Tag Archive for 'low-carb diet'

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.
Continue reading the review of Good Calories Bad Calories and why you should stick to a carb restricted diet

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Low Carb Diet vs Low Fat Diet – which is best to lose weight


To this day, scientists are at odds as to whether the low fat or the low carb weight loss strategy is the most effective for losing those extra pounds. On the 25th of January 2010 a study was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine that directly compare the low fat weight loss approach to the typical low carb diet.

One hundred and forty six obese or overweight outpatients from the Department of Veterans Affairs clinics in North Carolina were selected to participate in the study and randomly assigned to either a low carbohydrate diet group or a low fat diet group. The study was conducted over a period of almost a year (48 weeks).

The low carb diet was designed as a ketogenic diet and patients were instructed to consume less than 20g carbs daily. A ketogenic diet can be described as a high fat, adequate protein and low carbohydrate diet that forces the body to burn fat rather than glucose, which it normally manufactures from carbohydrates. The liver converts fats into fatty acids and ketone bodies, which then replaces the glucose as a source of energy. This dietary approach is very similar to the Atkins Diet, which also limits carbs to 20g per day during the Induction Phase.

The low fat diet designed for this study went all out to reduce fat and patients were prescribed Orlistat (120mg 3 times daily) together with a diet very low in fat content. Orlistat is the active ingredient found in Alli and Xenical. Xenical is most often prescribed by doctors for weight problems, while Alli is available over the counter. The low fat eating plan followed by participants was designed to result in a deficit in caloric intake to the tune of 500 to 1000 calories per day. Patients were also expected to ensure that less than 30% of the calories they consume come from fat.

The average weight loss achieved by patients following the low carb diet (without any diet pills or calorie restrictions) equaled the average weight loss for patients following the low fat regime. Keep in mind that the low fat group also had to take diet pills in addition to reducing their calorie intake. HDL and triglyceride cholesterol levels improved similarly for both diet groups. LDL cholesterol levels improved only for the low fat group, whereas the low carb diet had a greater beneficial impact on systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The low carb diet was also slightly more beneficial for glucose and insulin levels, but the differences were not large enough to be regarded as statistically relevant.

The conclusion drawn from this study by the scientists was that a low carbohydrate diet is as effective as orlistat in conjunction with a low fat diet for weight loss and improvement in blood sugar levels, but it is more effective in lowering blood pressure. It is suggested that a low carb diet may be a better weight loss strategy for obese clients with high blood pressure than the typically prescribed treatment of a low fat diet with orlistat.
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Healthy Foods You Must Avoid If You Want to Burn Fat

Author: Christopher Fox

These days everywhere you look in the grocery store you see foods that claim to be the greatest thing since the invention of the wheel when it comes to being healthy. Fat free this and healthy choice that are all over the food labels. Unfortunately more often than not the food labeling is motivated by profit and greed rather than good intentions and honesty. The food marketers just want to bump their sales and your health is not exactly in the forefront of their mind. Pay attention to the whole story and be sure to avoid some of these so called healthy foods when trying to lose weight and burn fat. Continue reading ‘Healthy Foods You Must Avoid If You Want to Burn Fat’

An overview of the Zone Diet

Dr Barry Sears, a biochemist, first popularized the Zone diet in his 1995 book, “The Zone”. While this diet has not been developed specifically for weight loss, it is probably more well-known for its weight loss benefits than for any of the other advantages it promises, all thanks to solid media exposure. The popularity of this diet reached its peak in the late 1990s, slipped a bit, and then made a comeback recently following the endorsements of Hollywood A-listers and models such as Jennifer Aniston, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sandra Bullock and Cindy Crawford.

The Zone diet is often classified as a low-carb diet, but Dr Sears describes it as a moderate carb, moderate fat, and moderate protein diet, and regards it as superior to low-carb diets due to the improved hormonal responses. He goes on to say that the Zone diet can not be regarded as a protein rich diet since you never consume more low-fat protein during any meal than you can fit on the palm of your hand.

Many scientific studies are finding that weight management is a lot more complex than simply balancing calorie intake and calorie usage. The Zone approach suggests that inflammation precedes obesity. If that is true, any obesity problem can only be addressed by resolving the underlying inflammation.
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