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This article was written on 11 Apr 2008, and is filled under Popular diets, Star diets.

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Low Carb diet

What is Low Carb Diet?

Our Stone Age ancestors certainly roughed themselves for food. They butchered the kill during the marathon hunt that lasted for days. They wandered for miles to gather wild fruits, grains and nuts. If they wanted to eat something sweet, beehive was smoked out of the bees to get the honey. This was done by climbing up a tree or chopping it down. Hard way to get food!

Studies indicate that human beings come into the world with hundreds of genes and associated hormones that regulate the energy-balance equation. Calories consumed by us on one side and calories burned, through physical activity and calories needed to keep the body healthy on the other. Anything left over transforms into body fat.

As a society we are in a state of nutritional crisis and in need of thorough remedies. Today more than 60% of adults in the U.S. are classified as overweight or obese.

Many children have become so heavy that pediatricians are now facing an epidemic of Type 2 diabetes and hypertension—diseases that are closely associated with the overweight and that were unheard of among youngsters just a generation ago.

Kelly Brownell, director of the Yale University Center for Eating and Weight Disorders says “Physical activities have been engineered out of day-to-day life, and the food environment grows worse by the day”.

For those who are overweight, or who have diabetes, the low-calorie and low-fat diets recommended do not work well. In fact, for diabetics, they can actually worsen the condition. The only diet that strikes at the real cause of obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, hypoglycaemia, and type 2 diabetes is a low-carbohydrate diet.

Low carb diets are based on the principle that a diet low in carbohydrates leads to decreased production of body’s insulin, resulting in consumption of fat stores as energy source.

When fat stores in a body are used as main energy source, Ketones (a by-product) are excreted in the urine. Characterized by nail varnish (acetone), smelling breath and causes side effects such as nausea, fatigue and loss of appetite.

There are many different versions of the low carb diet, such as Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution, Protein Power, Neanderthin, The Carbohydrate Addict’s Lifestyle Plan, Life Without Bread, and others. All of them, however, have one thing in common – a very strict reduction in the consumption of carbohydrates. Most low carb diets replace carbohydrates with fats and proteins. Although diets vary in their recommendations, as a general rule, a low carb diet is synonymous with a high-fat and moderate protein diet. Those on a low carb diet should get at least 60 to 70 percent of their daily calorie intake from fat. Carbohydrates should make up less than 10 percent, and in some cases, less than 5 percent of daily calorie intake.

What’s Involved in Low Carb Diet?

A cut on all carbohydrate from the diet and increased protein and fat intake. Cut on things like pasta, bread, rice and alcohol, yet unlimited amounts of meat, cheese and butter are suggested to eat. That’s why sometimes Low Carb Diets claim to be luxurious diets.

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