In the eighties, me and my Dad were into Robert Haas's Eat to Win diet. Similar to Ornish or McDougall, very low fat, only slightly less paranoid about animal products. This is about the same time I got my mouth full of fillings. I don't blame the diet alone, timing was probably bad--a diet poor in protein and various fat soluble vitamins paired with teenage bones that insisted on growing might not have been the best thing for my teeth. But that's leading the witness.
I can't know for sure what caused my crummy dental health at the time.
So, back in the eighties, my Dad tried a few times to get his mom to eat like us. She gave two answers. One was "how long do you expect me to live?" The other was "if I can't have bacon and eggs for breakfast, what's there to live for?"
And.......... this is why, "bollocks." Not because I begrudge a near-vegan approach for people it works for. There are people who hate low-carb--not in a personal way, not that they mind people eating that way. But people show up on this forum now and again, who don't like meat and fat. It's kind of weird to me--but it's true. It's good that there are options out there. That's one thing I like about the intermittent or even extended fasting option--besides being particularly effective, it also opens up people's options. I think it also increases the effectiveness of either one of the other approaches. One thing many paleo/low carbers and vegans seem to be able to agree on is that it's not that bad an idea to take an occasional break from eating, entirely.
If people look at these as options, instead of world-views--a Rice Dieter could have enough protein, at least every other or every third day--I'm sure something could be worked out--to stay in nitrogen balance, or at least minimize lean mass loss. Because make no mistake about it, there will be lean mass loss on that diet, for a lot of people. Kempner claimed that after a brief adaptation period, the body would adapt, and the loss of lean mass would be minimized. I've only seen one study where somebody tried to reproduce this result, it didn't work, nitrogen balance stayed negative.
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
1. Nitrogen balance was studied in six normotensive
subjects on the Kempner "rice diet," which,
by analysis, was found to contain 2.63 gm. nitrogen
2. After eight days on the "rice diet" (preceded
by four days on a protein depletion diet) analyses
of food, urinary and fecal nitrogen revealed that
all subjects were in negative nitrogen balance. The
excretion was greater than the intake by an average
of 3.22 gm. nitrogen per day.
3. An additional subject, suffering from hypertension,
was followed for 90 days on the "rice
diet" and showed a negative nitrogen balance of
2.67 gm. per day.
4. The "rice diet" shows no unusual ability to
satisfy the nitrogen requirements of the body.
One problem with nitrogen balance studies is that the longer a person has been losing lean mass, the less protein it may take to maintain equilibrium. If that one individual with hypertension was particularly muscular, it's possible that it just took longer than usual to get to balance.
Yes low carb isn't perfect, and when it doesn't resolve all of a person's issues they need to look further. Higher protein? Higher fat, lower protein? Occasional carb-ups? Fasting? For all we know, a week of Atkins followed by a week of the Kempner rice diet, rinse and repeat, would have all the advantages of both, and none of the disadvantages. Take low carb away as an option, and everybody's not going to switch over to the Rice Diet and experience remission of their diabetes--even assuming it would work if everybody were to do so. There is no question in my mind that there are lives being saved here.