|The Lounge | Champions | The Wire | Schedule | Audio | Arcade | The Top Ten | Historical | Email | Video|
Low Carb diets have become as popular as apple pie (although apple pie wouldn't be allowed!). Everywhere you go the message is "low carb, decrease your carbs, or no carbs". Unfortunately this message oversimplifies many of the healthy eating habits that nutrition experts have been teaching. The truth is, there are no quick fixes or easy answers when it comes to healthy eating, and one size never fits all.
The idea that carbohydrates are bad or unhealthy is a misunderstood message that has taken over our thoughts on good nutrition. Low carbohydrate promoters push the theory that carbohydrates are to blame for the nation's obesity problems. The truth is overeating and general lack of exercise are mostly to blame for the obesity epidemic. Think about it this way, if the theory was true that carbohydrates cause weight gain then every person including famous athletes who eat carbs regularly would be obese. It just doesn't add up.
The Truth About Carbs:
Proponents of low carb diets claim that when carbs raise blood sugar and insulin levels, the process can make our bodies store fat more readily. This is true, but did you know that all carbs are not created equal?
There are different kinds of carbohydrates: simple and complex as well as low glycemic and high glycemic. This is where most people fail to understand better carbohydrate choices. There are no bad food choices just those foods that should be eaten daily and those that should be eaten once in awhile.
Fruits and Vegetables:
While it is true that fruits and vegetables are made up primarily of carbohydrates, the majority of them have a low glycemic index (glycemic Index is a measure of how quickly a food increases the blood sugar). This is because fruits and vegetables contain fiber which naturally keeps blood sugars level. Fruits and vegetables are also the most important food groups in our fight against chronic diseases. They are loaded in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals which act like our own personal arsenal against chronic diseases. In fact, the American Institute for Cancer Research has compiled over 4000 studies and has concluded that eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day can decrease our cancer risk by 20%. Eliminating fruits and vegetables from your diet can lead to potentially serious health problems such as heart disease and cancer.
Whole Grains- The Important Difference:
Both whole grains and refined grains (sugar, white bread, pasta, etc) are high in carbohydrate but whole grains, found in foods like oats, barley, brown rice and whole wheat breads and cereals, contain all parts of the plant kernel thus keeping their important fiber content intact. Refined grains are stripped of these nutritious components during the milling process. Yes, it is true that eating large amounts of refined carbohydrates on a daily basis can drive sugar levels up quickly. However, the fiber in whole grains slows the rise in blood sugar and therefore the insulin response.
In fact, eating small amounts of whole, complex carbohydrates throughout the day can keep blood sugars at a more even level preventing insulin rises and weight gain. Research shows that people whose diets are high in whole grains and fiber decrease their risk of diabetes, certain cancers, and heart disease.
The flip side of the coin is that most people consume extremely large portion sizes of carbohydrates, eating more refined carbohydrates than the healthy complex carbohydrates, which can lead to weight gain. The answer, however, is not to give up all carbohydrates. It is not all or nothing as we learned from the low fat craze. We need to learn how to balance our diets to provide enough energy and nutrients that we get from all of our food groups throughout the day. By removing all carbohydrates from your diet you are setting yourself up for potential health problems not to mention bad breath (side effect of ketosis), hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), and low energy levels.
Very low carbohydrate diets would not be of concern to health professionals and nutrition experts if they weren't so significantly low in important nutrients and so high in saturated fats. Recent studies have found that low carbohydrate diets are deficient in as many as 19 vitamins and minerals and as many as 11 micronutrients. According to Dr. Bruce Ames, a professor of molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkley; vitamin and mineral deficiencies such as these can lead to DNA damage that can cause you to age prematurely and could lead to cancer and degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. There is further evidence that these diets can lead to other diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis. It is important to remember that these diets were developed for weight loss and not healthy eating guidelines.
Choose small amounts (½ cup to 1 cup) of whole grains with each meal. Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables throughout the day and you will be able to manage your weight and your health at the same time! People who have achieved lifelong weight loss have done so by making lifestyle changes such as eating a balanced diet and increasing their daily activity, not by following fad diets.
Most importantly, don't depend on fad diets to give you nutrition advice. They generally look at a small piece of the puzzle instead of looking at the whole picture. There is no need to increase your health risk to lose weight. Choose to eat a balanced diet and increase your activity so you can lose weight and maintain optimal health at the same time.
© Meri Raffetto, 2004
Meri Raffetto is a Registered Dietitian and a recognized professional in the area of nutrition and wellness. She has developed online weight management programs to help people get off of diets and get into way of life. For more information or to sign up for her free newsletter, visit http://www.reallivingnutrition.com
Woman says 'slow and steady' won her weight loss race - WQAD.com -- Quad Cities News & Weather from WQAD
The Hated Cellulite Cure That Works
Cellulite is not a medical condition or an aesthetic mutiny perpetrated by your thighs. It's just excess fat that we've relegated as unsightly.
