Feature Archive

Living Low-Carb

What It Is

Since low-carbohydrate dieting has taken America by storm, it was only natural that cookbooks would follow. First came The Low-Carb Cookbook, succeeded by Living Low-Carb, both by Fran McCullough, an avowed foodie and award-winning cookbook editor. Struggling to keep her own weight down, McCullough was led to a low-carb diet, which suited her to a T. In her quest for meal-time pleasure without plumpness, she put together a collection of more than 250 recipes for the 1997 The Low-Carb Cookbook. The book was an instant success and best seller. Living Low-Carb followed in 2000, which contains more explanation and adds 175 recipes.

McCullough's latest book explains the differences between the most stringent low-carb diet plans and the more liberal ones that she favors. She then outlines how to adapt the latter group of diets to fit a pleasure-eater's perspective. Rather than a "diet" book, Living Low-Carb is more of a lifestyle and self-help guide with recipes for everything from home fries to Moroccan-styled chicken to what she calls Intense Chocolate Cake.

McCullough dismisses the raft of objections to the low-carb diet by the nutritional establishment, but she does note that for some people this type of routine is not ideal. She discusses the particular needs of diabetics, those with low-thyroid function (her own condition), and includes caveats for those pregnant or nursing. Living Low-Carb is full of motivational suggestions, as well as practical ones for stocking the pantry, eating on the road, in restaurants, and at the homes of friends, and finally how to deal with a dieter's bete noir, the sweet tooth.