If you want to be successful doing low-carb you have to read the labels.

Reading labels is the key

When I first started Atkins in 2003, I was lost. This was when I was working in Connersville Indiana. I remember that the head of security, Sgt. James Burton, had lost a considerable amount of weight in a short time. It seemed like everyone was talking about it. Some people even had commented that he was sick and losing weight too fast. It was around that same time I hurt my back and it seemed to never heal. My doctor made an off the cuff remark about all the extra weight will probably make it harder for my back to fully recover.

The next day as I was leaning against a column at work using it to help me stand upright, that is when Burton happen to walk by. I asked him how he lost his weight so fast and he told me about cutting out bread, pasta and eating only meat, nuts and cheese. That day I started. I remember buying cold cuts on the way home and eating them instead of stopping for my usual snack at the gas station. Later I found out that it was the Atkins diet. I bought the book, read it cover to cover, lost the weight, and my back stopped hurting. I started May 15th  and by Labor Day had lost 50 lbs.

Atkins was right

In Dr. Atkins book, Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution, he emphasized reading the labels. I was shocked when I realized how many carbohydrates were in the food I was eating. I expected it with the sweet stuff like donuts and cakes but I was shocked when I realized one medium banana, 7 inches long, has 27 grams of sugar. When you

The full Nutrition Facts for Crunchy Granola bars
Crunchy Granola Bar

realize that a healthy body is only holding between 4 and 4.95 grams (less than a teaspoon) of sugar in the blood. If you have 6.25 grams (1 ¼ teaspoon) of sugar, in the blood after fasting more than 8 hours, you are considered to be diabetic. Did you know a medium McDonald’s French fry has 47 grams (9 teaspoons) of sugar? That’s right, one medium French fry order contains more than 9 times the amount of sugar your body needs at any given moment.


Yes it is Sugar

I can hear people now, saying you are mixing carbohydrates with sugar, and they are not the same. I agree that fiber should be separated out. Once you take the fiber out, your body converts all carbohydrates into sugar (glucose). So tell me, is there really a difference in what I call it while it is still outside the body, if the body will convert it to sugar in the body? All this is amazing, especially when you realize your body has a way of converting other things into the glucose you need to maintain the body.

What is to much sugar?

When you are armed with this kind of knowledge, and you pick up an Crunchy Granola Bar, you immediately turn that bar over and read the label.  Most people will point out that it has 54 calories from fat. The real issue is it has 29 grams of carbohydrates and you body is going to recognize 27 of them as sugar, 6 times what your body needs at any given time.

Some people can eat this and a few hours later their blood sugar level drops back to a normal range of around 80 to 90 milligrams per deciliter. People eat these and few hours later their blood level is still higher than 140 milligrams per deciliter (about 7 grams of sugar). This usually indicates you are a diabetic. Let’s be clear here, if your body can’t efficiently process sugar and your blood level stays high, that sugar will start destroying parts of your body. Dr Lustig makes the case in his book, “The Real Truth About Sugar” that untreated sugar is toxic to the body. The longer that blood sugar level is above 6.25 grams, it is doing damage to something.  

Check your own Sugar Levels.

You don’t have to be a doctor, or go to a lab, to find out your current sugar level. You can use a blood glucose monitor. If you are going to go this route I suggest you get a Precision Xtra NFR Blood Glucose Monitoring System. It checks your blood glucose and your ketones levels. The Ketones will come in handy when you start doing a low-carb Ketogenic diet.

Precision Xtra NFR Blood Glucose Monitoring System

The first step in getting control of your health is understanding what you are putting into your body. Most people have no clue what they are eating, some of the ingredients in processed food are crazy. Here is an example of a simple product, Cheez-its, look at what all is in this food.


Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), folic acid) vegetable oil (cottonseed, palm, sunflower and/or soybean oil with TBHQ for freshness) skim milk cheese (skim milk, whey protein, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes, annatto extract color)”

Can we start with TBHQ,


What is this? I had no clue so i looked this up and even though it says that it is FDA approved, it also said “ At very high doses, it has some negative health effects on lab animals, such as producing precursors to stomach tumors and damage to DNA.[7] A number of studies have shown that prolonged exposure to very high doses of TBHQ may be carcinogenic,[8] especially for stomach tumors.[9]


Now it said a lot of good things too about this product before this section, but to me, it was like they slid this little nugget in the middle so people might overlook it. They say at high doses, but they don’t define what a high dose is. You have to wonder what kinds of studies were done to come to these determinations and who paid for the study? Did the food company that wants the product pay for the study?

It all comes back to the Labels.

Most people can’t go from “zero to hero” when just starting a low-carb way of eating. What I mean by this is, you can’t go from being a heavily processed food eating person to a fresh food eating farmer only eating what you raise, in a matter of a few days or weeks. Most people that have been eating foods out of boxes will need time to adjust. They need to start by reading the labels of the foods they currently eat. Try to find the foods that have little to no carbs in them. Soon you will be looking into cooking a wider variety of foods. Until then, reading labels will open your eyes to what you have been eating. At first it will be time consuming, but in a few months, you will be able to walk in your grocery store and know exactly what foods will help you and what foods will hurt you.

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