Carbs & Weight Loss
Does Carb Intake Cause Overweight, Obesity or Health Risks?
Carbs and Weight Loss
The Carbs-Are-Bad-For-Weight-Loss Viewpoint
Popular high protein and low carbohydrate diets state (or at least strongly imply) that all carbohydrates are bad for weight. This kind of blanket anti-carbohydrate statement is not accurate and is not supported by clinical weight loss trials. Neither is it true that all carbs cause obesity.
The Truth About Carbs and Weight Loss
The relationship between carbs, weight and obesity is more complex. For example, many carbs are good for weight control and essential to a healthy diet.
Weight Loss/ Weight Gain Energy Equation
Carbs Don't Cause Obesity
Carbs Are Essential for Nutrition
Refined Carbs Are Not Good for Weight
Loss or Nutrition
Carbs, Weight Loss and Health - Summary
Carbs and Weight Loss - Glycemic Index
Originally devised for diabetics, The Glycemic Index (GI) is a ranking of 'carbohydrate' foods according to how fast blood glucose (sugar) levels rise when a particular food is eaten. Glucose itself has a rating of 100. A 'carbohydrate' food with a high GI is absorbed more quickly, causing blood sugar levels to rise (and fall) more quickly. A 'carbohydrate' food with a low GI is absorbed more slowly and is likely to keep blood sugar levels constant, which helps to avoid hunger pangs.
Carbs and Weight Loss - Glycemic Index - Usefulness for Dieting
Although a useful guide to the blood sugar-raising levels of individual foods, the GI Index is not an exclusive basis for any healthy weight loss diet.
Carbs and Weight Loss - GI Index - Summary
The Glycemic index is a useful reminder to consider the proportion of high-GI carbohydrates, when devising a weight loss diet plan. Simply put: when losing weight, eat a balanced diet.
Best Carbs for Health and Weight Loss
Carbs and Weight Loss - Articles
From: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Myth: Starches are Fattening and Should be Limited When Trying to Lose Weight.
Fact: Potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, beans, and some vegetables (like squash, yams, sweet potatoes, turnips, beets, and carrots) are rich in complex carbohydrates (also called starch). Starch is an important source of energy for your body.
Foods high in starch can be low in fat and calories. They become high in fat and calories when you eat them in large amounts, or they are made with rich sauces, oils, or other high-fat toppings like butter, sour cream, or mayonnaise. Try to avoid high-fat toppings and choose starchy foods that are high in fiber, like whole grains, beans, and peas.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends 6 to 11 servings a day from the bread, cereal, rice, and pasta group, even when trying to lose weight. A serving size can be one slice of bread, 1 ounce of ready-to-eat cereal, or 1/2 cup of pasta, rice, or cooked cereal.
Myth: High Protein Low-Carbohydrate Diets are a Healthy Way to Lose Weight.
Fact: A high-protein/low-carbohydrate diet provides most of your calories each day from protein foods (like meat, eggs, and cheese) and few calories from carbohydrate foods (like breads, pasta, potatoes, fruits, and vegetables). People often get bored with these diets because they crave the plant-based foods they are not allowed to have or can have only in very small amounts. These diets often lack key nutrients found in carbohydrate foods.
Many of these diets allow a lot of food high in fat, like bacon and cheese. High-fat diets can raise blood cholesterol levels, which increases a person's risk for heart disease and certain cancers.
High-protein/low-carbohydrate diets may cause rapid weight loss--but most of it is water weight and lean muscle mass--not fat. You lose water because your kidneys try to get rid of the excess waste products of protein and fat, called ketones, that your body makes.
This is not a healthy way to lose weight! It overworks your kidneys, and can cause dehydration, headaches, and bad breath. It can also make you feel nauseous, tired, weak, and dizzy. A buildup of ketones in your blood (called ketosis) can cause your body to produce high levels of uric acid, which is a risk factor for gout (a painful swelling of the joints) and kidney stones. Ketosis can be very risky for pregnant women and people with diabetes.
By following a reduced-calorie diet that is well-balanced between carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, you will still lose weight--without hurting your body. You will also be more likely to keep the weight off.
From The National Women's Health Information Center, DHHS (US).
What Are High Protein/ Low Carbohydrate Diets? Are They a Healthy Way to Lose Weight?
Most of a person's calories come from protein foods, like meat, eggs, and cheese when on a high-protein/low carbohydrate diet. This diet has fewer calories that come from carbohydrate foods, like breads, pasta, potatoes, fruits, and vegetables. Two problems with this type of diet are it: 1) can lack key nutrients found only in carbohydrates that a person needs to be healthy; 2) allows foods high in fat, which can raise blood cholesterol levels, increasing a person's risk for heart disease and some cancers.
These diets have become popular because people often loss weight quickly. But, most of the weight a person looses is water weight and lean muscle mass, not fat. Water is lost because the kidneys try to get rid of the excess waste products of protein and fat, called ketones, that the body makes. These diets are not a healthy way to lose weight. They overwork your kidneys, can cause dehydration, headaches, and bad breath. You can also feel nauseous, tired, weak, and dizzy. Health problems, like kidney stones and gout (a painful swelling of the joints) can develop as a result of these diets. A reduced-calorie diet that has a good balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats is the safest and best way to lose weight. You will also be more likely to keep the weight off over time.
Starch is an important source of energy that all bodies need, even when a person is trying to lose weight. It is found in foods like potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, beans, and some vegetables. Foods high in starch can become high in fat and calories when you eat them in large amounts, or when they are made with rich sauces, oils, or other high-fat toppings like butter, sour cream, or mayonnaise. Stick to starchy foods that are high in fiber, like whole grains, beans, and peas.
From: Ellen Coleman, RD, MA, MPH - The Physician and SportsMedicine
Do High-Protein, Low-Carb Diets Increase Your Ability to Burn Fat?
No diet will help you gain better access to your body's fat stores during exercise. Carbohydrate, not fat, is the primary fuel for exercise at or above 70% of aerobic capacity, the intensity at which most people train and compete. Fat only becomes available for fuel after about 20 minutes of exercise, and most people don't work out long enough to directly burn significant amounts of fat during a workout. But regular exercise can create a calorie deficit that promotes gradual fat loss over the long haul. Further, aerobic exercise raises the level of several hormones that promote greater fat use. Therefore, the best way to crank up your body's fat-burning ability is to keep working out.
Low Carb Weight Loss Plans
There is no question that low carb eating plans are beneficial for blood-glucose management. This is clearly supported by research into the Glycemic Index, a rating-system which compares foods according to their effect on blood-sugar. It is equally clear that a low carb diet is beneficial for weight reduction, which is relatively rapid in the early stages of dieting.
Questions About Low Carb Diets
However, a number of weight and health related questions about low carb diets remain unanswered. For example:
Q. Do low carb diets lead to easier long-term
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