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Five Reasons to Consider a Low-Carb Diet

Guest Blogger Jamie VanEaton is a freelance writer making lunch–not war– when she’s not herding children, corralling pets or raising dust bunnies. You can also read her blog, The Lighter Side of Low-Carb.

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You may have thought it was all about meat. And bacon. And butter.
Fear not. Low-carb (and lower-carb) lifestyles are as healthy as the attitudes of those following them, and for many results in weight loss and feelings of better health, lack of brain fog and other nagging symptoms.

Here are five reasons to consider checking out a low-carb diet plan:

1. Gives the OK on fat. It doesn’t take much fat to fill and satisfy the human body. Because fat has satiety value, fat stays in the system longer for greater satisfaction. Finding small, healthy ways to slip this brain pleaser into a daily regimen is a best bet.
Try: Nuts, olives, canola oil, cheese, Italian dressing, etc.

2. Eat your veggies (5-6 servings a day). The food pyramid states that a diet consisting of five servings of vegetables per day is optimal. Why stop there? Chockfull of phytonutrients and fiber, loading up your plate with vegetables is extremely healthy.
Try: Zucchini, jicama, spaghetti squash, grape tomatoes, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, eggplant, snap peas and countless other low glycemic veggies.vegetable salad recipes

3. Variety in Plans. From South Beach (lower-fat, moderate carb) to Atkins, (higher-fat, low-carb), and from Low Glycemic Load to Weight Watchers Core, there is something for everyone. Because no one size fits all, it is important to learn about the various plans and evaluate which best works for your health and lifestyle.
Try: My personal favorite, Dr. Thompson’s Low Glycemic Load Diet.

4. Less hunger. Reduce carbohydrates by any substantial amount, and up your fat and protein and more often than not, there is less hunger. The reason for this lies in the increased fiber and fat consumption in the plan which leads to greater blood sugar stability and more satiety.
Try: Full-fat yogurts and cheeses which offset lactose with fat. Choose vegetables over juices, as the fiber found in its natural state helps stave off hunger.

5. Save Money on Processed Foods. Shop the outer sections of the grocery store. Processed foods are convenient, but they’re also expensive and don’t have the staying power or health benefits in the body found with a whole foods plan.
Try: Bring kids and partners shopping and teach them a lifetime of positive food choices for health, longevity as well as having your own support system.

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May 22nd, 2009

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7 Responses to “Five Reasons to Consider a Low-Carb Diet”


Amy
May 22nd, 2009
8:49 am

Great article Jamie =)


Jean
May 23rd, 2009
4:59 am

Interesting read. Some people tend to eat too many carbs just to fill up relying mostly on bread, pasta, rice, and forgeting some valuable foods like vegetables and quality protein. Limiting your carbs from the basic food items and adding more vegetables like broccoli, green beans, asparagus, spinach, cabbage, cauliflower, lean protein like skinless chicken breast, fish, eggs and healthy fats like olive oil, nuts in your diet will definitely result in a better nutrition and health. Vegetables and protein contain less carbs but they do give a good satiety.


Dana
May 26th, 2009
6:11 pm

My personal experience with fiber is it’s not very filling. Or, it fills for a little while, and then all of a sudden I’m ravenous. Sooner or later that stuff has to move out of the stomach, after all. The amount I’d have to eat to keep me satiated longer would likely put me in danger of intestinal blockage. ;)

Protein gives decent satiety but don’t way overdo it because you’ll wind up facing glucose issues similar to carbs. About half the protein you eat can be turned into glucose in the body if you go over your body’s daily protein requirements.

Besides, cut your carbs and cut your fat and focus on protein and you’re at risk for rabbit starvation. And you need fat to assimilate fat-soluble vitamins which in turn help you assimilate minerals, which does all kinds of good for your body.

As for yogurt and cheese… if the yogurt’s made right and the cheese is aged enough, they’ve got barely any carbs anyway. I read about a group of people following something called, I think, the Selective Carbs diet, and they make their own yogurt and let it ferment for twelve hours rather than three to six, which allegedly eats up nearly all the lactose. Any yogurt with a live culture has lost *some* of its sugar, though–it’s just impossible to say how much because this is yet another flaw in our food labeling laws.


Kathy
May 28th, 2009
5:18 pm

Don’t fear saturated fat! Chicken skin is actually closer to monounsaturated fat, as is lard and beef fat. In any event, these are healthful fats, too, and are stable even if heated. Coconut oil, too, is incredibly healthful. Unhealthful fats include trans fats, any kind that’s hydrogenated, and oils that have been heat processed (corn oil, soybean oil, canola oil, etc.).


suzzette
May 29th, 2009
10:10 am

I just joined your VLC challenge where you said you could not get 2-3 cups of vegetables down! So I follow you hear from your link on the LCF board. Now you are saying to eat all these servings to be healthy?

You are a confusing woman!

Why not say what you really mean?


Jamie VanEaton
May 29th, 2009
9:44 pm

Suzzette– I- by all means- am not saying that every person can ingest plant matter without issues. It is definitely a YMMV. The fact that people misconstrue that low-carb is necessarily no-veg is a fallacy. How people choose to follow low-carb is their choice–and there are many options based on what people need as individuals. I hope this helps! I write for ALL low-carbers even if mine is close to a zero carb plan.


Kinsey
Jun 8th, 2009
1:05 pm

Kathy…I must saw you have a good approach to say don’t fear fat, but I disagree with your comment about spefically not fearing saturated fat. A diet high in saturated fat is linked to many health problems/complications. When choosing fats you need to focus on unsaturated fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated). Unlike saturated fat, unsaturated fats can be healthful in lower your risk of heart disease. Below is a list of healthy fats and it’s associated food choices.

Monounsaturated fat-Olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, avocados, nuts and seeds

Polyunsaturated fat-Vegetable oils (such as safflower, corn, sunflower, soy and cottonseed oils), nuts and seeds

Omega-3 fatty acids-Fatty, cold-water fish (such as salmon, mackerel and herring), flaxseeds, flax oil and walnuts.

Lastly, it’s highly recommended to avoid saturated and trans fats as much as possible.