Monday, November 27, 2006

Low-Carb Diets - An Introduction

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Low-Carb Diets - An Introduction

According to a recent survey by the National Health Institute, about a third of overweight Americans who are trying to lose weight, are doing so by eating less carbohydrates (carbs) largely because of the increased popularity of fad diets like Atkins Diet and the South Beach Diet.

Who Invented Low-Carb Diets?

The term "low-carb" was coined around 1992 when the USDA recommended that Americans include six to eleven servings daily of grains and starches in their diet.

In fact, low-carb dieting dates back more than 100 years to 1864, before the trendy Atkins diet, when a pamphlet titled "Letter on Corpulence" was written by William Banting. This was as close to the first commercial low-carb diet as you could get.

Banting's diet eventually fell out of favor, but low-carb diets began appearing again in the 20th century. The most famous of these are the Atkins and Scarsdale diets that came to popularity in the 1970s.

While Scarsdale has a set 14-day meal plan that must be followed and greatly restricts calories, the Atkins diet allows for unlimited calorie consumption as long as those calories are from protein, fat and vegetables and carbohydrate intake is kept low.

Atkins and Scarsdale fell out of favor in the 1980's when the USDA encouraged the consumption of grains and grain products.

It was only in the 1990's that we began to see a return to low-carb dieting that seems to be more than a fad. Low-carb is now a lifestyle!

As more and more people realize the weight loss and other health benefits that are available to people who eat low-carb, the number of diets and stores that sell specialty low-carb products continue to rise.

In a nutshell, most low-carb diets carry the same basic premise: that too much of simple, refined carbohydrates leads to over overproduction of insulin, which leads to the storage of too much fat in the body. This fat storage is especially prominent around the middle.

While there are degrees of difference among the many diets, they all agree on the negative effects that excess insulin production have on our systems.

While it might be great to lower the body's sugar content and be healthier, wouldn't it be great to learn how to do so while being part of this fast-paced world?

People want and need simpler solutions. And they need simpler dieting plans.

Forget spending mega bucks on gourmet, hard-to-find items. Forget spending hours just to prepare meals. And forget counting, measuring, and weighing ingredients.

Either a low-carb plan fit into real-world lives, or it doesn't. So how do low-carb diets fit into the real world today?

Low Carb, Slow Carb

In a nutshell, there are two kinds of carbohydrates, simple and complex. Some refer to them as bad and good carbs, fast and slow digestion carbs and other possibly confusing lingo. Here's the scoop.

Simple Carbs

Foods with simple or refined carbohydrates most often have a low nutrient content and a high-glycemic index. They are quick to digest and can cause blood sugar to soar then fall dramatically within a short span of time.

In order to keep the body running more healthy and stable, health advisors recommend that these type foods be limited.

Examples of these simple carbs are white bread, potatoes, bananas, and sugary treats like cookies, candy, cupcakes and cakes, and soda beverages like popular cola products.

Complex Carbs

Foods with complex carbohydrates contain many nutrients and have a low- to moderate-glycemic index.

Higher fiber content in these foods means slower digestion, which is healthier for the body. And these foods are considered good choices by health advisors.

Examples of these complex carbs are whole grains, most fruits and vegetables. Legumes, plants of the pea or bean family, are also in this category.

Which Is Best?

While studies like one from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in January of 2004 show that low-carb diets can help with weight loss; the carbs need to be of the complex, low-glycemic type.

However, it is not necessary to totally avoid the simple carbs. A treat now and then, in moderation (and approved per your dietary advisor or in accordance with your health practitioner), should be fine.

As a side note, your teeth will also be healthier without the build up of sugar decay from simple carb foods. So healthier smiles will shine with healthier bodies.

Priya Shah is the Editor of The Glutathione Report and the webmaster of Glutathione - Your Whey To Health
Read our online report on Low-Carb Dieting Secrets and get a Free Booklet titled "Low Carb Recipes and Food Ideas People On The Go"

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Low Carb and Lowfat Diets...A Scam?!

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Low Carb and Lowfat Diets...A Scam?!

If anyone knows anything about fitness, its that a low fat diet is the healthiest way to avoid serious diseases, right? Maybe wrong.

In many instances quality research has shown just the oppositethat a low fat diet, sometimes even a vegetarian diet, can be harmful to your health. Although vegetarian and low-fat diets have been proven to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels, they have not demonstrated significant reductions in deaths from any disease.

The Low-Fat Approach

Popular diets of today encouraging low-fat approaches, such as the diets of Dr. Pritkin, Dr. Ornish, Macrobiotics, and Weight Watchers, are generally effective with weight-loss and reduction in blood fats. The low-fat approach has even been proven to overcome serious illness successfully.

But the majority of dieters find these plans difficult to stick with. And most research trials have not shown these diets effective in decreasing death rates from diseases in general, long-term.

Fats in a meal make you feel more full. They slow the time it takes for your stomach to empty, thus ensuring you will not feel hungry too soon.

Generally, high-carb, low-fat meals have the opposite effect. The stomach empties quicker and insulin levels increase following the meal. This means you may be hungry sooner than youd like.

Research shows the higher insulin levels of a low-fat, high-carb diet may predispose you to adult onset diabetes, hypoglycemia, and even heart disease.

The Low-Carb Approach

These diets claim that limiting carbs, like sugars, grains, fruits, and some vegetables, is the solution. The Atkins Diet, South Beach Diet, and even the Zone Diet all suggest if you cut out the carbs or have a balance of fat/carbs/protein in every meal, you will experience weight loss and better health. Many dedicated dieters find this to be true.

