Eat Your Way To Happiness by Elizabeth Somer has a lot of things to say about low carb diets. Here are some responses to the statements she has made. There is a link to my full review of this book at the bottom of the article.
First, Elizabeth Somer did not single out the low carb diet as the only flawed diet in the world. She rants that EVERY diet that exists is an awful diet - and that only her way of eating is the sane one. She trashes diet after diet as all being the ultimate in evil. Clearly we know (for the most part ;) ) that this is not true. Every diet plan offers things we can learn and take from. No diet is perfect. That is certainly true of HER diet plan, which has many gaping flaws in it.
Since we are a low carb community here, let's just discuss what she says and thinks about low carbers.
She is VERY anti-fat in some portions of the book. She rants about fat being the ultimate evil and how it should be avoided. But then she turns right around in other areas and says, oh wait, you *should* be eating good fats. So clearly all fat isn't evil. Yes, trans fats are bad. I don't know of anyone on the planet who would say to eat those. However, omega-3 oils are VERY good for you. She even says, herself, that people who don't eat omega-3 oils at least once a week have a 34% higher chance of depression. So she touts the good aspects of good fats.
She does the same strange 180 degree changes with carbs. She rants about low carb diets being a bad thing - and then she turns around and says not to eat too many carbs. They make you sleepy. She even talks about the Thanksgiving myth and how it's the carbs consumed, not the turkey, which makes people get exhausted. She then rants that danish, donuts and pastries are awful and should be avoided. But then she pushes cereal as the ultimate breakfast food. Most cereals I've seen in the market look pretty much like donuts in terms of their sugar content! She needs to be more balanced with what she presents, instead of jumping from bandwagon to bandwagon. She claims that eggs are a breakfast nightmare. In what universe? Most doctors I talk to say that eggs are very healthy for you in moderation, and an egg for breakfast is far healthier than a bowl of coco-sugar-marshmallow cereal!
Then when she goes into her section on super fast breakfast ideas, she talks about a hard boiled egg! What happened to an egg being a nightmare?
In some sections of the book she sounds like she is actively promoting a low carb lifestyle. She says you should purge your kitchen of all white flour, white rice, french fries, and so on. This is exactly what low carbers recommend. She wants you to stock high fiber food. Ditto. She has a whole section on the evils of sugars and how much sugar the average US person eats. Ditto.
But then, because she feels she has to demolish every other diet plan to keep people on hers, she turns around and picks on low carbers who are doing these very things. She says for example that low serotonin levels bring on depression, grumpiness, and low energy - and comments that this is "why low carb diets won't work". What?? Because low carb diets kill your serotonin levels?
My research on serotonin in your body is that it's increased when your body takes in tryptophan. This is found in its highest levels in things like chicken breast, turkey, tuna, salmon, and beef tenderloin - all low carb items! I don't see anything in the list about white bread or white rice.
I know many people on low carb lifestyles and they are energetic, happy, and serene. They are not showing any indicators of low serotonin levels.
She claims if you eat less than 130g of carbs a day that you cannot concentrate, remember, learn be creative, and your mood nose dives. All of these are simply not true. I am running a large business AND finishing my bachelor's degree in leadership. I am getting straight As. My mind is quite clear, and I have a lot of energy, due to my cutting sugars and junk food out of my diet. I get the sense that the author simply doesn't know what a low carb diet IS.
But wait - she did try it for two days. As low carbers know, and really anyone who goes on a break from eating sugar, your body goes through a sugar withdrawl for about 2 days. You have to break that sugar addiction. Every nutrition book I've read reminds you to take it easy during those two days as your body gets past its withdrawal. What did she do? She decided to play tennis on day 2! And when she had problems, she declared the low carb diet a failure and gave up! That is completely inane.
With so much of this book praising the very things low carbers focus on, and in essence leading a low carb lifestyle, it makes no sense at all that the author then harasses low carbers for those same beliefs. However it also makes no sense that she harasses every other diet that exists in order to prove hers is the best. Surely we live in a time and age where people can choose a way of life because it best suits them, not just because every other path is the Ultimate Evil path.
I think it's fair to say that this book could have sold well without taking extreme measures to try to denigrate low carbers along the way.