Rich's Corner

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Low Carb Diets... Do They Work?

Low Carb Diets... Do They Work?

I know a few people have said they thought I was on a low carb diet but I am not. I'm on a LOWER carb diet, as I cut down on the amount of carbs I was having. But, I think carbs are important and they get a bad rep.

The Atkins Diet, Paleo, etc, there are so many diets out there that want you to up the protein and fat and drastically reduce carbs. I don't get how it could be healthy to restrict so much that you can't incorporate fruits and certain veggies in the diet (like sweet potatoes). The nutrients are so important... think of all the antioxidants you're missing! I haven't had a cold in so long and I think it's because of all the antioxidants I get from the berries, pomegranates, etc.

One thing to keep in mind with carbohydrates, a healthy diet for someone active should be about 1 gram per pound. That means I should get about 200 grams a day. According to my online food journal, I get about 270 grams. Sounds too high, right? But you actually have to subtract the number with the amount of fiber you have. So 70 grams of fiber brings my total carbs to about 200, right were it should be.

I was overdoing the carbs for a long time, despite only eating healthy foods. I was averaging about 385 grams a day. Even if you subtract the fiber, I still had an average of 300 grams. The only thing I cut from my diet was bread and that brought the totals to a normal level. Despite only buying a flax quinoa bread, three are still too many carbs in it. I can only imagine what the carbs are like in white bread!

I know people think they lose weight with low carb diets. From my understanding, it works for a while. Then it stops working. Any diet that's too restricting should be avoided. I would rather have the right balance than a diet that focuses on too much protein, too much fat or too few carbohydrates. I think a healthy balance is important. The guidelines I've read have stated that carbs should be about 45% of your diet, which I think is about right.

But remember, the quality of the food is important. Just because you can have 150 grams of carbs (or whatever), doesn't mean you should go and get your carbs from cookies. The carbs should come from healthy sources, like berries, veggies and fruit. It's okay to cheat once in a while in your diet, but don't regularly ingest carbs from simple sugars like cookies and cake!

What are your thoughts on low carb diets? Did they work for you?

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

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