New Low-Carb Diet Cookbook

Low carb diet book cover
Laura Lamont
Watkins Publishing Limited


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As I like cooking and eating a little more than I ought to, I feel lucky that I learned about low carb diets. Probably the first one I was on was back in the dark ages, when my sister and I followed what was called the grapefruit diet, or maybe the Mayo Clinic diet, though it had nothing to do with the Mayo Clinic and a whole lot to do with 3 eggs, grapefruit and black coffee. Later I followed Stillman and Atkins, read those books, learned to cut out sugar, starches and how to count carbs. As a practically professional yo yo dieter, I have followed some form of low carb dieting for years. I looked over this book, Laura Lamont's New Low Carb Diet Cookbook when it first came out. It did not follow low carb dieting as I know it. I stuck it back on the shelf, where it has been nagging me for a review. So here it is.

What I like about the beginning of the book is that there is a discussion of low carb eating, and some diet tricks that might be of use to a dieter. Not eating after seven is a good rule to follow. Some of these tricks are good, like using spices which are supposed to help weight loss. Some are not so good, like suggesting milk at bedtime. (A cup of milk has 12 grams of carb, about 1.5 grams of sugar per fl ounce according to the USDA. People who understand 'keto' would know better than to do this, because it would surely knock you out of ketosis.) Yes, milk can encourage sleep, but it is also too carby for a low carb diet. Inclusion of beets, carrots and onions on a list of foods on a low cal diet would make sense, but putting them on a list of low carb foods that you can 'eat as much as you like' defies low carb rules. (Beets, carrots and onions contain enough sugar that you should control them in a low carb diet. Yes, they are lower on the glycemic index than, say, potatoes, but they are still something a carb/sugar sensitive person has to watch out for.) The 'science' discussion has nominal value when an offhand instruction to drink bedtime milk contradicts good sense. Another problem is how the diet is laid out. There's a quick discussion of a five day diet, lists of foods, and color coding, but that portion of the book is rushed. Because I come from a background of counting carbs (such as Atkins' system of induction levels of carbohydrates that gradually increase not only help the dieter stay on track, but also to learn moderation), I feel this book rushes through the actual diet, then goes into recipes.

Many of the recipes were also a problem for me, because my definition of low carb does not coincide with the author's. I have learned on my own how to adapt most recipes to be lower in carbs than a standard recipe. Not that I am special in that way; I am sure any avid low carber could read these recipes, and modify them to actually be low carb. It's not a challenging skill-set to cut out the starches, and maybe replace some ingredients with lower carb ones. I applaud that the author made an effort, but would recommend skipping the breakfast starches, and the dessert chapter. Some of the meat and vegetable recipes show promise. I only hope that other dieters come to this book with a history like mine, so they can weed out some of her advice(Trust me-banana smoothies are NOT low carb) which I believe is well-meant but mis-directed.