The Rise & Fall of Soy & Gluten in the Low Carb World
Random Bump & Flashback!
Original publish 10/4/11
Because someone just asked me about this Eco-Atkins vegan vs. Ovo-lacto vegetarian study on Twitter:
Effect of a 6-month vegan low-carbohydrate (‘Eco-Atkins’) diet on cardiovascular risk factors and body weight in hyperlipidaemic adults: a randomised controlled trial
Pretty much all of the paleo, WAPF and Weizen Wampe dick und krank demon foods included!! Veggie oils ... check! Gluten ... check! Soy ... check and check! Heck, even 21 Day Sugar Detox no nos ... those sugar habit triggering cashews!
As with the previous metabolic study, participants were encouraged to eat only 60% of their estimated caloric requirements in order to continue the body weight reduction started on their metabolic phase.38–40 The prescribed test diet was a low-carbohydrate vegan diet containing 26% of calories from carbohydrate, 31% of calories from vegetable proteins and 43% from fat (primarily vegetable oils).
Carbohydrate sources on the low-carbohydrate diet featured viscous fibre-containing foods (such as oats and barley) and low-starch vegetables (emphasising okra and eggplant) for the relatively limited amount of carbohydrate allowed. The vegetable proteins were prescribed as gluten (54.8% of total protein), soy (23%), fruits and vegetables (8.7%), nuts (7.5%), and cereals (6%). Gluten was contained in the nut bread and wheat gluten (also called ‘seitan’) products. Soy protein was present in the form of burgers, deli slices, breakfast links, veggie bacon, tofu and soy milks. Nuts included almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia, pecans and pistachios. The fat sources were nuts (43.6% of total fat), vegetable oils (24.4%), soy products (18.5%), avocado (7.1%), cereals (2.7%), fruits and vegetables (2.3%), and seitan products (1.4%). Participants were able to purchase at the research centre the ‘no’ starch high protein nut bread and three of the seitan (wheat gluten) products used in the study which were not available in Canada.
I haven't really looked at this study in depth and probably wouldn't recommend such a diet. But ... As originally stated, Atkins dieters of the usual variety lost weight before with all of these things now considered bad. So it's hard to blame them now ... right?
Original publish 10/4/11
Let's take a trip in the way-back machine. I had never heard of him, but back a few years, George Stella was an LC chef featured on various and several TV shows, including his own. I first heard of him on Jimmy Moore's forum ... someone commented on how too many of his recipes contained soy flour. Fact is, "traditional" low carb was loaded with soy -- be it the flour or the oil (commercial mayo anyone?). And guess what? Folks lost weight on Atkins. You want to know another frequent ingredient in LC recipes? You guessed it ... gluten! You see wheat gluten imparts some of the desired texture to LC products without the aaaack carbs. And you know what? Folks lost weight. I do think it's interesting to remember this in the context of today's paleo-styled low carb.
I'm not knocking paleo, and certainly there are reasons why soy heavy diets are undesirable. Ditto gluten, it may not be as detrimental to health in the general population as some charge, but at the very least I've yet to see any health benefits attributed to wheat protein. But contrary to what some revisionist LC historians would have you believe, Atkins was quite far from paleo at its inception and until relatively recently. Soy and gluten have fallen far out of favor now ... but it wasn't always that way.