Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

High Carb & Low Carb Diets: How To Avoid The Dangers


There's a two hundred year history of people prescribing both high and low carb diets for weight loss. So how does one choose? One factor you should consider is the dangers associated with each diet.

What is a carbohydrate, anyways?

There are three types of nutrients that every body uses: *Proteins in our diet usually come from Meat and soy products like tofu. Amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, are used to make muscles and enzymes (the proteins that do most of the work our bodies need to survive)

* Carbohydrates are sometimes described as "sugars," but they're not just white stuff in you find in the baking aisle. Simple sugars include the sugar you put in coffee; pasta, bread, and potatoes are among the source of starches, or complex carbohydrates. Most of your body uses carbs for energy, and it's the preferred energy source for the brain.

* Fats are long, chainlike molecules that are don't mix with water (oils are fats). They are an efficient way for the body to store energy.

You can see that all three nutrients are crucial for functioning. What happens if you take in more or less of a given nutrient than you need?

The Low-Fat Diet

The low-fat diet reduces fat intake, following the governmental food pyramid that suggests using fats sparingly. There are many good reasons to limit the amount of fat in your diet:

*cholesterol and fats can result in clogged up arteries, leading to heart disease and possible cardiac damage (in the form of a heart attack), stroke, and kidney disease

*fat packs a lot of calories - if you don't use those calories up in your daily activities, they will be stored in your fat cells and cause weight gain

Low-fat diets are often higher in carbohydrates than the average American's diet. Low-fat products take advantage of the fat-carbohydrate trade-off; if you compare "lowfat" cookies with their "normal" counterparts, you may notice that the fat per serving is lower but there is more carbohydrate per serving than the "normal" alternative. Because fat is flavorful, simple sugar and loads of salt may be added to lowfat products to enhance taste.

Carbohydrates are not as good a signal of satiety. In contrast, when you eat a bit of fat, your body "recognizes" it as a signal to limit the amount of intake. So, while a low-fat diet can help you stay healthy, a no-fat diet may encourage you to eat more than you need. If you make up in carb-calories what you lose in fat-grams, excess carbs will be stored as starch in the liver and fat in your fat cells! So even though your diet is low-fat, you may end up gaining weight if you eat more carbs than you use in daily activities.

Lastly, you need the right sorts of carbs to keep healthy and assist weight loss. Simple sugars are quickly absorbed and use little energy to process - in other words, they add lots of calories to your meal. In contrast, foods with more complex carbohydrates, like starches in whole grain breads - take longer for your body to absorb and use more energy. They also give your body time to recognize that you're full. Complex carbohydrates are more likely to have vitamins (like potato skins which have lots of B12) and fiber (like whole grain bread), both of which are important for good health.

Low-Carb Diets

Low-carb diets may help you lose weight by:

* making sure that you're satiated, since both fats are better signals to your body that "food's here!" than carbohydrates

* promoting ketosis: in ketosis/ Ketones are a byproduct of burning fats and proteins instead of carbohydrates.

* leveling out your hormonal response to carbohydrates. We make the hormone insulin in response to food, particularly sugar, entering the body. It's been hypothesized that large changes in insulin levels (for example, a large increase in response to a carb-heavy meal) trigger the storage of sugars as fat.

However, if decreasing carbs increases your fat intake, serious problems can result. In some studies, about 30% of people on low-carbohydrate diets showed an increase in cholesterol levels, even if they lost weight on the diet. Studies have also shown that low-carb diets may increase in kidney problems, especially in people who already had some kidney disease.

In addition, some studies suggest that ketosis in the Atkin's diet is not caused just by fat burn but by burning muscles instead. Muscle loss does result in weight loss, but is unlikely to give you the look you want, or to help you function. Lastly ketosis can be fatal in diabetic - if you're diabetic, you should speak with your doctor before starting any diet.

Women have some special issues to think about when looking at a low-carb diet. Some studies show that people on these diets lose a lot of calcium, which makes them a bad idea for women at risk for osteopenia or osteoporosis. In addition, some low-carb diets do not include the right foods for a balanced intake of vitamins; while a few days of missed vitamins aren't a problem, chronic deficiencies can lead to skin, eye, and bone damage. And for women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, ketones can be dangerous for a fetus as well as for you.

Which Diet Should I Use?

The keys to weight loss are moderation and tailoring. If you're interested in losing weight, talk with your healthcare provider about tailoring a weight-loss plan that takes into account your current health and weight-loss goals. Lowering calories and balancing nutrients, rather than focusing on a single "culprit" gives you the best chance of long-term weight reduction.

Auchincloss, E, "Byron's Weight," Times Literary Supplement, 4896, p 15, 1997

Bravata DM, et al." Efficacy and safety of low-carbohydrate diets: A systematic review," Journal of the American Medical Association, Volume 289, issue 14. p 1837-1850. 2003.

