Health News – Stanford Studies shows Atkins Diet Best for WeightLoss

Fiber Diet
Fiber Diet

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have completed the largest and longest-ever comparison of four popular diets, and the lowest-carbohydrate Atkins diet came out on top. The 311 pre-menopausal, non-diabetic, overweight women in the study were randomly assigned to follow either the Atkins, Zone, LEARN or Ornish diet. Researchers chose the four diets to represent the full spectrum of low- to high-carbohydrate diets. Study participants in all four groups attended weekly diet classes for the first eight weeks of the study and each received a book outlining the specific diet to which they were assigned. For the remaining 10 months of the study, the women’s weight and metabolism were regularly checked, and random phone calls monitored what they were eating.  Continue reading “Health News – Stanford Studies shows Atkins Diet Best for WeightLoss”

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Weight Loss – Protein, Fat and Carb Intake

Our diet chiefly constitute of Proteins, Fats and Carbohydrates. Various Diet programs recommend different ratios of Proteins, Fats and carbohydrates. Comparison of various weight loss programs is listed below, so that you can choose a Diet Program that suits your dietary preferences and Life Style.

Comparison of Dietary Recommendations
Comparison of Dietary Recommendations

Foods for Glowing Skin

Eat Raw Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits
Fruits

Vegetables like carrots and cucumber, fruits like apples, cherries, bananas and oranges, nuts like almonds and grain like sprouted beans, uncooked raw food preserves its natural enzymes, aiding digestion, energy, and weight loss. There is no second opinion that these foods results in a good complexion. The healthy oils in nuts, avocados, and olive oil keep skin cell membranes strong and flexible. However, your body does need proteins to make and maintain building blocks.

vegetables
vegetables

Hook on to “The Mediterranean Diet”
Fish, leafy green vegetables, olive oil, salad and fruits are most sought after ingredients of healthy ingredients. Mediterranean Diet includes all these things, thereby combining all the benefits of these healthy food items. Omega-3 fatty acids in fish help keep skin-cell membranes strong and elastic. Mediterranean Diet may also protect against melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Olive oil, tomatoes, and red wine have antioxidants that help block the chemical reactions that lead to sun damage. Continue reading “Foods for Glowing Skin”

Carbohydrates or Carbs – Complex Carbs are much better for Losing Weight

What are Carbs or Carbohydrates

A Carb or  Carbohydrate is an organic compound that consists only of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Most foods contain carbohydrates, which the body breaks down into simple sugars, the major source of energy for the body. Carbs or Carbohydrates provide the body with fuel it needs for physical activity and for proper organ function, and they are an important part of a healthy diet. But some kinds of carbohydrates are far better than others. Digestive System changes Carbohydrates into Glucose (Blood Sugar). Your body uses this sugar for energy for your cells, tissues and organs. It stores any extra sugar in your liver and muscles for when it is needed.

Types of Carbohydrates

  • Simple Carbohydrates: These are also called simple sugars. Simple sugars are found in refined sugars, like the white sugar you’d find in a sugar bowl. Natural sugars are found in fruit and vegetables. Refined sugars are found in:-

            Sources of Simple Carbohydrates or Simple Carbs

Biscuits, cakes and pastries
Chocolate
Honey and ams
Jellies
Brown and white cane sugar
Pizzas
Prepared foods and sauces
Soft drinks
Sweets and snack bars.

  • Good Carbs – Complex Carbohydrates: These are also called starches. Starches include grain products, such as bread, crackers, pasta, and rice. As with simple sugars, some Complex Carbohydrate Foods are better choices than others. Complex carbohydrates as natural starches are found in:-

              Sources of Complex Carbohydrates or Complex Carbs

Complex Carbs

Bananas
Barley
Beans
Brown rice

Chickpeas
Lentils
Nuts
Oats
Parsnips
Potatoes
Root vegetables

Sweet corn

Wholegrain

Cereals
Wholemeal breads
Wholemeal cereals
Wholemeal flour
Wholemeal pasta
Yams.

