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Most low-carb diets cause ketosis. Some of potential consequences are nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and confusion. During initial phase of low-carb dieting some fatigue and constipation may be encountered. Generally, these symptoms dissipate quickly. Ketosis may also give breath a fruity odor, somewhat like nail-polish remover (acetone).
Low-carb diets do not enable consumption of more calories than other kinds of diets, as has been often reported. A calorie is a calorie and it doesn't matter weather they come from carbohydrates or fat. Study discrepancies are likely result of uncontrolled circumstances; i.e. diet participants that cheat on calorie consumption, calories burned during exercise, or any number of other factors. The drop-out rate for strict (i.e. less than 40 grams of CHO/day) low-carb diets is relatively high.
What Should You Do? - There are 3 important points I would like to re-emphasize:
- The long-range success rate for low-carb and other types of diets is similar.
- Despite their popularity, little information exists on long-term efficacy and safety of low-carbohydrate diets.
- Strict low-carb diets are usually not sustainable as a normal way of eating. Boredom usually overcomes willpower.
It is obvious after reviewing topic, that more, well-designed and controlled studies are needed. There just isn't a lot of good information available, especially concerning long-range effects. Strict low-carb diets produce ketosis which is an abnormal and potentially stressful metabolic state. Under some circumstances this might cause health related complications.
The diet you choose should be a blueprint for a lifetime of better eating, not just a quick weight loss plan to reach your weight goal. If you can't see yourself eating prescribed foods longer than a few days or a week, then chances are it's not right diet. To this end, following a moderately low fat diet with a healthy balance of fat, protein, carbohydrate and other nutrients is beneficial.
If you do decide to follow a low-carb plan, remember that certain dietary fats are associated with reduction of disease. Foods high in unsaturated fats that are free of trans-fatty acids such as olive oil, fish, flaxseeds, and nuts are preferred to fats from animal origins.
Even promoters of Atkins diet now say people on their plan should limit amount of red meat and saturated fat they eat. Atkins representatives are telling health professionals that only 20 percent of a dieter's calories should come from saturated fat (i.e. meat, cheese, butter). This change comes as Atkins faces competition from other popular low-carb diets that call for less saturated fat, such as South Beach diet plan. Low-carb dieting should not be considered as a license to gorge on red meat!
Another alternative to "strict" low-carb dieting would be to give up some of bad carbohydrate foods but not "throw out baby with bath water". In other words, foods high in processed sugar, snacks, and white bread would be avoided, but foods high in complex carbohydrates such as fruit, potatoes and whole grains, retained.
Paul Buckley is a professional pilot who provides articles, tips and resources to his readers as a sideline. A native of Boston, he presently resides in the southeastern US. http://www.healthydietzone.com