By Sherry L. Granader, CNC
There are many misconceptions about low-carbohydrate diets. Some people have an image of eating only bacon and eggs for breakfast or guzzling down cream and butter. The misconception is that a low-carb diet promotes heart disease and puts you down a dangerous road to poor health and chronic disease. It is time for a reality check.
Low-carbohydrate diets focus on healthy, nutritious foods that help you get away from highly processed foods. Weight loss is achieved and positive outcomes in cholesterol and other risk factors improve. Here are the myths that you need to know about and the truth behind them:
Myth #1: A Low-Carb Diet Means NO Carbohydrates
No one is advocating no carbohydrates altogether. Eating a low-carbohydrate diet involves eliminating processed foods that are high in sugar, preservatives and artificial flavorings. You can eat good carbohydrates such as whole fruits and vegetables, some whole grains such as brown rice and oatmeal, nuts and seeds, as well as good fats like that found in avocado.
Myth #2: You Can’t Eat Fruits And Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are mainly carbohydrate, however non-starchy vegetables are at the bottom of the low-carbohydrate pyramid meaning they are replacing grains, cereals, breads, and pasta. Following the low-carbohydrate way of life means eating more whole fruits and vegetables that are full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Myth #3: A Low-Carbohydrate Diet Is Low In Fiber
Nothing could be further from the truth. Fiber is undigested and lessens the impact of other carbohydrates on blood sugar. Many low-carbohydrate foods are high in fiber. As a result of eating a low-carbohydrate diet, many people eat more fruits and vegetables while increasing their fiber intake in the process – a winning combination.
Myth #4: All Low-Carbohydrate Diets Involve Eating Red Meat And Increase The Risk For Heart Disease
Eating a low-carbohydrate diet does not mean you have to eat a lot of red meat. You can enjoy chicken, turkey, eggs, fish, tuna and salmon as protein choices. Low-carbohydrate diets continue to show improvement in cholesterol, blood pressure, triglycerides and other risk factors for heart disease in those eating a low-carbohydrate diet.
Myth #5: A Low-Carbohydrate Diet Will Cause Kidney Damage
A low-protein diet is encouraged for those with kidney disease, however a diet that is higher in protein will not cause kidney damage or disease. It is important to note the health of your kidneys when you begin a low-carbohydrate eating plan. A low-carbohydrate diet may be a bit higher in protein, however it will not cause kidney problems.
Myth #6: Low-Carbohydrate Diets Cause Bone Loss
This myth is based on the assumption that low-carbohydrate diets are always high in protein and that leads to more calcium in the urine. However, this is not true. Low-carbohydrate diets actually support bone health with plenty of calcium from vegetables such as celery and dark leafy greens.
The best part about a low-carbohydrate diet is that it makes you aware of how many processed foods you may be consuming and steers you away from them to make better choices. Studies continue to show the health benefits of a low-carbohydrate diet that include weight loss and reduced risk for cardiovascular disease. Dispel the myths about low-carbohydrate diets and get started on a new way of eating for life that will support a healthy body.
Carb Manager is the easiest and most powerful way to count carbs and live the low carb life. In this blog, we've invited experts on LCHF to contribute their views on everything low carb.