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Are Low-Carb Diets The Answer For You — an article on the Smart Living Network
November 10, 2007 at 12:00 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Are Low-Carb Diets The Answer For You

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The latest diet craze is always on display in every supermarket aisle, and it is often mentioned in newspapers and on television.Because so many Americans are overweight, successful diets are always news.What most people search for is a way to lose weight without having to starve.Low-carb diets are very popular because people can eat quantities of food and still lose weight.There is a saying, however, that if something sounds too good to be true then it probably is.For that reason, people are wondering if low-carb diets really are healthy.

How do Low-Carb Diets Work?

Low-carb diets are based on the principal that taking in carbohydrates raises the blood sugar which in turn causes the body to produce more insulin.The insulin then prevents fat breakdown which causes weight gain.Low-carb diets use this information and take it a little farther with the theory that not eating carbohydrates will cause lower blood sugar which causes the insulin levels to be lowered.This means that the body will break down the fats ingested for energy and cause weight loss.

Why do Low-Carb Diets Work?

Low-carb diets do cause weight loss.In fact, in several recent controlled studies comparing low-carb diets with traditional diets, people did lose more weight on the low-carb diets.Mayo Clinic specialist, Dr. Donald D. Hensrud explains that there are four factors that contribute to weight loss with a low-carb diet.The first factor is that people lose water weight because when they take in fewer carbohydrates, the body burns glycogen which causes the body to rid itself of excess water.The second factor in weight loss is a decreased appetite. When the body does not have to burn carbohydrates while it burns fat, it releases ketones in the bloodstream that cause the body to feel less hungry.Working along with the second factor, the third factor is that the body feels full because the low-carb dieter takes in more fat which take more time to digest.The fourth factor is that because the diet is so limited about what foods are acceptable, low-carb dieters take in fewer calories.

What Kind of Foods are Allowed on Low-Carb Diets?

Low-carb diets push protein and limit carbohydrates.This means that the low-carb dieter eats plenty of meat, eggs, dairy-and an abundance of saturated fat.Carbohydrates would not be acceptable, and this would include pasta, potatoes, fruits and some vegetables.

Are Low-Carb Diets Healthy?

The good news is that weight loss causes the body to be healthier at least in the short term by helping to lower cholesterol and some cardiovascular risk-whether it is caused by a low-carb diet or more traditional one.Much is still unknown about the long-term effects of a low-carb diet, but there are some serious concerns.There are some good things that the diet promotes such as limiting sugar and white flour, but there are too many limits on good things. Limiting fruits and vegetables with the health benefits they provide will have consequences on a person's health.There is concern that the diet does not provide enough vitamins and minerals for sustaining good health.In addition, overloading on proteins causes extra stress on the liver and kidneys.There is still much that needs to be known about the long-term risks of a diet that is so limiting, but those that want to try it need to be aware that the risks may outweigh the benefits.

Sources: http://www.umm.edu/features/low_carb_diets.htm http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/low-carb-diet/NU00279

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