FOOD, FACTS and FADS

Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health

Some Common Sense About Diets

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low carb

low carb (Photo credit: daBinsi)

The article presented below is a sensible approach to diets or dieting.   There is an ongoing debate about which is the best diet for weight loss – low carbohydrate, higher fat, or low fat, higher carbohydrate.  Both types of diets have resulted in weight loss over time, but health is often compromised when taken to extremes.

Dr. Ornish presents some excellent arguments for the tried and true plant-based diet and even the most zealous low carb promoters would have to agree with him based on his years of research.  However, the latest trend is to follow a a higher fat, lower carbohydrate diet for weight loss in particular.

If you tend to eat the low-carb way, keep in mind that all low carbohydrate diets do not have to be of the Atkins-type that has gotten the reputation of  being heavy on the cheeseburgers and bacon high in saturated fats.  Low carbohydrate diets can be healthy and promote weight loss by its emphasis on healthy fats as well as restricting refined sugars and high glycemic carbohydrates.  We need to use some common sense when it comes to choosing the foods we eat for whatever reason.  Don’t neglect health for the sake of weight loss.

Tips for a Healthy Low-Carbohydrate  Diet (It Doesn’t Have to be Atkins)

  • Eat lots of green vegetables daily – any kind of greens like spinach, broccoli,  green beans, bok choy, kale (good sources of calcium)
  • Use low-carb dressing like blue cheese and Italian dressing on salads.  Olive oil and herbs is also a good choice.   Check labels carefully for sugar content.
  • Choose fish or poultry and cheese for protein.  Use red meat in moderation.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Make your own berry desserts (high in antioxidants) and control the sugar content.  Stevia has been shown to be a safe artificial sweetener.
  • Consider taking a daily multivitamin.  Look for USP on the label.
  • Avoid processed meats that contain nitrites.
  • Limit starchy carbs – pastas, white rice, potatoes, and corn.
  • Look for low-carb tortillas instead of using bread for sandwiches.

A good rule of thumb is to limit your carbohydrate grams to 45 grams per meal for women and 60 grams per meal for men.

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