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Atkins Madness

A couple of years ago people started to talk about something called the Atkins Diet (if you haven’t, it’s about time you got out from under that rock). I’m around average weight for my height, so I never really thought about it much. These days, I am pretty sure everyone has heard of the Atkins Diet due to apparent success stories of people who have lost weight using this diet. It seems like every company has some sort of "Atkins Friendly" food. Subway has an Atkins Low Carb Wrap; TGIF has an Atkins Friendly Menu; Castus is a store in the San Francisco Bay Area that specializes in "low-carb" foods; Trader Joe’s, bastion of high quality foods, is starting to carry "low-carb" pasta, bread, and tortilla chips.

Now, the last item I listed above seems to be pushing it. Isn’t the whole point of the Atkins Diet to get rid of or severely limit the amount of carbs that you intake? I won’t pretend that I know much about how the Atkins Diet works, but isn’t having any pasta or bread cheating, just a little? I suppose that pasta and bread makers everywhere are feeling the pains of this dieting fad to be so desperate as to reduce the number of carbs in their foods. They even think it’s necessary to slap on huge, brightly colored labels proclaiming their products to be, "Atkins Friendly." Of course, I wouldn’t be surprised if Lipton slapped a bright orange "Atkins Friendly" label on their box of tea bags – it would balance out the new "190mg of Antioxidants per Serving!" label on the front.

Award-winning Smirnoff Vodka. Zero Carbs. from Billboard near Sunset

A billboard near Sunset Boulevard. Picture donated by idprism.

The latter may seem ridiculous, but that pales in comparison to some of the beer commercials that I have seen recently. An athletically toned man and woman look at each other and then dive into a pool. It’s obvious that they’re racing each other. Predictably, the woman beats the man, and when he looks up he sees that she’s already out of the pool, and handing him a bottle of Michelob Ultra (a "low-carb" version of their beer). I don’t know about you, but I don’t think that drinking beer after a workout is the best choice of beverage. Perhaps these people have never heard of the term "empty calories." Michelob isn’t the only one using this interesting logic; Amstel Light is apparently "low-carb" too.

Okay, so people are into it; I can deal with that. My brother even told me that he had some success with it. That’s cool. What bothers me is my mom telling me to eat less rice. Even after years of having rice with every meal, my mom has said, "Don’t eat so much rice." When an asian mother tells you that you need to eat less rice, something is seriously weird in the world.

Screw that. I need my pasta.