Health Club | Your Portal for Health Information and Lifestyle » Low Carb Health Club is your source for health information and wellness articles, information about vitamins, supplements, nutrition, medical information, weight loss and diets. Wed, 16 Jan 2013 15:06:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Special Diets – Dietary Needs Tue, 14 Jun 2011 09:18:44 +0000 Healthy Eating

Special Diets – Dietary Needs


Adding a low GI food to a meal will lower the glycemic index of the whole meal.


Usually protein-restricted diets come with other restrictions as well, such as sodium, potassium, and/or phosphorus. The best way to manage this is to check the exact values at the back of the book for all nutrients in the recipe to be sure they fit into your daily allowances. The most generalized advice for using any recipe is to serve only half portions and bulk up the rest of the meal with pasta or rice. I have also provided variations on recipes that reduce the protein levels. Whenever possible I have substituted tofu, beans, or additional vegetables for the meat and where necessary increased some of the seasonings to compensate for the loss of the “meaty” flavors.

Special Diets

Special Diets


The recipes in this book are written without specific salt suggestions. If you are on a lowsodium diet, just don’t add any salt. That should be adequate for most “no salt added” diets. If you are on a restricted sodium diet, look for the low-sodium variations of the recipes. Wherever canned products are called for, use salt-free products or homemade products prepared without salt. Check the sodium content of each recipe in the back of the book to be sure you are staying within your prescribed guidelines.


Cholesterol and fat are two separate issues but they are frequently both of concern to the diabetic. Cholesterol is an issue for anyone at risk for heart disease, and as a diabetic your risk is greater than the general population. Therefore, many people with diabetes try to keep their cholesterol intake to less than 300 milligrams per day. Most of these recipes are moderate to low in fat and cholesterol. Whenever a recipe seems higher in cholesterol, I try to present a lower-cholesterol variation. The only fats that contain cholesterol are those that come from animal products, such as butter or ghee (clarified butter), lard, chicken fat, and suet. Of course there are also “invisible” fats such as the marble in meats or skin of poultry—or the not-soinvisible layer of fat outside a roast or ham. Oils from plants do not contain cholesterol. As a rule, any dish that is vegan (no meat/no dairy) is cholesterol-free. Look for reduced-protein variations to find vegetarian versions of meat/chicken/fish dishes that are also lower in cholesterol. Check for actual figures in the back of the book to see if the recipes fit in with your needs.


Although some physicians, such as Dean Ornish, prescribe very very low fat diets, not all sources agree with him. Many physicians feel that some fat is essential in the diet. Current findings indicate that eating monosaturates (molecules that have one double bond—consult your high school chemistry texts for further explanation), such as olive oil or canola oil, ctually protects your heart. Polyunsaturates (molecules that have more than one double bond) are also considered healthy oil. They are safflower, sunflower, corn, cottonseed, and peanut oils. However, saturated fats (molecules with no double bonds), which come primarily from animal fats, as well as tropical oils are extremely unhealthy and should be limited to less than 10 percent of the daily total fat intake.


Although weight control and heart disease are probably the leading reasons for people to watch their fat intake, there are other conditions such as gallbladder and liver disease that also require fat counting. Most recipes have less than 1 teaspoon of fat content per serving. Whenever possible I have variations for even lower-fat methods to prepare recipes.


