Sunday, October 08, 2006

Food Intolerance and Low Carb Diets

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Food Intolerance and Low Carb Diets

Food intolerance is a pharmacological reaction to the consumption of certain foods. In many cases, food intolerance may appear to be the side-effect of pharmacological drugs, but in fact, it is generally caused by the consumption of natural foods products, additives, or the combination of both.

The majority of food products that commonly cause food intolerance are high-protein.

As a low carb dieter, you will have abnormally- high exposure to high-protein food, including dairy products and meats, which means your chance of experiencing food intolerances (if you have any) will increase.

In contrast to food allergies, which are easily identifiable because they affect an almost instantaneous reaction of hives, shock, and a range of other symptoms, food intolerances are somewhat harder to identify.

Food intolerance generally has milder affects, such as minor headaches, general irritation, upset stomach, restlessness, and a loss of sleep. This makes it much harder to identify and treat.

If you are new to your low carb diet, you may have already experienced some of these symptoms, but attributed them to something other than food intolerance.

If you have been exhibiting these symptoms for less than three days into your low carb diet, they are more than likely related to withdrawals from caffeine or carbohydrates. They could also be related to dehydration. Conversely, if you have been exhibiting them for more than three days, they are more than likely the result of a food intolerance.

You should immediately start the process of weeding out foods that could be causing the intolerance.

The following is a list of foods you may be consuming on your low carb diet that are likely perpetrators: eggs, nuts, milk, fish, shellfish, pork, bacon, chicken, cheese, and tomatoes.

You should try to remove one of these from your low carb diet at a time. If you cannot solve your intolerance problem within a week, it would be wise to get off of your low carb diet and contact a physician to determine the source of your intolerance.

This article is for informational purposes only, and is not intended as substitute for medical advice. Before embarking on any diet or fitness program, consult your physician.

Benji Paras runs, specializing in the benefits of the low-carb lifestyle. The site contains a treasure trove of information for losing weight, and includes a list of low carb foods along with informative articles and the latest low-carb headlines.

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WASHINGTON, Jun 22, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A coalition of nutrition, public health and consumer groups is calling on U.S. residents to beware of the dangers of low-carb diets.

The newly formed Partnership for Essential Nutrition said Tuesday that low-carb diets are unlikely to lead to sustained long term weight loss, and they can increase the risk for a number of life-threatening medical conditions.

"Low-carbohydrate diets conflict with decades of solid scientific research that clearly encourages us to reduce saturated fat and boost fruit, vegetable and fiber intake," said Barbara Moore, Ph.D., president and CEO of Shape Up America!, which founded the coalition.

The coalition said losing weight on these extreme low-carb diets can lead to such serious health problems as kidney stress, liver disorders and gout.

These diets also increase the risk for coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke and several types of cancer, plus side effects: severe constipation, gastrointestinal problems, nausea, repeated headaches, difficulty in concentrating and the loss of energy.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

THE OBSERVER , LONDON Monday, Sep 22, 2003,Page 7 The first official warning about the dangers of the Atkins diet has been issued by the British Government amid concern about the rising number of people opting for the high-fat, high-protein regime.

The Food Standards Agency, which is responsible for all the Government's nutritional guidance, has published a statement alerting the public to the health risks of low-carbohydrate diets, including the Atkins diet, claiming that they are linked to heart disease, cancer and even obesity.

ORLANDO, Florida (CNN) -- The American Heart Association has drafted an advisory paper warning the public about what it says are the dangers of high-protein diets.

"They put people at risk for heart disease and we're really concerned about that," said Dr. Robert H. Eckel, senior author of the paper. "Long-term, the saturated fat and cholesterol content of the diet will raise the ... bad cholesterol and increase the risk for cardiovascular disease, particularly heart attacks."


Eating excessive protein is not the way to reduce insulin!

One of the main goals of the so-called "low-carb" diets is to reduce the amount of insulin secreted into your bloodstream. This is a valid and noble goal. The only problem is that eating a lot of protein is not the answer. Excessive protein in the diet of a human causes all the above and more. If one studies the evolution of the human we can find out that the insulin/glucagon mechanism is a rather well engineered system for allowing the human to survive. As man evolved there would be rather long periods without food. In order to survive these periods man would call his insulin into action and have it store all the energy it could find available in his body. These periods could be as long as several days. Then when he needed to perform some work or forage for more food he would utilize his glucagon to utilize all the energy that the insulin had stored for him. This is evolutionary biochemistry at its best.

