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
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.
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
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
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
Are you one of the up to 20% of reproductive-aged women currently suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)? PCOS is one of the most common hormonal diseases. It is a multifaceted disease with a complex set of metabolic and hormonal abnormalities, including high testosterone, failure to ovulate, and insulin resistance. … Read More
Whole grains provide unrefined carbohydrates (carbs), a primary source of energy in a balanced diet plan. Carbs have been the target of much criticism, and low-carb diets have gained many followers. It’s true that diets high in refined carbs have been linked with higher risks of many diseases, but the … Read More