Meckling, K, "Comparison of a low-fat diet to a low-carbohydrate diet on weight loss, body composition, and risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease in free-living, overweight men and women," Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Volume 89, issue 6, pages 2717-23

Westman, EC, et al "Effect of 6-month adherence to a very low carbohydrate diet program," American Journal of Medicine , Volume113, p. 30-36, 2002

Olsen, M., et al,"A low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-fat diet to treat obesity and hyperlipidemia," Annals of Internal Medicine, Voume 140 pages769-777, 2004

Copyright (C) Shoppe.MD and Ian Mason, 2004-2005

Learn more about health, diet and exercise at our weight loss forum.

PhenForum.com is a popular discussion forum for weight loss programs, diet tips, and support to help you burn more fat and lose weight permanently.


MORE RESOURCES:

Extreme Weight Loss Kenny and Christy [Recap/Review]
Guardian Liberty Voice
On Extreme Weight Loss on ABC tonight, Chris and Heidi Powell the transformational coaches and trainers who host the show, will have their hands full when they take on two competitors, Kenny and Christy. Kenny, who is a former Marine, weighs in at the ...
For the first time ever someone gets kicked off “Extreme Weight LossWOTV
ABCS's 'Extreme Weight Loss' Preview: Meet ChristyAccess Hollywood
Christy Oldenkamp & Kenny O'Neal, 'Extreme Weight Loss': 5 Fast Facts You ...Heavy.com
The Epoch Times -Empty Lighthouse Magazine
all 8 news articles »


Weight loss formula: take the entertainment out of food
STLtoday.com
Karen “KJ” Luther's story of going from 387 pounds to 142 pounds wasn't supposed to be a triumph for anyone but her. Then, she posted her stories on Facebook. “It sounds like a fairy tale. But after my before and after photo appeared on Facebook, so ...



Putting on pounds? There are ways to break the cycle
Asbury Park Press
Doctors say there is not one silver bullet to weight loss. All of the key programs work because they create calorie deficits: the person is taking in fewer calories than they expend through their daily activities. To lose a pound a week, a person needs ...

and more »


Summer Confessions: Weight Loss, Finding Love and 11 Other Stories of Change
TIME
Summer is the time for transformation, even if you don't have a first day of school in your future. We're not sure why, but for some reason the summer months are when people tend to find love, lose weight and discover new things about themselves. Maybe ...



Fox News

GOP rep rips Dem challenger for using ads showing him before weight loss
Fox News
The 42-year-old Reed said he's proud of his weight loss and that he had the surgery because he wanted to live longer for his two teenage children. The day of reckoning, said Reed, a former college athlete, was when his doctor said he could live to be ...

and more »


Sarah Herron Spills Her Weight Loss Secrets For Bachelor in Paradise
Wetpaint
You know how when you and your friends are watching The Bachelor or Bachelorette, comments like “why do they all look so great?” and “I would have to diet for months to go on this show” often get thrown around? Well, it appears the contestants ponder ...

and more »


Weight Loss Success: Natalie Blanton, 24, of Decatur lost 102 pounds
Atlanta Journal Constitution
Diet plan: “I started out my weight-loss journey with eliminating fast-food and working on portion control.” A typical day starts with a breakfast casserole and coffee with coconut milk. For a snack, she has cucumbers and guacamole. Lunch is a salad ...



TVbytheNumbers

TV Ratings: 'Talent' and 'Weight Loss' Take Hits
Hollywood Reporter
ABC Renews 'Extreme Weight Loss' for Fifth Season. The NBC series averaged a 1.9 rating with adults 18-49 following a steady episode of Food Fighters (1.1 adults). ABC was the only other network to air originals, offering up a new Extreme Weight Loss.
TV Ratings Tuesday: 'Food Fighters' Rises, 'America's Got Talent', 'Extreme ...TVbytheNumbers
Tuesday ratings: America's Got Talent dips in key demoDigital Spy

all 6 news articles »


Science World Report

Financial Problems Make Weight-Loss Extremely Challenging
Science World Report
The study led by researchers at the Concordia University claim that most of the weight-loss advertising normally cater to those who are willing to pay for various weight-loss programs. But, it is the poor who are more likely to be overweight or obese.
Financial Constraints Make Losing Weight More DifficultHeadlines & Global News
Battling finances a barrier to battling the bulge, study saysMedical News Today
Financial weight makes it trickier to lose pounds where it countsHealthCanal.com
News@Concordia
all 7 news articles »


The Denver Channel

READY, set… transform: Extreme Weight Loss medical director blogs about ...
The Denver Channel
Editor's note: ABC's Extreme Weight Loss is back for season four and this year participants will start their journey with a three-month boot camp at the University of Colorado's Anschutz Health and Wellness Center (AHWC). The non-competitive TV show ...


Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.