Although I am not a proponent of low-carb diets like Atkin’s, I am aware that the recent craze has created a shift in thinking – low-carb is healthy. NOT TRUE! In fact, diets like Atkin’s are coming under heavy scrutiny because they encourage dieters to consume unlimited amounts of some fairly unhealthy foods. Most things in moderation are OK but consuming limitless amounts of meat, eggs, butter, and cheese, all of which have been linked to serious health risks like heart disease, could pose a long-term threat. If you do choose to turn to one of these diets or just try to stick to low carb foods in general, be sure to incorporate healthy low-carbohydrate foods into your plan. Some options include reduced-fat cheeses, skinless light-meat (i.e. chicken and turkey), fish, and lean cuts of beef, lamb, pork and veal. Also be sure to stick to heart healthy fats such as olive oil.
With the low carb craze comes a new trend in nutrition labeling. Many food companies have come out with their own low-carb products. Although the FDA requires that total carbohydrates be listed on the back, some advertise “net carbs” on the front. Net carbs are calculated by subtracting the fiber and the sugar alcohols from the total carbohydrates (because they do not raise blood sugar levels as much as other carbohydrates). But since all carbohydrates contain calories and some low-carb foods are high in fats, saturated fats, cholesterol, and sodium --- beware! Always look at the back of the box and think long-term.
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