Although a low-carb diet can cause weight loss, the goal of any program should be life long radiant health. It is still up for debate if this approach leads to any significant health advantages. It is possible to hasten heart disease, arthritis, cancer, and aging with a diet too high in the wrong fats and too low in essential nutrients from various fruits and veggies.

Many health care professionals find it difficult to prescribe to either of the above theories. If there is no definitive answer in either direction that is indisputable, then there must be a middle ground.

A Healthy Solution for Everyone

It is difficult to imagine that reducing intake of the wonderful fruits and vegetables that keep people well is the way to a healthy future. Research will back this up. The average American already ingests too little fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other factors present in whole, unprocessed fruits and vegetables.

In much of our history, it was rare to have many of the diseases we live with today. Most people in native cultures eating diets dictated by availability experienced vibrant health. Their death was caused by accidents, bacterial or viral diseases, or by old age. Very few died of our number one killers: cardiovascular disease and cancer.

People did not begin to experience heart disease and cancer in such great numbers until the advent of our more modern diet and lifestyle customs.

These advances included:

* growing and eating more grains

* discovering how to refine and preserve foods to extend shelf-life

* consuming sugar and simple carbohydrates

* pasteurizing and homogenizing dairy products

With the human tampering of food overall health took an undeniable turn for the worse.

Almost exclusively we now eat, even in so called healthy or organic foods, the following: refined products, products with added sugar, preservatives, additives, petroleum products, animal products laden with antibiotics and hormones, and animals that are fed diets that they would never eat in the wild (wild cattle do not eat other cattle, poultry by-products, or even grains; cattle eat grass).

Native cultures worldwide, before being indoctrinated with more westernized food choices, eat remarkably similar diets.

Since many food products spoil without refrigeration or freezing, most people fermented their foods. This supplies necessary probiotic bacteria, which many people supplement with today since we eat natural fermented foods so infrequently.

Whether or not they inhabited the same regions, most people ate a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and animal products in season. Very few societies tip the scales by eating mostly animal products (Inuit cultures) or mostly vegetarian (a few tribes in Africa and South America).

The similarities that bind the historical human diet together are:

* A diet based on fresh or fermented whole, unrefined foods

* A diet high in essential fatty acids with an omega 6 to omega 3 ratio of 4:1 (current US diets have a ratio of 16:1)

* A diet where spirituality around food is more meaningful than the material

* A diet with 10 times the level of fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K)

* A diet lower in total calories overall

Wisdom passed down through the ages says that a varied diet with foods found abundant in nature is best. In almost all cultures this means a diet, as available, of fresh or dried wild meats and fish, fermented cheeses, fresh whole or fermented milk, butter, eggs, fresh, dried, or fermented fruits, fresh or fermented vegetables, whole grains (these were fermented normally, even if dried), some beans, and water or fermented beverages to drink.

It is interesting to note that instead of eating fresh foods or those naturally fermented, we chose to cook or destroy what could spoil in our foods then add additives and preservatives. Are these foods as digestible? Do they supply the same nutrients? Does the magic number of carbohydrates versus fats or proteins really matter? What if the answer lies in ancient wisdom and thousands of years of knowledge?

Something to think about.

About The Author

For more information or questions on related topics, please visit Get all your health questions answered from a licensed Naturopathic physician without the wait for an office visit. Well-researched, reliable information is now available and easy to find.

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Lets Talk About Fad Diets

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Lets Talk About Fad Diets

Although the big push for fad diets has died down a little bit, it is still estimated that at least two-thirds of Americans are on some type of diet at any given time. Although research shows the importance of eating from all the major food groups, people are still confused about what type of diet to follow, keeping the window open for more quacky solutions to pop up.

In an effort to help readers determine what makes a diet healthy and when its time to steer clear, I am going to discuss what makes a diet a fad diet and why these diets are something best to stay away from. Along the way, we will discover what each food group has to offer that can be beneficial to our health.

Our bodies are uniquely designed to take advantage of the proteins, carbohydrates and fats that we eat. In order for the liver to do the best job it can for us, we actually need all of these nutrients, known as macronutrients. Even a detoxifying diet should also include all of these macronutrients!

During the past 20 years there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States. Currently, more than 64% of US adults are either overweight or obese, according to results from the 1999-2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). So, look at the facts: Two thirds of all Americans are on some diet, yet we are getting fatter and fatter. Would that perhaps mean that the fad diets dont work? Lets talk about it.

Identifying a fad diet

A fad diet is defined as something temporary. Therefore, its no surprise that these diets are not successful. Lets begin by looking at how to identify a fad diet.

#1 Promises a fast weight loss.

This is great, in the short term, but how many readers have or know someone who has followed one of these diets, only to regain the weight back, plus more for added bonus? When people lose weight very quickly, they lose a lot of lean muscle tissue, and the weight that comes back will most likely be more fat and less muscle, making it easier and easier to regain weight each time they drop the last fad diet. A healthy diet to follow will be one that will encourage slow, progressive weight loss over a longer period of time. It will have enough calories to support vigorous exercise, so that you lose fat and not muscle. Diets that are too low for the bodys basic needs will result in the body breaking down its protein stores (muscle) for the fuel it needs. Sort of defeats the whole purpose of the diet!

#2 Eliminates foods or food groups.