When you say carbohydrates many people think bread, pasta/grain/cereal, beans, and potatoes. These carbohydrates are also known as starches. Although they are carbohydrates, they are just a small part of the carbohydrate universe. There are other foods that are also sources of carbohydrates: fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and sugars (including sugar, honey, molasses, syrups, and all the other sugars that can be hidden in prepared foods). Sugars are known as simple carbohydrates. They consist of one or two molecules and not much else. These are foods that enter your bloodstream quickly. They are frequently eferred to as “empty” calories because nutritionally they contribute very little to your daily equirements. Simple carbohydrates should be used sparingly, if at all. Besides sugar, other “empty” calories are found in candies, sodas (diet soda is okay), sweet wines, and chewing gum (sugarfree is okay). In addition to empty calories, there are foods that are not good carbohydrate choices: jellies, jams, candy, cakes and cookies, puddings and pies, fruit juices, and sweetened condensed milk or sweetened coconut milk. Although the current ADA guidelines suggest that you can find a place for sugars in your diet, it is still not advisable to do so often.
Complex carbohydrates are longer chains of molecules and provide other nutrients such as fiber, minerals, and vitamins as well as possibly some fat and/or protein. Even within the complex carbohydrate group there are some that impact your blood sugar more than others. The starches are higher in carbohydrates (that is, they have more grams of carbohydrate per 100 grams of weight) than vegetables. And there are some vegetables that are higher in arbohydrates than others. The starchy vegetables are artichokes, brussels sprouts, carrots, corn, kale, okra, onions (including onion family members such as leeks, scallions, chives), peas, red peppers, tomatoes, turnips, and winter squash. These vegetables should be counted and portions should be controlled more closely than the “watery” vegetables. Vegetables with a lower ratio of grams of carbohydrate to weight, such as asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, lettuce, mushrooms, summer squash—you know, “vegetables”—can be eaten with much less regard to portion size, unless of course your physician or nutritionist has you on a very low carbohydrate diet.


Patients with renal complications may have specific limitations on some minerals—such as sodium, phosphorus, potassium, and others. This is something that you must keep track of carefully. For you, it is best to pick recipes by looking at the tables in the back and finding recipes with the amounts of minerals that fit in your daily food plan.


Diabetes is not picky—it strikes all populations, including vegetarians. Maintaining a healthy diabetic diet as a vegetarian can be a little trickier than for the meat eater. As usual, my dvice is to consult your nutritionist. If you get the go-ahead, the best way to use this book is to look at the low-protein variations of the recipes. Many of them substitute tofu or beans for meat. When recipes call for broth, use vegetable broth instead of chicken or beef.


Different physicians and nutritionists have different theories on the best way to manage diabetes. Some recommend three meals plus a snack. Others recommend smaller, more frequent meals. The portions in this book are suitable for the three-meal-a-day plan. If you are on a many-small-meals plan you can use any recipe in this book, but eat half of the serving suggestion. Other good small meals are soup-and-salad, if it is a hearty soup. If it is a vegetable soup, you might want soup plus a piece of bread or other starch. Appetizers are by definition small portions. Many of the appetizers would make suitable small meals, as would salads.


When considering a menu, it’s best to decide what the entr?e will be, and then build the meal around it. If you have chosen a dish that is primarily protein, such as a grilled or saut?ed chicken breast, or a fish fillet, then try to include a starch such as a grain, pasta, or starchy vegetable plus at least one nonstarchy vegetable. After you’ve chosen your side dishes, consider adding a soup and/or salad and/or appetizer, and after that, see if you feel there’s room in your allowances for a dessert. I have included menu suggestions after each entr?e recipe. You do not have to make the entire meal. You certainly can skip the soup, appetizer, or dessert and still have an adequate meal.


HIGH CALORIE 400 calories (20% of daily intake of 2000 calories) or more
LOW CALORIE 40 calories (~2% of daily intake of 2000 calories) or less

HIGH FAT 13g or more
LOW FAT 3g or less


HIGH PROTEIN 10g (20% of adult women’s recommended daily requirement) or more
LOW PROTEIN 2.5g (5% of adult women’s recommended daily requirement) or less

HIGH CARBOHYDRATE 25g (20% of recommended daily carbohydrate intake for healthy
person) or more
LOW CARBOHYDRATE 3g (~2% of recommended daily carbohydrate intake for healthy
person) or less

HIGH FIBER 5g or more (FDA)
LOW FIBER 2g or less

HIGH CHOLESTEROL 60mg (20% of maximum daily recommendation of 300mg) or more
LOW CHOLESTEROL 20mg or less (FDA)