Man's biochemistry is still anachronistically Neanderthal.

As man and "civilization" has progressed to the "concept" of three squares and snacks everyday -man's biochemistry is still anachronistically Neanderthal. We have the biochemistry of the evolutionary man "mixed" with the age of fast convenience foods. We may not like the idea but man was "never" meant to eat three squares a day plus snacks. Man will do quite nicely on just one meal a day with no snacks. When you take some rather elegant evolutionary biochemistry like the insulin/glucagon system and abuse it by making it an "insulin only" system you are defying the biochemistry of the human. The "excessive insulin" is linked to many of our lifestyle diseases, especially those listed above. The answer is not to ingest protein to lower insulin -the answer is to ingest less food, reduce the number of daily feedings and make sure to ingest mother nature's balance. That is 75% complex carbohydrate, 15% protein and 10% fat.

The dangers of animal protein are well documented by the "China Study."

Probably the best and easily the longest nutritional study ever conducted is the China Study by T. Colin Campbell. This study demonstrates a linear relationship between animal protein ingestion and cancer, coronary artery disease and stroke. That meat causes osteoporosis is well documented in John Robbins "Diet for a New America." That the brain can only utilize glucose for energy has been well documented. Meat contains no carbohydrate and it is no wonder that so many Atkin's dieters are really depressed.

"In the next 10 to 15 years, one of the things you're bound to hear is that animal protein ... is one of the most toxic nutrients of all that can be considered . Risk for disease goes up dramatically when even a little animal protein is added to the diet." T. Colin Campbell Ph.D.


Just say an emphatic NO to "low-carb."

The MericleDiet is the only diet to restrict simple sugars (what some diets loosely call carbohydrate) and yet keep the brain well supplied with glucose, from complex carbohydrates. The MericleDiet is based on Mother Nature's Balance: 75% Complex Carbohydrate, 15% Protein and 10% Fat. To visit the MericleDiet follow the link below:

Thanks for your attention.

Copyright John Mericle M.D. 2005 All Rights Reserved is devoted to achieving optimal health and peak performance through diet and lifestyle change. Dr. Mericle brings together a unique blend of formal medical education, 29 marathons, 3 Hawaii Ironman competitions and a lot of practical real life experience.

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There are numerous diets out there that guarantee that they are the ones that will work. We all know who and what they are. There is the no carb, low carb, carb and low fat, grapefruit, and soup diets, to name a few. While I believe that each of these diets can work for certain individuals in the short term, research shows that crash diets dont work. Over the long term, these diets are not sustainable. After returning to normal eating patterns the average person not only gains the weight back but often put on a few pounds more than their original weight.

I would like to suggest an alternative. Make fiber your friend. Research has shown that a daily diet high in fiber can help stabilize blood sugar, lower cancer risk and control the appetite. How does this work?

There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel which coats our intestines. Insoluble fiber speeds up the passage of material through the digestive tract. A diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts will provide us with both types of fiber. The suggested amount of fiber for the average person is 25-30 grams. Most of us, in the United States, consumes less than one half of the suggested amount.

Some easy ways to introduce more fiber in our diets is to try to attain a goal of 90% fresh food to 10% processed. Start out slowly according to what your lifestyle requires. If you now subsist on a diet of wholly processed foods, try 50-50. Fiber has no nutrients. Therefore, high fiber foods which are low in fat are surprisingly low in calories. One of the best and most delicious sources of fiber are berries. Whole foods are better than juices. Try an orange instead of a glass of orange juice. A pear has more fiber than an apple. One ounce of nuts makes a good pick-me-up in the afternoon and has 2 grams of fiber.

A word of warning: Introduce fiber slowly to your diet over a period of two to three weeks to avoid cramping and gas. In addition to making these changes drink plenty of water. This help to create the bulk which, in turn, enhances the positive aspects of a diet rich in fiber.

Constance Weygandt is a balance mentor who specializes in finding answers for those individuals who are seeking an alternative to conventional weight management. For more information or to sign up for Constance's newsletter, visit her website at

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