The very first thing that alerts us that a diet is a fad is when a particular food, or entire food group, is considered off-limits. This is a good time to talk about the low carb diets.

What is it that has made carbohydrates a bad nutrient? When you look at other countries, where the intake of carbohydrates is as high as 80%, and see that many of these countries are not suffering even close to the obesity rates we are in America, you have to wonder why they are not having the same problem. So, can it really be the carbs? Probably not. But, maybe its the type of carbs. Many people who decide to go on one of the popular low carbohydrate diets start to eliminate a lot of food from their diets, including all the snack foods they were eating, particularly at night. Gone are the chips, the cookies, the crackers, the ice cream. Gone are up to 300 to 1,000 calories per day! Anyone would lose weight if they cut out those many calories from their daily diet.

Another problem with eliminating entire food groups, especially on low carb diets, is that they are recommending eliminating or limiting the intake of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables. With all the substantial research showing how beneficial these foods are to preventing various diseases, such as cancer and heart disease, its amazing that anyone involved in healthcare would recommend such a diet. Something to also notice, however, is that none of these fad diet books are written by anyone with a degree in nutrition. Even the medical community is confused, which explains why physicians will fall for some of the hype fad diet authors write.

But lets talk a little more about fruits, vegetables and starches: A diet high in animal protein and animal fat has been linked to various disease and inflammation states. A diet very high in protein puts a great load on our kidneys and can contribute to constipation, gout and bone loss due to calcium depletion from the high protein load. Combine that with decreased fiber from lack of whole grains and fiber-rich fruit and vegetables, and many people just dont feel well; they feel fatigued, sluggish and their immune system is depressed.

#3 Starts with a shock or follows a strict plan.

When the diet says you have to start with an extremely restricted diet, or you can only eat certain foods on particular days, you know its a fad diet. They justify this by saying you have to clean out the body, or only certain foods will help with the weight loss process. Any change in how you currently eat will result in changes on the scale. Very few people can remain on these diets very long, so once they are off the diet, the weight returns. The dieter learned nothing other than the misinformation the author provided them with. This can actually have far-reaching consequences, as then the dieter is more confused than ever and doesnt know what to believe!

Once a person learns what the qualities of a healthy diet consist of, they find that their optimum calorie level is for their own needs, and they are able to achieve their goals, combining their eating plan with exercise. Not only do they start to enjoy life again, but enjoy food AND see weight loss! Although fad diet authors want you to believe their miracle (and buy their products), there really is no get-thin-quick solution that is permanent.

But what does constitute a healthy diet? A healthy diet is one that is adequate in calories to support healthy weight, low in animal fats and saturated fats, animal protein should be very lean and adequate enough to support a diet high in fruits and vegetables and whole grain starches. Any healthy diet can include foods that are just for enjoyment, however. All foods really do fit, in moderation. A general rule is an 80/20 rule: Eighty percent of the time the diet should be healthy and then 20% of the time it can include foods you would not eat on a regular basis if you were trying to eat for health and weight loss.

#4 Contradicts what experts say.

Authors of low carb diets say that the carbohydrates are what have made Americans fat. But they cant explain why other countries whose diets are very high in carbohydrates dont have the same problems with obesity. You know its a fad diet when the author says they have the inside or hidden truth about our health or diets. You also know its a questionable publication when they say there is a hidden agenda among health professionals or the government.

But why is America getting fatter and fatter? America is a country of grab-and-go: The faster, the better. Families seldom sit down to meals, together. There are fewer physical fitness programs in school and many of the school food choices are fast foods. People and entire families eat 2-3 of their daily meals from a drive-through or a restaurant, most of which provide very few of the foods high in nutrients and low in calories. Restaurants add extra fats to their dishes to enhance the taste, so a meal you could make at home without added fats could have up to 60% of its calories coming from fat to make it taste better! Plus, the serving sizes are much larger than they were 20 years ago, so most of the time the size of the meals could actually feed us for 2 to 3 meals, instead of one! However, many people still feel they must clean their plate rather than let the food go to waste. They really should say, go to waist!!

As you read this, think back to the last week. How often did you sit down at home and eat a home-cooked meal? Do you eat breakfast, lunch and dinner each day? How often do you exercise vigorously? In Europe, the meals are much smaller and people walk a great deal more than in America. In some neighborhoods, its actually impossible to walk to work, even if you live very close! Our road systems are no longer built for riding bikes or walking to work. You take your life into your hands, either from passing traffic or crime.

#5 Relies on testimonials rather than scientific research.

The fact that Jane lost pounds in a week because she just ate cabbage soup does not mean its safe, effective, or that it will work for you! What if you dont LIKE cabbage?

An example of testimonials, combined with the research to back it up, is the National Weight Control Registry. In order to join the Registry, a person has to have lost pounds and have kept it off for a year. Currently consisting of over 4500 individuals, the Registry was founded in 1993 as a longitudinal prospective study. Currently, there have been six studies resulting out of the Registry. For more information on the Registry, along with how most of the Registry members have in common, here is the website:

#6 Has a gimmick.

The problem with diet plans that have some type of gimmick, is people cant stay on them and they dont learn how to eat for the long-term. Its no secret that all the books must have something to catch the reader. However, hidden among all the hype are books that really DO offer safe and effective solutions to weight loss. A book written by a registered dietitian (RD) is a guarantee that the material is accurate and safe. An RD is someone whose education, training and experience all revolve around the science and practice of nutrition; these truly ARE nutrition experts.