HIGH CALCIUM 160mg (20% of recommended daily requirement) or more
LOW CALCIUM 40mg (5% or less of recommended daily requirement) or less

HIGH IRON 3mg (20% of adult women’s recommended daily requirement)
or more
LOW IRON .75mg (5% of adult women’s recommended daily requirement)
or less

HIGH MAGNESIUM 36mg (20% of recommended daily requirement) or more
LOW MAGNESIUM 14mg (5% or less of recommended daily requirement for women)
or less

HIGH PHOSPHORUS 160mg (20% of recommended daily requirement) or more
LOW PHOSPHORUS 80mg (5% of recommended daily requirement) or less

HIGH POTASSIUM 350mg (10% of recommended daily requirement) or more
LOW POTASSIUM 100mg (~5% of minimum daily requirement) or less

HIGH SODIUM 400mg or more (FDA)
LOW SODIUM 140mg or less (FDA)


Special Diets – Dietary Needs


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Why Are Low Carb Meal plans Right for you? Fri, 27 May 2011 07:04:46 +0000 Healthy Eating

There exists a significant underground buzz around the theme involving low carb diet plans today. Presently it is still underground because of the fact it flies in the face of “conventional” knowledge about fat, cholesterol, coronary disease, extra weight, weight-loss and diabetic issues. For you to grasp low carb diets it’s important to get away from all you think you know about a healthy diet plan. So, the typical zeitgeist about healthy eating states that fat isn’t good, in particular saturated fats, and you should fill up on a lot of fruit and vegetables (5 every day) and whole grain products. It’s normally considered to be the best way to eat to get rid of extra weight and look after your own heart.

Promoters of low carbohydrate weight loss programs say that there is certainly almost no evidence to aid the hypothesis that dietary fat leads to individuals to become fat and harms one’s heart. Low carbers are saying that it is carbohydrate and that is converted into body fat mainly from the action of the hormone insulin. Although this is counter-intuitive in that it is so simple and easy to consider that dietary fat results in body fat, it does appear to be true. So low-carb weight loss programs aren’t only reduced in carbohydrate, but moderate in protein and fairly high in fat. The low carb dieter’s body modifies from regarding glucose as its primary source of fuel, to using fat for the purposes of energy. The low utilization of carbohydrate implies that very little insulin is produced by the pancreas, and so insulin can not push blood glucose into your fat cells for storage as fat.

Insulin is in fact connected with diabetes, and type 2 diabetes (adult onset) is associated with abdominal fat. Now it is believed that the diabetic does not bring her or his disease on their self by unnecessary eating and getting fat, but that belly fat and diabetes are part of the very same affliction. Low carb weight loss diets are excellent for curbing diabetes as well as for blocking it, since it seems that the beta cells within the pancreas (the insulin producers) are finite in the potential diabetic. By keeping carbohydrate food and sugars reduced, the beta cells may possibly avoid getting burned out and used up by the continual demand within the body for insulin.

Even though low carbohydrate weight loss plans are paramount for most peoples minds as a fat loss campaign, serious low carbers consider it as a long-term life-style and a method of eating for life. Some significant weight-loss can be achieved, rather stunning in many cases, but ultimately low carb is a life-long quest and fat loss could have its ups and downs within that journey. Occasionally the dietary plan needs to be changed if further weight loss is to be reached or held. One thing is for sure, you’ll not keep the weight or blood sugars firm by yo-yo-ing from low carb diets to a high carb diet. If you ever think you may get back to consuming cake and bread after having dropped a couple pounds by low-carbing, it will stack back on again quickly.

Low carb weight loss plans are an investment and a very complicated one for many, who really like their bread, rice, pasta, cake, potatoes, etc. Nearly all people that do find a way to embrace low-carb programs are aware that like alcoholics they can hardly ever get back to their old ways. They really feel a lot better when separated from the mood and energy swings engendered through the see-sawing of high and low blood sugars, it is actually worthwhile. Your appetite and hunger pangs are diminished.

