Friday, December 08, 2006

Low-Carb Diet - Should I or Shouldnt I?

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Low-Carb Diet - Should I or Shouldnt I?

It's no wonder that confusion reigns when it comes to the worth and reliability of low-carb diets after all the conflicting studies and confusing interpretation of the information. It seems like debates are popping up everywhere!

No matter if it's Atkins, South Beach or some other low-carb plan, there are approximately 30 million Americans are on a low-carb diet.

Supporters contend that the large amount of carbohydrates in our diet has led to increased problems with obesity, diabetes, and other health situations. On the other hand, some attribute obesity and related health problems to over eating of calories and lack of physical activity. They also express concern that without grains, fruits, and vegetables in low-carbohydrate diets may lead to deficiencies of some key nutrients, including vitamin C, fiber, folic acid, and many minerals.

It is already known that any diet, whether high or low in carbohydrates, can produce meaningful weight loss during the early stages of the diet. Keep in mind, the key to a diet being successful is in being able to lose the weight on a permanent basis.

Let's see if we can expose some of the mystery about low-carb diets. Following, is a listing of some related points taken from recent studies and scientific literature.

Point 1 - Some Differences Between Low-Carb Diets

There are many famous diets created to lower carbohydrate consumption. Lowering total carbohydrates in the diet means that protein and fat will take up a proportionately greater amount of the total caloric intake.

Low carbohydrate diet like the Atkins Diet restrict carbohydrate to a point where the body becomes ketogenic (a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that includes normal amounts of protein). Other low-carb diets like the Zone and Life Without Bread are less confined. Some, like Sugar Busters announce only to eliminate sugars and foods that elevate blood sugar levels excessively.

Point 2 - What We Know about Low-Carb Diets

+Close to all of the studies to date have been small with a diversity of research objectives. Carbohydrate, caloric intake, diet duration and participant characteristics are wide-ranged greatly. Most of the studies to date have two things in common, none of the research studies had people in the study with a average age over 53 and none of the controlled studies lasted more than 90 days.

+The results on older adults and long-term results are scarce. Many diet studies fail to keep track of the amount of exercise, and therefore caloric use, while people in the study are dieting. This helps to explain the variances between studies.

+If you lose weight on a low-carb diet it is a function of the calorie intake and length of the diet, and not with reduced amount of carbohydrates.

+There is very little evidence on the long-range safety of low-carb diets. Even though the medical community has concerns, no short-term bad effects have been found with cholesterol, glucose, insulin and blood-pressure levels among the people in the study on the diets. Because of the short period of the studies the adverse effects may not show up. Losing weight typically leads to improvement in these levels, and this may offset an increase caused by a high fat diet. The over-all weight changes for low-carb and other types of diets are similar.

+Most low-carb diets can cause ketosis. Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and confusion are some of the potential consequences. When first starting a low-carb diet some fatigue and constipation may be met and these symptoms usually disappear quickly.

+Some report that you can have more calories when on a low-carb diet. Remember a calorie is a calorie no matter what you intake. When the study is not closely supervised variations will result by people cheating in the study on many factors of the study.

There are three important factors I would like to re-emphasize:

1.- The over-all success rate for low-carb and other types of diets are similar.

2.- Small amount of information exists on the long-term efficacy and safety of low-carb diets despite their huge popularity,

3.- Dieters usually experience boredom with a strict version of the low-carb diet and are not able to stay on diets of low carb food.

After observing the subject, a more severe and controlled study are needed on a long-range basis. The ketosis produced is abnormal and stressful metabolic state. The results may cause more problems than it solved.

By picking a reliable diet you will benefit over a lifetime of proper eating and not a weight loss quickie. An excellent rule of thumb is look at the diet long-range and see if you can see yourself still on that diet after a couple of weeks. However, by following a diet with fat, carbohydrates, protein and other nutrients in moderation may be the best way to go and a little more exercise won't hurt either.

