Low Carb Year in Review

Fortune magazine has a feature they call Atkins World which nicely sums up the low-carb phenomenon over the past year. There's not much about the science of the diet but more of the culture surrounding it and its effect on various industries (like as bread & pasta). Much of it I was already aware of (such as the increase in egg consumption), but there were a few surprises as well.

[spoilers ahead] If you want to be surprised, don’t read this part. Most starting to me was the news about Splenda. Most people are probably aware that Splenda is in products such as Diet RC, Ocean Spray Lite and Blue Bunny ice cream. But, I was astonished to read that Diet Coke in Japan has Splenda! I'm guessing that even Larry may not have been aware of that one ;). In any case, if Coke has formulated Diet Splenda Coke and dispersed it to Japan, I can only hope that the US will have it soon. [/spoilers]

Most amusing to me, though, was some of the dedication that some of these low-carb companies have — to taste as well as nutrition:

[…] And that’s how [Keto] CEO Arne Bey wants it. For the past five years his passion has been to make low-carb food with the taste and texture of regular food. “When I hear, ‘It’s not that bad,’ it pisses me off,” Bey says, offering a visitor a chocolate Keto shake in lieu of lunch. […]

For what it’s worth, there’s also a print version of the article which doesn’t require clicking from one page to the next.

Dow Doing Well — 10,450

It looks like the economy may be picking up and the major stock indices are posting encouraging gains. Just yesterday, the Dow closed up 125 points (1.2%) and all 30 blue chips advanced (yeah, every Dow company had a boost).

More than that, the Nasdaq closed above 2,000 for the first time in about two years (which was just before the second dip of our recession). Even the S&P 500 gained 1.2% yesterday. Though I’m hoping in the back of my mind that this isn’t just a case of holiday-time exuberance, the experts tend to agree that things are looking up:

“By and large, the news is positive, and the economy is perking along so unless we have some sort of terrorist activity or some other negative event, I would expect the positive momentum to continue through the week,” said Andy Brooks, head of equity trading at T. Rowe Price.

Sara Lee Debuts Low-Carb Bread

Climbing onto the low-carb bandwagon, Sara Lee has introduced some low-carb breads. Though I’ve only found a press release on this (previous link), the write-up is pleasantly not as self-congratulatory as a regular press release.

The new line of Delightful breads will feature:

  • Sara Lee Delightful White Bakery Bread — A 20-ounce sandwich loaf that offers a 40 percent reduction in carbohydrates and a 44 percent reduction in calories compared with typical regular white breads. Each slice of Sara Lee Delightful White contains only 9 grams of carbohydrates compared with 15 grams for typical regular white breads and contains just 45 calories, compared with 80 calories.
  • Sara Lee Delightful Wheat Bakery Bread — The 20-ounce Delightful Wheat sandwich loaf also contains only 9 grams of carbohydrates and 45 calories per slice [the carbs may be even lower after subtracting fiber]. That compares with 13 grams of carbs per slice for typical regular wheat breads, a 31 percent reduction for Sara Lee Delightful Wheat, and compares with 70 calories per slice of regular wheat bread, a calorie reduction of 36 percent for Delightful Wheat.

Both varieties of Sara Lee Delightful breads are good sources of fiber and have no trans fat or artificial colors or flavors. And each slice is full sized, in contrast to some "light" breads that reduce the dimensions of the slice. Each loaf has tested favorably in consumer taste tests, even outscoring some leading full-carbohydrate breads. […]

I’ll reserve judgment on this one until I’ve had a chance to try it, but I’m pleased that they focused on creating a good-tasting bread and not just a low-carb-at-all-costs bread. And, to their credit, the bread also avoids trans fats, which can be rather tricky to avoid in baked goods. I’ve also found a picture of the packaging, which may make it easier to find this bread on store shelves.

Spellchecker Wonky in Mozilla

If you keep up with the Mozilla nightly builds, you may find that the spellchecker has gone a bit wonky. Since approximately from the 22nd, the spellchecker no longer recognizes capitalized versions of words already in its dictionary. For instance, if you start a sentence with “The”, “This” or “So”, it'll think you've misspelled the word.

You can still add the word to its dictionary and it won't bother you about that one again, but this is enough of an annoyance to me that I don’t think I’ll be downloading the nightlies for the next couples days until this one is fixed. And, it looks like it should be fixed soon — there’s already a patch awaiting approval :).

Low-Carb Wraps at Subway

USA Today reports that Subway will start offering low-carb wraps on Monday:

Subway today will announce plans to begin selling two Atkins-Friendly Wraps at all 16,500 Subway stores nationwide beginning Monday. The wraps are made from special wheat and soy grains that are high in fiber and protein but low in carbohydrates.

Consumers, however, will pay a premium for them — about 50 cents more than Subway's conventional, six-inch subs. Subway sandwich bread has 17 net carbs compared with 5 net carbs in the in the Atkins wrap, alone. […]

I think this was a good move for Subway — for quite some time, they held the reputation as a healthy fast-food, but many consumers likely reconsidered that under auspices of low carb eating. So, once again, it looks like Subway is probably a decent choice, whether you’re trying for low-fat or low-carb.