Low Carb Diets
Summary of Low Carb Diet Programs
Thirty years ago, Dr Robert Atkins published his original weight loss diet book entitled “Dr Atkins Diet Revolution.” It expressed the (then) popular notion that the way to lose weight was to eat fewer ‘stodgy’ foods like bread and potatoes.
Fat and Heart Disease
Then scientists discovered the close association between saturated-fat and coronary heart disease and suddenly low-fat diets rich in complex carbs became fashionable, while low-carb high-protein diets faded.
Rise of Refined Carbs in Diets
Meanwhile, the food industry continued to produce more and more popular foods which were rich in refined carbs and refined sugar. Such foods – e.g. cakes, candied cereals, flavored popcorn, ice cream, pastries, candy, cookies, muffins – even when low in fat, were relatively high in calories.
Low Carb Diets Return
In 1992 Dr Atkins returned with his new low carb high protein diet book entitled, “Dr Atkins New Diet Revolution.” After this came “Sugar Busters!”, “Enter the Zone” (the Zone Diet) and “Protein Power” all of which advocated fewer carbs and more diet protein.
Low Carb Diets, Insulin and Obesity
One of the principal claims of low carb diets is that carbs screw up the body’s insulin and blood sugar mechanism. As a result, say low carb advocates, we are more prone to obesity. Which explains the huge rise in obesity levels, especially in America.
Low Carb Diets and Their Sceptics
Not all nutritionists, dietitians or doctors agree with this reasoning. According to these sceptics, carbs do not cause obesity in this way. Instead, it is excess calories coupled with insufficient physical activity which is to blame. What’s more, say sceptics, low carb diets only work because they restrict calories, not because they restrict carb consumption.
Low Carb Diets – Do They Cause Weight Loss
Yes, low carb diets are typically quite effective in helping dieters to lose weight. True, a slightly higher proportion of weight loss is water loss, but low carb diets definitely work.
Low Carb Diets and Health
The long term health risks of low carb diets are as yet unknown. It’s fair to say that low carb diet programs have proved to be more beneficial than certain sceptics have claimed, but whether low carb diets are healthy in the long term, and/or whether low carb eating will help curb current obesity trends, is as yet unclear.