The NO No-Carb Diet

The forbidden carbohydrates.

Or are they?

There is a great misconception that in order to be healthy and loose weight we should avoid carbohydrates, or at least restrict them greatly. This theory was popularized by the Atkin’s Diet in the 1970’s. This diet always perplexed me. Why in the world would one believe that eating 10lbs of bacon a day, and hot dogs (by the way-this was #2 on the list of DO NOT EATS given to me by my cardiologist) and red meat up the whazoo be considered healthy? In reality, low-carb diets have been proven to lead to long term medical problems. A study conducted by Dr. Frank Hu revealed that those who followed a low-carb diet high in animal products had a 23% greater risk of death, 14% higher risk of heart disease and 28% higher risk of cancer over 20 years. Those are scary numbers!

I think the misconception lies in the thought that all carbohydrates are created equal. While processed carbs high in sugar should be avoided, the good carbs, such as green vegetables, beans, legumes, and whole grains are essential for fueling our bodies, as well as providing us with valuable vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and antioxidants important for good health.

Depriving our bodies of carbohydrates forces it into a state of ketosis. This is when the digestive system is forced to convert protein and fat into glucose to be used as fuel which can result in muscle wastage as well as nutritional imbalance and vitamin deficiency, because many items that are considered low-carb diet friendly are extremely high in calories, fats, and cholesterol.

The key to optimal health is a balanced diet, consisting of heart friendly fats and proteins, as well as appropriate portions of ‘good carbs’.

One Response to “The NO No-Carb Diet”
  1. Chatter says:

    Actually ketosis does not directly cause muscle wasting, it just deprives the muscles from recovering and building new muscle as it uses protein used for repairing and building muscle. Its a popular misconception. Also, it is very easy to know when you hit this point by its distinctly amonia odor. If you experience this, just work to get more carbs next time before doing the same activity. Atkins diet also can cause allot of stress on the heart as the body has an imbalance and work twice as hard. Did not mean to hijack, good post.

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