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Low vs. High Carbohydrate Diet: Which is Better?

Dec 1, 2009

Whether you go on a low carbohydrate diet or a high carbohydrate diet, the overarching purpose is to burn fat and experience weight loss while getting the protein and other nutrition your body needs. It is a fact that the only way to burn fat is to expend more energy than you take in, and what exactly you choose to take in becomes very important when you're watching your diet. High and low carbohydrate diets alike are touted as being a solution to lose weight, but which one is better? The following will outline the pros and cons of each so you can determine if either is right for you.

Low Carbohydrate Diet

Low carb diets is that they are very low in calories, which is the basis behind weight loss with this program. Two very popular diets on the market today, the Atkins and the Zone diet, both use low calorie and low carb foods. This can be a good thing, as long as you keep your calorie intake to a minimum of 1300 per day for women and 1700 per day for men. You should also take a fiber supplement.

Another good thing about low carbohydrate diets is that they stick with small quantities of low glycemic carbs in combination with fat and protein. This prevents your body from losing lean body mass and muscle, but allows it to shed weight in fat. Recent studies show that low carbohydrate, high protein diets will lower your triglycerides and glucose levels. The main problem with low-carb diets is that they are known to be devoid of essential micronutrients, but this can be combated with careful diet planning and dietary supplements.

High Carbohydrate Diet

Recent studies show that high carbohydrate diets contain a greater intake of these vitamins:

  • A
  • C
  • foliate
  • carotene
  • calcium
  • iron
  • magnesium

but a lower intake of:

  • zinc
  • sodium
  • B12

This should be accounted for so that you do not have any deficiencies if you decide to use a high carbohydrate diet.

In a study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, researchers found that high-carbohydrate diets make people more likely to have a low BMI. They also tend to include foods high in fiber and water content but low in fat, such as grains, fruits, vegetables, and reduced-fat dairy products. In general, less trans fats and saturated fats are consumed.

The main danger with high-carb diets is not paying close attention to the kinds of carbohydrates you are consuming, which can easily result in weight gain. Carbohydrates are easily overeaten and lack essential, healthy fats, so seeing a good nutritionist for proper meals and menus prior to starting a diet is essential.

The Superior Diet

It is still debated which diet is the best, and either way, you need to incorporate healthy foods from all the food groups into your diet. Which diet is superior depends solely on the specific person following that diet--their daily lifestyle, unique body and food choices.

The key to losing weight and getting in shape is to find a diet you love so much you can live with for the rest of your life. Seek out the advice of your health care provider to make sure you are healthy enough for a diet change and added exercise. Then, find a reputable nutritionist who can guide you toward a healthy diet rich in protein, carbohydrates, vegetables and good fats.

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