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TIME Calls U.S. 'Low Carb Nation'TIME Calls U.S. 'Low Carb Nation'

June 21, 2004

2 Min Read
TIME Calls U.S. 'Low Carb Nation'

TIME Calls U.S. 'Low Carb Nation' NEW YORKIn the May 3 issue of TIME, the effects of the ever-popular, growing-by-the-minute low carb industry were discussed in the cover story, The Low-Carb Frenzy. The article examined the low carb lifestyle from a business perspective, noting the recent spurts of low carb food and beverage items not only in grocery and retail stores, but also in the menus at popular fast food restaurants, and that there is much opportunity for profit in the industry. According to TIME, the growing popularity of the low carb lifestyle cannot be denied or ignored, seeing as 26 million Americans are currently following a hard-core low carb diet and the expected sales of low carb products for this year will top $30 billion. Time also noted the average carb-conscious consumer spends $85 every month on specialty foods. Introductions of low carb products arent being controlled by specialty food manufacturers, either, as was the case in years past, according to TIME. Many mainstream food companies are offering lower carb versions of popular items, such as OneCarb Ketchup from Heinz and Tropicanas Light n Healthy orange juice. Some companies are re-introducing products as low carb, even if they are not new low carb items but were low in carbs to begin with. Popular restaurant chains are also offering carb friendly meal options, as are many independent and smaller restaurants. Low carb diet books and magazines are also topping the best seller lists, reiterating the fact low carb isnt just a way to eat, but a lifestyle. Despite the popularity of low carb diets, there are still some hurdles to overcome, according to TIME. For instance, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet come up with a definition of low-, light- or reduced-carb anything, which poses potential labeling issues and problems, as well as confusion over the term net carbs. Some manufacturers subtract the good carbs from the bad ones and advertise the difference. This is a slippery slope because the FDA insists that a carb is a carb is a carb. So net carbs are not the same as fewer carbs, the author wrote. Nutritionists are also concerned about the low carb revolution and are particularly worried all carbs are being cut, rather than just the bad ones because limiting produce and whole-grain intake while loading up on animal and dairy fats can be detrimental to ones health. TIME also raised the important point that the high calorie counts of many low carb meals pose an unnecessary hurdle to weight loss, which is what low carb diets are supposed to help with in the first place.

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