 

Functioning of Carbs or Carbohydrates

Sources of Complex Carbohydrates

When you eat Carbs, your body breaks them down into simple sugars, which are absorbed into the bloodstream. As the sugar level raises in your body, the Pancreas releases a hormone called Insulin. Insulin is needed to move sugar from the blood into the cells, where the sugar can be used as a source of energy. When this process goes fast, as with Simple Sugars, you’re more likely to feel hungry again soon. When it occurs more slowly, as with a whole-grain food, you’ll be satisfied longer. These types of Complex Carbohydrates give you energy over a longer period of time.

How Carbs  or Carbohydrates Produce Fat

  1. High Carb Foods or High Carbohydrate Foods  are a source of a rapid rise in Blood Sugar Level
  2. High Blood Sugar Level produces insulin in the body which take nutrients to cells, where this sugar can be used as a source of energy
  3. Cells use this sugar for energy and release Extra Fat
  4. Extra Fat is stored in body and cause Obesity and Disease.

How Much Carbs or Carbohydrates are required

The intake of Carbs or Carbohydrates depends on the amount of daily calories you need to maintain your weight. For healthy body recommendations are as follows:-

  • RDA recommends 300 grams of Carbs or Carbohydrates per 2000 calories (approximately 60% of total calories).
  • Generally it is suggested that minimum 120 grams of Carbs or Carbohydrates  per day shall be included in the  daily diet plan.
  • Roughly average active women need 1,600 to 2,200 calories daily, whereas active men need about 2,800 calories a day.

Low Carb Diets or Low Carbohydrate Diets

There is no consensus definition of what precisely constitutes a Low Carbohydrate Diet. Low Carbohydrate Diets are diets that restrict carbohydrate or carb intake to 20 to 60 grams per day, typically less than 20 percent of caloric intake. Some of the distinguished diets are:

ATKINS Diet

The Atkins program is the most natural, easiest, tastiest, most long-term way to achieve these very normal goals.

Atkins Food Pyramid

Metabolism is the process that converts food into either energy or your body’s building blocks. Eating the right foods can increase your body’s metabolism, particularly how it handles fat. When you eat fewer carbohydrates foods—relying mostly on vegetables rich in fiber—your body switches to burning fat (including your own body fat) instead of carbohydrates as its primary fuel source. Carbohydrates intake is largely responsible for blood sugar fluctuations, e.g. potatoes and white bread converts rapidly to glucose. After each carb-heavy meal or snack, your body stops burning off fat as your insulin level escalates to deal with the rising tide of blood sugar. Fat calories are always pushed to the back of the line, where more than likely they’re stored. That’s why insulin is called the “fat hormone.” As long as your body keeps turning glucose into fat, you’re doomed to being heavy.

Cutting your carb intake and eating mostly whole food carbohydrates is the core premise of the Atkins Diet. When you eat foods composed primarily of protein, fat and fiber, your body produces far less insulin. And when the carbs you do eat are in the form of high-fiber whole foods, which convert to glucose relatively slowly, your blood sugar level holds steady, along with your energy level. You don’t crave a fast-fix energy booster in the form of sugary, starchy food. And you’re less hungry at meals.

Comparison of Atkins Diet
  • Phase 1 – Induction. It is the strictest and is perhaps the most difficult part of the Atkins Diet. Over the suggested period of two weeks, an individual going through Induction is not to exceed an intake 20 net grams of carbohydrates per day. This sharp reduction in carbohydrates is designed to force a person’s body into a rapid state of ketosis. Many dieters will see a dramatic and significant weight loss throughout this phase. Foods allowed during this phase include all meats, hard and semi-soft cheeses, several green vegetables and sources of fats and oils like butter. Atkins cookbooks and all of the books penned by Dr. Atkins will outline what foods are and aren’t allowed during each phase more thoroughly

     