Also, a common answer from all those not really in the know (among them Physicians) is “Whooaa! Your cholesterol should be through the roof!” It is not easy in words of 1 syllable to describe that total cholesterol readings are worthless, and that HDL along with trigylceride readings are definitely the actual benchmark of good heart health. These types of readings are usually wonderful in those adhering to low carbohydrate weight loss programs, confounding their critics.

Low carb diets came to prominence a number of years ago with the Atkins Diet plan. Those hostile to his radical ideas managed to discredit his research and convinced the public this was in fact merely yet another unsafe fad diet, like the cabbage soup diet or something. Also low-carb diet plans ended up being branded high protein, (while in truth they should be moderate in protein) and protein was cited as inducing kidney damage. Really there’s no proof protein triggers kidney problems, and in any event – reduced carb weight loss diets are much more innovative than this, in that these are high in fat, including saturated fats. With no existence of excess carbohydrate, pure fats like butter, coconut oil, lard and olive oil can be risk-free, plus they increase feelings of satiety (fullness) enabling low carbohydrate weight loss diets to become a long-term lifestyle option since the participator doesn’t feel half starved all the time!

In case your taking into consideration attempting a low carb diets plan, then you’ll want to have a look at, that give information you need you might need, such as the best low carb foods you can eat, hints and tips and much more.


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A Health-Promoting Meat Replacer Thu, 28 Apr 2011 11:28:13 +0000 Healthy Eating

Soybeans are regarded as equal in protein quality to animal foods. Just 4 ounces of tempeh provides 41.3% of the Daily Value (DV) for protein for less than 225 calories and only 3.7 grams of saturated fat. Plus, the soy protein in tempeh tends to lower cholesterol levels, while consuming protein from animal sources tends to raise them, since they also include saturated fat and cholesterol. In addition to healthy protein, some of tempeh’s nutritional high points include:

Riboflavin: 4 ounces of tempeh provides 23.5% of the DV for this B-vitamin. A nutrient essential for the transfer reactions that occur to produce energy in the mitochondria, riboflavin is also a cofactor in the regeneration of one of the liver’s most important detoxification enzymes, glutathione.

Magnesium: Tempeh also provides 21.9% of the DV for Nature’s blood vessel relaxant, magnesium, in just 4 ounces. In addition to its beneficial role in the cardiovascular system, magnesium plays an essential role in more than 300 enzymatic reactions, including those that control protein synthesis and energy production.

Manganese and Copper: That same 4 ounces of tempeh will give you 72.5% of the DV for manganese and 30.5% of the DV for copper. These two trace minerals serve numerous physiological functions including being cofactors for the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase.

Beneficial Effects on Cholesterol Levels and Platelets

Soy protein has been found in recent years to be excellent for a number of different conditions, one of the most important ones being heart disease. Soy protein has been shown in some studies to be able to lower total cholesterol levels by 30% and to lower LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, levels by as much as 35-40%. This is important because high levels of cholesterol, especially LDL cholesterol, tend to become deposited into the walls of blood vessels, forming hard plaques. If these plaques grow too large or break, they can cause a heart attack or stroke.

Some studies have even shown that soy protein may be able to raise HDL cholesterol levels. HDL cholesterol travels through the body collecting the cholesterol that has been deposited in the arteries, so it can be taken away and removed by the liver. One of the main goals of atherosclerosis treatment and prevention, therefore, is to lower LDL cholesterol levels while raising HDL levels. And soy is one food that may be able to do both at once.

In addition, soy foods like tempeh are rich in dietary fiber. When eaten, the fiber in tempeh binds to fats and cholesterol in food, so less is absorbed. In addition, tempeh’s fiber binds to bile salts and removes them from the body. Since the liver gets rid of cholesterol by transforming it into bile salts, their removal by fiber forces the liver to use more cholesterol to form more bile salts, leading to lower cholesterol levels overall.

