Tag Archive for 'food pyramid'

Good Calories Bad Calories Review – the Low Carb Diet it is

I recently had the privilege to read the best book about diet and nutrition I have come across to date, and believe me, I have read enough these books to be in a position to form an opinion on this matter. Gary Taubes’ Good Calories, Bad Calories, which took him 5 years to write, is a wonderful addition to the published literature on this bewildering industry. It is well researched and the information provided is supported by plenty of references and citations. Good Calories, Bad Calories almost provides you with a much-needed set of reading glasses to bring focus to all of the confusing public health debates and the jumble that is the diet industry.

In Good Calories, Bad Calories Gary tells the story of how public nutrition guidelines and the current scientific positions on diet and nutrition evolved. Of how strong and dominant personalities can influence the scientific community to accept unproven theories as facts. As this story progresses it also becomes clear how many of the diets we know today came into existence. It becomes clear for example when fat and salt were identified as major problems as well as why and when the so-called Mediterranean Diet became popular. Of course the book in essence considers the long standing debate raging between proponents of the low-fat calorie restricted diet and the carbohydrate restricted (low carb) diet.

In an attempt to provide a complete view of the debate, Gary describes the scientific evidence supporting both the restriction of fats (as well as calories) and the restriction of carbohydrates as a solution to the obesity crisis. What is also interesting is Gary’s holistic take on this matter. Not only is weight management important, but so are all of the other health related results of a particular diet. It does appear that many clinical trials and studies were very selective in interpreting the results of their studies, and that there are plenty of evidence to suggest that the introduction of refined carbs into a diet increases the incidence of many of the so-called diseases of civilization such as insulin resistance, type 2 Diabetes, cancer and so forth.
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Long live the Atkins Diet….

One cannot help but be astounded by how easily and effectively government agencies, large food corporations and the media succeeded in leading us to believe that a particular view of our nutritional needs is indeed a fact of life. This subtle “brain washing” was (and still is to a large extend) so effective that it subconsciously impacts all of our decision making regarding our family’s nutritional needs. It is, in fact, ingrained in our very fabric of being.

With many of us still finding it extremely difficult to even consider the idea that a diet high in fat can be good for you, it is interesting to remember that the idea of a low-fat diet only really took hold in the 70’s. Up until then, the generally accepted wisdom was that fat and protein were the foundations of good nutrition, and that carbohydrates were responsible for making you fat! Of course the low-fat dogma turned this age old wisdom on its head and carbohydrates suddenly became the most important source of food depicted at the base of the famous Food Guide Pyramid!

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General tips on nutrition

1. Drink plenty of water. It is very important to drink 8-10 glasses of water every day, whether you are trying to lose weight or not. Water is required by all of the systems in your body to function correctly. If you are dehydrated, your body will try to protect you in all sorts of ways, including retaining as much water as it can. Without water, therefore, your body can also not get rid of the excess fat and toxins while you are trying to lose weight. There are many more reasons for developing a love for water, which we will discuss as a topic all by itself. For know, also keep in mind that your body often confuses hunger with thirst. By making sure that you are properly hydrated, you will be in a better position to control your food portions!

2. Try new types of water. Most people don’t like the idea of drinking 8-10 glasses of plain water each day. Try different types. Maybe you like sparkling waters better. Maybe club soda or even different flavoured waters to add some variety. Just be careful to check the energy contents of the drinks.

3. Be careful of white foods. In general, white foods are best avoided when you want to lose weight. This includes white bread, white rice, white pasta, white sugar and even white fruits. Rather find healthier substitutions that contain whole grains and lots of extra vitamins and minerals. Not only will it look more appetizing, but it will also taste better.
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