Consider this: If you had heart disease, you would see a cardiologist who specializes in heart health. If your teeth needed work, you would see a dentist. However, many people will buy diet books from people who are not educated in nutrition! People will buy a diet book from a person who found what worked for them, or a movie star or a physician. In many of these books, because the author does not understand nutrition, many facts are distorted or misrepresented. It may not always be on purpose, but the point is these books are written by someone who really does not know nutrition and the science behind it, so either they distort the facts, or they make them fit the gimmick they are trying to sell.

So, the next time a friend mentions this great new diet theyre on, or you see a new book that offers miracle weight loss or something that health professionals dont really want you to know, take a step back and ask yourself these questions:

1- Does it promise fast weight loss?

2- Does it eliminate any major foods or food groups?

3- Is there a strict plan that must be followed for success?

4- Does it contradict what nutrition experts and science has to say?

5- Does it rely primarily on testimonials and before and after pictures too good to be true?

6- Is there a gimmick?

If you answered yes to all or most of these questions, after you have stepped back, walk away and find a better plan. Isnt today time to get real and make your weight loss plan permanent and realistic?

Marjorie Geiser is a registered dietitian, certified personal trainer and life coach. Marjorie has been the owner of a successful small business, MEG Fitness, since 1996, and now helps other nutrition professionals start up their own private practice.

To learn more about the services Margie offers, go to her website at or email her at

Related Links:

Low Carb and Lowfat Diets...A Scam?!

How to Select the Best Diet for You?

Five Serious Dangers of Low Carbohydrate Diets

Low-Carb Diets - An Introduction

Sunday, November 19, 2006

learning How to Become a Good Loser

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Learning How to Become a Good Loser

The Quest to Reach Your Ideal Weight

It was late in the day and my next patient I would be meeting for the first time. As the woman entered my office upon introduction I was surprised by her response to my question of how she heard about me. She went on to say it was through an article she read in a regional newspaper about a coach who had become well known for getting his clients to become good losers. Once we had taken seats in my office I asked her, What can I do for you today? She answered, Can you help me to lose weight? My response stunned her, Is that all you want me to do?

You see too many times a potential client is focused on getting started and not on what the finish will be. She went on to say that dieting had become a second career. She described herself being very good at losing weight, but no matter what diet she tried nothing worked for very long and the weight always came back, usually with a few extra pounds tagging along to make matters worse. She saw herself as weak, lacking in discipline and her self-esteem was in ruins. I admired her determination; here she was ready to try again, still hoping after all those years of failure. She said, Ive tried everything; theres something wrong with me. I responded, Theres nothing wrong with you. Youve been on diets that are wrong. We dont fail at diets, diets fail us.

Over the last thirteen years I have met thousands of people in the same fix. By the time they come to me, a nutritionist in private practice and known to my clients as The Fat Loss Coach, they have been on every diet imaginable. Their experiences have already proven that diets do not work, but they do not understand why. They come to me searching for a new diet, when what is really called for is a new lifestyle. Why do they need a nutritional coach? They have become good at being overweight and the beliefs and behaviors that support it. It takes more than knowing what to do; you must develop behaviors, which keep you doing what you know.

That was the reason I asked if losing weight was all, she wanted me to help her do. You see, losing weight alone is not enough. To do it right, we would need to make sure the weight she lost was fat, without the loss of lean muscle and bring balance to her metabolism. She commented, I think my metabolism is dead. After laughing, I responded by saying, She would have to break away from the conventional wisdom, which I have proven is not very wise, metabolism is more than just burning calories. I explained, I would teach her the difference between anabolic and catabolic metabolism. In simple terms anabolic means the building up or repairing of tissue and catabolic refers to the breaking down of tissue. To reach her desired ideal weight she would need to learn how to balance both the anabolic and catabolic process. I pointed out, that each time she had lost weight by dieting; her body became stuck in the catabolic mode. Unfortunately, that is why all diets seem to work only in the beginning.

The problem with her dieting, as she lost weight, was a loss of both fat and muscle. Muscle loss occurred because her metabolism became trapped in the catabolic phase. Her body was shutting down because it was being under fed. She was fighting against thousands of years of hormonal evolution, that when under stress of under-eating the body wants to store fat. I said, You are fighting an opponent that is not easy to defeat, its a lot easier to work with your bodys chemistry than against it.

Her next response told me she was starting to catch on. She said, Are you telling me that I am an over-weight under-eater. I smiled and responded, nine out of ten new clients I meet are just as surprised as you, when I tell them they are under-eaters not over-eaters. She went on to say, Im afraid to eat, I spend much of my day in front of a computer and I was worried that a job with a low physical activity meant I shouldnt eat more than small amounts at a time and not very often. I said, foods not your problem, it will become your solution. I will teach you, the secret to managing your weight lies in three changes in eating behavior. To control your hormonal response you must eat the right type of food, in the proper portion, at least four times per day. This will control your blood sugar levels and the insulin, glucagons and cortisol response to what you eat. Like most clients, you are suffering from peeks and valleys in your blood levels. In peeks the pancreas releases too much insulin and the lean tissue or muscles are over-fed and the excess is stored as fat. In the valleys there is too little production of insulin and the lean tissue is now under-fed. This is what caused your desire for snacking during the valleys and your over-eating late in the day. When you eat too little amounts this increases the production of the hormone cortisol due to stress, which causes increased fat storage, combine this with increased insulin levels during peeks in blood sugar and the fat storage is mainly in the abdominal region.

