Thursday, November 22, 2012

Examining The Pros And Cons Of A Low Carb Diet

We have an unlimited supply of information at our fingertips, whether at the library, bookstore, or the internet. It's easy to find research on diet plans. The hard part comes as we sift through all the pros and cons of the diet.

Avoiding information overload can be difficult when trying to decide if the good actually outweighs the bad. The key is to understanding the difference so you can choose the best diet plan to promote your healthy lifestyle. Let's take a look at some of the information so you can make your decision:

THE PROS

Weight Loss - The reason a majority of people begin dieting is to lose weight. Low carb diets focus on eliminating the bad carbs which include white bread, potatoes, pastries, soda, and candy. These foods have either added sugars, starch, or empty calories. These bad carbs are not easily burned off so they just as easily turn into fat in the body. Eliminating the bad carbs from your diet and replacing them with good carbs and lean proteins will typically result in weight loss.

Health Benefits - Replacing bad carbs with good carbs in your diet helps regulate spikes in blood sugar which in turn may lower blood pressure and promote heart and circulatory system health. For those who have diabetes, this is a critical part of their healthy eating plan. Eating low carb may also help promote low cholesterol levels. Many diets that help you shed those pesky pounds will also help improve your cardiovascular health.

Mindset Shift - With any diet, we set a goal to start eating better and living a healthier lifestyle. But, when other diets may fail because they're all about limits, the low carb diet is more about eating healthier foods. After all, we all know sugar and empty calories are bad for you. The low carb diet plan goes beyond limits and focuses on the good foods you can enjoy. Counting calories, weighing your food, and looking at a plate of lettuce for dinner just doesn't work long-term for most people. Having a wide variety of good carbs, proteins, and yes, fats, is definitely the way you will experience the proper mindset for a healthy lifestyle.

THE CONS

Eating Fats - With a low carb diet, bad carbs are replaced with good carbs, and lots of protein is permitted. But, along with the protein, comes the fat. And not only the fat that comes with meat, poultry, or fish, but other sources, as well. You'll find cheeses, mayonnaise, and even cream on the list of healthy foods on some low carb diets. Nuts and oils, along with whole eggs are also included. Depending on your individual needs, this fat may be undesirable. Foods high in fat, even the so-called 'good fat' may raise cholesterol levels. Even within the low carb diet world, opinions differ greatly as to whether or not fats are allowed.

Health Problems - Wait. Didn’t I just say there are health benefits to this diet? Yes, I did. But, with any diet there are going to be risks. Following a diet to the letter is difficult, and people make mistakes or get overly ambitious with the diet plan. For instance, if you cut carbs too much, you may experience headaches, fatigue, and other health problems. Eating the fat allowed in a low carb diet may increase cholesterol levels. Fruits are not allowed in the first phases of some low carb diets, causing some dieters to miss out on certain nutrients if they are not replacing them with vegetables. Red meat is a great source of protein in a low carb diet but is another concern for cholesterol. In some people with digestive problems, eating great amounts of vegetables along with dairy products, both acceptable foods on a low carb diet, may cause flareups.

Just like any diet, eating low carb has good points and bad points. It’s imperative to talk to your doctor and do your research to decide what sort of diet fits your lifestyle and your health needs. Every diet needs to be approached in a commonsense way. It's most important to focus on mindset, discipline, and changing your bad eating habits if you really want to succeed.

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