Low-carb diet may cut heart risks in severely obese

Filed under: Health — Tags: — @ October 12, 2004

Preliminary research led by Dr. Prakash Seshadri of the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center suggests that a low-carb diet can help severely obese people improve their cholesterol levels, and may curb markers of inflammation better than a reduced-fat diet.

bq. In obesity, the body tends to be in a state of chronic inflammation, and this inflammation is believed to conspire with others factors–including high cholesterol–to promote the hardened, narrowed arteries that can lead to heart attack and stroke. Low-carb diets have been shown to cut excess pounds, but whether they reduce inflammation in the body has been unknown.

Diet Sprite rebadged as Diet Sprite Zero

Filed under: New Product — Tags: — @ October 11, 2004

diet-sprite-zero.jpgIn an apparent attempt to cash in on the low-carb craze, Coca-Cola has relaunched Diet Sprite as Diet Sprite Zero. Like the original, Diet Sprite Zero contains no sugar, no carbs and no caffeine.

While the lemon-lime beverage’s formula is unchanged, Diet Sprite Zero is packaged in a clear version of Sprite’s signature, 20-oz. “dimple” bottle with a metallic label featuring the brand’s green and blue colors with yellow accents.

Heinz CEO talks carbs

Filed under: Business — Tags: — @ October 10, 2004

William Johnson, the chairman and chief executive of Heinz, recently discussed the low-carb phenomenon with the New York Times. Following are excerpts from the interview:

Q. Interstate Bakeries, Krispy Kreme and others have been blaming changing consumer preference for low carbs for cutting into revenue and bringing down earnings. Do you think that’s a legitimate claim? Have consumer tastes changed that much that quickly?

A. I don’t think consumer tastes have necessarily changed. We’ve been selling ketchup for over 100 years. People like it as much if not more today as they did 100 years ago. I think, particularly on the low-carb craze, we pretty much predicted almost a year ago that this would be a temporary phenomenon and that it would peak pretty quickly. So we addressed it as a tactical issue and not as a strategic issue.

Q. Do you think there’s any merit to the claims that the low-carb craze could significantly affect some companies’ revenues?

A. Well, I think there’s certainly been a short-term impact, but I think the low-carb phenomenon speaks to the bigger issue, which is health and wellness and nutrition. Our view is this is just one edge of the leading trend, which is really health and wellness and nutrition.

Atkins to drop ‘net carbs’ term from labels

Filed under: Atkins Diet — Tags: — @ October 8, 2004

The Wall Street Journal reports (paid sub. required) that Atkins Nutitionals will drop its widely used “net carbs” term from its food labels, calling it “imprecise.”

bq. The move comes just months before the Food and Drug Administration is expected to issue new food-labeling guidelines for carb content. Atkins coined the phrase “net carbs” back in 2001 to sidestep the FDA’s existing guidelines. Atkins says next year it will replace the words “net carbs” and the seal now found on its packages with a new phrase, “net Atkins count,” and a new seal. Atkins says the new term reflects a more-precise method of measuring the carbohydrates in its foods.

Atkins derives the “net Atkins count” for a product by testing blood-sugar levels of people who have just eaten it. The technique borrows heavily from the glycemic index widely used in Australia and some other places outside the U.S. that attempts to express carb content in terms of its effect on blood sugar. Atkins worked with Thomas Wolever, a Canadian nutritionist who helped to develop the glycemic index, to come up with the “net Atkins count” method.

Krispy Kreme to close Ohio plant, blames low-carb diets

Filed under: Business — Tags: — @

Krispy Kreme, which has blamed low-carb dieting for its financial woes, is closing a northeast Ohio doughnut plant.

bq. The company announced Monday that it will close its $4.6 million plant in Ravenna. The plant opened in June 2003 and employs fewer than 75 people. The closing is necessary because too many doughnuts are being made but not sold, Krispy Kreme said. The Ravenna factory, which can fry up to 14,400 doughnuts an hour, is set to close Oct. 16.

CarbWire wins CarbAware Consumer Choice Award

Filed under: Site News — Tags: — @ October 5, 2004

CarbWire was chosen as the best source for online low-carb news coverage in the 2004 CarbAware Consumer Choice Awards. The winners of the CarbAware Consumer Choice Awards were announced earlier this month during the President’s Dinner at the CarbAware Expo & Conference in Washington, DC. We would like to thank the Carbohydrate Awareness Council (CarbAware) as well as all of our readers who took the time to vote for us.

