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The Carbohydrate Controversy

Dieting is easy!!! Just do Atkins. Have bacon and eggs for breakfast. Why not have a cheeseburger (hold the bun) for lunch? Why not have a big juicy steak for dinner? Is all this too good to be true?

Many of us are conforming to a low carbohydrate diet. Whether it is the Zone Diet, The Atkins Diet, etc, many of us feel that low carbs are the way to go. Is this healthy??? The truth of the matter is that these diets can be dangerous without medical supervision. No one should be on a carb restricted diet for any length of time without a break. Low carb diets are based on severely reducing your intake of foods containing carbs. Foods such as bread, rice, potatoes, fruits, are considered the enemy. The idea is that by limiting consumption of these foods you will lose weight. However, due to the lack of options on such a diet, you typically consume less calories which lead to weight loss. As a result, this caloric deficit forces the body to obtain energy from the breakdown of fats know as ketosis. Ketosis is considered potentially dangerous. It is one of the body's reactions to starvation. Long-term effects of ketosis may even include heart disease, bone loss, and kidney damage.

In addition to the problem of ketosis, there are many other problems associated with low carb diets. For one, carbohydrate is needed for mental functioning. While on a low carb diet, the brain is being deprived of the fuel it needs to focus and work at optimal levels. As a result, efficiency and productivity will decline. Finally lets consider an exercise regimen on a carb restricted diet. First off, it is important to understand the role of carbohydrates as it pertains to exercise. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy during bouts of exercise. Glycogen, your body's storage form of carbohydrate, plays a vital role in sustaining high intensity during exercise. By depleting your carbohydrate intake, you are depleting your body's storage of glycogen, and thus hindering the progress made during exercise.

So in summation, diets that restrict the intake of carbohydrates truly are not worth all the hype. They can have potentially harmful side effects and tend to hinder, not aid, performance and progress in the long run.

Top Ten Protein Sources

We all know that protein is very important in an exercise regimen. Protein is responsible for building, maintaining, and repairing muscles tissue. However, what are good sources of protein? The following are great sources of protein that should be added to your diet...

1.) Tuna fish (in water)

2.) Grilled Chicken

3.) Cottage Cheese

4.) Skim Milk

5.) Turkey

6.) Beans

7.) Lean steaks (sirloins).

8.) Whey protein (powder/bar, etc)

9.) cheese and other dairy

10.) tofu

Try to add some of these protein sources in your diet daily. Adding protein will most likely aid in your progress and help you to achieve your fitness goals...

                                            More Nutritional Articles