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Review of High Protein Low Carb Diets

High Protein Diets

Diet Information  - Low Carb Diets -  What's the Best Weight Loss Diet?

Introduction to High Protein Diets

High protein, low-carbohydrate diets were all the rage in the 1970's, as part of the campaign against refined sugar. Then, as more evidence emerged connecting fat with heart disease and some cancers, doctors began recommending starchy carbohydrates as the basis of sensible eating. Result? High protein diets vanished. Now, protein diets are once again high fashion.

The High Protein / Low Carb Claim

Certain high protein diets claim that carbohydrates make us fat. This is a little misleading. No one gets fat by eating carbohydrate-rich foods like bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, vegetables, cereals, beans and fruit and vegetables, unless they eat them by the car-load.

Yes, it's true that over-consumption of foods like: candy, chocolate, cookies, biscuits, sweets, cakes etc., all of which are high in refined carbohydrates, will lead to weight gain and will cause health problems. But no one needs to eat a high protein / low carb diet to avoid these foods. Any balanced diet will do the job just as well, without any of the health risks.

What You Eat on a High Protein / Low Carb Diet

There are various versions of this high protein, low carbohydrate diet. However, most recommend large quantities of protein in unrestricted amounts, including red meat, fish, shellfish, poultry, eggs, and cheese. They forbid (or limit) pasta, bread, potatoes, fruit, many vegetables, plus any foods with large amounts of refined sugar.

Typical Breakfast
Bacon and eggs (no toast, no juice).
Typical Lunch
Small salad and double cheeseburger (no bun!)
Typical Dinner
Steak or fried chicken with salad topped with cheese dressing.

High Protein / Low Carb Advantages
Eating a high protein diet may lead to a steadying of blood sugar levels. Also, it will initially lead to faster-than-average weight loss.

High Protein / Low Carb Drawbacks
High protein diets may encourage over-consumption of saturated fat and cholesterol, which can increase the risk of heart disease. In addition, in the absence of sufficient carbohydrates, the body starts burning off fatty acids. Result? The kidneys can become overworked and may suffer damage in the process. In addition, certain chemicals called Ketones are released into the bloodstream, leading to an increased risk of headaches, tiredness, nausea, dehydration, dizziness, constipation and bad breath.

Issues
Any high protein diet which bans carbohydrates is a danger to your health and should be avoided. Even more moderate low carb diets should not be followed by anyone with a history of ill-health, especially anyone with weak kidneys.

Furthermore, it is worth remembering that the dietary guidelines laid down by the World Cancer Research Fund contradict almost all the recommendations in many high protein diets, with the exception of those concerning refined sugar.

Finally, high protein eating is also discouraged by most nutritionists who advocate a balanced diet with more fruit & vegetables and less meat.

High Protein / Low Carb Conclusion
Low carb diets do cause faster-than-average short term weight loss. If this is your aim, you may find low carb diets beneficial. However, do not fall into the trap of thinking that ALL carbs are bad - they're not!

Interestingly, the average annual US consumption of wheatflour has fallen by 10 pounds per person, since 1997. Yet obesity rates continue to soar.

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Bookmark this page for more articles on low carb dieting - coming soon!

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