Stabilize Blood Sugar at Healthy Levels

Another condition for which tempeh can be very beneficial is diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes. The protein in tempeh is excellent for diabetic patients, who tend to have problems with animal sources of protein. The protein and fiber in tempeh can also prevent high blood sugar levels and help in keeping blood sugar levels under control. Some diabetics even find that the effects of soy foods, such as tempeh, and other legumes on blood sugar are so profound that they need to monitor their new blood sugar levels and adjust their medications accordingly. Of course, all of this should only be done under the supervision of a doctor. Diabetes patients are especially susceptible to atherosclerosis and heart disease, which is the number one killer of persons with diabetes. Keeping cholesterol levels low with soy foods may be useful for preventing these heart problems. In addition, soy foods have been shown to lower high triglyceride levels. Triglyceride levels tend to be high in diabetic patients, and high triglyceride levels are another factor of diabetics’ increased risk for heart disease.

Promotes Gastrointestinal Health

The fiber in tempeh also provides preventative therapy for several other conditions. Fiber is able to bind to cancer-causing toxins and remove them from the body, so they can’t damage colon cells. Tempeh, which is made from high-fiber soybeans, may therefore be able to help reduce the risk of colon cancer. As a matter of fact, in areas of the world where soy foods are eaten regularly, rates of colon cancer, as well as some other cancers, including breast cancer, tend to be low.

A Healthy Transition through Menopause

One of the more popular uses of soy foods lately has been in the treatment of menopausal symptoms. Soybeans contain active compounds called isoflavones that act like very weak estrogens in the body. These phytoestrogens bind to estrogen receptors and may provide enough stimulation to help eliminate some of the uncomfortable symptoms that occur when natural estrogen levels decline. Studies have shown that women who consume soy foods report a significant reduction in the amount of hot flashes that they experience. There is also some evidence that soy foods may even be able to help reduce the bone loss that typically occurs after menopause. And as women’s risk for heart disease significantly increases at menopause, soy foods’ numerous beneficial cardiovascular effects make tempeh a particularly excellent choice for frequent consumption as menopause approaches.

Promotes Men’s Health

In epidemiological studies, genistein, a naturally occuring isoflavone found chiefly in soy foods, has been consistently linked to lower incidence of prostate cancer. A recent study of human prostate cancer cells demonstrated some of the mechanisms behind genistein’s anti-prostate cancer effects. Genistein not only induced chemicals that block cell cycling, thus preventing the proliferation of cancerous cells in the prostate, but at high concentrations actually induced apoptosis, the self-destruct sequence the body uses to eliminate worn out or abnormal cells.

Another study looked at the antioxidant effects of these isoflavones in soy, and found that genistein protected cells in healthy men from an increase in free radical production by inhibiting the activation of an important inflammatory agent called NF-kappaB and by decreasing levels of DNA adducts (a marker of DNA damage).




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A Successful Low Carb Diet Plan Thu, 28 Apr 2011 10:59:49 +0000 Healthy Eating

The low carb diet plan is for those who can’t afford to go onto an expensive weight loss program such as the Medifast Diet but want the same results. I will start the series with a brief overview of what is involved with the diet and then follow it up with a 7 day diet plan so you won’t get sick of eating the same thing, day in, day out. With this knowledge you will also be able to pick out your own foods straight off the supermarket shelf for an almost unlimited amount of dinners and lunches.

The low carb diet plan is a weight loss solution that employs limited carbohydrate consumption.

Carbohydrates are compounds made up carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. There are three different types of carbohydrates, namely, starches, sugars and fiber. These three types are all used as an energy source for the body. Carbohydrates work with other body nutrients to help the body function properly. However, not all forms of carbohydrates are good for our health or beneficial to the body.

Drastic increases in blood sugar is often caused by bad carbohydrates. High blood sugar levels in the body can cause possible complications if not given any immediate attention. Weakening of the immune system, blindness, kidney failure, and cardiovascular diseases are among the many serious complications high blood sugar can cause. Aside from these complications, it is also believed that high levels of carbohydrates consumption are among the top causes of unmanageable weight problems.

