been avoiding fats for years. Expert-so-and-so says that it is the only way to
stay trim and fit. Now the popular diets are telling us to avoid carbohydrates,
too. Gosh! What is left to eat? Confusion is nothing new in the diet world.
fads come and go and come back again. A kernel of scientific fact, often taken
out of context and blown out of proportion, helps these fads diets sound
reasonable to the average reader, especially the chronic dieter desperate for
new advice. Here are some basic facts you need to know.
pastas and others carbohydrates really make you fat?
comes from the combined influence of genetic, metabolic, environmental and
behavioral factors can affect your energy balance, the balance between the
calories you eat and drink versus the calories you burn. When you eat more
calories than you need, your body stores the extra calories as fat. Therefore,
too much of any food, even carbohydrates, can make you fat. To lose weight, you
must increase your energy expenditure (exercise is best for this) and eat less.
and fitness professionals have been telling people to reduce fat intake to
prevent chronic health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure and
obesity. Their basic message continues to be worthwhile: Eat fewer foods high in
fat, salt, and sugar; eat more fruits, vegetables and grains. Unfortunately,
many people have interpreted this message to mean that as long as food has
little or no fat, you can eat all you want.
this theory is applied to a plate of steamed vegetables, it is almost true.
After all, how many vegetables can you eat (without butter or high-fat
dressing)? Most people naturally stop eating after a reasonable number of
calories because high fiber foods fill you up. But what about a box of fat-free
cookies? They go down pretty easily, don’t take up much room in your stomach,
and deliver a lot of calories. The bottom line is fat-free foods are not a
license for overindulgence.
carbohydrates stimulate the production of insulin which in turn causes the
production of fat?
Many of the new diets advocating a reduction in carbohydrate intake cast
insulin as the bad guy. But insulin is not to blame; extra calories are. Here is
how insulin works. As you digest a meal, nutrients are released into the blood
stream to be used as needed. When glucose, the basic building block of
carbohydrates, and the “sugar” in blood sugar, enters the bloodstream, the
pancreas release the insulin. Insulin in turn, signals the cells of the body to
take up glucose from the bloodstream to produce energy and manufacture glycogen,
a form of carbohydrate that can be store, and used to make energy when the blood
insulin also tells fat cells to store extra glucose as fat. It is for this
reason that some people have blamed insulin for the creation of excess body fat.
But blaming insulin for fat stores, is like blaming the people who work at a
landfill for the excessive amount of garbage. Just as the workers don’t create
the garbage, insulin does not create the excess fat. The landfill workers and
insulin are simply doing their jobs.
high protein, low carbohydrate diets good for weight loss?
Any diets that limits caloric intake can produce a short-term weight loss
that occurs with high-protein diets, however, is mostly water loss. Remember
that pounds lost quickly are more likely to return quickly as well. Slow, steady
weight loss produces by lifestyle changes you can live with is still the way to
should include low-fat sources of protein and carbohydrate. Eat a variety of
food you enjoy, and focus on heart-healthy changes that work for you and your
lifestyle. And remember the most important component of weight loss program or
heart-healthy lifestyle: regular physical activity, and a lot of it.