|The Lounge | Champions | The Wire | Schedule | Audio | Arcade | The Top Ten | Historical | Email | Video|
Low-Carb Diets: Are You Losing More than Weight?
The average American eats about twice as much protein than what they require. Some people, in the pursuit of thinness, are going on low-carb diets and are eating up to four times the protein their body needs. Protein deficiency is certainly not a problem in America. So exactly how much protein do you really need? Much less than you think.
Protein is a vital nutrient, essential to your health. In its purest form, protein consists of chains of amino acids. There are 22 amino acids that combine to form different proteins, and 8 to 9 of these must come from the foods we eat. Our body uses these amino acids to create muscles, blood, skin, hair, nails and internal organs. Proteins help replace and form new tissue, transports oxygen and nutrients in our blood and cells, regulates the balance of water and acids, and is essential for making antibodies.
However, too much of a good thing may not be so good for you. Many people are putting their health at risk by eating to much protein. Excessive protein consumption, particularly animal protein, can result in heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, and kidney stones. As important as protein is for our body, there are many misconceptions about how much we really need in our diet, and the best way to obtain it.
According to the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health, as little as 50-60 grams of protein is enough for most adults. This breaks down to about 10-12% of total calories. Your body only needs 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight. To calculate the exact amount you need, multiply your weight in pounds by 0.36 (if using kilograms, multiply your weight in kilograms by 0.8). This will give you your optimum daily protein requirement in grams. Infants, children, pregnant and nursing women require more protein.
People on low-carb diets are consuming up to 34% of their total calories in the form of protein and up to 53% of total calories from fat. Most of these people are unaware of the amount of protein and fat that is contained in the foods they eat. For instance, a typical 3-ounce beef hamburger, which is small by American standards, contains about 22 grams of protein and 20 grams of fat. You achieve quick weight loss on these diets because of this high fat content.
High fat foods give you the sensation of feeling full, faster, so you end up eating fewer total calories. However, this type of protein and fat combination is not the healthiest. Animal proteins are loaded with cholesterol and saturated fat. Many people on these diets also experience an elevation in their LDL (the bad) cholesterol when they remain on this diet for long periods. High levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood, clog arteries and is the chief culprit in heart disease, particularly heart attack and stroke. So while you may lose weight in the short-run, you are putting your cardiovascular health in jeopardy in the long-run.
Another reason weight loss is achieved on these low-carb diets, at least temporarily, is due to water loss. The increase in the amount of protein consumed, especially from meat and dairy products, raises the levels of uric acid and urea in the blood. These are toxic by-products of protein breakdown and metabolism. The body eliminates this uric acid and urea by pumping lots of water into the kidneys and urinary tract to help flush it out. However, a detrimental side effect of this diuretic response is the loss of essential minerals from the body, including calcium. The high intake of protein leaches calcium from the bones, which leads to osteoporosis.
Medical evidence shows that for every 1 gram increase in animal protein ingested the body loses an average of 1.75 milligrams of calcium in the urine. Additionally, as calcium and other minerals are leached from our bones, they are deposited in the kidneys, which can form into painful kidney stones. If a kidney stone becomes large enough to cause a blockage, it stops the flow of urine from the kidney and must be removed by surgery or other methods.
Plant-based proteins, like beans, legumes and soyfoods, also provide fiber, which helps lowers LDL cholesterol and raises HDL (the good) cholesterol. This prevents the build up of arterial plaque, which leads to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and heart disease, thus reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. The amount and type of protein in your diet also has an important impact on calcium absorption and excretion.
Vegetable-protein diets enhance calcium retention in the body, and causes less calcium excretion in the urine. This reduces the risk of osteoporosis and kidney problems. Interestingly, kidney disease is far less common in people who eat a vegetable-based diet than it is in people who eat an animal-based diet.
By replacing animal protein with vegetable protein, and replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fat (like olive and canola oils), you can avoid the pitfalls of the typical high-protein low-carb diet. You will improve your health and regulate your weight while enjoying a vast array of delicious, nutritionally dense, high fiber foods.
Remember, eat everything in moderation and nothing in excess. Also, the healthy way to lose weight and keep it off is to eat nutritiously and make permanent lifestyle changes that allow you burn more calories than you take in.
Copyright © 2005 Monique N. Gilbert. All rights reserved.
Monique N. Gilbert, B.Sc. is a Health, Nutrition & Lifestyle Coach, Certified Personal Trainer/Fitness Counselor, Recipe Developer, Freelance Writer and Author of Virtues of Soy: A Practical Health Guide and Cookbook. To learn more about Monique's personal coaching program, go to http://www.MoniqueNGilbert.com
Author Bio . . .