People experiencing complications from uncontrolled carbohydrates consumption are advised to change into low carb diet. The low carb diet is not only an essential remedy or prevention of these health conditions; it can also contradict the weight gain effects of carbohydrates efficiently.

Weight loss during a low carb diet is not only for beauty purposes but for health purposes too. During the diet program the dieter’s body processes are tampered to trigger a stored fat burning phase inside the body. This is when the body’s weight loss process is at its peak. Once the target weight is already achieved dieters may gradually return to their normal eating habits with reduced weight gain possibilities.

Though the low carb diet plan is considered an effective weight loss program, the safety of this program is still scrutinized by many. According to the anti-low carb diet plan, the diet imposes many risks and vulnerabilities to be considered as a weight loss solution option.

The low carb diet plan exhausts good glycogen reserves found in the liver and muscles. Adequate amounts of carbohydrates are essential to glycogen formation in muscles and livers. Reduced amounts of glycogen due to a low carb diet can dehydrate the body and cause muscle loss. Given these results, it is inevitable to lose weight during the first phase of the low carb diet; however, the reason is not as it is not actually due to fat loss.

Low carb diet plan users display low energy symptoms and limited physical exercise endurance. Due to the minimal amount of glycogen in the muscles, low carb diet users often experience muscle fatigue even on minimal exercise routines. This limitation is a huge disadvantage on dieters since exercise contributes a significant amount of success on weight loss.

The low carb diet may have many disadvantages but dieters must understand that this is part of many diet programs. The important thing is to properly weigh the good with the bad in the diet.

High levels of bad carbohydrate consumption can cause damage to the pancreas, heart, and even cause diabetes. These complications are only a few the many problems commonly caused by bad carbs. By employing a low carb diet plan these risks are reduced and can even improve the body’s functions.

Since the bad effects of the diet have already been discussed, the next step is to look into the good effects or benefits of the low carb diet.

The low carb diet is a chemical free diet. It employs natural body reactions to encourage weight loss. The low carb diet is often paired with a high protein diet. The reason for this is proteins compensate for the body’s carbohydrate deficiency. A high protein diet reduces the eating appetite of dieters which causes calorie deficiency. The deficiency will force the body to look for an energy source such as stored fat. This is when the weight loss process takes place in low carb diet.

To enjoy the weight loss benefits of this program dieters are recommended to consume at least 20 to 70 grams of carbohydrates depending on their build, age and regular physical activities. The source of the dieters’ carbohydrate intake can be from the many available types of low carb foods.

The most common combinations of the low carb diet are “low carb high protein”, “low carb high fat diet”, and the “low carb vegetable diet”. These types of diets are highly acceptable and are proven to be effective ways to lose weight. Dieter’s with existing medical conditions and currently taking medication are advised to consult with their doctor before starting this diet.

Fruits, vegetables, meat, and seafood are among the major groups of allowable food in a low carb diet plan. Aside from some certain restrictions, these foods would do well. These foods should be more than enough to provide dieters with generous food options.

Berries are a fruit that are great for a low carb diet plan and so is lemon and lime juice. Don’t restrict your fruit intake too much and if you do make sure you take a good multivitamin to help replenish the nutrients.  If you want to ease yourself into the routine then maybe use the low carb option in conjuction with aMedifast program.

In case you want accurate data on your daily carbohydrate intake you may consider keeping a copy of the carbohydrate contents table reference as your guide.

The low carb diet plan has its own pros and cons. Without the right understanding and idea on how this diet works, dieters may only cause harm to themselves. Taking time to research and analyze the diet program before jumping in should provide dieters with the advantage to successfully utilize the weight loss processes of the program.

What Foods Are Eaten On A Low Carbohydrate Diet?

Most low carb diets will start off with a 2 week induction phase where carbohydrates are cut down to around 20g net carbohydrate per day. Most foods contain some carbohydrate, so this means either counting carbs using an online diet journal at a site like, or following rules about how much of each food group you can eat.

