The Tuesday session started with Denise Minger (RawFoodSOS.com), who did a short (highly negative) review of the China Study, in which she demonstrated that Dr. T. Collin Campbell definitely cherry-picked the data in order to leap to conclusions that were not supported by any objective look at the raw data. In particular, 1) the raw data shows no positive correlation between animal fats or proteins with any human disease (in some cases, there was a strong negative correlation, but that was systematically ignored by Dr. Campbell), 2) there is substantial peer-reviewed research which directly contradicts Dr. Campbell’s cherry-picked conclusions, and 3) that the rat studies were clearly misinterpreted. In short, Dr. Campbell not only consistently confused correlation with causation, but didn’t even get the correlations right.
Next up was Dr. John Briffa (DrBriffa.com), who spoke about the “calories-in, calories-out” myth that still permeates the discussion of low-carb diets. The CICO myths are so strongly held by the medical profession that if a dieter fails to achieve the desired weight and health results on the commonly-prescribed (but grossly unhealthy) low-fat diet that dominates the current diet fads, that person is immediately assumed to be non-compliant (“The Blame Game”)
The third speaker was Dr. Jeff Volek, PhD, RD. He spoke about using low-carb diets to increase performance for endurance athletes. Unfortunately, the morning went a bit long, and since Dr. Volek’s presentation was just before lunch, I don’t think it got all of the attention it deserved.
Speaking of lunch, I have neglected to mention my N=1 experiment for this cruise. I decided that during the cruise, I would abstain from anything that was sweetened, either with sugar or artificial sweeteners. I mention that now because I noticed that for lunch, I put together a fairly small lunch since I wasn’t very hungry — and I still couldn’t eat it all. Well, that’s not completely true — I probably could have forced more down; I just did not want to. So, at least for today, my appetite is significantly diminished.
The afternoon session started with several success stories from low carbers. This session was sponsored by Andrew Dimino, the owner of CarbSmart.com. Andrew went first, with his own weight loss and health gains. Next up was Dana Carpender (HoldTheToast.com), a lady who wrote one of the low-carb books (How I Gave up my Low-Fat Diet & Lost 40 Pounds) which I found very influential back when I was first starting my own low-carb lifestyle. Dana has lost another 20 pounds since she wrote that book. Following Dana, Amy Dungan (HealthyLowCarbLiving.com) related her success story, and was in turn followed by Vanessa Romero (HealthyLivingHowTo.com), Kim Eidson, Susan Winkler, and Kent Altena (AtkinsDietGeek.com).
The first major presentation of the afternoon session was from Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt (DietDoctor.com), who spoke on “The Food Revolution” and how the unhealthy low-fat fad was slowly being reversed through the efforts of inviduals like those of us in attendance at the Low-Carb Cruise.
Jackie Eberstein, R.N. (ControlCarb.com) was the last speaker of the session. She spoke about the addictive nature of carbohydrate, and gave an enlightening lecture on the nature of addiction in general. Jackie was employed as a nurse for Dr. Robert Atkins for a little over 30 years, up until the accidental fall that ended his life through a head injury. She is also a co-author of the latest of the Atkins books.
Update on the N=1 experiment: At dinner, the chef prepared a sugar-free cheesecake for the group. I knew that this would be offered sometime during the cruise, and I decided in advance that I was going to make an exception to my N=1 “no sweets” trial for this, because I remembered that last year’s sugar-free cheesecake was truly superb. So, I went ahead and ordered the cheesecake after dinner. It was very good… for the first couple of bites. Not too sweet, and a really rich flavor, which I savored slowly (an act of will!). However, after about the third bite, it started tasting a bit “off.” About halfway through it, the taste became strange enough that I quit eating it, and I noticed a metallic aftertaste for quite a while after that. I didn’t hear anyone else complain about that, so I’m guessing my taste has changed slightly, and I was reacting to the artificial sweetner, whatever that was. Of course, this reaction sort-of smacks of Placebo or Hawthorne effect, so I’ll just leave it at that for now. I have been (mostly) sweetener-free only since Friday, so I thought it a bit early to notice anything like that.
The next three days are in-port days, so I anticipate that I will be able to go back and get some photos posted. Tomorrow, I’m also going to try something new on this blog (not directly related to diet), so stay tuned!
Also, I hope that I will be able to get some better photos to use. If so, I will upload them when I get back home to a decent internet connection. I will also link all of the above-mentioned websites.