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From: Elaine Z

Q: Cold cuts or deli meats I have been reading that you have to be careful.  Are there specific brands that are allowed compared to others?  Specifically turkey breast and roast beef.  We are in NJ.  The deli meat companies are Black Bear and Boars Head.

A: Yes, deli meats are often injected with solutions to keep the meat moist and provide additional flavor. These solutions often contain sugar. They do not contribute significantly to carbohydrate counts if eaten in reasonable portions. However, the solution can cause some to have physical reactions, depending on the solution’s composition. Another concern is the amount of processing the meat might have gone through. Packaged cold cuts do not have the protein content that fresh whole meats do. These meats might also have fillers that can increase the carb count significantly. Watch the carb count on the labels and ask for nutritional information on the deli meats found at deli counters. Deli meats and cold cuts are great for providing convenience and variety but should never be the only source of meat/protein. The reduced protein content and additives are reason enough to use them sparingly.

From: Karen C

Q: A lot of baking recipes seem to call for nut based flour (almond, walnut etc).  I happen to be very allergic to all nuts so I cannot use this.  I've also seen lots of "controversy" about soy products in the various lists that I'm on.  So, what is/are the problem(s) with soy?

A: It is true that soy has a lot of controversy. This is something only the readers can decide for themselves as to whether or not to use it. Soy’s main controversy centers on the compounds it contains, especially phytoestrogens. Soy has not been very successful in replacing flour in baking as it can have a bitter aftertaste and grainy texture. Other alternatives may be using protein powders, other flours such a spelt or rice flour, low carb bake mixes and unflavored psyllium husks, depending on the texture and consistency you want to achieve.

For information on the controversy CLICK HERE

For options with flours, check out this GREAT article by Rani Merens

Reader Brian V. asked:

Q: Can you make any comments, for or against, on taking the supplement CLA?

A: Back in the 1950's researchers found that microorganisms in the rumen of ruminant animals such as cows and sheep produce CLA (conjugated linoleic acid ) from polyunsaturated fat. It is found in lamb, Beef, turkey (but not chicken) and in the fat of dairy products. The CLA content of these foods ranges from 2.5 to 11.0 mg per gram of fat. During the 1970's, researchers found that CLA delayed the onset of diabetes in rats and has anti-carcinogenic and anti-antherogenic properties. Recently, studies have shown that rats increase their lean muscle and reduce body fat through the intake of CLA rich foods. But remember, the studies were done on rats and the normal intestinal flora of rats can also convert linoleic acid to the c-9,t-11 isomer! This reaction does not take place in animals lacking the requisite bacteria. However, humans can consume CLA through foods. Studies are in progress to prove the benefit in humans. The research appears promising!

Low carbers who eat plenty of the above listed foods should not need CLA supplementation. Supplements currently recommend 3-4 grams supplementation for people under 200 pounds in body weight and 5 grams for those over. It is not difficult to meet and exceed this recommended dosage by eating real food. Those who are lacking the possible protective benefits of CLA are those who consume no dairy, vegetarians and those on a low fat diet.

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