Weight fluctuation throughout the course of a day is normal. Weight fluctuation throughout the course of your life can be harmful. Sounds contradictory, doesn’t it? It’s not. A person should strive to maintain a lifelong, consistent healthy weight. Fluctuation in large amounts throughout your life—that lose-gain-lose-gain cycle so many of … Read More
low carb diet
Carbohydrates make up the majority of our diet. They provide glucose, which our body uses as energy. According to dietary guidelines, half or more of our total daily calories should come from carbohydrates; fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Low carb diets limit these carbohydrate sources, and increase intake of protein and fat to encourage weight loss.
Carbs come in two types: simple and complex. When you eat carbs, your body converts them into sugar and your blood sugar rises. Then your pancreas releases insulin to move that sugar into the cells to be used as energy. Whatever sugar you don’t need right away is stored as fat. The two types of carbs have different effects on your blood sugar. Simple carbs such as cookies, brownies, pastries, white bread and pasta, and candy are made with white flour and white sugar. Your body breaks simple carbs down quickly and blood sugar spikes as a result. Complex carbs digest slowly, so they have less of a dramatic effect on blood sugar.
Low carb diets lower insulin levels, so less sugar is stored as fat. Several different types of low carb diets, from Atkins to South Beach, exist. Each diet recommends a slightly different composition of carbohydrates to fats and protein. Some low carb diets are very restrictive, allowing almost no carbs. One of the Atkins diet plans allows only 40 grams of “net carbs” (total carbs minus fiber and sugar alcohols) a day. Compare that to the Dietary Guidelines, which recommend 225 to 325 grams of carbs a day. Other low carb diets are less strict. They allow small amounts of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.
One of the biggest concerns with low carb diets is that they may replace carbohydrates with unhealthy protein and fat sources, such as red meat. Anyone who is considering switching to a low carb diet should consult a doctor to make sure the plan is healthy and appropriate for them.
The nutritional value of some of your favorite foods—like french fries, soda, and chips, for example—puts them into the category of junk foods to avoid. They’re filled with too much fat, salt, and/or sugar to be part of a healthy diet. Other foods, however, can straddle the line. If your … Read More
With the rise in popularity among low-carb diets, many people have been reducing the amount of carbohydrates in their meals. When done correctly and healthfully under the guidance of a health professional, following a low-carb diet can offer many health benefits, particularly for those with diabetes. However, it can be … Read More
Originally developed in 1924 to treat epilepsy, the ketogenic diet has most recently rose in popularity as the latest and greatest miracle weight-loss plan. Additionally, proponents of the ketogenic diet—or keto diet, as it's commonly known—advertise health benefits ranging from glucose control to treatment of Alzheimer’s. But, what does the … Read More
While there’s no doubt that a high-protein low-carb diet can be an abominably unhealthy way to lose weight, you may be surprised to know this method of weight loss can also be all-natural, highly nutritious, and as healthy as it is effective. Researchers at the Functional Medicine Research Center near … Read More
Dieting is the worst. Have you ever met someone who raved, “I’m on a diet; it’s totally awesome. I just love it!” Neither have we. What if we told you that you could lose weight, improve your nutrition, and increase your energy level—all without dieting? Meet "intuitive eating." This non-diet … Read More
Unintentional weight loss occurs in 15 percent to 20 percent of older adults, says the American Association of Family Practitioners (AAFP). It’s also associated with increased morbidity and mortality. That’s one out of every five seniors experiencing unintentional weight loss that can directly affect their longevity. It’s especially sobering to … Read More
An astonishing 40 percent of U.S. adults will develop diabetes in their lifetime. Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease that results primarily from abdominal obesity, which leads to resistance to the hormone insulin. Poorly controlled type 2 diabetes is associated with a shockingly wide range of life-threatening complications, … Read More
The word “carbohydrate”—or “carb” for short—has become somewhat of a taboo word over the past few years when discussing a healthy, balanced diet. Many believe that a low-carb diet is the key to weight loss and maintenance, but a healthy carb diet is, in most cases, a better choice. Let’s … Read More
If you’re thinking about following a low-carbohydrate diet, you may want to reconsider. Some foods that contain carbs also provide a wealth of nutrients and fiber—important for a balanced diet. On the other hand, if you typically eat lots of processed, high-carb foods made primarily of white flour and added … Read More