Beyond setting yourself up for rebound pounds, there are health concerns associated with making a protein shift. Having to break down the excess protein puts an extra burden on your liver and kidneys and, epidemiological studies suggest, may cause calcium loss (it's swept out through the urine), putting you at greater risk for osteoporosis. Moreover, a new study from the Harvard School of Public Health bolsters the view of many scientists that high-protein diets contribute to the development of cancer, particularly of the colon.
Why Are Low-Carbohydrate Diets Popular? Because we Americans just don’t know moderation and portion control. Weight control is still clearly based on the fact that you need to exercise more and consume fewer calories to lose weight. Diet plans that let us eat all we want of certain foods are very appealing....Contrary to popular opinion, carbohydrates are necessary to our health because these foods provide energy, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other phytochemicals. It’s the types of carbohydrates that are overused -- sweet drinks, desserts, candy, larger portions of bread, pasta and refined starches -- that get us into calorie trouble. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and dairy products are high-carbohydrate foods that are essential to our good health. Whole grains such as breads and cereals are high in fiber. Fiber helps lower blood cholesterol. Fiber helps us feel full longer so we don’t crave junk foods between meals. Fruits and vegetables, also carbohydrate sources, contain fiber and phytochemicals, which may help fight off heart disease and cancer....Healthy weight loss must begin with a plan that can be continued and adapted to a weight-maintenance program for life. Gradual lifestyle changes lead to permanent weight loss and good health. Losing weight quickly and gaining it back puts you at greater risk of being overweight. Popping “diet pills” doesn’t change your behavior. Get off the roller coaster and take control of your eating for a leaner body and better health. Moderation, portion control and exercise are messages that don’t make headlines or sell diet books, but they really work.
"We're not recommending this diet to anyone," Green says. "We don't know what would happen if you followed it for years. What we found is it seems to work for short-term weight loss."
Many Americans are losing weight on so-called ³fad² diets but in the process, they could be putting themselves at greater risk for developing coronary heart disease, according to a University of Kentucky College of Medicine study published in the October issue of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
The cornerstone of the Atkins philosophy is a four-phase eating plan in conjunction with vitamin and mineral supplementation and regular exercise.
Home & Real Estate: "Dirty Little Secret About Low-Carb Diets"
Almost half of low-carbohydrate dieters believe cutting carbohydrates from their meals is such a magic bullet for weight loss that there is no reason to count calories too, according to a new survey of 1,000 adults and 200 primary care physicians that was conducted by RoperASW for Slim-Fast Foods Co.
The steak and bacon crowd are in 'calorie denial.' And doctors say that attitude doesn't bode well for long-term weight loss success. Calories still count.
'Americans are under tremendous pressure to lose weight,' Dr. John Foreyt, a clinical psychologist and director of the Behavioral Medicine Research Center at Baylor College, said in a news release announcing the survey results. 'As a result, people are willing to believe what defies science--the notion that cutting carbs without cutting calories will generate lasting weight loss. The reality is, it is still important to control calories when following a low-carb diet or any other type of diet.'
The survey findings:
Do calories matter when you are going low-carb?
46 percent of low-carb dieters say they can lose weight by just cutting out the carbs without cutting calories. Fully 86 percent of doctors disagree.
Can you lose weight and keep it off without cutting calories?
52 percent say they can lose weight without cutting calories as long as they restrict carbohydrates. The vast majority of doctors (76 percent) say a diet will only be successful over the long haul if calories are cut, too.
Does portion control matter when you are going low-carb?
34 percent say there is no need to control portion size, while 83 percent of doctors say it is extremely or very important to do so. Sixty-one percent of doctors are concerned that their patients following a low-carb diet are not controlling their portion sizes as well.
Should people following a low-carb diet worry about getting all the essential nutrients their body needs?
55 percent say there is no worry about getting all the essential nutrients just because carbohydrates are reduced, compared with 95 percent of doctors who note how important it is to get essential nutrients when following this kind of restricted diet.
Perhaps the best advice, no matter what type of diet you're on, is to eat smart. Eat only when you're hungry and don't overeat.