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Are Low Carb Diets Good or Bad?

A ran across a couple of news links today on low carb diets. First up, USA Today posted that a new study found that dieters on a low carb diet lost more than dieters on a low fat diet. It went on to say that experts say these findings are very preliminary, but really, at this point, I thought the concept that a diet with lower carbs would equal more fat loss was a given. After all the low fat diet craze was part of what spurred on all the low fat, higher sugar products out there, which many, including me, believe is part of the reason we have so much obesity and so many people struggling with weight control problems out there today.

The results of their study showed that participants burned about 300 calories more a day on a low-carb diet than they did on a low-fat diet.

Low-glycemic index dieters lost 150 calories more per day than the low-fat dieters. Their conclusion was that these diets, by not causing the surge and crash in blood sugar, didn't trigger the starvation response of slowing down metabolism to conserve energy.The low-glycemic index diet, similar to a Mediterranean diet, was made up of vegetables, fruit, beans, healthy fats (olive oil, nuts) and mostly healthy grains (old-fashioned oats, brown rice).

This diet, they believed, was healthier in the long run because it avoided any problems of cardiovascular risk that was feared from the low-carb diet.The low-carb diet consisted of mainly fish, chicken, beef, eggs, cheese, some vegetables and fruits while eliminating foods such as breads, pasta, potatoes and starchy vegetables. Their low-carb diet consisted of only 10% of calories from carbohydrates.

Another article from way over in the UK, from Express.co.uk, was all about heart attack risk from dieters on extremely low-carb diets, like the Adkins diet. According to their article, cutting daily carbohydrate intake by just 20g, equivalent to a small bread roll, and increasing protein by 5g, or one boiled egg, increased the risk of cardiovascular disease by five per cent. Further they posted that it is claimed that when the low-carb diet is followed to excess, the chances of heart disease, stroke or narrowed arteries soared by 60 per cent.

My take on this is simple. We know that food with sugar, especially processed foods, cause weight gain which leads to diabetes, heart disease, and all the rest. We know that fruits and vegetables are good for us, but even too much fruit can lead to weight gain because of the sugar.

I found the best plan for me at this point, to lose a few pounds and stay healthy, is to not to cut out all carbs, but eat them more during the daytime. So beans, fruit, and so forth I try to eat now before 4 p.m. After that, it's primarily lean meat and green vegetables, like kale and spinach, which I eat during the day as well. On alternating days, I'll eat low fat yogurt with a banana, berries, coconut, and nuts after a workout, but I notice that on those days my weight is completely stabilized as long as I eat it around 7 at night. Past that, anything, healthy fruit or not will make you gain the next day I've found for myself at least.

My goal at this point is to cut a few last pounds for the sake of being ripped, but the average person who tends to eat processed foods and sodas need only junk the junk food and see easy weight loss and a great increase in their health at the same time.

To be honest I'm really not into eating breads. I'll have a 100 percent whole wheat bun twice a week, but that's about it. I would recommend never eating white bread. You can never lose any weight and it's just not healthy in all honesty. The healthiest thing on the planet to eat is vegetables, but even so you need a balanced diet which means eating lean meat and eggs for protein. Throw in an avocado a day, a couple of pieces of fruit, and some nuts and you can't go wrong, but if you had to do a particular diet I'd go with the Mediterranean diet over an Adkins like diet. Anything you can do for the long haul is far more superior than something you can only do short term. It's all about changing your lifestyle from a non-healthy to healthy lifestyle. The race of life is a marathon not a sprint.

Posted by Tim Frady the Hip2bfit.com webmaster

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