Dropping The Carbs - The Pro's and Cons of Ketogenic Dieting Part 1Written by Andrew Langhorn
Continued from page 1
Sugar can be thought of as nitro-fuel for body. It releases a very quick but harsh burst of artificial energy. In active individuals requiring peak performance from athletic pursuits, simple carbohydrates can be a useful tool, especially in area of pre and post workout drinks. Much like a drag-racer using nitro fuel, this substance can be used to replace muscle glycogen and spare muscle wastage due to overtraining effects. Unfortunately few of us use sugar in this careful and controlled manner and are attempting to drive finely balanced engines of our bodies on a fuel which causes too much stress and strain on a system that was never designed to handle excess we provide. So since low-carb diets almost completely eliminate sugar from our diets, we have already found one significant health benefit. GRAIN CONTROVERSY Most of our Western Governments offer health guidelines which ask us to base our food intake almost universally around grain-type carbohydrates, what were once grouped as starches. We know these most commonly as rice, pasta, potatoes and breads. These types of food appear to have been staples of our western diets since time immemorial (they’re not, but that’s another story). We are often told that eating these foods will leave us full, satisfied and full of a slow releasing stream of energy that is healthy and safe. Unfortunately, at least for human beings, this doesn’t always appear to be case. Not all grains are created equal for a start and this can be where grain advocates purposely or accidentally mislead. For instance most rice, particularly white rice, will convert to sugar almost immediately in our system and we’ve already seen some of devastating effects of excess sugar consumption. Grains, no matter what source they come from will cause elevated insulin levels. For very healthy amongst us, who have extremely sensitive insulin (either through good genetics, regular exercise or a combination of both) may be able to carefully use small quantities of grains to fuel their bodies through periods of high activity. However for vast majority of people, excess of grains will result in almost all same problems as sugar consumption. Many low-carb exponents are suspicious of medical advice to eat grains, many citing Government subsidies of mass agriculture. Eating grains is a very cheap and simple way of providing food, but cheap and simple is rarely same as healthy and good...
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Andrew Langhorn is a health and fitness enthusiast and has authored many articles and web sites relating to the field of health, fitness, diet, sports supplements and weight training.
Dropping the Carbs - The Pros and Cons of Ketogenic Dieting Part TwoWritten by Andrew Langhorn
Continued from page 1
Protein covers widest range of foods left to us. Protein, which makes up our body’s muscles, can be found from flesh of other animals as well as from milks, beans and lentils. Much like fat, our body requires protein. How much is open to debate. Active individuals, particularly those who require larger muscles, will have a much higher protein need than a sedentary individual but sufficed to say, excess protein intake (although feared by many mainstream nutritionists) has none of dangers that excess grain or sugar consumption does. That said, we could always make healthier choices. Although Atkins diet may allow us to eat burgers and bacon all day long, this may not be ideal choice. When considering meat products we have to remember what state animal it came from was in when it was slaughtered. Most animals in large factory farming business are over-fed, over medicated cripples and surely this meat can’t be entirely healthy. Foods like bacon also contain a large number of hazardous preservative chemicals that sap at our besieged immune systems. Once again, not all proteins are created equal. Choosing organic fresh meats from leaner animals is a wise choice when considering health. Chicken and Turkey, from good organic sources is a lean and easy to use protein source. Animals such as bison (buffalo) and Ostrich may sound like exotic food sources to many, but their meat is almost entirely free from chemicals and their natural diets of grass and other non-artificial feeds leaves them with a low-fat content of good, healthy fats. High quality protein is essential to your health and survival. Eating lower-quality meats may allow you to stay trim (since protein consumption appears to regulate our appetite much better than grains ever could) but investing in higher quality meats will mean you can claim health benefits as well. THE HEALTHY LOW CARB APPROACH As many low-carb dieters have pointed out, most humans were never designed to live on a high carbohydrate content in their diets. As hunter-gatherers we consisted mostly on animals that roamed wild and on fresh vegetables and berries we could find in our local habitat. Although our societies may have advanced enough to let us devise sustained agriculture, our genes are still locked in a hundred thousand-year-old struggle for survival. Our bodies recognise nutrients available from clean meats, healthy fats and fresh vegetables. They have substantial trouble coping with sudden influx of excess energy and too quickly absorbed carbohydrates in form of grains and sugars. Restricting intake of grains and sugars makes a fairly quick and positive change towards a healthier life. However, it may be that in our urge to shed pounds with as little pain as possible, lower carb diets we choose are tilted towards proteins and fats we don’t really need and attention to vegetables is ignored. With a few minor modifications we can find a lower-carbohydrate approach that not only helps us maintain a normalised body-weight and fat mass but also helps us be an all round healthier individual. There are a hundred other points towards improving health but all these changes make an admirable start. BULLET-POINTS AND OTHER HINTS FOR A HEALTHY STARTER APPROACH TO LOW-CARB LIFESTYLES EAT YOUR VEGGIES! (They’re good carbs and won’t interfere with your low carb benefits) CHOOSE LEAN MEATS & EGGS (Eggs are a great source of protein as is grass-fed organic meat) CHOOSE BETTER FATS (Make sure you eat a regular supply of Omega 3 fats amongst your other daily intakes. Saturated fat in moderation is not danger. Sugar is) STAY AWAY FROM SUGARS AND GRAINS! (Low carbohydrate is less about maligning one particular food group and more about staying away from those sources which your body can’t handle in large amounts. Athletes and healthy individuals may be able to use limited sugar and/or grains to improve performance but same basic rules apply elsewhere) DRINK LOTS OF WATER (We often argue over what groups of food are essential or not but one we can all agree on is water. You need it and lots of it. Forgot food, without water you die fast!) BE WARY OF SPECIAL LOW-CARB FOODS (There are a great number of healthy choices here, Athletes especially will enjoy easy-to-mix carb free protein drinks etc but as low-carb diets have hit certain food industries hard, expect lots of products that may be lower carb choices but are not healthy. Always remember low-fat craze where manufacturers swapped saturated fat for lots of sugar…) MIX YOUR FOOD CHOICES (Restricting grains and sugars is a great start but don’t fall into trap of just surviving on same meat diet day in and day out. Mix your proteins and fats and vegetables offer a wide variety of healthy options) ENJOY THE DIET! (Just because you stopped eating chips and bread with your meals doesn’t mean you have to get bored! There is a limitless supply of sauces, seasonings, meats, eggs and vegetables that don’t require high carb sugar and corn syrup additives to make great tasting meals. Get fitter and healthier and enjoy your food while you do! Enjoying bacon once in a while poses little threat. Compare this to downing a fizzy drink with eight spoons of addictive, toxic sugar and you see advantages already)
This information is property of http://www.bodyactive-online.co.uk and is protected by copyright©.
For this sites main page on this topic, check here http://www.bodyactive-online.co.uk/services/newsArchive.asp
Andrew Langhorn is a health and fitness enthusiast, hypnotist and personal trainer. He has authored many works in the field of sports supplements, nutrition, training and personal motivation.