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Q: Do low-carb diets work for weight loss?

Posted February 05, 2014 in Advice Column, Johnston

A: The most popular of the low-carb, no-carb craze is the Atkins diet and most recently the Paleo diet. In these diets, you drastically decrease or eliminate the amount of carbohydrates you eat in a day to ideally enter a state of ketosis.

In ketosis, your body burns fat as fuel as opposed to carbohydrates being the main source of fuel. And although this sounds desirable to increase weight loss, it can be dangerous for those with certain health conditions such as diabetes and unrealistic for most people. Carbohydrates are your brain and heart’s main source of energy, so you may start to feel “run down.” There are also many risks associated with this diet ,including kidney failure and high cholesterol due to the increase of protein in your diet. Carbohydrates themselves do not cause weight gain. What causes us to believe this is that there are certain carbohydrates, such as cakes and cookies, that when they are consumed frequently may lead to weight gain. Fruit and dairy are both carbohydrates that provide you with many other nutrients your body needs as well. It is possible to lose a lot of weight on these carbohydrate restrictive diets but when going off the diet most tend to go back to the way they were eating and gain that weight back, if not more. Bottom line: try to make changes to the types of carbohydrates you eat in order to work toward a healthier lifestyle.

Information provided by Missy Anker, Registered Dietitian, Hy-Vee, 5750 Merle Hay Road, Johnston, 270-9045.





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