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Diets » Low carb diet

Low carb diet

Introduction: Low carb diet

A low carb diet generally restrict carbohydrates, such as foods high in sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and highly refined products that contain processed flours, pastas, noodles, and cereals that are not made of 100% whole grains. There are many variations of a low carb diet, and each one recommends different types and quantities of foods and various patterns of eating and phases of dieting. Low carb diets generally reduce the consumption of carbohydrates to 20 to 60 g per day (typically less than 20 percent of the daily caloric intake). The consumption of protein and fat is increased to compensate for part of the calories that formerly came from carbohydrates. Weight loss is achieved on a low carb diet based on the assertion that because carbohydrates are the body's first line of fuel for energy, when carbohydrate restriction is greater than the need to produce energy, the body begins to burn stored reserves of fat for energy.

Many versions of the low carb diet stress replacing some amount of carbohydrates with protein sources, such as meat, fish, and eggs. Many low carb diets, such as the Atkins Diet, the South Beach Diet also include limited induction phases of severe carbohydrate restriction and increased intake of proteins, such as meat, fish, and eggs, to jump start the weight loss process. Healthy fats, such as olive oil are also used, and carbohydrates, mainly from 100% whole grains, are added back into the diet slowly as weight loss is achieved and the dieter learns to chose and eat moderate amounts of healthy carbohydrates. These diets and others, including the Caveman Diet and the Paleolithic diet, are also based on the idea that highly processed foods, such as fast foods and junk foods, are at the root of weight gain and other unhealthy conditions, such as diabetes type 2 and cardiovascular disease. Low carb diets generally encourage the use of fresh unprocessed food choices. As with any diet plan, optimal results for health and weight loss and control are achieved when a well balanced diet plan that encourages gradual weight loss is combined with a sensible exercise program and healthy lifestyle changes. Any diet may have the potential to be harmful for some people, so consultation with a health care provider before starting a diet plan and exercise program is recommended.

Low carb diet: Other Names

Other names for this diet (Low carb diet) include:

  • Low carbohydrate diet

Low carb diet: Similar Diets

Other diets similar to Low carb diet include:

Conditions Associated with Low carb diet

Conditions associated with Low carb diet include:

Foods Excluded Or Restricted From Low carb diet

The following foods may be restricted or excluded from Low carb diet:

  • Any type of carbohydrate during initial phase of some low carb diets
  • Breads not made with 100% whole wheat or grains
  • White sugar
  • White flours
  • White rice
  • White potatoes
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • White pasta not made with 100% whole wheat or grains
  • Cereals not made with 100% whole wheat or grains
  • Sodas/pop
  • Chips
  • Snack foods
  • Baked goods
  • Candy
  • Alcohol

Foods Focused On For Low carb diet

The following foods may be focused on as part of Low carb diet:

  • Fresh, unprocessed fish
  • Fresh, unprocessed poultry
  • Fresh, unprocessed, lean beef and other meats
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Soy
  • Olive oil
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Fresh, unprocessed vegetables

Low carb diet: Potential Risks Or Complications

The following are potential risks or complications of the diet (Low carb diet):

  • Ketoacidosis - a condition in which dangerously high levels of acids called ketones build up in the blood as a result of severe calorie/carbohydrate restriction and can poison the body.
  • Kidney damage
  • Nutritional deficits, depending on food choices made
  • Weight loss phases are not recommended for pregnant or nursing women

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