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Eating Low-Carb

  1. Getting Started
  2. What is a low carbohydrate
  3. What are the health benefits of a low carbohydrate style of eating?
  4. Who should follow a low carb nutritional structure?
  5. Is there anyone who should avoid the low carb way of eating?
  6. Some Myths regarding low carbohydrate diets:
  7. More about Protein...
  8. Complete and Incomplete protein foods include:
  9. What is fat?

 

Getting Started

"When you are healthy, life is good. Not only do we have physiological hormone indicators to let us know if we're there, but we also have the most emotional / mental awareness of our lives."

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What is a low carbohydrate, adequate protein nutritional structure?

It is a plan that structures eating choices around the selection of lean protein sources focusing on: fish, soy, poultry, low fat dairy and lean red meats. This diet is high in fibrous, crispy vegetables and fruits such as green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, peppers, spinach, lettuces, berries, cherries, grapes, melons - just to name a few. The low carb plan allows, but limits portion sizes of starchy vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, beets, and beans/legumes. Sweets and sugary foods are eliminated with the exception of small portions on occasional "diet holidays". The focus is on healthy choices of fats such as raw nuts, seeds, nut butters, olives, olive oil, nut oils, some butter, fish oils, flax seed meal, while avoiding fats such as trans fats (partially hydrogenated fats), fried foods, excessive saturated fats and margarine that contain trans fats. The focus is to have a protein source at each meal along with the vegetables, fruits and fats as mentioned above.

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What are the health benefits of a low carbohydrate style of eating?

A diet such as this is designed to lower insulin levels, which may have a positive influence on many chronic diseases and related health problems. The ultimate goal of a low carb nutritional structure is to restore and maintain your health and fitness. In summary a low carb nutritional structure allows your metabolic rate to stay high, satisfies your appetite and your lean body mass is preserved.

What can you look forward to by following a low carbohydrate diet?
  • Lower total cholesterol levels
  • Lower triglyceride levels
  • Higher levels of "Good" HDL Cholesterol
  • reduced risk of heart disease
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Decreased incidence of gout
  • Lower and controlled blood sugar levels
  • Lower incidence of type II diabetes
  • Diminished gastric reflux/heart burn
  • Diminished incidence of PCOD ?
  • Permanent weight loss
  • Improved mental clarity
  • Sustained physical energy
  • Decreased chance of contracting illness and disease and the need for drugs

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Who should follow a low carb nutritional structure?

About 75 percent of the population has some level of insulin resistance and/or related health problem. If you are not happy with how you look, how you feel, if you have a major health condition related to increased insulin levels, then you could probably benefit from a lower carb diet. If you are in the 25 percent that does not have insulin resistance and you are happy with how you look, how you feel and do not have any health conditions, then by all means continue with the nutritional plan that you are following.

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Is there anyone who should avoid the low carb way of eating?

If you already have kidney disease, then you need to be more careful with the amount of protein you eat. Every adult requires at least .6 GMs of protein per pound of lean body mass as a minimal intake per day. This allows the body to maintain itself.

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Some Myths regarding low carbohydrate diets:
  • Increased protein causes cancer
Insulin is a growth hormone, believed to increase breast cancer and prostate cancer. Zinc is known to decrease cancer (especially prostate) and meats are high in zinc. Insulin being a storage hormone will also store toxins, chemicals and hormones in the fat tissues of the body.
  • Increase protein causes osteoporosis
This has more to do with the pH of the body after ingesting food. This nutritional structure stresses the importance of taking in abundant fibrous vegetables and fruits. These foods which are more alkaline in nature balance out the acidity of animal protein foods.
  • Kidneys are stressed from increase intake of protein
Truly a myth. If you have existing kidney disease you do need to more careful about dividing your protein into smaller portions, drink plenty of water and monitor your kidney function with creatinine and micro albumin levels.
  • Lower carb diets will cause muscle wasting
Low carb along with adequate protein will allow the lean mass to be healed, repaired and athe protein used for the production of hormones, enzymes and other vital components of metabolism. The stored fats will be used as your primary fuel source and the intake of some carbs will be used for glycogen stores and brain function.
  • Essential amino acids and essential fatty acids are taken in through our diet
The body can not produce these on its own. There are no essential carbohydrates that the body has to take in.

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More about Protein

Next to water, protein is the most plentiful substance in the body. Protein is the fundamental structural material of every cell in the body. It not only makes up the bulk of the muscles, internal organs, brain, nerves, skin, hair and nails, but also is a vital part of regulatory substances such as enzymes, hormones and blood plasma.

All protein, whether in our bodies or in the food we eat, is made up of building units known as amino acids. These amino acids are joined in unique chain sequence to form specific proteins. There are 22 common amino acids, all of which are vital to human-life and health. Nine amino acids are classified as essential because the body cannot manufacture them. Foods that supply all the essential amino acids are called complete proteins.

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Complete protein foods include:
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Meats (beef, pork, wild game, lamb etc.)
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Soy based foods
Incomplete protein foods include:
  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Some vegetables and fruits

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What is fat?
  • Most highly concentrated energy source
  • Provides essential fatty acids
  • Slows the process of digestion
  • Decreases hunger between meals

Essential fatty acids must be obtained from food sources since the body can't metabolize them. There are three essential fatty acids:

  • linoleic
  • linolenic
  • arachidonic

  • These fatty acids serve functions related to tissue strength, cholesterol metabolism, muscle tone, blood clotting, and heart action.

    The best sources of cooking oils are from monounsaturated fats. These oils can be heated without damaging their structure. The best choices are unrefined, cold-pressed, extra virgin forms. It is best to store oils in the refrigerator to avoid becoming rancid.

    Saturated fat is a more solid, heavy fat, such as meat fats. Saturated fats are of animal origin. Unsaturated fat is less heavy, less dense, such as a liquid oil.

    Unsaturated fats are divided into two categories: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Monounsaturated fats are olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil (rapeseed), almonds, pecans, and avocados. Polyunsaturated fats are the vegetable oils: safflower, corn, cottonseed, and soybean. Fats from plant sources are usually unsaturated. Exceptions are coconut oil and palm oil, which are saturated. "Hydrogenation" is a process where unsaturated oils have been converted to a more solid form of fat to increase shelf life.


    Congratulations!
    You are on your way to a healthier life!

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