The diet industry is one of the biggest industries in the country and right now the hottest diets are low carbohydrate diets. Ironically, while these diets are riding an unbelievable wave of popularity, there is also an epidemic of obesity and diabetes at never before seen levels. Overweight people are desperate for diets solutions.
People are getting good results for weight loss with low carb diets and this is fueling their popularity.
The latest research also shows that these diets really help you lose weight and keep it off. Leading the way is the Paleo diet, which gets its name from the caveman from the Paleolithic era. This diet promotes eating healthy meats, nuts, seeds, and vegetables, but no grains.
The popularity of the Paleo diet has been surprising, with countless books coming out promoting the diet. The real pioneer of the Paleo movement is Dr. Loren Cordain, who wrote the top-selling book, “The Paleo Diet.” When he first started promoting the diet, he was criticized for saying that people should not be eating any kind of grains. More research has now come out that shows how omitting or reducing grains can help lower blood sugar levels and reduce auto-immune disease symptoms.
Low carb diets are really not new and have been around for decades, but more and more people have turned to these diets because of lack of success with other diets. The first low carb diet that was a major commercial success was the Atkins Diet, which started back in 1972 when Dr. Robert Atkins released his book, “Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution.”
The Atkins diet remains a popular low carb diet, but it has been modified from its original doctrine of eating any and all kinds of meats and fats. It is now more in line with the Paleo diet, which promotes healthy grass-fed meats. The Atkins diet still promotes a diet high in protein and has its own line of processed low carb foods.
Some of the other popular low carb diets include the South Beach diet, the Stillman diet, the Dukan diet, and the ITG diet plan.
Risks of Low Carb Diets
Opponents of the low carb diets claim there can be health risks for these diets, including heart disease, ketosis, kidney damage, constipation, and cancer. The claim of low carb diets contributing to heart disease has been refuted by several studies that have shown the low carb diets can actually help reduce the risk of heart disease, even though the diet includes animal fats.
The condition of ketosis occurs when your body does not have the sugars in the blood to supply energy for the body so ketone bodies are produced by the liver to supply the energy needed. The body basically burns its own fat supply for energy.
While low carb proponents claim ketosis is a good thing and helps you lose weight, other health officials warn that ketosis can lead to ketoacidosis, a serious condition where there are too many ketones produced and not enough insulin produced to help regulate fatty acids. This condition can be life-threatening to diabetics.
Kidney damage is a real concern with low carb diets, especially for people who have kidney disease or reduced kidney efficiency. Too much protein can put excess strain on the kidneys and compromise their working ability. If you are starting a low carb diet, it is important to have a blood test to check kidney function.
Constipation is one of the real problems for many people on a low carb diet because of the omission of fiber-rich carbohydrates, especially whole grains. Many people compensate for the lack of whole grains by consuming more meats, which leads to greater problems with constipation because of the lack of fiber.
If you are on a reduced carbohydrate diet, you need to make sure you consume more vegetables to help keep adequate of fiber in your diet.
Cancer could be a concern with low carb diets if meats are a large part of the diet. It has been shown that carcinogenic compounds are formed when meats are cooked at high temperatures like frying or grilling. This risk is especially true with well done meats and burnt portions of meats.
There are also studies that show people who consume moderate amounts of meat are at a higher risk for certain cancers like prostate, breast, and colon cancer.
Will low carb diets be the norm soon? Time will tell, but more research needs to be done on the long term effects of a low carb diet on the body. Right now, there are no such studies. What we know now is the low carb diets do help you lose weight and there are countless success stories of people who started the diet. You might be one of the next ones.