Losing fat without losing muscle begins with not being too aggressive or extreme with your reduction of carbohydrates. You need carbohydrate management, not carbohydrate elimination. Carbohydrates must be controlled in two ways, first is the glycemic index, which refers to how quickly do the carbohydrate turn to blood sugar or glucose. Second is the glycemic load, which refers to how much glucose it turns into. Over the last thirteen years, working with more than 10,000 clients Ive found by reducing carbohydrates by 20% of daily needs and within 48 hours replenishing the glycogen (glucose and water) in the muscle by eating 100% of daily carbohydrate requirements, allows for fat loss, without muscle loss. In essence you have two fat burning days, then a recovery day. By doing this youll have the best of both worlds. You will experience fat loss that averages between 1-2 pounds weekly, while muscles are being well fed. There will now be a balance between the anabolic, rebuild and repair, and catabolic, breaking down and elimination. The proper amounts of calories you eat on your recovery day will keep the dreaded plateau that most dieters experience.

Her final question was not surprising, she said, this all makes sense, but how will I be able to keep off the fat I lose? Ive never been able to keep it off. My answer however took her by surprise. I said, You dont lose fat, you shrink it. You do not eliminate fat cells you make them smaller. If you think you lost something, then you dont have to manage something you no longer have. That is why you have never made it your lifestyle. Learning what to eat is half the mission getting to your ideal weight and staying there, you must also develop new eating habits that become your eating character. Managing your weight is a lifestyle, its someone you become, and not something you try. I will help you form the belief, discipline and passion to manage your new knowledge of eating. I have helped thousands become their ideal weight from the inside out. Working together we can get you to your ideal body composition by transforming your thoughts and disciplining your habits into a lifestyle.

By Charles Remington
2 Time Mr. Connecticut

Charlie is the author of a nutritional software program that has sold over 100,000 units since 1995. He starred in a nationally broadcast television infomercial that in 1997 was recognized by the Jordan Whitney report as one of the twenty five popular infomericals in the U.S.A. Mr. Remingtons expertise and passion has been well demonstrated on several National Television talk shows, as well as regional news broadcasts. He has been the featured guest delivering his message that foods not the problem, its the solution over national and regional radio talk shows. He has been recognized in publications, radio and television as an expert in nutrition.

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Lawsuits on Foods and Diets

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Lawsuits on Foods and Diets

The dangers of processed foods and diets

Why is that the business of food processing is not strictly regulated by law so as to prevent health problems generated by an inadequate diet? Unhealthy products encourage an unhealthy diet.They appeal to the consumer by their availability and invasive advertising. If food producers are controlled by health officials, then regulations must be too lax in as far as marketed foods are concerned.

It is well-known that hydrogenated oils and partially hydrogenated oils, for instance, are extremely unhealthy. Vast volumes of research papers, studies and informative material have been published. Yet a proportion of the population still falls into the trap of believing that margarine is a "healthier alternative to butter, full of vitamins". In fact, the trans-fatty acids it contains surpass the "healthy benefits" it offers. In this particular case, all foods containing hydrogentated oils should have a health hazard warning. Indeed, the law should prevent production of these foods. The health warning should resemble those on the cigarette packs, stating "This product contains trans-fatty acids that increase the risk of heart disease". In this way, people would be constantly reminded of the negative effects of such products on health.

Generally, when it comes to foods and dieting, people should be advised of the potential inconvenience that might occur due to some ingredients or the way food is prepared.

Take for instance the case of so many diets that are undocumented, not officially controlled or approved. They promise great things but are less explicit about the great problems they generate. The very popular Atkins, for instance, a real danger to health, is a case in point.

Why are these anti-health practices not forbidden? The answer is glaringly obvious. Commercial and industrial interests have overtaken interest in people's health.

Recent notable lawsuits

Well-informed consumers play a decisive role in their own health. And if people are not fully convinced by so many scientific studies, by so much information available, then they surely will when they find out about the multitude of lawsuits against food producers or promoters of diets. These include Kraft Foods Inc., producers of Oreo cookies, the McDonald fast food chain and the Atkins diet.

Attorney Stephen Joseph sued Kraft Foods Inc in 2003. Joseph based his accusations on a provision of the civil code of California which states that manufacturers are liable for products if the consumer is not advised of the products' lack of safety. He rightfully claimed that the public was not aware of the high content of trans-fats in Oreos. He declared that he sued out of concern for public health. No money was requested in the lawsuit, which he finally withdrew, explaining that the publicity on this case had made people aware of the health risks of the product. If the lawsuit was intended as bad publicity for Oreos, the goal was not attained. Kraft Foods Inc will continue to produce Oreos in a trans-fat free version.

Another famous case of litigation is the 2002 suit against McDonald's. The lawsuit was filed by the lawyer Samuel Hirsch on behalf of some obese children. The lawyer sustained that the fast food producer misled consumers into believing that the products were healthy and safe. He claimed that eating McDonald's products made children develop health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. The court dismissed the suit on the grounds that no one is forced to eat at McDonald's and that the law cannot moderate individuals' excesses.

In a recent "diet trial" in Florida, 53-year-old Jody Gorran filed a suit against Atkins Nutritionals on May 26, 2004. The plaintiff claimed that after going on Atkins diet his cholesterol level increased so much that he needed angioplasty in order to unblock an artery. In addition to financial damages, he also requests that the company warns the public of the potential dangers of a diet favoring meat, cheese and other high-fat proteins by labeling their products. The outcome is not known at the time of writing.

