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Diet and Nutrition

Low carbo diet

01/31/2001

Question:

what is a good low carbo diet plan?

Answer:

Without knowing why you want to restrict your carbohydrates, it is difficult to specifically answer your question. Low carbohydrate diets have been popularized lately, primarily for weight loss. The verdict is still out on whether or not they are truly helpful long term and actually may prove to be harmful to our health.

Carbohydrates have been given a bad name for too long. Nutrition experts know that people need ALL nutrients in our diet to remain healthy and each nutrient has its advantages and limitations. Carbohydrates play a very important role in staying healthy and supplying energy. The calories in our diet should contain between 55 -75% carbohydrates (according to the World Health Organization). This is far away from many of the `low carbohydrate diet` recommendations.

We also know that adequate carbohydrate is needed in our body, or else protein is used in its place for energy. If this happens, protein can`t be used for all of its important functions. By making sure that a minimum of 100 grams of carbohydrate is eaten daily, protein will be able to do its work (This is called the protein-sparing action of carbohydrate).

The healthiest diets consist of variety and balance. Choose carbohydrates that are complex (such as whole grains and high fiber), include fresh fruits and vegetables daily, and limit the simple sugars (such as sugar, honey, corn syrup, and all those other `sticky-gooey` foods).

The best way to obtain personal diet information and more specifics on this subject is to contact a Registered Dietitian (R.D.) in your area. The R.D. can design a specific diet to meet all of your health needs. I`d also recommend that you search this site for more information on this subject.

Related Resources:

American Dietetic Association

For more information:

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Response by:

Jane   Korsberg, MS, RD, LD Jane Korsberg, MS, RD, LD
Senior Instructor of Nutrition
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University