Progresso Carb Monitor soups announced

Filed under: New Product — Tags: — @

Progresso Soup has announced that it is introducing a new line of low-carb soups–Progresso Carb Monitor. Rolling out across the US this fall, Progresso Carb Monitor is available in four flavors, including Chicken Vegetable, Beef Vegetable, Tuscan-Style Meatball and Chicken Cheese Enchilada Style soups.

The 18.5-oz soups ($2.59) contain only six to seven net carbs per serving (approximately 50% fewer net carbs than the top 20 ready-to-serve soups in the category). Profresso says that all four Carb Monitor varieties use carefully chosen, quality ingredients that complement a low-carb lifestyle–such as lean beef, all-white meat chicken, and an abundance of vegetables including spinach, ripe red peppers, green beans and tomatoes.

Sugar sales no sweet business

Filed under: Business — Tags: — @ October 4, 2004

USA Today ran an article today highlighting the slowing sales of sugar in the US. Table sugar sales have dropped an impressive 4% this year and show no signs of stopping. It’s more than low-carb dieters that are slowing the sales, sugar has gotten a bad rap from a lot of people:

bq. This isn’t primarily about diabetes or other disease fears. This is about a sea change in the national image of sugar.

Sugar used to be about Mom and apple pie. Now, even the folks at the Cheesecake Factory have concocted a cheesecake with no refined sugar added.

Radisson rolls out new low-carb menu

Filed under: Traveling — Tags: — @

Radisson Hotels & Resorts has joined forces with Mission Foods and the New England Culinary Institute (NECI) to create a low-carb menu, which will debut this month at all of its Radisson-managed properties throughout the U.S. and the Caribbean.

Guests will soon be able to choose from a list of low-carb options including Poached Eggs with Chile Hollandaise, Smoked Duck Quesadilla or Crab Crispitos, all made with Mission Low Carb Tortillas.

‘South Beach Diet Recommended’ Kraft products

Filed under: New Product,South Beach Diet — Tags: — @ September 27, 2004

kraft-south-beach.jpgKraft has teamed up with the creator of The South Beach Diet, Dr. Arthur Agatston, on a new line of products. Available in stores nationwide next month, a variety of Kraft products will have a “South Beach Diet Recommended” badge to help consumers find foods that fit within the diet. It appears on favorites such as Boca Burgers, Kraft 2% Milk and Fat Free Singles, certain Oscar Mayer Deli Meats, Planters assorted nuts, and Light N’ Lively Cottage Cheese, to name a few.

Also in October, the new “Kraft South Beach Diet Recipe Sampler”

Low-carb diets slow in Britain

Filed under: In The News,Study — Tags: — @ September 23, 2004

Reuters is reporting that the adoption rate for low-carb diets is still much lower in Britain than in the United States. About 13% of Britons have tried a low-carb diet, with 3% currently on one. However, Atkins UK disputes the findings and states that there are 3 million low-carb dieters in the UK.

If you are a low-carb dieter located in Britain, we would like to hear from you.

Atkins to combat childhood obesity

Filed under: Atkins Diet,Health — Tags: — @

Atkins Nutritionals today announced a new initiative to help fight the growing problem of childhood obesity. The Atkins Education Policy Initiative is a group effort from Atkins and several national and regional non-profit groups. But despite what you have heard (or will hear tonight on the news), Atkins is not marketing its diet to children. Dr. Stuart Trager, medical directer of Atkins Nutritionals, says (emphasis added by CarbWire editors):

bq. “Atkins Nutritionals does not market products to children, and we don’t advocate that children follow the Atkins Nutritional Approach unless doing so is prescribed by their personal physician. However, as a leader in nutrition information we believe it is important that we provide services and educational information that may help curtail this escalating problem.”

According to the CDC, over 16% of children ages 6-19 are overweight or obese. An additional 15% are at risk for being overweight. Among young children ages 2-5, at least 10% are overweight.

Carb addicts fight back

Filed under: Low-carb side effects — Tags: — @ September 22, 2004

Frustrated by the popularity of low-carb diets, carbohydrate-laden food fans have created a line of shirts to promote carbs.

bq. Carb Couture was developed by three carb-loving women who wanted to “come out” of the fridge and declare their devotion to the all mighty carb for everyone to see. “We got so sick of defending our food choices in front of disgusted, carb-fearing friends that we decided to say it loud and say it proud — WE LOVE OUR CARBS!” said Patty Kao, who along with her Los Angeles friends, Ellie Shapiro and Rebecca Kotch, launched Carb Couture.

