Low Carb Diet Misconceptions

Truth and Lies by Ross GrahamIgnorance is a negative factor in many areas of life. Unfortunately, it makes its presence felt in relation to the low carb diet also. While this particular type of diet has been deemed healthy by scientists and nutritionists around the world, there are still many out there that consider it to be unhealthy for the human body. This come from associating the idea of depriving oneself of something with a bad grip on how exactly this type of diet works.

Featured image courtesy Ross Graham – Creative Commons

Another cause for putting the low carb diet in a negative light may lie with the status quo present in the food industry. A wide spread adherence to minimizing the daily intake of carbohydrates can possibly affect the sales of, otherwise, popular products on the market, products such as white foods, bread in particular, all sorts and varieties of snacks and chips, carb-rich food like pasta and rice and over all, most highly processed products. A healthier lifestyle for individuals could mean quite the hurdle for a large portion of the food industry, and so, it’s to no surprise that the low carb diet suffers from a scarecrow image in the media. Here are some of the most popular misconceptions in regards to it:

Myth 1: Low Carb = No Carb

If that would be the case, they’d name it the no carb diet. It is worth mentioning that the term “low carb diet” refers to general guidelines, not a strict and exact recipe. Even so, the more extreme popular ways of minimizing carbohydrates do not in any way advocate such a thing for the long haul. One of these is the Atkins, in which the dieter is required to stay off carbs for two weeks in order to better adapt to the diet’s schedule. In addition to that, eliminating all carbohydrates and gaining sustenance solely from protein on the long term, poses absolutely no benefits whatsoever.

Low Carb Diet Myths and Misconceptions
Common Myths and Misconceptions About Low Carb Diet by http://www.lowcarbfoods.org/.

Minimizing carbohydrate intake is done with a healthy approach, designed to eliminate highly processed foods, that are otherwise quite damaging for the organism. It is not meant to leave out certain food groups., just the sugar and fat that come with certain products on the market.

Myth 2: Low Carbers Don’t Get Enough Fiber

Fiber is crucial for proper digestion and bowel movement. It’s a word that’s on everyone’s lips in relation to a healthy diet. Yet somehow, the information that the, otherwise healthy, low carb diet does not contain enough of it, is spread. That is simply not true. In order to effectively minimize daily carb intake, one is recommended to eat decent quantities of vegetables and fruits, both of which have more than enough fiber. There is so much of it in fresh produce that a person can get their fiber exclusively from fruits and vegetables without any other supplement.

Myth 3: Low Carb Is Dangerous For Your Kidneys

Kidneys risk damage in case of a diet rich in protein. Although the low carb one also implies the consumption of protein, the levels are nowhere close to being unhealthy. Besides that, since the dieter is encouraged to consume fresh produce instead of processed food, the toxins that were previously accumulated in the body’s internal organs can now be eliminated with ease.

Unfortunately, the misinformation in regards to the low carbohydrate diet is not backed up by strong arguments, conclusive data or any other facts for that matter. Its efficiency when it comes to the loss of weight and its important role in developing a healthy lifestyle for the individual does not sit well with processed food manufacturers. Although not easy to change one’s lifestyle and introduce new routines and ingredients in the diet while eliminating others, the process is still much easier that rethinking your business model and deciding to cater to people’s health, not to their slow demise.

Myth 4: Low Carb Is Dangerous For Your Heart

This misconception stems from another. The one that saturated fats are not good for one’s overall health and will lead to problems with the heart and circulatory system. Dairy products and meat contain saturated fats and are a part of a low carb diet, hence the wrong, final conclusion. Large scale studies and research disproved this affirmation and there is no evidence of saturated fats damaging ones heart.

Low Carb Diet Basics

Diet Vs. Exercise: Which Helps You Lose More Weight?

Which is more effective in helping you lose weight, diet or exercise? Obviously, in the perfect world you would exercise regularly, develop a sensible and nutritious diet, get lots of sleep and drink lots of water. That would help effectively return your body to its ideal weight. But if you had to choose one or another, exercising or dieting, which is the most efficient and healthy way to lose weight?

Continue reading Diet Vs. Exercise: Which Helps You Lose More Weight?