  • Phase 2 – Ongoing Weight Loss(OWL). Many people are in a hurry to increase their daily intake of Net Carbs. As long as you’re steadily losing weight, you typically increase by daily 5-gram increments each week, but you certainly don’t have to. You may decide to move up every two weeks or more to encourage faster weight loss. Nor need you reintroduce a new carb food group each week if a slower, more cautious approach suits your metabolism—or your personality. The same freedom applies in Phase 3, Lifetime Maintenance, in which most people move up in 10-gram daily increments each week. 
  • Phase-3  Pre-Maintenance, dieters will continue to increase their carbohydrate consumption at a rate of 10 grams per week. The final goal of this phase is to learn how many carbohydrates you can consume while still losing weight. New foods you can eat can include starchy vegetables, fruits and whole grains, as well as whole milk.
  •  Phase 4 –  Maintenance.At this point, you should be taking in the maximum amount of carbs that allows you to feel good and maintain your weight. The phase is called “Maintenance” for a reason, as you still have to put in hard work to make sure you don’t relapse into consuming massive amounts of carbohydrates. If you feel you’ve fallen off the wagon, you can always revert to an earlier phase and start over.

    Atkins Diet Sample Menu

Dangers of ATKINS Diet

  • Robert H. Eckel, MD, “Our worries over the Atkins diet go way past the question of whether it is effective for losing weight or even for keeping weight off. We worry that the diet promotes heart disease. … We have concerns over whether this is a healthy diet for preventing heart disease, stroke, and cancer. There is also potential loss of bone, and the potential for people with liver and kidney problems to have trouble with the high amounts of protein in these diets.”
  • Gail Frank, PhD, says, “The body needs a minimum of carbohydrates for efficient and healthy functioning — about 150 grams daily.” Below that, normal metabolic activity is disrupted. “The brain needs glucose to function efficiently, and it takes a long time to break down fat and protein to get to the brain,” says Frank. Carbohydrates, especially in the form of vegetables, grains, and fruits, are more efficiently converted to glucose. And this more efficient use of glucose has developed over a long period of time, according to Frank. “Fruits and berries are much more indicative of early man’s eating pattern than eating only protein, and we haven’t changed all that much physiologically.”
  • Barbara Rolls, PhD, says “No one has shown, in any studies, that anything magical is going on with Atkins other than calorie restriction. The diet is very prescriptive, very restrictive, and limits half of the foods we normally eat,” she says. “In the end it’s not fat, it’s not protein, it’s not carbs, its calories. You can lose weight on anything that helps you to eat less, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for you.”

    English: Typical Atkins diet meal
    English: Typical Atkins diet meal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Advantages of ATKINS Diet

People who undertake the Atkins Diet usually report substantial weight loss. The Atkins Diet, once you get used to it, offers a wide selection of foods to eat. While the Induction phase can be very restrictive, you do get to eat eggs, meat and other rich foods. By the time you’ve reached the Maintenance phase, your carbohydrate intake may be at a level that allows you to enjoy many of the meals you used to enjoy in the past. While you might never be able to eat very many baked goods, you will have enough options that you won’t have to.

Low Carb Diet – Emphasizes on Dietary Protein and Fat

What is Low Carb Diet

All foods are made up of Three Primary Macro Nutrients – Carbohydrates (or sugars), Proteins and Fats. Low carb implies that the percentage of carbohydrate (by calorie) is low . A Low Carb Diet limits Carbohydrates such as grains, starchy vegetables and fruit and emphasizes dietary protein and fat. Many types of Low-Carb Diets exist, each with varying restrictions on the types and amounts of carbohydrates you can eat. A Low-Carb Diet is generally used to lose weight. Some Low Carb Diet claim that they have health benefits beyond weight loss, such as reducing risk factors associated with heart disease, certain cancers, diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

Classification of Carbohydrates in Diet

Low Carb Food
Low Carb Foods
  • High Carb                            50-70%
  • Moderate Carb                   40-50%
  • Low Carb                             25-39%
  • Very Low Carb                    0-25%

However it is common to find that any diet less than 50-60% Carb Ratio is called a Low Carb Diet. Depending on one’s sensitivity to Carbohydrates, a Moderate Carb Ratio may be better than a High Carb Ratio.

  1. Watch “The Science of Low Carb” Video 
  2. Watch “The Truth about No Carb Diets” Video

Continue reading “Low Carb Diet – Emphasizes on Dietary Protein and Fat”

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