Is Low-Carb Best for Weight Loss?

* In recent years, low-carb diets for weight loss have become increasingly popular.

* When used as a weight loss program, low-carbohydrate diets (when carbohydrate intake is less than 40g a day) result in ketosis, a process whereby the body breaks down fat for energy.

* Many believe carbohydrates are necessary to maintain energy levels, but the body can utilise fatty acids for energy as well as convert protein into glucose on an as-needed basis.

* Research shows, for example, that the heart prefers saturated fatty acids for its energy needs, not carbohydrates.

* Despite the pronouncements to the contrary, low-carbohydrate diets can have much to offer beyond weight loss.

Disillusioned with the supposed effectiveness of low-fat diets and facing ever-climbing rates of obesity and diabetes, many people have been embracing starch-free diets in droves. Though the diet has been mostly associated with weight loss, practitioners and scientists alike are discovering the benefits of low-carbohydrate diets for a number of diseases, from multiple sclerosis to diabetes. Low-carbohydrate diets are nothing new, as they have been advocated by various doctors and thinkers since the 1800s. It is only in recent years, though, that the low-carbohydrate diet has achieved such wide and sustained popularity.

Myths about low-carbohydrate diets abound and this article will deal with several of them. It’s important for readers to know that the low-carbohydrate craze is a true phenomenon, encompassing many writers and many approaches. Though each differs from the other in slight ways, the bottom line is this: to be healthy, most people would benefit from reducing their intake of carbohydrates and increasing their intake of protein and fats. Despite their critics, low-carbohydrate proponents stand by their nutritional recommendations as healthy and vibrant.

Protein is a vital nutrient, essential to good health. There are 22 amino acids that combine to form different proteins, and eight of these must come from the foods we eat. Our body uses these amino acids to create muscles, blood, skin, hair, nails and internal organs. Proteins help replace and form new tissue, transport oxygen and nutrients in our blood and cells, regulate the balance of water and acids, and are needed to make antibodies. However it’s debated that excessive consumption of protein, particularly animal protein, can result in heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis and kidney stones.

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