Fat Is Not A Four Letter Word

Nutritional Overlay by David GoehringWhile there are many types of diet out there, the low carb diet is the one that serves more than one purpose. The main one of course, is to aid in losing weight. It’s the number one reason why people choose to go on a diet in the first place. However, reducing the amount of carbohydrate intake comes with other benefits, all of them related to the over all health of the individual. While also reducing fat deposits, the low carb diet lowers cholesterol and blood pressure and so, it prevents the birth of unwanted cardiovascular conditions and diabetes.

Featured image courtesy David Goehring – Creative Commons

When it comes to diets, the past decades had been filled with the process of trial and error. For example, in the 90’s, fat used to be considered much more damaging to the human body than in present day. That led to eliminating all fat from some people’s daily intake, which we now know to be a mistake.

Exactly What Are Nutritional Fats?

While it is recommended to eliminate sweets and white foods if planning to follow a low carb diet, these must be replaced somehow, and the surrogate is represented by dietary fat.

3 Types of Fats

Fat is divided into three large types: saturated, trans and unsaturated. The first two carry an unwanted effect in regards to one’s heart and circulatory system but the last (the unsaturated fat) is actually beneficial for the body’s engine organ.

While it may carry the name of “fat”, do not expect finding the unsaturated kind in pork, or most meat products for that matter. In a liquid state (room temperature) and bringing down cholesterol, unsaturated fat is common in olive oil (and implicitly olives), nuts and avocados, among other vegetables.

The above mentioned meat products are, however, the home of the saturated kind of fat. Coming from animals in general, often as lard, saturated fat is known to increase cholesterol levels and over all sabotage the circulatory system by clogging both blood vessels and the heart. At room temperature, this fat variety remains solid.

The Trans type of fat is one that changes states, from liquid to solid via a chemical process. It is often used as a food preserver for all sorts of cookies and peanut butter, but also involved in making margarine.

The Latest Research

Although the name of trans fat may suggest that this type is somewhere in the middle, between saturated and unsaturated, recent studies have shown that the trans type is actually worse for one’s body that even saturated fat. The misconception that the first was healthier carried over for many years as consumers preferred vegetable shortening and margarine to lard and butter (both animal products).

A healthy diet requires balance and moderation. For that reason, unsaturated fat, which is healthy, should not be avoided, while saturated fat consumption should be brought to a minimum but not completely crossed off the list. To reduce the intake of the latter, one could either eat less red meat or simply replace it with the white, lean kind, found in turkey or chicken.

Since trans fat is by far the more damaging of the two (trans and saturated), be sure to avoid it at all costs. This has been made easier recently as more and more food manufacturers leave it out of their product’s recipes. Still, it doesn’t hurt to be cautious and read the labels. Any manufacturer that still uses trans fat in their products is required to mention it on the label.

Infographic courtesy Massive Health

The Low Carb Diet And Dietary Fats

Dietary fats don’t come by themselves, they are strictly tied to protein, as they are both found in the same products. While the protein itself will burn quickly, the dietary fats themselves are absorbed much more slowly, providing a smaller but longer lasting amount of energy. They are present in eggs, milk, butter, lean meat and oils.

Just like a person can drink both, coffee and green tea, so is the body able to make use of different types of energy. The caffeine from coffee gives a short burst of alertness, much like sugar is used for short bursts of energy. The later can be taken from different types of fruits, potatoes and bread. The caffeine from green tea however, has a much longer timed release, much like the carbohydrates and fat we consume, carbs that our bodies use for different types of activities.

The process of losing weight comes from giving the body one option instead of two. If sugar is no longer a part of one’s diet, the organism is forced to fall back on fat reserves. Unlike sugar, dietary fats are more beneficial, as energy taken from eggs, cheese and other similar products has no negative impact on blood sugar levels.

People that suffer from diabetes can replace the amount of energy provided by sugar rich products with others that contain dietary fats. These won’t leave any marks on the blood sugar.

Fat Is Not A Bad Word

While the inhabitants of countries like Greece and Italy have fat rich diets in comparison with the people from Western Europe, they also tend to live longer and have healthier lives. That is due to the fact that Mediterranean diets are composed of milk, cheese, nuts and olive oil, among other products. These do their job as energy sources for the organism but they don’t come at the cost of cardiovascular diseases or diabetes.

