The Continuing Debate Over Proper Amounts of Protein and Carbohydrates in the Diet
How Low-Carb Diet Plans Treat Carbohydrates
By: Rick Trojan
Until more is known. About the true risks and benefits of high- protein/low-carbohydrate diets. You should view them with caution.
A number of popular diets are focused on carbohydrates. Some demonize them. Then warn you against eating any carbohydrates. Others in fact, emphasize a high carbohydrate intake. Here is how low-carbohydrate diet plans treat carbohydrates.(Such as The Zone, Atkins, South Beach and others)
For more than two decades. Dr. Robert Atkins preached and sold the gospel of protein is good for you. And carbohydrates are evil. Until recently, this line of thinking was beyond the pale. Now there is some new evidence. That backs the idea that a high- protein. Low-carbohydrate diet. May accurately help you lose weight.
Whether such a diet that also includes bacon, steaks, butter, cheese. And other foods with plenty of saturated fat is good for your overall health is another matter.
In theory, a high-protein/low carbohydrate diet could help increase your satiety. A feeling of fullness that comes with eating. Fewer carbohydrates could also avoid fast and high rises. And falls in your blood sugar. Which may also keep your hunger at bay. Together, these could help you avoid over eating. Making you satisfied with fewer calories.
That's the theory. Unfortunately, there are few good long-term studies to test it. Short-term studies have shown low- carbohydrate diets to be safe in the short term. But your weight loss is due mostly to a reduced caloric intake. Not necessarily to the low-carbohydrate nature of the diet. Such reductions often happen when you drastically change what you eat.
Two year-long studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Suggested that the benefits of a low-carbohydrate diet. May last for six months to a year. These studies compared high-fat, high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets. With low-fat, moderate-protein, high-carbohydrate diets. In both studies. The low-carbohydrate approach produced more weight loss at six months. However, by the end of a year weight loss was similar with both diets.
Apart from the uncertainty about their ability to maintain your weight loss. A high-protein diet could cause you long-term problems. Many of the high-protein foods that you choose. While on this type of diet (red and processed meats, cheese, and full-fat dairy products, for example) are high in saturated fat. But low in vitamins and minerals. This may increase your risk for heart disease and colon cancer.
Diets very high in protein (especially animal protein, like red meat). May also increase the risk for osteoporosis in women. Because your body takes calcium from the bone. To neutralize the acids that build up in your blood. From the result of you digesting such large amounts of protein.
Until more is known. About the true risks and benefits of high- protein/low-carbohydrate diets. You should view them with caution. Keep your protein intake at moderate amounts (about 8 grams a day for every 20 pounds of body weight). Vegetable protein is a better choice than animal protein. And don't skimp on the healthful carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. These should still make up a large part of your diet.
You can minimize or avoid any diet deficiencies associated with low-carbohydrates diets. When you approach your low- carbohydrate diet as an integrated part of your *-lifestyle-*, not solely an ingredient focus.
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