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Low carb diet

Low carbohydrates are a very hot diet topic at the moment. The Atkins Diet, one of the most popular diets around, is based on having a low carbohydrate intake. The diet involves cutting down on the intake of carbohydrate foods such as bread, pasta and potatoes and replacing these foods with other non-carb based foods.

Example foods that can be eaten while on this type of diet. This is only a general guide - if you would like to find out the amount of carbohydrates contained in a specific food then see our Nutrition Information pages.

 
Examples of foods to Avoid
Bread
Rice
Potatoes
Sugars
Flour
Noodles
Cereals
Whole Grains
Legumes
Beans
Fruits
Vegetables
Dairy Products
 
Examples of foods OK to Eat
Meats
Poultry
Fish
Eggs
Most Fats
Cheeses
Nuts
Tofu
Green Salads

How Does This Diet Work?

Carbohydrates are used by the body during exercise and are broken down into fuel for the muscles - all carbohydrates, except for dietary fiber, are ultimately broken down into simple sugar molecules by digestive processes. Limiting the amount of carbohydrates in the body limits this available fuel - and as a result the body has to resort to burning fat stores for it's energy needs. Exercise then becomes much more effective in the reduction of fat.

Positive Factors

Weight loss is increased in the short term (There is limited research about how healthy it is in the longer term). You can eat as much fat and protein as you like and still lose weight. There is evidence that cholesterol levels are improved when following a low-carb diet. Weight loss can be excellent in the initial dieting stage. There is no craving factor that is associated with some reduced fat diets.

Negative Factors

The side effects listed by people on this type of diet have included headaches, bad breath, dizziness and tiredness.