Despite their name and previous reputation, dietary fats are beneficial for the human body. They help prevent an array of illnesses that come from elevated blood pressure. A low carb diet that includes them is very efficient in preventing cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. While good at preventing, the combination is also useful to reduce inflammation, mostly by introducing olive oil in your daily intake of foods.

In order to function properly and to remain in a comfortable state of both, mind and body, the addition of dietary fats to one’s low carb diet is essential. This blend will ensure that the initial goal of weight loss is achieved in a safe, healthy manner, without seeming like an endless chore.

Low Carb Diet Basics

Why You Should Detox Your Body for Optimal Health

[Guest] The world that you live in today is a far cry from the one that you lived in even ten years ago. There are more people than ever before. You only have to go over the latest census to see how much the population has expanded.

Along with that expansion has come the need to get products – including food from the grower to the market faster than ever before in order to keep up with the high demand.

But that fast tracking of supplies comes with a cost. Unfortunately, you and your family are paying more than simply your money for these goods. You’re paying with your health – and you may not even be aware of it.

Manufacturers want products to last longer, they want them to hold up and not break down. So many of the chemicals in products are in there for that reason – to keep a product viable, but not necessarily keep the consumer healthy.

Even foods that are supposed to be good for you – such as apples – are coated with toxins used in pesticides. That’s why you need to read about the Total Wellness Cleanse where you’ll learn what you need to know about cleansing your body from these toxins.

The Link Between Your Health and Toxins

You eat right. You’re a careful consumer. So how do these toxins make their way into your body? When you read the back of the shampoo bottle, it’s easy to see there’s a long list of ingredients that are difficult to pronounce.

That’s because the majority of those ingredients are toxic. You put it on your scalp and it gets absorbed into your body. Your children bathe with that shampoo.

When you clean the bathtub after a shower or bath, you’re using chemicals in those cleaners that contribute to the number of cancer cases that continues to climb.

These cleansers are dangerous to your health – so many people switch to green cleaners, thinking that they’re avoiding the damage to their health by not having these chemicals in their house.

But what they don’t realize is that even so called green cleaners can contain dangerous chemicals. Some of these cleaners contain 2-Butoxyethanol. This chemical can enter the body through contact with the skin or by breathing it in.

Inside the body, it can damage your organs and especially your liver as it works to try to remove this toxin from your body. What’s even more frightening is that the government agencies that regulate chemical usage in clearly defined dangerous household cleaners don’t regulate so called green cleaning materials.

You might not know that the labels on the bottles of these green cleaners don’t have to tell the whole truth to consumers. Because they don’t have to. So many of the even more harmful ingredients are kept from those who buy the products.

You deserve to know the truth about what you’re using in your home and the truth is that even looking out for your family, regardless of how aware you are or how hard you try, you can still introduce toxins.

The cosmetics that you wear on your face? Full of toxins. The shaving cream, the soaps, the deodorants … all of them contain chemicals that can cause you to become sick.

Even if you don’t put something on your body, but you have it in your home or place of work, it can hurt your body. f you decide to clean your carpet, you’re having chemical contact.

Replacing worn out carpet with new carpet will also bring chemicals into your life. New carpet contains chemicals that are released through fumes. You inhale these fumes and the next thing you know, you have watering eyes, a headache and rashes – and your respiratory system is bothering you.

You don’t have to stay in your home to get exposure to toxins. You simply can’t get away from them. But that doesn’t mean that you should simply accept that there’s nothing that you can do to look out for your health when it comes to toxins – because that’s not true.

Toxins exist in the foods that you eat. If you eat anything that’s processed, that food contains some level of chemicals – because these chemicals are used to preserve the food so that it won’t spoil between the time it leaves the manufacturer and the time it arrives on the grocery store shelf.

But what if you don’t eat processed foods? Then you’re in the clear, right? After all, organic and natural foods are good for the body! Some natural foods can still carry the residue of toxins from pesticides and as the years pass, even eating healthy can add toxins to your body.

The Results of Toxins on Your Health

Exposure to toxins is defined as short term or chronic. Both can cause damage. You may notice some damage right away and your body would manifest this through coughing.

For example, if you spray a cleaner in your bathroom and begin coughing, that’s caused by the chemical inhalation. Chronic exposure happens over time and the damage these toxins cause build up in your body over time.

