Want to lose weight? Get a hand to low carb diet

There’s no question that loading up on sugary and refined-carbohydrate-rich foods, such as white bread, pasta and doughnuts can raise your risk of developing health problems like heart disease and diabetes.Joanna Blythman gives a series of facts and figures.

But if you cut out so called good carb foods, such as whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables, you’re missing out on your body’s main source of fuel as well as vital nutrients and fiber. What’s more, for many people, a low carb diet may be harder to stick with in the long run.

When a handful of major studies recently compared low carb diets with low fat diets and other approaches to losing weight, notes Harvey Berino  found that in the first few months, those following the low carb diets tended to lose slightly more weight.

When you eat carbohydrates, your body turns them into sugars, which are then stored as fat.

Carbohydrates include vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, which are important parts of a healthy diet. Carbohydrates per se don’t make you fat; extra calories do, whether you eat them in the form of carbohydrates, fats, or protein.

Americans tend to eat too much carbohydrates, fat, and protein. But they overeat carb0hydrates most of all, says Barbara Moore, Ph.D, a nutritionist in Clyde Park, Montana, and a spokesperson for the American Society for Nutrition.

Pasta in moderation is fine. Dietitians recommend two or three ounces of uncooked noodles per person or half of a one pound box to serve a family of four.

If you keep adding small amounts of food to your fire (the fire being your metabolism), you will keep it going strong and burn more calories overall.

Food intake has a negligible effect on metabolism. Some foods, including those with caffeine, may slightly and temporarily increase metabolism, but the effect is too small to help you lose weight.

What most affects your basal metabolic rate (BMR), the rate at which your body burns calories at rest, is body composition and size. More muscles and bigger bodies generally burn more calories overall.

As long as you eat it al dente, white pasta does indeed have a glycaemic index comparable with buckwheat or brown rice so the argument that it gives a steady release of energy that keeps you feeling fuller longer is plausible. It’s also a whole lot more appetizing than a plateful of whole wheat spaghetti.

Dates are also an excellent source of soluble fiber, and have a relatively low glycaemic index: the fiber stops the sugar from causing an insulin spike in your bloodstream.

Moreover raw, unrefined coconut oil doesn’t get damaged by oxidization and go rancid the way other cold-pressed vegetable cooking oils do. It is naturally resilient oil that stands up to the heat of frying without degrading nutritionally.

A robust study published last year found that people who consume full fat dairy products are less likely to develop metabolic syndrome, the combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity associated with greater risk of heart disease and stroke.

The health benefits of cultured vegetables, from eastern European sauerkraut to Korean kimchi, are not in question but the efforts of newcomers to this ancient skill can be challenging.


The article originally appeared in The Guardian