The low-carbohydrate train is pushing through America and just
about everyone is jumping on board.
It used to be that a person couldn’t turn on the TV, flip a
magazine page or pass a billboard without seeing an advertisement
for junk food. Today, turn on the TV and the only thing advertised
is for low-carb salads at McDonald’s, low-carb sandwiches at Burger
King and low-carb wraps at Subway. Even the Planter’s Peanut is
dancing around reminding us that he is a low carb snack, too.
Go into a fast food restaurant today. You’ll still the smell of
the french fries getting a grease bath in the deep fryer and hear
the sizzle of thick, juicy beef patties on the grill, but now there
is a new addition – the crunch of crisp, green lettuce. Large
pictures make customers stop and think twice about ordering what
they really want: a triple cheeseburger, biggie fries and an extra
large Coke, and instead order a side salad or tuna wrap.
“We sell a lot of our chicken salads and we also have been
selling a lot of side salads in place of fries,” said Crystal
Galligan, shift leader at Carl’s Jr.
Not only is Carl’s Jr. selling side salads instead of fries, but
they have also changed the one thing that seemed to be a steady
member of American society – the almighty and sacred
“We now sell the Low-Carb Six Dollar Burger, which is wrapped in
lettuce instead of a bun,” Galligan said. “You can order any
sandwich that way though, and we get a lot of people who do.”
Americans’ heightened interest in dieting and weight loss has
forced restaurants to adapt to a new, health-conscious society.
Even places like Pizza Hut and Papa Murphy’s Take and Bake have
succumbed to the pressure. Papa Murphy’s new pizza promises half
the carbs and nearly half the calories.
“Our new Thin Crust deLite pizza has definitely upped business.
I would say that half of the customers order it,” said Justin
Campesino, a Papa Murphy’s employee.
And the craze doesn’t stop here. Not only are fast food
restaurants making changes, but so are sit-down restaurants like
T.G.I. Fridays. They have teamed up with good old Mr. Atkins to
create an entire menu based on low carbs.
“It is an attempt on our part to make sure that we are doing the
best job we can to keep our customers happy,” said Chris Cosgrove,
general manager of T.G.I. Fridays in Colorado Springs. “The world
has changed to become much more health conscious and we want to
follow in that path. About 25 percent of the food that is ordered
here is off of the Atkins menu.”
So people looking to satisfy a low-carb diet when they are out
and about don’t have to go far to find it, but what about the food
people buy for their homes? Well, King Soopers seems to have that
area covered. From aisle to aisle, it is impossible to miss the
“Bread, bagels, syrup, jelly, chips, you name it, we have just
about everything you can buy in a low-carb choice,” said Vicky
Norwood, head clerk of the King Soopers on Harmony.
While Americans appear to be becoming a more health conscious
society, it doesn’t mean that everyone is putting in the effort
they should to stay healthy, said Shirley Perryman, extension
specialist in the Department of Food Science and Human
“The decisions that restaurants have made is primarily a
business decision because they see that there are a lot of people
interested in things like the Atkins diet,” Perryman said. “The
bottom line for people to stay healthy is to eat things in
moderation and exercise. People may get fast results with a
low-carb diet, but without changing eating habits for good, and
exercising, people will end up where they started, or worse.”