There is no doubt that toxins damage your health. That’s why certain government agencies have banned some chemicals and do regulate others that don’t slip through the cracks.

The agencies know that these toxins are one of the leading causes of neurological damage, kidney disease, liver malfunction and a host of other medical problems.

But you might be experiencing health issues and not even realize that it’s due to all of the toxins in your body. Exposure to toxins can make you feel bad. You might feel kind of achy.

You might notice that you have problems with how you’re able to eat and your stomach hurts when you eat. You might feel run down and crave sleep. Yet when you wake up after sleeping eight or more hours, you don’t feel any better at all.

The truth is that you won’t feel better if these toxins are raging within your body. To get back to feeling like yourself again, you have to get rid of these toxins by cleansing your body. But first, you need to know what not to do.

Products that Don’t Work

By looking into body cleanses, you’ll see that many of them are called “Detoxing” products – and this is pretty much a standard label. But what’s not standard is the method that’s used during the process.

Different products will have you doing different steps, promise you a different outcome and after awhile, it can get kind of confusing trying to figure out what the truth really is.

What usually happens is that you can end up using something that doesn’t really do what it’s supposed to do for your body. You’ll find that many supplements claim to be exactly what your body needs to go through a detoxification period.

The information that you don’t get is that many of these supplements are not all natural. So you end up putting ingredients into your body that’s not only not helpful – but can be harmful as well.

Taking these supplements, you’ll end up feeling nauseated. You may notice that you’ve started bloating and after you finish taking the supplement for the suggested length of time, you don’t feel any better than you did when you first started taking them.

There’s a good reason that you don’t feel any better – and in fact may feel worse. Packed inside these supposed helpful supplements is a nice dose of laxatives. That’s why you end up with stomach cramps.

You didn’t do anything for your body that taking a dosage of an over the counter laxative couldn’t do with the exact same results. You also want to avoid any products that claim to work because their ingredients kill the toxins.

These products will often claim to have special herbs or spices that will help your body release the toxins, but it’s not true. Wacky fads that are advertised as all the rage never work as a cleanser against toxins.

What these companies do is hire well known people to talk about their product and before you know it, the world is paying attention and they’ve jumped on the very same bandwagon.

But you want to be very careful with these fad cleansers. Because not only do they not work but you can end up making yourself sick from using them. It’s always best to stick with a cleanser that focuses on getting rid of toxins the natural way.

Another product that doesn’t work to detoxify the body is a colon cleanser. These products are sold as items that can remove the toxins throughout your entire body.

But the truth is that these don’t work that way. Toxins are in your bloodstream. They get into the bloodstream when they’re absorbed into your body through contact with your skin.

They then get into your organs since your blood travels to all of your organs. By using a colon cleanse, you’re only focusing on one part of the body rather than the body as a whole.

That’s why it’s in your best interest to look for a method like the Total Wellness Cleanse – because it treats the entire body and it relies on a natural solution – and no gimmicks.

How to Choose A Detox Method

What you want to find to detoxify your body is a program that’s focused on nutritional value. Look for a method that doesn’t have you eating all kinds of strange and often expensive foods.

A good method will have participants choosing foods that help give benefits to the body such as foods with antioxidants and other properties. Length of time is important when you’re picking out which method you’re going to use.

You want to make sure that the one you do end up going with is not a long term plan. Using a method that lasts for several weeks is going to end up hurting your body rather than helping you.

Your body was not meant to exist on a cleanse for long periods of time. If the method is a good one that uses healthy steps, it’s not going to take that long to accomplish the goal anyway.

The time that it takes to get those toxins out of your body shouldn’t last longer than about two weeks. While your body is going through this short time of detox, you should be able to eat foods that are good for you.

The benefits from choosing a healthy detox method to get rid of toxins are numerous. You’ll notice a difference within a few hours to a day that you aren’t dealing with the same run down feeling.

You may also notice that any lingering stomach issues and headaches go away. And when you head to bed at night to get some sleep, you’ll be able to wake up the next morning and feel a refreshing, restfulness that you may not have experienced in years.

While you’re probably looking at a detox method that will help get those toxins out, there are some other surprising health benefits that you’ll reap as well. Using a cleansing method also helps the body get rid of fat. So you’ll feel better on the inside and look great on the outside.