One of the shirts beckons onlookers to, “Be a man” and “Eat bread”, while most of the others take a more friendly tone. Surprisingly the shirts are only available in sizes up to large.

Splenda celebrates 5 sweet years

Filed under: In The News — Tags: — @

Splenda is busy celebrating its 5th birthday, having first been first introduced to US consumers via the internet in 1999. Today the sweetener is used in mainstream products such as Pepsi Edge that are found in 20% of American households. Here are some facts about Splenda:

* #1 brand of sweetener in US by dollar sales
* Most of the sales growth is coming out of natural sugar, which is slowly losing “market share”
* Consumers use 5 billion Splenda packets per year, or about 9,000 in the time it took to read this article

Low-carb diets put Twinkies, Wonder Bread at risk

Filed under: Business — Tags: — @

Insterstate Bakeries Corp., most widely known for treats like Twinkies and Wonder Bread, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company cites the growing low-carb diet trend as a cause for lower sales and lost profits.

bq. The company has been hit by both accounting problems and a drop in sales it attributed to the popularity of low-carb diets.

Atkins Nutrionals breaks down the glycemic index

Filed under: Atkins Diet — Tags: — @ September 21, 2004

Atkins Nutrionals has sent out a press release that aims to explain the glycemic index and what it means for low-carb dieters:

A new research study from the Children’s Hospital in Boston, which was published in the British medical journal Lancet calls attention to the effectiveness of the glycemic index (GI) diet and further adds to the science which demonstrates that the principles of the Atkins Nutritional Approach work. Increasingly, consumers will begin to see foods labeled as low-glycemic or high-glycemic, a standard presently used in Europe and much of the rest of the world. Americans need to become more familiar with this concept.

Read the rest

Scooter Snacks intros low-carb roasted garlic jerky

Filed under: New Product — Tags: — @

Scooter Snacks today announced the latest addition to its line of kippered, gourmet jerky snacks that are low in carbs and sugar. This new flavor, Roasted Garlic, has “a smooth and mild taste” and will be made available online and in low-carb and gourmet retail stores across the US.

Made with 93-percent lean high-quality beef, Scooter Snacks offer those on-the-go a healthy alternative to “sugar-laden jerky that is tough, dry and which typically contains several MSG products and other chemicals.”

U.S. beer consumption decline attributed to low-carb

Filed under: In The News — Tags: — @ September 20, 2004

After seven years of consistent gains, the U.S. beer market declined 0.3% in 2003 to 2.8 billion 2.25-gallon cases, according to the latest Adams Beer Handbook published by Adams Beverage Group.

“Beer consumption clearly took a hit from the focus on low-carb diets,” said Tiziana Mohorovic, spokesperson for Adams Beverage Group. “Increased competition from spirits and wine products also took its toll.”

Meanwhile, spirits and wine consumption have benefited from the low-carb lifestyle. “Beer was quickly stigmatized as a big source of carbohydrates, whereas spirits and wine are carb free,” said Mohorovic. “Not only has everything low-carb negatively affected the entire beer market, but new low-carb brews also appear to be cannibalizing established light beer brands.”

PowerBar intros ProteinPlus Carb Select bar

Filed under: New Product — Tags: — @ September 18, 2004

powerbar.jpgPowerBar has introduced its ProteinPlus Carb Select bar. The high-protein bar is available nationwide now.

bq. ProteinPlus Carb Select is a delicious anytime snack. Its smooth and creamy center is covered in a rich chocolaty coating–all with only 2 grams of impact carbohydrates. Plus, it’s packed with 22 grams of high quality protein and 12 vitamins and minerals, so you can feel great about enjoying ProteinPlus Carb Select!

General Foods International offers low-carb flavors

Filed under: New Product — Tags: — @ September 15, 2004

general-foods.jpgGeneral Foods International has reintroduced its sugar free, low fat flavors with two grams of carbs and 30 calories per serving. Available in the brand’s popular French Vanilla Cafe, Suisse Mocha, Cafe Vienna and Chai Latte flavors, the new products offer a creamy and rich-tasting drink option.

Sugar Free French Vanilla Cafe, Sugar Free Suisse Mocha and Sugar Free Cafe Vienna are also sold in 4.4 oz. tins, and the French Vanilla Cafe and Suisse Mocha flavors are available in decaffeinated. The suggested retail price for all the flavors is $3.69.


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