Combat Low-Carb confusion!

Now that we offer low carbohydrate plans online, I find myself getting many questions about this approach. I thought I would clear up some of the common myths about low carbohydrate diets.

Myth 1 If I go on a low carbohydrate diet, I’ll never be able to eat fruit, vegetables or grains/potatoes again.
Low carbohydrate diets do not exclude these foods. The initial phase of the diet (the Carb Reduction phase of the Low-Carb Plan), which people often mistake for the entire programme, is the most strict - permitting only 20 grams of carbohydrate each day. Once you move to the Advancement Phase (whether after two weeks or longer), you begin to add these foods back into your meals. The main “enemies” of this plan are refined carbohydrates - white flour, sugar and sugary foods.

Myth 2 Ketosis is dangerous.
Confusion about ketosis often comes from people mistaking it for ketoacidosis, a condition found in type 1 diabetics that can be fatal (this occurs when a person's blood sugar is out of control and he or she cannot produce insulin).

"Ketosis is a normal physiological state", says Richard Veech, an NIH researcher who studied medicine at Harvard. They make the body run more efficiently and provide a backup fuel source for the brain.

Myth 3 Too much protein is bad for your kidneys.
Too many people believe this untruth simply because it has been repeated so often. In fact, the American Heart Association revised recently their guidelines suggesting that a high-protein diet may have adverse effects on the kidneys. A new study shows that this is only true if the person had kidney problems before starting the high-protein diet.

Myth 4 Low carbohydrate diets cause gallbladder disease.
There is now overwhelming scientific evidence that gallstones (responsible for more than 90% of gallbladder disease) are formed when fat intake is low. In a study that examined the effects of a diet that provided 27 grams of fat per day, gallstones developed in 13% of the participants.

The reason for this is that the gallbladder will not contract unless fat is taken in. If it doesn't contract, a condition called biliary stasis develops - and causes the bile salts to crystallise into stones. Our gallbladders need to be kept active to prevent stone formation.

Everyone is different. It will take some time and experimentation to find out what works for you! When following a low carbohydrate plan, you will control the number of grams of carbohydrate you eat and focus on certain food groups rather than others.

Not all carbohydrate found in food is created equal. Most carbohydrate is digested by your body and turned into glucose. However, some carbohydrate can be digested by your body but not turned into glucose, and some carbohydrate is not digestible at all (such as fibre, which is eventually excreted by your body). These last two types of carbohydrate don't have an impact on your blood-sugar levels.

Understanding the different behaviours of carbohydrate in your body can help you make smart food choices. This will, in turn, make sticking to your low carbohydrate plan easier and more enjoyable.

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