What is Back to Normal After Gastric Bypass Surgery?
It is common for new WLS patients to ask, "How soon after surgery will I get back to normal?" This is understandable. We've spent a lifetime dieting for the short-term - the 30-day diet, the six-week program, the lose-ten-pounds-over-the-weekend diet.
Successful WLS Patients Make Right Their Nutritional Wellness
It seems there are two schools of behavior patients follow after gastric bypass surgery:The first are the patients who realize WLS is a second chance to make right their nutritional wellness and they exchange the eating habits and poor food choices that made them obese for a smarter way of eating. These patients become champions of healthy ingredients and wholesome eating making conscious choices for how they fuel their bodies.
Obesity & Weight Management Is a Social Issue
Much has been written about obesity and globesity. Obesity is perhaps the biggest drain on any nations economic resources with a mind-boggling costs to which researchers are yet to put a final figure.
Weight Loss Online -- The Fastest & Easiest Weight Loss Plan
My first article provided steps for fast healthy weight loss. This was followed by my easy weight loss plan.
Gastric Bypass Surgery - Get Your Vitamins!
Gastric bypass patients face a great task in the following months and years after surgery, most of which includes monumental lifestyle changes in comparison to their old habits and methods. The most important of all, given that gastric bypass patients have a new, tiny stomach to fill is diet.
Walking: A Key to Weight Loss
Doctors prescribe Walking as the best medicine for weight loss.We walk everyday.
Weight Loss & Health Tips Revealed: Can I Be Fit And Fat?
We all have an image of "fit" - lean, even thin, with a healthy glow. Many researchers are now beginning to question that picture of fitness - there may be more to being "fit" and less to being "fat" than conventional wisdom suggests.
What Cows Know About Weight Loss That We Have Forgotten
I want to talk to you about cows and what they can teach us about weight loss, or more specifically, fat loss. While it may not be obvious, we can learn a very important lesson from cows.
Alternatives When Considering Liposuction
One alternative method to traditional and tumescent liposuction is mesotherapy. Mesotherapy involves a series of injections of varying ingredients.
The Benefits of Omega3 Fatty Acids - Losing Weight with Fat!
Essential Fats for Weight LossOver the past few decades, the cornerstone of a good, solid weight loss plan has included studying the 'Nutrition Information' on food packaging, thumbing nervously through a 600 page (yet implausibly titled 'pocket sized') calorie counter and triumphantly and guiltlessly striding down supermarket aisles with a trolley brimming with exquisitely packaged, molecule sized, fat free food.To most people, avoiding fat (or consuming as little as possible) is the sure-fire path to a slim and slender body.
Low Carb Diet - The Way To Weight Loss?
Everybody you know is on the latest weight loss bandwagon: The Low Carb Diet. They've seen the astounding results on the scale and have lost 10+ pounds in a short period of time.
Obesity Prevention Must Begin at Home
Not losing weight but gaining it is why we are faced with an obesity epidemic in children. This is the real problem.
Snacking, Fear, Greed and the Gastric Bypass Tool
Do you remember nodding your head with understanding during your pre/post WLS seminar when the speaker said, "Gastric bypass is only a tool, the rest is up to you." I nodded my head to the nurse dietician as she spoke to the room of fresh-out-of-surgery gastric bypass patients.
Gastric Bypass Patients Succeed Eating High Protein Diet
The first rule for successful weight loss and weight maintenance after Weight Loss Surgery (WLS) is Protein First - that means eating protein for three daily meals, and protein must be 50 percent of food intake. Some bariatric centers advise as much as 70 grams of protein a day.
The Culprit of Obesity in Children - Inactivity
It was bad enough hearing almost daily that obesity in adults is a growing problem, now our children are the focal point. Yes, moms and dads, the research is in.
Causes of Childhood Obesity
Obesity is defined as an excessive accumulation of body fat. Obesity is present when total body weight is more than 25 percent fat in boys and more than 32 percent fat in girls.
Best Diet Plan Available
Diet Fads-Forget about 'EmAnother fad "best diet" bites the dust. Adkins Company filed for bankruptcy recently after making a huge impact on the American diet scene.
Weight Loss Through the Right Natural Food
At its most basic, dieting is about burning more calories than you take in. It's simple mathematics.
Burn More Fat With Insulin Control: The Secret Weight Loss Switch
If you're serious about losing weight and getting fit, you might be interested in what I'm about to tell you. If you're like most people who don't have time to do cardio exercise and weight training for a few hours a day, then you need to read on.
Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us
Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.