For example the induction phase of the Atkins diet allows unlimited meat, fish, eggs, butter and vegetable oils; 2 cups of salad veggies and 1 cup of other vegetables per day (excluding starchy vegetables); and a maximum 4 oz of cheese. Heavy cream is also allowed, but limited.

Milk, nuts, beans, fruit, alcohol, potatoes, bread, grains, pasta, corn etc are all banned during those first two weeks. Milk, nuts, beans and most fruit, plus some alcoholic drinks, are added back in limited quantities in phase 2. Whole grains and their products such as whole grain bread, along with corn and potatoes, are allowed when you are close to your goal weight.

Most low carb diets recommend that you never again eat large quantities of foods that contain refined flour and sugar. Even when you reach your goal weight, if you go back to old eating habits, you will gain weight again.

What Else Is In The Plan?

At the same time that you follow the eating plan, you must drink at least 8 x 12 oz glasses of water spread through the day, do a little exercise every day and take a good multi vitamin and mineral supplement. These points are just as important as the food rules, and they apply to all phases of the low carbohydrate diet.

Are There Any Risks?

There have still not been enough studies to be sure about risks. Low carb diets go against the ‘received wisdom’ that says that we should eat less fat to lose weight. On a low carbohydrate diet you can eat more fat, but still lose weight.

Opponents of the low carbohydrate diet point to research that shows that a higher intake of red meat and saturated fats can lead to increased risk of heart disease. You should speak to your medical adviser before starting a low carb diet plan, to check whether this might be a risk for you.

Supporters of the low carbohydrate diet refer to other studies which show cholesterol levels dropping. They point out that the people who were studied in that type of research were almost never on low carb diets. They were eating large amounts of red meat and saturated fats, plus large amounts of carbohydrates.

So it could be the combination of high fat and high carbohydrate that is unhealthy. This seems to make a lot of sense, and if it is true it would mean that a low carbohydrate diet can be healthy as well as being effective for weight loss.


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Why Low Carb Diets May Be Counterproductive Wed, 20 Apr 2011 22:20:23 +0000 Healthy Eating

There are many different kinds of diets on the market, they all promise results, but they do not all work effectively. Some diets can even have detrimental side effects. Low carb diets have been popular for the last 10 to 20 years or more, however they may not be all that safe.

While low carbs diets are a huge fad in recent years, there are some things that should be considered about these diets before deciding to get a start on them. Low carb diets, which are referred to as ketogenic diets in the medical world, are known to deplete your body’s natural storage of glycogen. Glycogen is a polysaccharide that exists in the liver and muscles of the body; it is used to store glucose for energy. It is the sugars in carbs such as pasta that provide you with an energy boost, for this reason it is common practice for marathon runners to load up on pasta or other carbs before a marathon.

When you deplete the amount of glycogen in the body, you are dehydrating it, which causes the scale to drop significantly in the first stages of a low carb diet. While the dieter thinks they are losing weight, what they are actually doing is dehydrating their body and depleting it of muscle mass. This quick loss is what makes it so popular, but the results are actually deceptive.

As a result of lowered glycogen in the body, the dieter may feel fatigue, and may actually be uncomfortable when exercising. This further confuses them because the dieter who is possibly increasing their activity through cardio-vascular exercise, figures the fatigue is as a result of the exercise, but what they are actually feeling is the loss of glycogen to the body.

When losing weight and partaking in cardio exercise your energy should be increased rather than depleted. When the dieter feels fatigue they are likely to quit exercise, which is counterproductive to their weight loss. This can also affect the dieter’s metabolism which actually is counterproductive to dieting.

If the body suffers too much glycogen depletion it may go into atrophy. Atrophy is the result of lost muscle glycogen and is the shrinking or reduction of muscle mass. This further causes less drive to exercise, and can lead to the inability to maintain muscle tone. Obviously if you are trying to improve your physical condition and appearance, the last thing you want to do is reduce your muscle tone.

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