Dr. Atkins’ low-carb diet is the latest diet fad, thanks to Jennifer Aniston. The furor it is causing in medical circles isn’t due to star power or weight loss so much as the immense benefits it brings for diabetics.
For diabetics, low carb diets are being recommended over the more traditional low-calorie low-fat diet that used to be the norm. That older model has now been proven to be damaging, actually, to diabetics’ health.
For diabetics, both sugar and starch are problematic. These cannot be properly absorbed and processed by the body, and the blood sugar can rise to dangerous levels. As a result, too many carbohydrates — which break down into sugars during digestion – are really dangerous.
Anyone on a low-carb diet will generally keep their carbohydrates to 5 to 10% of the total caloric intake per day. The energy and full feeling normally provided via carbs is provided instead via protein and fats.
It’s critical that people not experience severe hunger pangs. Feeling very hungry is what most often leads to binging on sugary foods. Feeling full protects you from binging, and this can be established with high fiber foods as well.
What is unique about low carb diets is that you can eat anything you want if it doesn’t have many carbs in it. You still don’t want to stuff yourself but it is a very open diet that surprises many people.
There are foods that are allowed and others that aren’t. Allowed foods include: meat, fish, poultry, cheese, eggs. Many vegetables, though not all, are also permitted. You can eat beans, carrots, avocados. You need to take it a fair amount of fat, and to eat a good deal of protein. Anyone who is obese and wants to follow a low carb diet needs to talk with their doctor first.
For diabetics, a low carb diet can be just the thing to make it easier to stay healthy. And for everyone else, low carb diets will likely continue to be a popular method for weight control.