If you’re looking for a healthy low carb diet, you’ve come to the right place. You can certainly lose a lot of weight low carbing and stay healthy too.
Low carb diets have had a bad press in the last few years, but new research is coming out that shows they are exactly what our bodies were designed to consume. You may have heard of the Paleo diet, a diet based on archeological evidence showing what our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate before the development of agriculture. It’s been suggested that this style of eating can have a lot of health benefits including preventing of major diseases (even Alzheimer’s). But Paleo diets are little more than low carb diets under another name.
When people criticize low carb diets, it’s often without any evidence. It seems “obvious” to them that you should eat a lot of rice or pasta because they do and their parents and grandparents did. They don’t think back beyond a few generations or realize that these foods were eaten only because they were cheap.
There are a lot more myths circulating about low carb diets. Let’s explode a few of these!
The Myths About Dr. Robert Atkins
Dr. Atkins was the creator of the Atkins Diet that was immensely popular in the 1970s and 80s and put low carb diets on the map for us.
The main myth about Dr. Atkins concerns his death. A lot of people believe that he died of a heart attack after eating too much fat on his low carb diet. This isn’t true. He died of head injuries from a fall on the sidewalk near his clinic.
Another “fact” that people may tell you is that Robert Atkins weighed 258 lb when he died. He was 6 ft tall but this would still make him overweight and even put him in the obese bracket. What those people don’t know is that his medical records show he was only 195 lb when he was admitted to hospital after his fall. He was in a coma for 10 days and during that time his body swelled up with fluid retention.
The Myths About Fat
On a low carb diet you will usually eat more saturated fat than a lot of people currently believe is healthy. However, it’s only since the 1960s that people have been advised to eat less saturated fat and there’s no evidence that it’s bad for you unless you combine it with a lot of refined carbohydrates.
Any kind of fat + sugar or fat + bread etc is likely to raise your cholesterol levels, but a low carb diet where you eat the fat but not the carbs is fine. This is explained in detail in all the best low carb plans including the one we think is the healthiest and easiest low carb diet, Unleash Your Thin (click the link there to see my review).
In fact, many people on low carb diets find that their cholesterol levels and other indicators actually drop after a few months on the diet, putting them at LESS risk of heart disease than they were before.
And more modern research is showing that saturated fat (found in meat and dairy products as well as a few plant foods like coconut) is actually HEALTHIER than a lot of vegetable oils containing omega 6 polyunsaturated fat (like corn oil), as well as the trans fats or “hydrogenated oils” that were found in the margarine promoted in the 1960s to replace so-called “unhealthy” butter and are now believed to be carcinogenic – although still not totally banned from our food.
Of course, if you have heart disease, diabetes or any other medical condition you should see your doctor before making radical changes to your diet. It’s especially important with diabetes because low carb diets reduce your need for insulin so you’ll need to be monitored carefully to check that you’re not taking too much medication.
The Myths About Protein
A lot of people describe low carb diets as “high protein diets”. They’re usually not. There’s no need to eat more protein than the body can handle (although if you already have kidney disease you shouldn’t eat more protein than your doctor recommends).
If you’re concerned about this you can track your protein on a website like FitDay. This helps you to keep a watch on your carbs too. Most people’s protein intake on a low carb diet is around 0.35 to 0.7 grams of protein per pound of body weight, which is around 60g to 120g of protein per day for a person weighing 170 lb. This isn’t the weight of the meat – there are other things in meat as well as protein. There are around 20 grams of protein in a 4 oz raw steak, and around 6g in one egg.
It’s always a good idea to track what you eat when you start a new diet. You don’t have to do it every day but take a typical day of what you might be eating now including all the snacks, lattes etc, then compare it with what you eat on a low carb diet. I’m pretty sure you’ll find the low carb plan is healthier!
The Myths About Vegetables
A lot of people think you can’t eat vegetables on a low carb diet. This is false! A lot of vegetables are very low in carbohydrates and they are essential to our diet for the vitamins and minerals they contain.
On a low carbohydrate diet you MUST eat vegetables. Which vegetables you eat, and how much of them you have, will depend on the plan you’re following. You’ll want to avoid potatoes which are very high in carbohydrates. Other starchy vegetables like pumpkin and peas may or may not be allowed.
In fact when a lot of people start low carbing they find they’re eating MORE vegetables than they did before. So provided you choose a well researched plan and follow all of the guidelines in it, you’ll have no trouble keeping to a healthy low carb diet.
On the Atkins diet the amount of vegetables is limited only by the carbs that they contain. So you have to keep track, and you can eat a lot of something like celery (2.4g net carbs per 100g serving) but less of broccoli (4g net carbs per 100g serving).
On Unleash Your Thin you can eat as much as you want of the allowed foods including peas, beans and all vegetables except for potatoes and corn. There’s no carb counting so it’s a much easier plan. Just be sure to get it from the official website because there are a lot of different parts to it and you need them all.
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