9/28/11

My doctor says I need to go low-carb? What does that mean?

Question: I have just been told by my doctor to go on a Low Carb diet. What food groups are good and bad for this diet?


Answer:
Low carb diets can be a tricky thing. I would encourage you to ask your doctor how low in carbs he/she wants you to go. It is important to remember that the brain functions on carbohydrates primarily. The body needs at least 130 grams of carbs a day to perform daily functioning.

Foods with carbohydrates
Carbohydrates foods: all fruits and vegetables, breads, grains, cereals, dairy, and beans. So you can see, that encompasses most foods except meat. Although I don't recommend going on a super low carbohydrate diet, eating less carbohydrates than the average American is a good idea.

The primary reason low-carb diets work is that people consume less calories overall. But people gravitate towards the diet because they lose a lot of weight quickly. The reason? Carbohydrates attract water. The few carbs, the less water your body holds onto. Therefore, at the end of the first week, most people have lost a significant amount of weight but it's water weight.

I recommend that you begin but cutting out "unnecessary carbohydrates" such as, candies, sodas, syrups, jams, sugar in beverages, etc. Depending on how much you may be consuming, cutting these out can make a huge difference. Although vegetables do contain carbohydrates, it is very little and I strongly recommend that you do not eliminate fruits and vegetables from your diet. Fruits and vegetables contain the fiber, vitamins and minerals your body needs to function and achieve/maintain a healthy weight.

 
To help you track your carbohydrate intake (and protein and fat, if you like) you might try sparkpeople.com. It is a free website that allows you to track and analyze your food intake. It will give you a running tally of the carbohydrates you've eaten each day and show you what percent of your diet is coming from carbs, protein and fat.

1 comment:

  1. Eating limited carbs is always the way to go but I think the doctor knows better.
    Functions of Carbohydrates

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