SolveYourProblem Article Series: Low Carb Diet
What Are The Benefits Of The Low Carb Diet?

     

Low Carb Diet Myths & Facts

The search for a healthy low carb diet is not as difficult as many people think. Certain low carb diet plans (especially Atkins) have had a bad press in recent decades, but a lot of the criticism is based on people's prejudice and myth rather than on fact.

Myths About Dr Atkins And Fats

For example, many people believe that Dr Robert Atkins died of a heart attack caused by eating too much saturated fat. This is not true. Dr Atkins died at the age of 72 from head injuries sustained in a fall on the sidewalk outside his clinic. He had suffered heart problems previously, but there is no evidence that these were diet related.

People are also fond of pointing out that Dr Atkins' weight at death was 258 lb. This would make him overweight, even obese, at his 6 ft height. However, his medical records show that on admission to hospital after his fall, he weighed only 195 lb. He was in a coma for around 10 days before he died and his body suffered a lot of fluid retention in that time.

It is true that the Atkins diet does allow high quantities of saturated fat. Dr Atkins' theory, explained in detail in his books, is that fat is not dangerous so long as we are not also consuming high quantities of carbohydrates. It is the combination of fats with sugar and refined grain products, like the ingredients of a donut, that cause clogged arteries, heart disease, and many other serious diseases. Therefore, the contention is that Atkins is a healthy low carb diet.

Many people following the Atkins diet find that their cholesterol levels actually drop after 4-6 months on the diet. However, if the amount of saturated fat is a concern for you, then you could try South Beach. This is also a low carb diet but it has limits on the amount of saturated fat.

Myths About Protein

Another common belief is that low carb diets are high protein diets. Diets that are very high in protein can be dangerous for the kidneys. Low carb diets are not recommended for people with pre-existing kidney diseases, who will need special diets following medical advice. However, low carb does not necessarily mean extremely high protein.

There are four sources of calories in food: protein, carbohydrate, alcohol and fat. Most low carb diets are not especially high in protein. They often recommend about 30% of calories coming from protein, with a little from carbohydrates and the majority coming from fat.

When you start on a low carb diet it is a good idea to track your food intake. This helps you to keep a watch on your carbs and also make sure that you are not getting too much protein. It should be between 15% and 30% of your calorie intake, or around 0.35 to 0.7 grams of protein per pound of body weight, which is around 60g to 120g of protein per day for a person weighing 170 lb. There are around 20 grams of protein in a 4 oz steak, and around 6g in one egg.

Myths About Vegetables

Many people believe that you don't eat vegetables on a low carb diet. This is completely untrue. All of the low carb diets require you to eat a certain amount of vegetables. Many are low in carbohydrates and they contain important nutrients such as vitamins and minerals that are essential to our health.

The amount of vegetables is usually limited only by the carbs that they contain. So you can eat a lot of something like celery (2.4g net carbs per 100g serving) but less of broccoli (4g net carbs per 100g serving).

Many people find that the amount of vegetables eaten in a low carb diet plan is actually more than they are used to. So as long as you choose a well established low carb diet and follow the guidance carefully, you should have no trouble maintaining a healthy low carb diet.

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