When the Detox Period Is Complete

When you first start the detox plan, you need some guidance like that offered by the Total Wellness Cleanse people – especially if you’ve never done one before. During the process, you’ll need to know what foods you should eat that will work with your body’s cleansing system.

These are normal foods. But these aren’t recipes that you’ll find in a family cookbook. These choices are picked to introduce your body to the detoxification process.

You’ll stay on this for a certain length of time. Usually a couple of weeks before it’s completed. But after a couple of weeks, it’s time to be done with the cleanse. You have to know what and how to eat so that you keep those toxins at bay.

You don’t want to do all that work and then end up putting those same chemicals right back in. But don’t worry, the foods that you enjoyed before you started the cleanse are still on the menu.

What Items Should a Good Detox Program Include

Your program should include an emphasis on what’s natural. You shouldn’t be told that you have to buy any outside supplements or supplements that they happen to sell.

The program should have a focus on doing the work it takes to cleanse and not have an emphasis in “thinking yourself free” of toxins. Because when it comes to cleansing, you can’t think yourself better.

There should be a clear explanation of how the body works to fight toxins and how the cleanse is going to work with your body to accomplish this task. Whatever you decide to go with should have up front nutritional information that lets you get going right away.

These are usually written out as tips to get started or as habits that you may need to break. The program should be able to easily explain the effects of toxins on your body’s organs but at the same time be able to explain how using their detoxification system is going to help those organs become healthy.

You should get a guide or chart that teaches you about the steps you need to take to detoxify. Now what some programs do is tell you that you need to eat certain foods and they leave it at that.

While that’s somewhat helpful, what you’re looking for is a program that doesn’t stop there. You want one that will also include helpful recipes. Some of these programs even go as far as to plan out a meal so that all you have to do is simply go buy the ingredient list and put the meal together.

The time to focus on your health is now. Toxins are coursing through your veins right this second, and the sooner you eliminate them from your body, the sooner you’ll start feeling fantastic!

 

What Is A Low Carb Diet?

Question Mark courtesy Desi - Creative CommonsTo find out what a low carb diet really is, one must look beyond the names and rigid confines of popular, already branded diets out there. Names like Atkins or Dukan, or even South Beach became so well known that it is easy to equate them with the low carb diet as a whole. In truth, a low carb diet is formed of much vaguer guidelines that stem from a foundation, one of simply consuming less carbohydrates than before.

Featured image┬ácourtesy Desi – Creative Commons

The certain products designed to help with this type of diet function on two, mutually exclusive ideas of measuring low carb. The first deals with actual amounts, trying to figure out the exact number that a person needs daily, while the other uses percentages.

While ignoring the confines of one specific diet or the other, scientists and nutritionists can all agree that the low carb diet cannot be penned in to one particular, exact definition. That being said, its goal is much clearer than the practice, and that goal is to reduce the consumption of carbohydrates and foods that can increase levels of blood sugar.

Low Carb By The Numbers

According to the United States Dietary Guidelines, carbohydrates are supposed to amount to 50 or 60 percent of a healthy diet in regards to a daily intake. As a slow burning fuel for our bodies, it only makes sense for carbs to represent a majority. The other, roughly, 40 percent are fibers, proteins and fats. Going by the aforementioned Dietary Guidelines, any amount that simply does not reach this recommended threshold of 50 to 60 percent can be labeled as low carb.

Although, theoretically, slightly falling behind what the Guidelines recommend, places a diet in the ballpark of low carbs, the numbers are still considered too high for the purpose of losing weight. Other factors also weigh in, such as the individual physically exercising, stress levels and body type. Yet, even by placing these other factors aside, consuming close to 50 percent carbs daily is much more prone to help one maintain current weight. Activity helps in burning fat, yet if one consumes more than he or she can burn, those carbs get stored inside the body.

Even if low carb diets are famous for losing weight and that’s why people mainly adhere to them, others enable this type of diet for their blood sugar, in order to either prevent or control diabetes and other conditions related to levels of blood sugar.

Carbohydrates are essential for the well-being of the body. They are the diesel fuel that keeps you going, enabling you to perform tasks that require a moderate amount of effort throughout the entire day. However, if you don’t burn the carbohydrates through physical activity, they tend to turn into fat. For this reason the low carb diet plan became popular, both from a commercial and medical standpoint. Let us look at ways in which to measure the low carb diet.

