Filed under: Food/Diet, Healthy Living | Tags: Atkins, Food/Diet, Health Tips
The Atkins diet is very popular, but it also comes with a lot of criticism. Health experts, doctors and diet specialists come from all different opinions when it comes to the Atkins diet and other low carb diets. Some believe that it is dangerous, some say that it is a healthy method to lose weight and others say that it works on a short-term basis.
However, there are also thousands of individuals who have found success with the Atkins diet. They can speak from personal experience and know that the diet works and it is an effective means of keeping weight off. There are thousands of testimonials that tout the benefits of the low carb way of living. Considering the Low Carb and the advantages I am personally definitely in favour of Low carb diets.
There are many typical criticisms of the Atkins diet. One of the first is that the diet it too high in fat. The butter, oil and fatty meats that are used in the Atkins diet are a far cry from the low-fat diet fad that recently swept the nation. For many people, the low fat mindset has prevailed and they cannot fathom eating real butter or cream with their meals. It seems like too much fat at first glance. However, those that pay close attention to Dr. Atkins guidelines and follow the program closely know that the diet focuses on good fats. Extra virgin olive oil and other helpful fats are emphasized. The proper use of these oils is important to brain function and mood management. Note on the previously mentioned Extra Virgin Olive Oil, please do NOT use these kind of oil for stir fry, several research has indicated that overheating Olive Oil has a serious effect on health. Diseases such as cancer have been mentioned in relation to these researches. Oils which can be used for these purposes are f.e. coconut oil, flax seed oil, arachide (peanut) oil and safflower oil.
Another popular Atkins criticism is that it focuses too much on food and not enough on exercise. This is an unfair claim because the Atkins books clearly spell out a need for exercise. There is a lot of attention paid to food choices because they are an integral part of the program, and they are different foods than what people are normally used to eating. However, this does not mean that exercise is not an integral part of the Atkins program. Aerobic and anaerobic exercise regimens are encouraged, and both will greatly increase your weight loss efforts.
Many Atkins critics feel that the diet is hard too keep up in the long term. Critics in this category will admit that Atkins is effective in short-term weight loss efforts, but point out that the lifestyle is hard to maintain over time. However, people who have had long term success with Atkins claim it is one of the easiest diets to follow for significant periods of time. The Atkins plan has rich food that is forbidden on other programs, and it has appetite-suppressing effects. When you combine this with the quick weight loss, a motivating factor for many people, Atkins is easy to stick to long term.
The side effects of Atkins, like constipation and bad breath, have also been a topic that Atkins critics are quick to point out. However, these side effects are not as common as critics make them out to be. If they do occur, the side effects normal only last through the first phase of the diet. Additionally, drinking additional water will normally take care of both problems rather quickly. This is essential for every person no matter if you are having an Atkins Diet or not. Drinking 2 to 3 liters water, MINIMUM, is really necessary for a healthy and daily detox of your body. Nevertheless when I talk to many people this is not a usual thing to do for most.
There are pros and cons to many diets. If you don’t particularly enjoy preparing and eating meat, then Atkins is probably not for you. But if you are considering Atkins, make sure to look beyond the common criticisms for the truth about the diet. The combination of Low carb and high in protein foods is to my opinion great, the Fat part is something people have to look at very carefully. Fat does not have to be bad for your health. However if your arteries become fatty on the inside, there certainly are risks.
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Filed under: Food/Diet, Healthy Living | Tags: Food/Diet, Health Tips. Glycemic Index, Satiety Index
What About Satiety?
A different way to limit carbohydrate consumption is simply to limit the total number of Calories that you consume for each meal. This can be a very effective method for controlling blood sugar and losing body fat. Unfortunately, there’s one BIG problem associated with this method – increased hunger! But what if you could eat less, and not be hungry? Is that possible?
A few years ago, a group of researchers from the University of Sydney in Sydney, Australia performed an interesting study in which they compared the satiating effects of different foods. These researchers, lead by Suzanna Holt, include some of the same individuals that pioneered much of the work on the Glycemic Index. The result of their study, “The Satiety Index of Common Foods”, was published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, September 1995. In this study, the researchers fed human test subjects fixed-Calorie portions of thirty-eight different foods, and then recorded the subjects’ perceived hunger following each feeding.
The results of this study clearly indicated that certain foods are much better than others for satisfying hunger. The researchers used white bread as their reference point, and arbitrarily assigned it a “Satiety Index” of 100. Foods that did a better job of satisfying hunger were given proportionately higher values, and foods that were less satisfying were assigned lower values. Among the most satisfying foods they tested were plain boiled potatoes, raw fruits, fish, and lean meats. Subjects that consumed the prescribed portion of these foods were less likely to feel hungry immediately afterward. Foods that did the poorest job of satisfying hunger included croissants, donuts, candy bars, and peanuts.
An important outcome of this study
Because of the limited size of the Satiety Index study, there’s some uncertainty in the accuracy of the values that were recorded for each food. However, one very important general observation was made by the Satiety Index researchers. They noted that a common feature was shared by the foods with the highest Satiety Index values. All of these foods had high weight-to-Calorie ratios. In other words, these foods contained a greater amount of bulk for each Calorie. They helped make you feel full, literally by filling your stomach.
This suspected relation between bulk and satiety may seem obvious and trivial, but it opens the door to a very powerful theory – that it may be possible to predict satiety by knowing the nutrient composition of the food! And if that is true, some form of the Satiety Index could prove to be a more flexible tool for assessing diet than the Glycemic Index.
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