Even if some of these lawsuits were begun for financial gain rather than humanitarian causes, they have a positive result. The publicity around such cases makes people ask questions, gives them the idea of doubt, the "assumption of guilt".

Laura Ciocan writes for where you can find more information about all diets indexed
Please feel free to use this article in your Newsletter or on your website. If you use this article, please include the resource box and send a brief message to let me know where it appeared.

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Introduction to Detox Diets

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Introduction to Detox Diets

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Introduction to Detox Diets

Detoxifying the body has become an apparent key preventative measure to all kinds of health problems. Since most of us are busy, and unable or unwilling to maintain a strict diet in order to completely eliminate all the toxins from our body. We have chemicals building up in our bodies day after day. Since these chemicals are not harmful in small amounts, only in larger accumulated amounts, we don't notice side effects until we are much older. A proper, even if occasional, detox diet is necessary to relieve our bodies of harmful toxins and chemicals, and maintain a healthy, normal, and long-lived life.

The main idea of a detox diet is to eliminate nearly all foods and restrict the body to only water and vegetables for a few days; usually around 5 or 6 days is adequate. Most detox diets then allow for a slow re-introduction of other foods, gradually. The diets generally restrict foods from your diet that are said to have harmful toxins. Along with this a detox diet should then flush the existing toxins out of the body. A detox diet essentially gives the liver and other organs a chance to catch up and remove all the toxins. This is done through our sweat, feces, and urine.

Our bodies simply cannot cope with the normal day to day ingestion of chemicals. Most these chemicals come from foods, as mentioned before, but also have a wide variety of other sources. Although we do not know what foods are the cause of it all, we do know that pesticides, heavy metals, such as mercury and lead, and the chemicals in cigarettes and the air we breath, all enter our bodys via our lungs or stomach and can cause an excessive build up. These chemicals in small amounts are harmless; its the day after day ingestion and build up of them which can lead to degenerative diseases.

One common detox diet is the combination of nothing but fruits and water for a given period. The promotion of chemicals being metabolized by our bodies can be helped with certain vitamins, herbs and supplements. Some supplements will help the mobilization of toxins in our fat and other toxin deposits located throughout the body. Since our bodies rid themselves of chemicals through sweat, sauna therapies can also provide a great benefit. There are many other diets and detox therapies, these are just a few common methods. Regular body detoxification is a good preventative action and promotes a healthier present and future!

Ryan S. Bombard is the owner and operator of Addiction-Spot which features drug detox, rehab and addiction resources and articles.

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

How to Select the Best Diet for You?

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How to Select the Best Diet for You?

In the old West tricksters sold a snake oil to the unsuspecting cowboys. That snake oil was supposed to cure all illnesses. Now in the Internet country it is a miracle diet that promises to bring instant slimness to your body and cure all health problems. They offer those diets as Perfect Body Solution.

Hundreds of diets compete for your attention with enthusiastic claims from its supposed users. Those diets claim to aid those who suffer from colds, flu, allergies, backaches, muscle aches, headaches, and even impaired memory. There is usually no attempt to back those claims with reliable scientific evidence.

How can you know which diets are helpful, and which are variations of the old "snake oil" formula? There are three major approaches used by all diets:

1. Reduce the damage already done. The diets called 'Fat burner' or 'Fat loss accelerator' attempt to break the fat stored in your body and "escort" it out through the normal body waste.

2. Prevent any further damage. The diets called 'Appetite reducers' attempt to decrease your appetite by artificial means in order to prevent any additional weight gains. They also hope that your starved body will use its stored fats to maintain the daily energy requirements and will get thinner in the process.

3. Substitute 'non-fat producing foods' for the high calories offenders. Those diets attempt to educate consumers in the basics of good nutrition. They are effective mainly in the long run, instead of promising instant results.

The worst diets are from the First group - the Fat Burners. They claim to 'Fight the Fat' within your body by influencing the processes of metabolism. They try to increase the metabolic rate of your body in order to burn more calories. Their manufacturers claim that "it will quite literally melt the pounds off you".

They try to convince you that by ingesting a few drops of their potion, you can eat high fat foods, such as chocolate, butter, pizza, hamburgers, and fried chicken, without worrying about putting on weight. Some of them even claim that their diets "prevent the human body from absorbing fat".

The truth must be faced - the only thing that will "melt the pounds off you" is vigorous exercise. The only other effective method for weight loss is exercising restrictions on caloric intake. All other promises are snake oils. The diets, which promise to cause fat loss while sleeping, attempt to exploit our inherent laziness. No one can loose weight by sleeping.

In the best case those diets will do nothing to your body. In the worst case they will mess up your normal metabolism, and might even damage your health in the long run. Some of them increase your blood pressure and stress the circulatory system. You don't want to let those people, who never saw you, to feed you some untested and unapproved medications. Stay away from those types of diets.

The diets from the Second group - 'Appetite reducers' can be effective only in combination with improved nutrition. You need them only if there was something wrong with your appetite in the first place.

We all need balanced nutrition in order to sustain life. If you suddenly curb your appetite, your body will use stored fat for a while, but in the long run you need more than that. You need vitamins, microelements, proteins. If you suddenly stop to eat, you might be damaging your health while improving your figure.

The diets from the Third group, which attempt to change the way you select the foods that you eat, can provide the best solution. They can eliminate the foods with "high-calories" content, while still giving your body everything it needs.

