Low Carb Foods And Diet Plans

Written by Amy Hall
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Do low carb foods help you lose weight? This seems to be the million dollar question these days, and it certainly has gotten its fair share of debate in recent years. America has a growing obesity problem, with babies, teens, adults, and the elderly all falling victim to this epidemic. As a result, weight loss programs are everywhere you look.

There's the Atkins Diet, which emphasizes the importance of low carb foods, but does not give much mention to fat intake. Then there is the Zone Diet, which also cuts carbs and focuses on lean proteins as a main source of nutrition. The debate continues over the risks and benefits associated with these low carb diets. Is it really possible to eat all the bacon, cheese, eggs, and other high-fat/high-protein foods you want without incurring any health problems? Many nutritionists say "no".

Most nutritionists agree that if you eliminate carbohydrates from your diet, especially complex carbs which include whole grain products, you are doing your body a disservice. First, our bodies need nutrients from many different sources, including proteins found in fish, meats, and nuts, as well as carbohydrates found in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and finally, a limited amount of fat found in oils, butter, and animal products. If you take away a vital component of our diets, such as carbohydrates, the body reacts, and not always favorably.

The Rise in Low Carb Foods

Low carb foods are the mainstay of many popular diet plans, such as the Atkins Diet and The Zone Diet. The premise of such diets is based on the idea that limited carbohydrate intake leads to the reduction in the amount of insulin produced by the body, which forces fat and protein stores in the body to be used as a main energy source. However, it is important to keep in mind that another word for protein store is muscle.

Many people who begin eating low carb foods find that they do in fact lose weight. The problem is that it can be difficult to maintain this type of diet, and in the long-run, omitting carbohydrates from the diet is neither easy to do nor particularly beneficial. The goal should be to eat a balanced diet, which has sufficient amounts of lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and even fats. When you only eat low carb foods, you virtually eliminate many fresh fruits and vegetables that contain vital nutrients that we need to survive and maintain health.

A good majority of people who eat low carb foods to lose weight do so because the weight loss can be rapid with this type of diet. However, there are side effects to staying on such a diet for a longer period of time. For instance, many people who have remained on the low carb/high protein diet for sustained periods of time have reported feeling tired, nauseous, and even depressed. Carbohdyrates help the brain to release certain chemicals that make us feel good. With limited carbs, these chemicals don't get produced, and the result can be feelings of fatigue and depression, and even anxiety.

What Is the Solution to Low Carb Foods?

Well, most experts would agree that low carb foods can help with weight loss, but they should not be the mainstay of our diets for long periods of time. The key to weight loss is actually quite simple: a balanced diet and a regular exercise program. If you eat foods from all the food groups, and you don't consume more calories than you burn, you will lose weight, especially if you exercise on a regular basis, which is about three to five times per week.

There are some excellent diet programs available to those of us who could use a little help in the weight loss department. There are many excellent low carb foods that are packed with nutrition, and can help you reach your fat loss goals. Just keep in mind that you need to also include fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains that can provide your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to sustain energy. Please continue to read through this guide as it will touch upon the debate over low carb foods, as well as provide facts about the benefits and risks associated with such low carb diets.


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