Monique N. Gilbert, B.Sc. has offered guidance in natural health, nutrition, fitness, weight-loss and stress management since 1989. Through her coaching and writings, Monique motivates and teaches how to improve your well-being, vitality and longevity with balanced nutrition, physical activity and healthy stress-free living. For more information, visit http://www.MoniqueNGilbert.com
Taking Control of Your Subconscious for Permanent Weight Loss
From the moment of birth your first emotional experiences establish your subconscious perceptions of the world. There is not a moment of the day or night that you are not affected by your emotions.
Weight Loss vs. Body Fat - Mirrors and Clothes dont Lie!
With the growing epidemic of diabetes and obesity in our country, we fitness experts must education you on how to slow them down or give you some form of prevention guidelines.First, what does it mean to be obese? Obese means that at least thirty percent of your weight is made up of fat.
What to Eat After Gastric Bypass Surgery
Many people are under the impression that gastric bypass surgery is the easy way out of obesity. However, those that believe this unfortunately misunderstand the operation and its lifestyle and mind altering effects.
You Dont Have to Stop Eating Out Because You Are On Diet
Diners have become more health-conscious the last few years, andnow want healthy choices whether eating at home or at theirfavorite restaurants. Luckily, the restaurant industry has beenquick to accommodate the demand, so you'll find you have manyoptions to "eat healthy" these days.
The Cost of Gastric Bypass Surgery
The cost of gastric bypass surgery and other bariatric surgical procedures are high averaging between $20,000 and $35,000. Many insurance companies are beginning to see obesity as a serious health disorder, however, and have begun to cover some of the cost of gastric bypass surgery.
Push a Button to Lose Weight
Trash Your TV! is pleased to announce the easiest weight loss program in the world. It is as easy as pushing a button-the "Power" button on your TV.
Signature Lines on Weight Loss Websites
A reader recently wrote to ask why I don't include my weight statistics in my signature line. A great observation and excellent question.
Exercise and Low Carb Diets Make Poor Partners
Over the last twenty five years the most common questioned asked me by frustrated exercisers, has been what exercise routine will get me the body I desire? My answer is always the same. They need to start exercising better judgement and learn that exercise alone will not solve their body composition problem.
Real Weight Loss Begins Today...With Cliff Kuhn, M.D.s Fun Factor Diet!
Weight Loss is something that many Americans struggle with. In this article, Cliff Kuhn, M.
Weight Loss: The A Factor - The #1 Secret to Sticking to Your Weight Loss Program!
Twenty years ago, I did not expect to accomplish what I have in the fitness world. And I surely didn't dream about writing best-sellingbooks or think my story was worth retelling.
Weight Loss NOW! The Soft Drink Diet
In the early nineties doctors were beginning to see the growing trend in American's waistlines. So for a very short period of time they came out on the offense by promoting better foods to eat.
Motivation the Key or the Curse?
"Life would be perfect if only I was thin." That one thought passes through the minds of millions everyday when they think of weight loss.
Fat Burning Secrets For Cardio Workouts
Lets face it, most of us live pretty busy lives and the amount of time spent exercising does eat up what little free time a lot of us have. I don't like to waste my free time anymore than anyone else so if I am going to use it up on an activity, I feel the rewards of the activity should out way the cost.
Tips to Help Control Food Cravings
Food cravings can be triggered by various things including low blood sugar, stress, and other emotional triggers. The best way to take control is to understand how to balance your meals and snacks to avoid the traps that trigger food cravings.
Do You Want To Lose Weight Without Going Crazy?
Here's what to do if you want to wear that slinky black dress, and stay sane:1. Make sure that you're not being neurotic and overly body conscious.
Weight Loss Pills: Miracle Drugs or Money Wasters?
Losing weight is a lifelong commitment. It takes patience and self-discipline to stick with a weight loss program and wait for the end results.
Atkins Diet Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL) Carbohydrate Ladder
The Atkins low-carb diet consists of four phases: Induction, Ongoing Weight Loss, Pre-Maintenance, and Maintenance. This article focuses on phase II of the Atkins diet, ongoing weight loss, or OWL.
Fake Weight Loss Programs and Pills: Is Your Weight Loss Program Safe and Effective?
In this age being ignorant is like committing a crime. With so much of knowledge around you, following a trend blindly doesn't confirm the fact that you are intelligent.
When is a Diet not a Diet? When Its a Lifestyle!
Dieting and weight loss is almost certainly the most lucrative of all health- related businesses both online and off. our waistlines are bulging, our health is deteriorating and diet "guru's" are on the run.
7 Reasons Low Carb Diets are Wrong
The human body is designed to run best on a certain type and balance of fuel. Unfortunately the latest low-carbohydrate fad diets are not fuel that the human body was designed to run on.
Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us
Copyright © BoxingScene.com LLC. All rights reserved.