Healthy weight loss is an ongoing project. Learn more about sound nutrition. Don't fall for the promises of "Miracle Diets". They usually don't deliver. There are no shortcuts to better health.

To learn more about how to acquire better things in life, lose weight and save money visit

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All Diets Are Based on the Same Premise: Eat Less Calories and You'll Lose Weight

Diets come in all sizes and flavors and all tend to rely on the formula of less calories, despite their claims to the contrary. The Peanut butter diet is low calorie with some peanut butter at every meal. The Cabbage Soup diet is unlimited amounts of cabbage soup but how much cabbage soup can you really have before you're sick of it, meaning you'll eat less calories? The Atkins Diet, SouthBeach diet even Weight Watchers all are based on the idea that you'll consume less calories than your body requires, hence you'll lose weight. No one at Atkins estimated people would eat two pounds of cheese and a pound of bacon every day, yet some people do just that and then are alarmed when their weight loss stalls.

My present diet includes a small piece of chocolate cake and a quarter pint of Haagen Daz most every night

You can design a diet around any food you want. Like cheesecake? How about the Cheesecake Diet, three very low calorie meals a day plus a tiny sliver of cheesecake equals the Cheesecake Diet. Love french fries? Here's the French Fry Diet: Eat three very low calorie meals a day, with a small order of fries to go, and you've got The French Fries Diet. The chosen focus food is whatever the diet developer wanted, in a scaled back portion so as to provide the common suggested amounts of from 1200 to 1600 calories a day. The fewer calories you have, the faster the initial weight loss; at least that is the expected outcome. Remember the liquid protein fasts (Oprah used this the first time she reached size 10)? Liquid Protein Fasts were once very popular until a few people died, and that put a damper on them in a hurry.

The sad truth is we want to believe the lies of the diet purveyors so badly we'll try anything which is why the diet industry is a multi billion dollar industry. If these diets worked such as The Zone, the Perricone Prescription, Life Choice (opposite of Atkins), the Negative Calorie Diet, etc. wouldn't we slowly see the obesity rates fall, instead of watching them continue to rise?

Design Your Own Diet

A more reasonable approach of choosing foods you love, estimating how many calories would be reasonable for your body size and designed body weight, and then getting started is usually greeted with sneers and jeers. I've heard, "2,000 calories a day? I'll blow up like a balloon!" No you won't. You'll lose weight, although slower than the other more drastic diets, wouldn't you prefer to lose it permanently this time?

How can you lose weight eating 2,000 calories a day? Think about it. The typical adult female eats about 3,500 calories a day, whether you believe it or not. Our typical lady, Carol, eats at McDonalds every day for lunch, grabs a StarBucks Latte every morning on the way to work, drinks four cups of coffee with cream during the day, pops two donuts at breaks, and stops for take-out chicken for dinner. She "treats" herself to ice cream and half a package of Oreo's for dessert. Let's see how many calories that might be:

Typical Adult American Meal Plan:

Breakfast: Skipped, we're watching our figure

Snack: StarBucks on way to work; Caffe Mocha with whole milk and whipped cream, venti (20 Oz) = 530 calories

Total Morning: 530

Lunch: McDonald's Big-n-Tasty with Cheese; 540 calories Super Sized Fries 610 calories Super Sized Coke (20 Oz) 250 calories Apple Pie - 265 calories

Total Lunch: 1665

Snack: Sugar free gum - 0

Daytime: 4 Cups Coffee with half-n-half - 160 calories (from the half-n-half)

Break: Donuts - glazed, two Krispy Kreme - 424

Snacks & Breaks: 512

Dinner: Kentucky Fried Chicken Dinner

3-piece meal: Extra Crispy Drumstick, two Extra Crispy Thighs, Potato Wedges and Biscuit: 1,420 calories

Large Soft Drink (20 Oz): 250 calories

Small Dish Ice Cream (1 Cup): 260 calories

Total Dinner: 1930

Evening Watching TV:

Oreos - 10 cookies (about 1/3 a package): 530 calories

Evening Snacks: 530

Grand Total: 5,167

You may think that's ridiculous but I think it's conservative. You maybe wouldn't have had exactly this menu but the point is we're eating far more calories than we realize.

If you cut back to 2,000 calories a day, you'd be eating far fewer calories and you'd likely lose a pound a week or more. If you don't think that's fast enough you're probably going to remain overweight. Your body cannot add or subtract muscle and fat any faster. Faster weight loss is water loss and comes back as soon as you resume eating regular foods. Remember, losing it slowly, means losing it permanently. The mathematics are not precise. I lost 80 pounds in nine months which was actually 2.07 pounds per week.

Would You Be Happy if This Time Next Year You Were at Your Goal Weight?

If at the end of a year you'd taken off 100 pounds (or however much you needed to lose if less than 100 pounds), wouldn't you be happy? The more weight you need to lose, the faster it comes off initially. It's not what the scale says that matters though. What matters is do you feel better? Are you able to bend lower and even reach your toes perhaps? Can you get up from a sitting position easier? Is walking more pleasant, are your clothes feeling looser? These are the things that matter. Is your blood pressure back to normal?

Track what you eat for one week, meaning what you really eat. Don't make an effort to eat better or less. That isn't helpful for this exercise. You want to catch yourself being yourself. Get it down on paper, what you really eat on a regular basis. If you eat out you're likely eating far more calories than you realize. We all wonder how it is we can't lose weight, then we drink a 600 calorie coffee drink! Think about it.

