Wednesday, November 15, 2006

"Low Carb" or Lower Carb?

Low carb, low fat are terms that are extensively used for sometime ago. the frequent use of these terms created an active attitude towards them, yet it did not create the necessary attitude of digging under them. As a result, many people actually dealt with ' labels' rather than trying to understand the right full scheme needed for keeping good health, with a serious impact on public health.

I read an opinion survey that contained so many funny things reflecting the level of awareness of some people with the meaning of ' low carb' and ' low fat' terms. You would agree with me when you know some of them:
# "It is the carbohydrates and not calories that contribute to weight gain".
# " Low carb diets are associated with the prevention of disease".
# " Restriction of carbohydrates consumption( meaning less fruits, honey, vegetables and whole grains), reduces the risk of certain cancers.
# " Diabetics need low carb" ( Contrary to the institutional recommendation that people should consume a diet that include a variety of carbohydrates containing foods).
# Those on low carb diet consume more meat and fewer other foods ( like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low fat dairy products), though the American National Cancer Institute recommendsdaily 5 servings of fiber rich fruits and vegetables and 3 of low fat dairy products.
# Many folks do not know the appropriate amount of carb daily intake, some said it is 10 , 5 and 0.5 g !!

Some low-carb diet producers start people at 20 g carbohydrates daily ( I would have been died starving going this way), others say 30, 60, 100, 150 and 200 g carb daily intake.

To correct the situation we should search the scientific basis for good health.
-Texts tell us that the average person needs of energy is 2000-3000 Calories/day according to hist ype of activity.
-American National Academy of Health recommends that children and adults get a minimum of 130g of carbohydrates daily.
-Maximum Calorie intake of fat derived calories should not exceed 30% of total calories, and not more than 10% of them are saturated fats ( away from trans fats). This corresponds to 60-80 g fat/day ideally.

Now, if you are overweight, then you should be ingesting more than 3000 Calories daily. If you go according to the mentioned outline, then you should be eating 120 g fats/day which produce 1080 Calories. If you divide the rest of your calorie gain equally between carbohydrates and protein, then you should be eating 300 g carbohydrates and 300 g proteins daily.

If you want to lose weight, you should CUT DOWN TOTAL CALORIES, beginning with carbohydrates and redistributing your calorie intake between fats and proteins.

Certainly your weight gain is caused by calorie gain, so cut them down, but do not forget that you need different carbohydrates like fibers and essential sugars, as well as you need different fats like polyunsaturated fats and lecithin.
Moreover, you need the delecious taste of both.

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