Tightening The Belt And Reducing Carb Intake

Certain diet plans out there won’t be too specific when it comes to cutting back on carbohydrates. They won’t present you with numbers but simply assume that the content of the meals is low in carbs, much lower than what you’ve been used to eating. Granted, if you consume more carbohydrates than you end up using during the day, a reduction is in order. Some people may find the notion of accurately calculating their intake discouraging. By focusing more on types of food instead of numbers and percentages you can still embark on an effective low carb diet.

Carbs-for-fat-loss

In these less exact diet plans it is recommended to drastically reduce the intake of what nutrition experts call white foods (meals prepared with white flour like bread and other baked products). You should also avoid sugar and products that contain it, potatoes and wheat. Rice is another type of food rich in carbohydrates. In fact it’s used by bodybuilders in their bulking stages but also by sumo wrestlers. Needless to say, if you want to lose weight, you should stay away from it.

While this sort of diet plan may work for some, it isn’t efficient for all. That’s because our bodies respond differently to changes in diet from one person to the next and a drastic cutback in carbs for one could only represent a minor change for the other.

Finding The Right Amount of Carb Intake For You

Nutrition experts are aware of the many factors that need to be taken into consideration when devising am efficient diet plan. With that in mind, they recommend finding the right amounts of carbohydrates for each and every individual. If you were eating foods with very high contents of carbs, a sudden drop in quantity can be detrimental to your health and your blood sugar.

Normal levels of blood sugar differ from person to person and they are influenced by a slew of factors like age, gender, amount of muscle mass, weight, eating habits from the past and any diseases or conditions one may have. With these variables, it’s easy to see why there is no one size that fits all when it comes to low carb diet plans.

Of all the factors mentioned above, age is one of the most important. As a person gets older, the level of tolerance towards carbohydrates changes. Even if blood sugar levels stay within the desired limits, older people’s carb tolerance decreases. With this decrease comes the undesired increase of chances for diabetes and a higher predisposition to store fat. Diet plans should never overlook the age factor when determining carbohydrate levels for an individual.

A great example for just how diverse the ideal carbohydrate limit can be is found in regards to the Atkins diet. In it’s late stages, after losing most of the weight, people find their lifetime maintenance level, the amount they will have to take to keep themselves at their ideal weight. This limit ranges from one and a half ounces all the way to three and a half, proof that there is no magic universal number and that extreme reduction is not the answer.

The Purpose Of The Ketogenic Diet

Ketogenesis is the process in which the organism produces ketone bodies from fatty acids. This process is performed by the liver. The purpose of ketone bodies is to basically replace glucose and maintain our levels of energy. Glucose is formed of small molecules that result from a process of breaking down carbohydrates within the organism. If you are on a very low carb diet, chances are that, sooner or later, the body will enter ketogenesis and will have to keep the lights on from its own reserves of fat.

Although the way it functions may, at a first glance, seem radical, nutrition experts often recommend this type of diet. And that is because ketogenesis is very effective in getting rid of fat. If one keeps an even level between the amount of carbohydrates consumed and used, that person will remain at the same weight. To lose weight, one has to eliminate from the fat reserves already present in the body, and that is done by ketogenesis.

Simply entering a state of ketogenesis can be a good indicator that your low carb diet is efficient. Once fat deposits are being used for fuel, it means you’ve reached one of the most important check points in the low carb diet.

With the three points made above, it becomes quite clear that the term of low carb diet can be rather vague. You can of course do your research and choose to reduce the carb intake in order to lose weight. And there are amounts out there that are considered to be within the more known limits of what a low carb diet is considered to be. However each body responds differently and what is enough for others might not suffice for you.

Conclusion

If we go by the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, a diet that is low in carbohydrates stands between 50 and 60 percent carbs in one’s daily meal plan. However these values are general estimates and they won’t serve you in establishing the amounts you need to lose weight. A 50 percent intake of carbohydrates may be way too much for you in order to have an efficient diet plan.

All the information, numbers and statistics are out there to aid you in following a low carb diet but they are not perfect for you as an individual. For that you must consider all the factors that can affect your diet and monitor the progress yourself.

Low Carb Diet Basics