Are Low Carb Products Worthless?


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Diet fads fade for at least one reason. Like pet rocks, low carb products and diets will die out because they just don't do anything worthwhile. The dropout rate is high - about 50 percent - because the diets are ordinary, boring and are unpalatable to most people. More than 90 percent of people dieting on low carb diets, return to their previous weight within 5 years, most of them even sooner. Smaller side effects such as headache, fuzzy thinking, irritability, halitosis and constipation are almost universal among Atkins adherents. Hard side effects are fortunately rare.

Does low carb diets have any negative side effects?

Physicians are concerned that long-term use to a high-fat, high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets may lead to kidney stones, osteoporosis and heart abnormalities. Kidney stones and disturbances of heart rhythm are well-documented complications of the decades-old low carbohydrat ketogenic diet (high fat, low protein, low carbohydrate) that pediatricians have used to lower the seizure frequency in children with neurological disorders.

Does Low carb food increase cholesterol levels?

A reputable medical journal reported in May 2004 that low-carb diets helped people lose weight without causing adverse effects on cholesterol levels. There was comfort among food manufacturers, who had already rushed to market low-carb products that covered the spectrum from beer to bonbons. Lost in all this was the cool scientific observation that overweight persons experienced only a moderate weight loss, and that severely overweight individuals lost, on average, only one pound per month during the whole study year. The cholesterol profiles did, abundantly favor the low-carb dieters, but those levels remained high - because that's where they started out. Finally, few journalists revealed that the Atkins Foundation funded one of these studies.

Will anybody benefit from low carb diets?

Those who can successfully navigate the inconvenience and side effects of the low-carb diet and then maintain a considerable loss of fat will gain much benefit. The early weight loss, however, is mostly loss of water. Much of the later weight loss consists of the lean part of the body mass, mostly muscle. Long-term success depends not simply on careful attention to diet, but also to regular workout. Those who do not incorporate a workout routine into their life are destined to gain all the weight back, and then some.

In what direction is the low carbohydrate craze going?

First, proponents are already backing away from saturated fat. The South Beach diet recognizes that polyunsaturated (from fish) and monounsaturated (from olive oil) fats are not only acceptable, they are even essential to good health.

Second, the distinction between refined or bad carbohydrates (white flour, sugar) and whole grains is one that needs to be widely disseminated. More and more weight lodd diets are taking the consequenses of this.

Third, the low-fat establishment cannot - and must not - ignore the incontestable benefits of fruits and vegetables in the prevention of cancer and heart disease. This food could easily be incorporated into an Atkins induction diet or an ordinary Atkins diet.

The low-carb hysteria has probably reached its peak, but remnants will persist for a generation or more, and permutations of it will rise episodically like phoenixes among those who are looking for effortless weight loss. Like the phoenix, that is nothing but a myth.

Gary Holdon is a writer and internet publisher who likes to publish Weight Loss articles . You can go to for more.


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