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Food for Thought
The Low Carb Diet Debate

The Low-Carb craze is taking a beating from critics, but dieters aren't paying any attention...

spoon of vitaminsYou're wondering if a low-carbohydrate diet is for you. The truth is, so are doctors and nutritionists. There are several low-carb diet books on the shelves. All say basically the same thing—eat more protein and fewer carbs.

How Does It Work?

The idea behind a low-carb diet is that reduced carbohydrate consumption decreases the body's blood sugar levels, which then causes the body to produce less insulin. What's the effect of this? This chemical reaction forces the body to burn fat for energy. When fat is used as fuel, it cannot build up and is burned off instead.

Why Are There Questions?

The problem, according to nutritionists from the American Dietetic Association, is that there is no data to back this up. It's opposite of everything doctors and medical professionals know because such diets are unbalanced and rob the body of essential nutrients from carbohydrate-laden healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables and grains.

For this reason, Duke University in Durham, N.C., put 41 obese patients on a diet that included less than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day. Although the study hasn't yet concluded, each patient lost an average of 21.3 pounds in four months. They also showed an average of 6% drop in cholesterol. Kidney and liver functions, to that point, were normal.

Still some nutritionists call these diets nutritionally deficient and caution that studies haven't been complete to prove that the low-carb craze is safe. So why is the diet so popular? Dieters say that it works and, in fact, their health problems seemed to have declined due to the diet.

What should you do?

While the low-carb diet is up for debate, you can't go wrong with the old standby diet. If you reduce the number of calories you consume each day and conduct regular exercise, you will probably lose weight.

More about low carb diets around the Web:

CarbWire - low carb news, reviews & recipes

Low Carb Diet at the Diet Channel


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