Low Carbohydrate Diets

By: Niall Roche

Keeping your body fat down by going on a low carb diet has been made famous by the controversial Dr. Atkins, and his 'Atkins Diet', and while it has been given never ending criticism by the medical profession all over the world, as it goes against what research says is safe, it is still gaining popuarity, fuelled by celerities' love for it.

Dr Atkins had received criticism ever since his diet was first published in the 1970s, a diet saying that you should limit your intake of carbohydrates. When he died, early in 2003, even more criticism was thrown at his diet, with much of the press claiming that it was his own diet that killed him, when in fact ,we are told that, it was the result of an injury to his head.

The low carbohydrate diet works on the fact that carbohydrates are the body's first source of energy, and fats the second. When you run out of carbohydrates, your body resorts to something called ketosis, which causes fat to be burnt for energy instead. This means that as fat is burnt, you will lose weight.

Limiting your desire to take in carbohydrates is achieved by consuming a lot of fat, a lot of protein, but hardly any sugar. In any other diet the key part is lowering the amount of fat that you eat, which is often the source of a lot of confusion regarding the low carb diet.

On the surface it sounds very simple. Almost too good to be true. The trouble is that there isn't a definite answer as to whether the low carb diet has any serious health effects or not.

One potential problem is that a source of many vitamins and minerals is contained in carboydrates, so the body could miss out on these if you don't eat enough carbs. Another potential problem is that vegetarians and vegans would find it very hard to keep to the diet, as fish and meat are the main sources of food, and provide much of the protein.

It is very likely that there are some health problems related to the diet, as it involves completely turning round what you are used to. However, there is no solid evidence yet to prove anything either way, and regardless of many people's bad views on the diet, its popuarity continues to increase, and probably will continue to do so until some real evidence arises.

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