A low carbohydrate diet,or a low sugar diet, are often needed to control sugar levels.
Low carb diets restrict the comsumption of food rich in carbohydrates and increase the portions of foor high in protein or fat. Low carb diets are popular for weight loss and treatment of obesity because most of these diets do not place any restriction in the amount of food, only the type.
Low carb diet lingo
In order to understand today's diet talk, you have to understand the phrase low carb. Even though these types of diets have been around for a long, long time, there seems to be a new interest. It could be due to new books coming out, or possibly revised editions of popular diet books from years past. Whatever the reason, low carb, slow carb, or low glycemic diets are getting a lot of attention. Let's take a look at the basics of what a low carb diet looks like.
Low carb versus slow carb
Even though the most popular diets include one or the other term, you can use them interchangeably, to some degree. Even the lowest of low carb diet phases includes some carbs in the form of vegetables, typically. As a matter of fact, a certain portion of carbs must come from vegetables, with no exception. No respectable weight loss program can truly support an absolutely carb free diet. Carbohydrates are essential for a healthy body, even during weight loss.
Slow carb is just another way of saying that you need to ingest carbs that are slow burning, such as vegetables, and even some fruit. Fast burning carbs would include processed breads and pastas, for instance. These are the carbs that give a quick sugar boost, then drop just as quickly.
Not all carbs, even slow burning carbs, are created equal. Some low or slow carb diets recommend staying away from some vegetables they consider high in sugar, such as corn or peas, especially during the first phases. The same is true for dried beans and other protein rich foods that also are considered higher in carbs.
When comparing lists of acceptable foods on any low carb diet, you'll see differences. You'll also see differences in what levels of carbs are going to result in weight loss, and where those carbs should come from. In some diets, even slow burning carbs like dried beans are forbidden in the first phases. In other diets, all carbs, as long as they are slow burning carbs, are just fine.
This is not simple, but it is all a matter of opinion, personal preference, and what works for you. If you've been on a diet that includes such slow burning carbs as brown rice, black beans, and quinoa, and haven't seen any results, this diet may not be for you. Individuals process carbs differently. Simply following a diet according to a low-glycemic index (the amount of carbs in a food) may not be what you need to lose weight, or it may be, but it's a good way to start understanding how your body processes carbohydrates.
The protein process
Years ago, people were going on all sorts of vegetable and fruit only diets. Then there were the whole grain diets. None of those diets are part of our vernacular today, but the diets that are high in protein and low in fast burning carbs are. Protein is essential for building muscle, which burns fat, and keeps us strong. Protein is a building block, just like other nutrients we know to be essential.
No matter which diet you follow today, if it includes a balanced approach to good sources of protein and carbohydrates, it is most likely a respectable weight loss program. Human beings cannot live on protein alone, nor does any proper diet developed by a health professional suggest otherwise. There was, actually, a myth around high protein, low carb diets for years. Nowhere in the mainstream market of dieting did a protein-only method for weight loss exist. Even one of the most popular diets for decades that suggested adding more servings of proteins at every meal, actually formed the basis of their diet on ingesting more vegetables than protein. People got seriously ill, even fatally ill, by eating only protein, but this approach was never approved or suggested by any mainstream diet.
Eating a diet that's rich in protein is not difficult for the most part. Protein from many sources, including dairy products, eggs, cheese, meat, poultry, and seafood is suggested in most low carb diets. Because most proteins are also low carb, or no carb, it makes sense to eat a lot of these foods when on a low carb diet. And because it's almost impossible to over-indulge in protein, it's a safe bet that you will practice portion control more easily. It's rare to see a person eat a whole roasted chicken, but a huge plate of pasta can disappear quite easily at one sitting. The diet systems may vary in exactly how much and which sources you should get the majority of your protein, but most well-respected diets include a good portion of protein each day, balanced with a variety of healthy carbs.
All sorts of pure protein and fat are allowed in most low carb diets aiming to lose weight, even fatty sausage.
The fat fact
This seems to be where the division lies in many low carb weight loss diets. Some diet plans say simply that you can't get fat from fat. Other diet plans are so concerned with fat intake that they allow more carbohydrates if it means avoiding fat, as is the case with most 'lite' foods. If you check the labels, you'll often find that low fat, reduced fat, light or lite means added sugars to tweak the flavor.
The reason is simple; fat is flavor. That's why one mainstream low carb diet recommends eating regular, full fat foods, such as regular mayonnaise, sour cream, and even whole milk or heavy cream. While other low carb diets have fats restricted by eating only fat-reduced dairy, dressings, etc.