Friday, March 09, 2007

Misleading Headlines

Looking through the backlog of e-mail I have related to low-carb news, I found a headline that baffled me somewhat.

Jar of low-carb energy harbored nasty secret

My first thoughts were:

1. What in the world is a jar of low-carb energy?

2. What "horrible crime" has the low-carb diet committed this time?

I assumed it was bashing some fatty food or telling how someone died from eating all bacon and cheese. Here is the first sentence.

John Burleigh couldn't imagine that his low-carb diet could ruin a business trip to San Francisco in December.

Well this sounds nice and ominous, doesn't it? That evil diet he is on ruined a whole trip!!! But let’s look at the next sentence.

Burleigh, a systems analyst in Hillsboro, said that since the beginning of November he's had a jar of Peter Pan peanut butter on his desk, providing a low-carbohydrate source of energy.

Whoa! Hold it right there! This article is about those tainted jars of peanut butter? What does this have to do with low-carb? And why in the world was this guy using peanut butter for his low-carb energy source?

After reading further down you'll quickly see this really has nothing to do at all with low-carb. The man they interviewed just happened to be on a low-carb diet and was eating said peanut butter as a snack while on a trip. He got violently ill because of the salmonella contamination. Aside from the headline and first couple of sentences, there are no other mentions of low-carb. None! Zip! Zilch! So why did the write feel compelled to add a completely irrelevant fact in the headline? I'm guessing because they knew it would grab attention. It goes right along with the main stream media's flawed thought process concerning low-carb diets. This is just another example as to why we need to be sure our message is heard - Low-Carb Is Healthy!

As for Mr. Burleigh, he could have certainly saved himself some pain and anguish by choosing better protein sources. Peter Pan peanut butter? Even if it's the sugar-free kind, which I dearly hope it was, it's still not the best choice. Sadly, too many people rely on the sugar-free, low-carb labeled processed junk to sustain them on their diets. Please people. Let’s just go back to the way low-carb was meant to be. This low-carb junk food can never replace making healthy choices from REAL foods.

So what is the lesson here? Eat real foods. And if you ever get a food borne disease, or have any other tragedy befall you, don't tell a reporter that you’re on a low-carb diet.


Cindy said...

My first thought when seeing Peter pan? All those transfats??? Not on low carb!!!

I often have peanuts as a snack, and keep them in my desk at work, just in case I need something. But peanut butter? Only once in a while....and ONLY natural ones!

Sparky's Girl said...

Exactly Cindy! I snack on peanuts occasionally too. And when I need peanut butter for a recipe, I use only natural as well.