesity Conference. As usual, there was a lot to think about! I've decided to do a series of blogs on different topics I learned about at the conferences instead of two or three long summaries as I have in the past.

One lecture at the Obesity Conference that caught my attention was about barriers to weight loss by Dr. Robert Dent. He covered both typical obstacles to weight loss from people who would be capable of losing weight without them, but then also a physiological state that makes it harder to lose weight, as well as an issue that plagues many of us. I'll quickly run through them. Read More...

Happy Pi Day!

Friday March 14, 2014
altHave you heard of Pi Day? It's to celebrate pi (π) of geometry fame (remember when you learned how to figure the circumference of a circle?) Since π= 3.14159, Pi Day is March 14, and the truly geeky will celebrate it at 1:59.

How to celebrate? By eating pie, of course!

I don't have that many low-carb pie recipes, but here are three:

1. Lemon Ricotta Pie (crustless)

2. Pumpkin Pie (yes, you can eat it more than once a year!)

3. Fresh Berry Pie (admittedly not easy to find in the Northern Hemisphere at this time of year

OR you can go with the "circle" theme, and check out recipes for low-carb cheesecakes or cookies.

Enjoy!

Photo © Luca Trovato/Getty Images

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Is Fat the Natural Energy Source for Mammals?

Tuesday March 11, 2014
gorillaNote: this is a reboot of a blog post from last year, as a few people have been asking about this topic recently.

On last year's Low-Carb Cruise, I had an interesting chat with Dr. Peter Ballerstedt. He is a forage agronomist specializing (according to his Twitter bio) in "pasture-based livestock production systems; human diet & health; local, sustainable animal production." We were talking about the proportions of various fats in grass-fed vs conventional beef and other interesting topics. He pointed out to me that although cattle don't eat much fat at all in their diets, they end up getting about 70% of their energy from fats! How can this be? Because cows are ruminants, they have complex digestive systems (chewing their cuds, 4 chambered stomachs) so that bacteria can ferment the vegetation they eat, turning much of it into short-chain fatty acids. Read More...

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