Critics of Low-Carb Diets

While many people have had positive experiences with low-carb diets, several health associations have made statements that warned against the use of such diets. For example, the American Heart Association has issued a science advisory warning that high-protein diets have not been proven effective and pose health risks. The report covered the Atkins, Zone, Protein Power, Sugar Busters, and Stillman diets. The committee stated:

• Such diets may produce short-term weight loss through dehydration.
• Weight loss may also occur through caloric restriction resulting from the fact that the diets are relatively unpalatable.
• The high fat content may be harmful to the cardiovascular system in the long run.
• Any improvement in blood cholesterol levels and insulin management would be due to weight loss, not the change in composition.
• A very high-protein diet is especially risky for patients with diabetes because it can speed the progression of diabetic kidney disease.

They aren’t alone. Cancer groups have weighed in as well, as has Quack Watch, a nonprofit corporation whose purpose is to combat health-related frauds, myths, fads, and fallacies. What’s particularly interesting about Quack Watch, is that even while they express some concerns, they also admit a low-carb diet might be best for some people.

“Because carbohydrates can raise triglyceride levels, a low-carbohydrate might be best for obese individuals with abnormally high triglyceride levels,” says Quack Watch. They continue, “Following a low-carbohydrate diet under medical supervision may make sense for some people, but a population-wide increase in fat consumption would not. My advice to people who are considering a low-carbohydrate diet is not to try it on their own by reading a book, but to seek supervision from a physician who can monitor what they do.”


 
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Poll

What low carb plan have you tried the most?
Atkins Diet
52%
South Beach Diet
12%
No White Diet - no white flour, potatoes, white rice
11%
No sugars, high sugar fruit, starchy vegetables
6%
I created my own low carb plan
20%
Total votes: 1076

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