Jim has been interested in health factors for most of his life. Most of his knowledge is from investigating the many faucets for a healthy being. You can learn more of low carb dieting by visiting:

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Low-carb Diets: Fad, Fallacy, or Fact?

The most common and popular diet fad over the past two years has undoubtedly been the low-carb diet. It has many followers, both in the U.K. and the U.S.A., and its various celebrity endorsements, particularly of the most renowned version, The Atkins Diet, have undoubtedly played a large part in its popularity. Is it merely another fad diet designed to hook the diet junkies amongst us and deliver more opportunities for the food manufacturers to create another new product in response to the demand? Or could it be that it is actually a healthy and effective way of losing and controlling weight?

The whole concept of a diet is, of course a false one, perpetuated in order to keep the diet industry in profit and playing on our insecurities and gullibility. The word diet simply means the food that is customarily eaten on a daily basis. People living in less developed countries and living on a subsistence diet would be totally baffled by the notion that a diet is a means of eating less in order to lose weight! However, in the greedy and overfed western world, we either fail to grasp that we eat too much for our needs, or we lack the self control to eat less. Furthermore, we are inundated with opportunities to eat delicious tempting treats at comparatively low cost, and these items are often those with the highest calorie content.

Many studies have shown that reducing our carbohydrate intake is not only an effective way to control weight but also has a part to play in reducing the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, the incidence of which has shown a worrying increase in recent years. It would be a fairly simple step merely to reduce the amount of carbs (bread, rice, potatoes, for example) that we eat on a daily basis. Over time, we would undoubtedly lose weight.

From the point of view of our long-term health however, we need to take a more scientific approach and look at carbohydrates in terms of good and bad ones. The most commonly consumed carbohydrates in the western world, and particularly the U.K. and U.S.A. are the simple or refined carbohydrates. These include sugar, white flour, potatoes, white rice and products manufactured from these ingredients. They are generally low in fibre and nutrients.

On the other hand, the range of complex carbohydrates, which includes whole grains, many fruits and vegetables, beans and pulses are generally high in fibre and nutrients and can make a valuable contribution to our health and well being. It would be misguided to eliminate these good carbohydrates from our diet in the interests of short-term weight loss. Surely it is better to adapt our way of eating on a permanent basis, to one which includes a range of complex carbohydrates, among other elements, and if necessary to just eat less?

Jon Davis gives you the Low Down on Low Carb foods, diets & recipes, so you can make your own intelligent well formed decisions using

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Low Carb Diet Secrets Revealed!

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Low Carb Diet Secrets Revealed!

You may be considering a low carb diet program, but wonder if they really work, and if so, how well?

Let's take the mystery out of low carb diets by giving you the 3 most important elements to their success.

First, you need to bring your carboydrate cravings under control. Some diet programs argue that most of us are addicted to carbohydrates. Others take a more moderate approach and link it to the glycemic index.

All of the low carb diets are consistent on this one fact though - you need to overcome short-term cravings to ensure long term weight loss success.

There is definite scientific proof linking simple carbohydrates, such as sugar, to cravings you have for more food.

Second, you need to focus on better carbs versus the worse carbs. What that means is simply that you must consider which carbohydrates result in more glucose spikes being created by your body.

Simple carbs are quickly absorbed and result in significant glucose spikes which, can result in more fat being stored in your body. Low carb diets balance overall carbohydrate input with the quality and type of carbohydrates.

Just by reducing the simple carbs in your diet such as sugar, milk, some fruit you can make a big difference in curbing your cravings for more food.

Third, you must gain confidence in the delicious foods you are able to eat on low carb diets so that you stick with the change. You cannot expect to achieve long term success with your diet program if you are not educated or satisfied with the amazing alternative foods at your disposal.

Low carb diets can lead to weight loss, health benefits and an entire lifestyle change - however you don't have to give up everything you enjoy in order to experience rapid weight loss.

By focusing on foods that trigger chemical and biological reactions in your body resulting in cravings, you can burn fat and increase your health at the same time.

About The Author

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