Once you have your weekly eating routine on paper, you can take a look to see what changes you could make. For instance, by switching from a Caffe Mocha to a Caffe Latte two days a week you'd save 540 calories right there. Once you're used to that change take it a step further and switch to a Caffe Latte every day and now you're saving 1960 calories a week. One step further and switch to a Skinny Latte (non-fat milk instead of whole milk) and you save another 100 calories every day, meaning you've gone from an additional 3780 calories a week from your morning Starbucks to just 1120 calories a week, or a calorie savings of 2660. This is how you can keep your Starbucks habit, but make a small change and suddenly you're not adding to the problem but you're well on your way to losing that pound a week. The less fancy drink costs less too so you can put that money toward the new clothes you'll be wanting soon.

Track Your Eating and You'll Get a Better Idea of What's Going on

For the next seven days write down everything you put in your mouth and start to get your eating patterns into view. I use a simple software program called the Food & Exercise Diary for Windows. Making an effort to write down my eating helps keep me on track, plus what I've eaten and how much I've exercised six months ago is still at my fingertips. That's especially handy when you develop a routine that works for you because you can always go back and see what you did differently, if you catch yourself regaining weight a year later.

One of the best things I ever did was track my weight workouts and eating habits when I got in shape so many years ago. Now, to reproduce the results I can go back and see what I did before and do basically the same thing again. Learn from your successes, keep a journal. Then, don't make the mistake of cutting back too severely because it's simply not necessary. Just cut back around 500 calories a day and you're on your way with much less trauma in the process.

Design a diet that fits your lifestyle and you've got a winning plan for the rest of your life.

~~ Kathryn Martyn, Master NLP Practitioner, EFT counselor, author of the free e-book: Changing Beliefs, Your First Step to Permanent Weight Loss, and owner of

Get The Daily Bites: Inspirational Mini Lessons Using EFT and NLP for Ending the Struggle with Weight Loss.

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The Atkins Diet Seems To Never Go Away

Fad diets come and go, but The Atkins Diet, a high-protein, low-carbohydrate weight-loss plan, seems never to go away, no matter how many medical professionals denounce it.

"Low-carb diets have been linked to increased frequency of colon cancer, formation of kidney stones, kidney disease, and even osteoporosis," says Neal Barnard, MD, president of the Physicians Commission for Responsible Medicine, a nonprofit research group based in Washington. "The weight loss you see in low-carb diets isn't all that much better than what you see in studies of low-fat, vegetarian diets."

A Pretty Evil Weight Loss Diet

Putting it more bluntly is Kiku Collins-Trentylon, a sports trainer in New York City, who says it's "a pretty evil diet. We all want to sit on our couches, eat nonstop, and have perfect, sculpted bodies. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way."

Meat is the culprit in low-carb diet danger, says Barnard.

"The reason for the health worries is in large part due to red meat," he says. "People who eat meat every day have three times greater risk of developing colon cancer. And then there is the problem of the kidneys. They aren't designed to work on an oil slick of fat."

Big, Fat, High Protein Controversy

In the summer of 2002, however, both Time magazine and The Sunday New York Times Magazine have published much-talked-about stories that say Atkins may not be as bad for heart health as previously believed. These stories were sparked in part by a recent study from researchers at Duke University showing most people who ate a high-protein, low-carb diet for six months lost 20 pounds.

That much was expected. What wasn't expected was that the researchers didn't see strong evidence of the diet causing any health problems. In fact, both LDL "bad" cholesterol and HDL "good" cholesterol improved.

Low Carb Diet Can Produce Significant Weight Loss

The Duke study shows part of why the diet is so popular, it can produce significant weight loss. It also produces it without a lot of annoying calorie counting and the irritability associated with diets.

Known for Easy Weight Loss

"You're not as hungry as with other diets, and that is a really good thing," says Jenny Anderson, an Internet consultant from Mamaroneck, N.Y., who is on the diet. "That makes it easier to stay on it. So does seeing results fairly quickly. One bad thing is that it forbids caffeine, and I had a lot of bad headaches from coffee withdrawal."

Another drawback to the low-carb diet is its severely limited menu options.

"At first, eggs and bacon in butter for breakfast every day is fun, but day after day of only meat and fat at every meal can get tiresome," says Anderson.

So therein lies the controversy. On one hand you have lots of stories of significant weight loss on a relatively user-friendly diet. On the other, you have dietitians and nutritionists who maintain that the weight loss produced is short-term and can threaten a person's overall health, despite the fact that the weight loss itself may have the beneficial effect of lowering cholesterol.

Who is right? Maybe both sides. It provides weight loss at a very high cost to overall health, or at least that has been the prevailing medical opinion.

Low Carbohydrate Diet May Not Be As Bad As We Thought

"There have been reports in the medical literature that say that this low-carb diet may not be as bad as we thought," says Susan Barr, registered dietitian in New York City. "That makes people interested again in this diet, but until there is more research on what stresses the diet places on the body, there is no way to know what it might be doing besides providing short-term weight loss.

You may reprint or publish this article free of charge as long as the bylines are included.

Original URL (The Web version of the article)
How Safe Is the Atkins Diet?

About The Author

Michael Lewis has been collecting articles and information on Weight Loss and HGH (Human Growth Hormone and related health benefits. He has created and edits numerous web sites about this subject. Michael is a staff writer for and several other websites. If you would like to contact Michael you can e-mail him at or if you would like to know more about Weight Loss, HGH (Human Growth Hormone) and related health topics please visit us at

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