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Low Carbohydrate Diet

browse diets: Diets / Low Carb Diets / Low Carbohydrate Diet

How does a low carbohydrate diet work? A low-carb diet limits carbohydrates such as grains, starchy vegetables and fruit and emphasizes dietary protein and fat. Many types of low-carb diets exist, each with varying restrictions on the types and amounts of carbohydrates you can eat. The theory behind the low-carb diet is that insulin prevents fat break down in the body by allowing sugar to be used for energy. Proponents of the low-carb diet believe that decreasing carbs results in lower insulin levels, which causes the body to burn stored fat for energy, which ultimately helps you shed excess weight and reduces risk factors for a variety of health conditions. Two of the most popular low carbohydrate diets are the Atkins Diet and the South Beach Diet.

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If you answer yes to more than 50% of the following questions, the Low Carbohydrate Diet is right for you:

  • 1Do you want to change your overall eating habits?
  • 2Do you enjoy the types and amounts of foods featured in low-carb diets, such as protein?
  • 3Do you want a diet that restricts certain carbs to help you lose weight?
  • 4Do you need to improve your HDL cholesterol and triglyceride values?
  • 5Do you feel like eating even though you just finished a meal?
  • 6Do you feel urges to eat throughout the day, not necessarily related to a meal schedule or even true hunger?
  • 7Do you feel fatigued, fuzzy-headed, or have difficulty concentrating without a "pick me up" snack between meals?
  • 8Do you frequently feel sluggish after eating, especially after a meal rich in starches and sugars?

The Low Carbohydrate Diet promise to you?

The low carbohydrate diet is based on the idea that you consume less calories. Those who eat more protein, vegetables and fruits tend to burn more calories and lose weight. Low carbohydrate diets force your body to use fat for energy. When your brain doesn't have any dietary carbohydrates to use, it causes your body to metabolize the carbohydrates you have stored in your muscles and liver, and then metabolize the protein found in your muscles. This helps you burn more fat. Because of this, low carbohydrate muscles promise to help you burn more fat and lose weight.

The Theory and Details Behind the Low Carbohydrate Diet

The theory behind the low carbohydrate diet involves forcing your body to burn fat for energy. When you don't eat very many carbohydrates, it forces your body to metabolize the carbohydrates you have stored in your liver and muscles for energy. Because of this, you burn more fat and are able to lose weight. It's all about putting food in your body that will help your body burn the most amount of fat.

Phase one involves an extreme high protein, low calorie diet for three days. This phase is designed to jump start weight loss as excess water is released. Phase two is based on high quality proteins such as eggs, fish, and dairy. Dieters are allowed three meals and three snacks daily. This phase is to be followed until dieters are within five pounds of their goal weight.

What You Can Eat:

Low carbohydrate diets allow you to eat high amounts of protein, like eggs, fish, meat and poultry. You can also eat some non-starchy vegetables. You are supposed to exclude, or eat very few breads, pastas, grains, beans, fruits and starchy vegetables. Sometimes you are allowed to eat nuts or seeds. Occasionally, some low carbohydrate diets will allow you to eat specific fruits or vegetables, and certain whole grains. You are usually expected to eat somewhere between 50-150 grams of carbohydrates per day.

Where most diets restrict the amount of calories you can have, low carbohydrate diets generally do not so this. You are allowed to each as much protein and fat as you want, as long as you avoid eating carbohydrates. Some people who support low carbohydrates diets feel that the food you eat is more dense with nutrients, which makes you feel fuller longer. This in turn helps you consume less calories and lose weight.

Things to Watch Out For:

Recently, there has been a lot of media and hype surrounding low carbohydrate diets. This has led to an increase in food products that claim to be low carbohydrate. Some people wonder if these supposed low-carb foods do in fact have fewer calories or if it's all just a marketing ploy. Published findings have concluded that many products labeled low-carb have almost the same amount of calories as traditional products and usually have more fat. This has not been made known to the general public. Consumers need to be aware that everything labeled as low carbohydrate is not always as it seems. The best way to avoid falling prey to this is to eat unprocessed foods. That way you know exactly what is in them and you don't have to worry about any added things you don't want.

What Health Care Professionals Say About the Low Carbohydrate Diet

The World Health Organization issued a report stating that people who ate large amounts of fruit and vegetables, low-fat dairy products and whole grains were less likely to gain body fat that people who followed a diet high in fat and low in carbohydrates. In 2002 the Institute of Medicine gave recommendations about what Americans should eat as a regular diet. They suggest 45-65% of calories come from carbohydrates, 20% come from fat, and 10-25% come from protein. In order for your brain to function normally, you need to eat at least 130 grams of carbohydrate each day.

In May of 2004, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition discovered that low carbohydrate diets did not have any advantage over other diets that included carbohydrates with the same calories. They found that the amount of calories you eat is more important that what those calories are comprised of.

In 2002 the American Kidney Fund found that high-protein diets can cause scarring in the kidneys. This forces your kidneys to process more wastes that come from excess protein. They conducted a study that looked at the kidneys of endurance runners who were on a high-protein diet. Their research proved what they originally thought. A diet that causes dehydration makes your kidneys work extra hard to get the toxins out of your blood.

Examples of Low Carbohydrate Diet Meals: #1

BreakfastScrambled eggs, sausages and steamed spinach
SnackString cheese
LunchRoast beef on salad greens, with bean sprouts, olives, onions and dressing
SnackGranola bar
DinnerBaked salmon steak, asparagus, and arugula salad with cherry tomatoes and cucumbers

Examples of Low Carbohydrate Diet Meals: #2

BreakfastOne low carb muffin and one hard-boiled egg
SnackOlives
LunchCobb salad (avocado, tomato, chicken, hard-boiled egg, blue cheese and bacon over lettuce) with olive and balsamic vinaigrette
SnackCheddar cubes
DinnerSalmon with Steels Wasabi Teriyaki sauce, Steamed green beans with sesame oil, cabbage slaw with low carb Cole Slaw dressing

The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living

In this book, you will learn why:

  • Carbohydrate restriction is the proverbial 'silver bullet' for managing insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and type-2 diabetes.
  • Restricting carbohydrate improves blood glucose and lipids while reducing inflammation, all without drugs.
  • Dietary saturated fat is not a demon when you are low carb adapted.
  • Dietary sugars and refined starches are not needed to feed your brain or fuel exercise.
  • Long-term success involves much more than simply cutting out carbs.
  • Electrolyte and mineral management are key to avoiding side effects and ensuring success.
  • Trading up from sugars and starches to a cornucopia of nutrient-rich, satisfying, and healthy foods is empowering.
  • Studying hunter-gathers' diets provides clues to how best formulate a low carbohydrate diet.
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