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Low-Carb Diet, Should I or Shouldn’t I?

Low-Carb Diet, Should I or Shouldn’t 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

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

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

+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

+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

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

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